Farm building code requirements changing


Province of Manitoba


The Manitoba government is supporting the long-term, sustainable growth of the agricultural sector by removing unnecessary regulatory requirements on the construction of farm buildings, Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced Jan. 25, as part of the province’s commitment to Red Tape Awareness Week.

The current Manitoba Farm Building Code will be repealed and an amendment will be made to the Manitoba Building Code to add specific provisions for farm buildings.  The minister noted this approach will reduce the red tape burden on those planning to build new farm buildings, while still ensuring appropriate rules will be in place related to occupant safety and fire prevention.

The minister noted key changes that will apply to farm buildings will include:

• establishing a ‘low-human occupancy’ building classification for most types of farm buildings, which will recognize lower risks by reducing additional regulatory requirements for items like full fire alarm systems;

• focusing on ways to prevent fires from spreading to neighbouring buildings, while still allowing these low-human occupancy buildings to be grouped together to meet operational needs; 

• applying only structural requirements for unenclosed farm buildings used for hay storage or livestock shelters; 

• removing requirements for fire-rated separations in high-humidity environments where the building materials are unsuitable, or in areas where animals are likely to cause damage to them.

• providing more options to meet entrance and exit requirements; 

• allowing flexibility in the direction of door swing to meet operational needs;

• allowing flexibility in requirements related to covering foamed plastic insulation in high-humidity vegetable storage facilities such as potato storage sheds; and

• adjusting emergency lighting requirements to be responsive to the needs of poultry and egg producers.

The Manitoba farm building code would be repealed once the new provisions for farm buildings come into effect, Eichler said.

Building codes and other related standards are overseen by Manitoba’s Office of the Fire Commissioner.  For more information, visit