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Agricultural establishment

Developing and putting into production the natural environment in order to draw from it an agricultural product derived from:

  • agriculture (feeds, cereals, turf, tobacco, dairy product, etc.);
  • horticulture (vegetables, fruits, flowers, trees, shrubs, greenhouse crops, etc.);
  • bee keeping;
  • aviculture (birds such as poultry);
  • maple growing;
  • aquaculture (aquatic species or plants, fish farming);
  • wooden lot standing on the agricultural establishment (e.g.: Christmas trees);
  • raising of fur-bearing animals, horse farming or raising of animals for human consumption;
  • activities related to the breeding of animals for human consumption.
Altering work

Work having for purpose changes or alterations (in particular to the structures) performed on a building, a piece of equipment intended for public use, a facility independent of a building or a civil engineering structure. Often, such work involves a change in the use of such structures.


A professional having the necessary knowledge to construct, expand, maintain or modify a building. This person must be recognized by the Ordre des architectes du Québec.

Architectural elements

Elements, generally prefabricated, which are encompassed by the construction of a building or a civil engineering structure, such as a curtain wall, roof truss, module, metal stairway, canopy, concrete slab, column, etc.

Appendix E

An appendix covering the requirements related to the elevators for disabled persons in order to make such elevators barrier-free. Such requirements concern, in particular, braille inscriptions, voice synthesizers, cabin dimensions and positioning of controls.


Bracing (4.1)

A device or apparatus ensuring the stability of a building or a structural framing, and acting against its deformation, tipping over or overturning under the action of the horizontal forces. Bracing can be provided by different means: rigid barrier, laced pile bent, trestled rigid pile bent, etc.

Backflow valve

A backflow valve is a device which keeps the sewage waters of an overloaded sanitary building sewer from backing up in the basement. This valve shuts off automatically when the sewage waters back up.


The process whereby the connection of metal parts is obtained through alloys having a lower melting point than that of the metal parts to be connected.

Bureau des régisseurs of the RBQ

The Bureau des régisseurs is composed of no more than cinq commissioners appointed by the Government who perform their duties with independence and impartiality.

They exercise the jurisdictional function entrusted to the RBQ, when they have to interpret the Act and the regulations it is mandated to apply, exercising functions similar to those of the law courts.

They can decide to issue, suspend, cancel or modify licences in accordance with the laws and regulations, namely the Building Act. If legal conditions are not respected or if the contractor is in breach of his obligations, commissioners will be in charge of holding hearings and rendering decisions.

A branch of the construction industry which is concerned with the manufacturing and installing of all fastening and closing devices and metalworking (such as wrought iron) features. Building hardware contractors should not be confused with locksmiths.


Any construction which is used or intended to be used to shelter or accommodate persons, animals or things, including the installations and equipment required for its use such as wells, connections to the municipal or governmental utilities or services, septic tank, as well as its disposal field system and drain. Examples: houses, garden sheds, plants, retail outlets, multistory parking garages, built-on-site tanks, etc.

Building area (1.2)

The greatest horizontal surface of the building over the average ground level, as calculated between the external faces of the exterior walls, or from the external face of the exterior walls to the center line of the fire walls.

Building equipment

Any equipment which is essential to the operation of a building or to the needs of its occupants, as well as any other equipment required by Law, by a regulation or by a standard. Furthermore, this notion includes any piece of equipment necessitating building work or integrating itself permanently to the building, such as computer wiring and others. Such equipment is generally intended to ensure the functions of safety, comfort and hygiene.


  • emergency electrical supply;
  • passenger elevators, freight elevators, dumbwaiters, moving staircases, moving sidewalks;
  • awnings;
  • standpipes and hose valves;
  • septic tanks;
  • incinerators;
  • plumbing system;
  • electrical systems and lighting;
  • artesian wells and shallow wells;
  • fire dampers;
  • fresh water supply systems;
  • voice communication systems;
  • waste water disposal systems;
  • electromagnetic locks;
  • sign supports;
  • alarm systems, annunciators, smoke detectors, heat detectors, CO2 detectors;
  • emergency electrical supply systems;
  • heating systems, fire places, oil-, gas-, wood-fired range, etc.;
  • water sprinkler systems;
  • ventilation systems, air conditioning systems, refrigeration systems;
  • etc.

Here are a few examples of equipment which is not considered as building equipment:

  • paper machines;
  • overhead travelling cranes;
  • conveyors;
  • production lines;
  • hydraulic jacks (used in garages);
  • dentist chairs;
  • etc.
Building height (subclass 1.2)

Means the number of storeys contained between the roof and the floor of the first storey.

Building (for the purpose of subclasses 1.1.1. and 1.1.2)

Refers to the building itself, including the installations and equipment required for its use, that is the artesian well, the connections to the municipal or governmental utilities or services, the septic tank and its disposal field system, as well as the drainage system.

Building sewer

A pipe which is connected to the building drain at a distance of 1 meter from the exterior of the building wall, and leads to a common (public) sewer or an individual wastewater treatment facility.

Business or personal services occupancy (subclass 1.2)

Means the occupancy or use of a building or part thereof for the transaction of business or the rendering or receiving of professional or personal services.


Care institution (Subclass 1.2)

Building or part of a building where care is offered to residents, or building or part of a building occupied by a private seniors' residence.

Civil engineering structure construction work

Construction work which relates to immovable property other than buildings, generally performed on behalf of a public legal person, for public purposes. An equipment essential to the operation of a civil engineering structure, such as an overhead travelling crane inside a power station, is deemed to be part of such structure.

For public purposes means that it is either for the public’s use (e.g.: streets, bridges) or needs (e.g.: gas transmission lines, transport lines).

A public legal person is a broad term encompassing various institutions such as the government (as represented by its ministries), the government corporations (RIO, SIQ, etc.), the parapublic agencies (Hydro-Québec), the municipalities, etc.


The client is a person, in general the owner of the construction or renovation premises, who calls upon the services of a contractor to carry out this type of work.

Co-generation (1.9)

A technique enabling the simultaneous production of electricity and thermal energy. Examples: vapor, hot water, combustion gas from a combustible (such as natural gas, wood chips).

Cold storage room

Any building or part thereof where the envelope is made of highly insulated components and specially equipped with refrigerating equipment enabling to lower the temperature inside the building, generally intended to preserve perishable goods.


Designates a material which does not meet the requirements of CAN4-S114-M, Standard Method of Test for Determination of Non-Combustibility in Building Materials (Quebec Construction Code, Chapter I, Building).

Combustible construction

A type of construction which does not meet the requirements established for a noncombustible construction. A combustible construction is usually a wood-frame construction (Construction Code, Chapter I, Building).

Common portions

The common portions are the portions of the building which are considered the property of all co-owners and which, for the purpose of application of the Regulation respecting the guarantee plan for new residential buildings, are part of the building (e.g.: passageways). Some of these common parts may however be for the sole use of a beneficiary (e.g.: verandas or balconies).

The following are presumed to be common portions: the ground, yards, verandas or balconies, parks and gardens, access ways, stairways and elevators, passageways and halls, common service areas, parking and storage areas, basements, foundations and main walls of buildings, and common equipment and apparatus, such as the central heating and air-conditioning systems and the piping and wiring, including which crosses private portions. (Civil Code of Québec, Section 1044)


Basic constituent of a machine, an appliance or an electrical or electronic circuit.


A contractor is a person who, for others, performs or calls upon somebody else to perform building work, or makes or presents bids, either personally or through a nominee (by proxy), in view of performing or having someone else perform such work, to the benefit of the contractor.

A contractor can be a natural person, a partnership or a legal person. In order to carry out his/her/its functions, the contractor must hold a licence on which are indicated the categories and subclasses appropriate to the work set out to be performed.

A project proponent who enters into a contract directly with a third party in view of selling him/her a building having been constructed by the former, which the former called upon somebody else to construct, or which the former commits him/herself to construct or have constructed, must hold a building contractor’s licence.

Construction work

Work related to the foundations, erection, renovation, repair, maintenance, alteration or demolition of a building, an apparatus designed for public use, an installation not connected to a building, a petroleum equipment installation or a civil engineering structure, performed on the premises and on site, including the preliminary work of site development.


Property ownership of an asset used jointly or commonly between two (2) or more persons, whom are named as owners of the asset by the notarial act. For the purpose of the application for licence, the term “co-ownership” is not used within the meaning of condominium.


Generally speaking, a culvert is an engineering structure installed under backfilling, spanning less than 4.5 m. Its structure may be of prefabricated reinforced concrete, in corrugated sheet metal or in polyethylene, such as those of types 12 to 20 from the MTQ standard. Any structure of the same type which is used as an underground crossing for pedestrians, cyclists or small vehicles is also referred to as a culvert.

Curtain wall (subclass 8)

Exterior wythe of a façade, made up of prefabricated panels, suspended at the structure of a building, and exerting no compression load.



A room or group of rooms of complementary functions being used as a home, or designed to be used as a home, by one or several persons, where one can prepare and consume his/her meals and sleep, and featuring generally washroom facilities.

Decisions in the exercise of an adjudicative function

(sections 9 to 13 of the Act respecting administrative justice): the procedures leading to a decision to be made by the Tribunal administratif du Québec or by another body of the administrative branch charged with settling disputes between a citizen and an administrative authority or a decentralized authority.

Decisions in the exercise of an administrative function

(sections 2 to 8 of the Act respecting administrative justice): the procedures leading to an individual decision to be made by the Administration, pursuant to norms or standards prescribed by law.

Demolition work

Work having for purpose the dismantling of a building, a piece of equipment intended for public use, a facility independent of a building, or a civil engineering structure, in whole or in part. Examples: the removal of asbestos, or the complete demolition of a building.

Different solution

A request for a different solution is an exceptional procedure since the provisions provided for by the legislation in force must be applied. The option of resorting to different solutions is not to be construed as a matter of tolerance or concession in order to avoid complying with the regulations. Any such request which is not based upon substantive grounds or which does not meet the objectives coming under the regulations shall be dismissed.

Divided co-ownership (1.1.1 and 1.1.2)

A co-ownership is a property right which several persons share concurrently on a single asset, each of whom being vested with a share of the right of ownership. This property is designated as divided when the property right is distributed among the co-owners in fractions (or lots) each containing a unit, materially divided, and a portion of the common area.


Electrical installation

Any installation of cabling or wiring either underground or above ground, or inside a building, for point-to-point transmission of the electricity supplied by a distributor or any other source of power, for the purpose of powering an electrical apparatus, including its connection.

Electric generator (subclass 1.9)

A set made up of an engine (generally an electric-ignition engine) and a dynamo-electric machine (the generator itself) which is intended to supply the electrical power required for the operation of certain appliances, in particular during a power failure.


Electrification means the passage of electric current through the human body. When this results in the death of the victim, it is called an electrocution.


Death resulting from electrification.


An elongated structure intended to contain liquids, either as a protection against marine or fluvial floods, or for the purpose of creating a reservoir.

Engineering structures

The engineering structure is a civil engineering work which is incorporated in the ground, port and airport transportation infrastructures.

The work involved is of a relatively minor importance and thus, it is also less complex in nature.


  • retractable bollards;
  • installation of prefabricated concrete bases;
  • poles;
  • dwarf walls made of wood or stone;
  • culverts.
Equipment intended for public use

The following facilities are for public use for the purposes of section 10 of the Act:

  • bleachers, grandstands or exterior terraces whose highest point, above the ground, exceeds 1.2 m and whose load capacity exceeds 60 persons;
  • tents or exterior inflatable structures covered in Chapter I of the Construction Code and used
    • as dwellings or health care or detention facilities whose floor area is 100 m2 or more; or
    • as meeting facilities or commercial establishments whose floor area exceeds 150 m2 and whose load capacity exceeds 60 persons;
  • belvederes built with materials other than backfill and constituted of horizontal platforms linked by their construction elements whose total area exceeds 100 m2 or whose load capacity exceeds 60 persons including access facilities;
  • elevators, freight elevators, dumbwaiters, escalators, moving walks and material lifts referred to in Code CAN/CSA B44-00, incorporated by section 4.02 of Chapter IV of the Construction Code and defined in that Code;
  • lifts referred to in CSA Standard CAN/CSA B355-00, incorporated by section 4.02 of Chapter IV of the Construction Code and defined in that standard;
  • elevating devices referred to in CSA Standard CAN/CSA B613-00, incorporated by section 4.02 of Chapter IV of the Construction Code and defined in that standard; and
  • passenger ropeways and conveyors referred to in CSA Standard CAN/CSA Z98-01, referred to in section 7.01 of Chapter VII of the Construction Code.
Equivalent solution

An equivalent solution can apply to a designing method, a construction process, or the use of a material or of a piece of equipment departing from what is set forth by the regulations. The applicant must demonstrate that the equivalent solution or system proposed meets the objectives coming under the Building chapter with the same level of performance.

Erection work

The work package coming after the foundation work and which consists in erecting a building, a piece of equipment intended for public use, a facility independent of a building or a civil engineering structure. Examples: the positioning and fixing of the wood, steel, concrete or masonry framework forming the walls, floors or exterior siding, of piping, etc., and the installation of building equipment such as heating system, ventilation system, elevators, etc.


Face lifting

Within the meaning of the Regulation respecting the professional qualifications of contractors and owner-builders, face lifting is an operation involving the removal of layers of paint from the walls of a building, of a piece of equipment intended for public use, of a facility independent of a building or of a civil engineering structure, or the emptying of the brickwork or masonry joints by blast cleaning, or by using pressurized vapor or water.


Work generally involving the coating of steel structures with a sprayed cementitious layer intended to increase the fire resistance of these structures.


Means a type of fire separation of noncombustible construction that subdivides a building or separates adjoining buildings to resist the spread of fire and that has a fire-resistance rating as prescribed in the NBC and structural stability to remain intact under fire conditions for the required fire-rated time.

First storey

The storey having its floor the closest to the grade which is adjacent to the main entrance of the building, and having its ceiling no higher than 2 meters from the grade; in the case where a building has several main entrances, this is determined by the entrance which is located at the lowest level.


A structure or arrangement of elements through which the loads of a building are transferred to the supporting soil or rock.

Foundation work

The work package intended to provide stability at the base of a building, a piece of equipment intended for public use, a facility independent of a building or a civil engineering structure. Such work is usually performed below ground level.

Examples: excavation, formwork for the beds and foundation walls, concreting; pile driving, reinforcing piles, sheet piles.



Large baskets of wickerwork or strap iron which are interwoven, to be filled with stones and intended as a protection, in particular against erosion.

General contractor

The category of general contractor includes any contractor whose main activity consists in organizing, coordinating, carrying out or having carried out, in whole or in part, construction work in the licence subclasses in the general contractor class, or in making or submitting tenders personally or through an intermediary for the purpose of carrying out or having such work carried out in whole or in part. The licence which qualifies the holder in a subclass in the general contractor or general owner-builder class authorizes the holder to carry out or have construction work carried out in that specific subclass.

In spite of the foregoing, a general contractor's or general owner-builder's licence authorizes its holder to carry out construction work in a licence subclass in Schedule II only if that licence subclass is mentioned in a subclass of the licence held.

Guarantee Plan Managers

A manager is a legal person authorized by the RBQ to manage a Guarantee Plan. It guarantees the performance of a contractor's legal and contractual obligations, wich result from a contract made with a beneficiary. It is governed by the Regulation respecting the guarantee plan for new residential buildings.

Since January 1, 2015, a new Regulation has come into force, under which only a non-profit organization (NPO) is authorized to manage a Guarantee Plan. La Garantie de construction résidentielle (GCR) is the new Guarantee Plan Manager from now on.

However, the former Managers are continuing their operations for the current guarantee certificates, until they are extinguished. These Managers are:

  • La Garantie Abritat inc.
  • La Garantie habitation du Québec inc. (Qualité Habitation)

Remember that contractors who can offer this Guarantee Plan must hold a construction contractor's licence that covers subclass 1.1.1 or 1.1.2.


The guarantor is the insurance company, the contractors' association or the financial institution that issued the licence security.


Heavy machinery (subclass 5.2)

Cranes, power or hydraulic shovels, graders, spreaders or pavers, road rollers, tractors, off-highway trucks, as well as any other motorised construction equipment or machinery, either fixed or mobile, which is used for earthworks, materials handling or excavating (Commission de la construction du Québec, trade definition #6 [heavy machinery mechanic]).

High-hazard industrial occupancy

Means an industrial occupancy containing sufficient quantities of highly combustible and flammable or explosive materials which, because of their inherent characteristics, constitute a special fire hazard.

His property

(The masculine form here is understood as including the feminine one.) Within the meaning of Division I, paragraph 1 of the Regulation respecting the application of the Building Act, the expression “his property” means: the construction(s) that the owner-builder owns in his own right. The tenants of a building or premises therefore cannot claim such exemption.

Household maintenance work

Light maintenance work concerning mainly the state of cleanliness of a building, a piece of equipment intended for public use, a facility independent of a building or a civil engineering structure. Examples: waxing of floors, washing of walls, lawn mowing on a right-of-way, etc.


Industrial occupancy

Means the occupancy or use of a building or part thereof for the assembling, fabricating, manufacturing, processing, repairing or storing of goods and materials.

Industrial piping (subclass 11.1)

Piping is defined as a functional unit, either overhead, buried or running into a gallery, which is comprised of the pipes, couplings, valves and fittings as well as other accessories, and through which may flow a solid, liquid or gaseous product between two appliances.

Industrial piping is the type of piping which can be found in the industry. For example: steel industry; oil or petrochemical industries; food industries; power plants, hydraulic plants, thermal plants or nuclear generating stations; gas or oil transport through pipelines; water supply systems, wastewater treatment; paper mills; sugar mills; general-purpose circuits for industrial facilities of all kinds.

Installations independent of a building
  • electrical installations;
  • installations intended to use, store or distribute gas;
  • pressure installations;
  • plumbing installations;
  • installations for protection against lightning.

Installations independent of a building are listed under Paragraph 3 of Section 2 from the Building Act.

Installer of a pressure vessel

A contractor who carries out or has carried out the work of installing a pressure vessel or pressure piping. In cases where no hookup is done on the installation site, the owner or user of the pressure vessel put into place is considered to have been the installer.

Iron bacterium

A bacterium which contains iron.


Document specifying the intention of the Direction des affaires juridiques of the RBQ to request a commissioner to evaluate a situation and, if applicable, to convene the persons concerned to a hearing.

Insulation applier

A person who applies insulating material on a machine or piping.

Intermediate resource

Under the Act respecting health services and social services, an intermediate resource is a resource that is operated by a natural person as a self-employed worker or by a legal person or a partnership and is recognized by an agency for the purpose of participating in the maintenance of users otherwise registered for a public institution's services in the community or in their integration into the community by providing them with a living environment suited to their needs, together with the support or assistance services required by their condition.

Itinerant merchant

A contractor is considered to be an itinerant merchant in the following situations:

  • He solicits consumers outside of his actual offices in order to sell products or services (e.g., door-to-door, street kiosk or in a shopping mall, etc.).
  • He has been invited to a client’s house who wants more information on a specific product, and the contractor sells or attempts to sell a product or a service.
  • He goes to a client’s house to sell or install doors, windows or exterior cladding, or to carry out roofing or insulation work.

Here are some examples of itinerant merchants:

  • An agent of lawn care and maintenance business going door-to-door
  • A mattress manufacturer who sells his products in a parking lot at a discount
  • An agent selling a heat pump to a client, who agreed to have the agent in his house
  • A contractor who, after signing a contractor with a client at the house of the latter, installs new doors or windows at the same client’s house (who previously went to the contractor’s business to get information on the products).

An itinerant merchant must have a permit from the Office de la protection du consommateur. If he performs the work himself, he must also hold a licence from the Régie du bâtiment du Québec specific to their type of work.


Job site

A place or location where work is done for the purpose of constructing a building, a piece of equipment intended for public use, a facility independent of a building or a civil engineering structure.


Kinetic energy

Kinetic energy is the energy that a moving object possesses, e.g. the kinetic energy of an automobile, a ball, an elevator door, and so on.


Land preparation or layout preliminary work

Work consisting of preparing the land in order to erect a building, a piece of equipment intended for public use, a facility independent of a building or a civil engineering structure. Examples: drainage, excavating, moving, backfilling, compacting, levelling of materials such as sand, gravel and dirt.

Legal person

A business enterprise formed by certificate of incorporation, instrument of incorporation, letters patent, etc., among others under the system of the Companies Act or under the Canada Business Corporations Act. Every business enterprise which is incorporated is a legal person. The individuals holding the legal person’s shares are called its shareholders.

Legal status

Term which defines, at the RBQ, the status of an external stakeholder, i.e. any one of the following:

  • a natural person
  • a legal person
  • a partnership
Licence security

Licence security is the contract by which an insurance company, a contractors' association or a financial institution undertakes to fulfill the obligations of the contractor, who may be a natural person, a legal person or a partnership. However, it may be provided by the contractor itself, by certified cheque or bank draft, payable to the order of the Minister of Finance. 

The contractor must hold licence security to obtain a licence from the RBQ.

Lifting device for disabled persons

A mechanical device – often installed along a stair – enabling mobility impaired person to move about safely from one storey to another.


Forest harvesting; structures and installations enabling the harvesting of trees or the promoting of their growth.

Low-hazard industrial occupancy (subclass 1.2)

Means an industrial occupancy in which the combustible content is not more than 50 kg/m2 or 1 200 MJ/m2 of floor area.


Main façade (subclass 8)

A freestanding façade of a commercial building, consisting of a structure made of aluminum and glass sheets (or substituting materials), and including the main entrance of the building.

Main use

Predominant use, whether actual or intended for the building. The Regulation respecting the application of the Building Act implies therefore that a building comes under the Building chapter of the Construction Code when it contains more than one main use.

Maintenance work

Any work necessary to maintain a building, a piece of equipment intended for public use, a facility independent of a building or a civil engineering structure. Such work should be performed on a regular basis, in order to keep said building or structure from deteriorating and to preserve its use or habitability. Such work is of a preventive nature.

Manager of the guarantee plan

A manager is a legal person which is authorized by the RBQ to manage a guarantee plan. It guarantees the performance of the legal and contractual obligations of a contractor arising from a contract entered into with a beneficiary. This manager is subject to the Regulation respecting the guarantee plan for new residential buildings.

Three (3) RBQ-authorized organizations have the responsibility of managing the guarantee plan for new residential buildings:

  • the Garantie Qualité Habitation du Québec Inc. (manager of the Qualité Habitation guarantee);
  • the Garantie des bâtiments résidentiels neufs Inc. (manager of the new houses guarantee of the APCHQ);
  • the Garantie Abritat Inc.

The contractors in a position to offer this guarantee plan must hold a building contractor licence including the subclass 1.1.1 or 1.1.2.

Masonry outer wall (4.1)

Exterior wall cladding made of masonry.

Medium-hazard industrial occupancy (subclass 1.2)

Means an industrial occupancy in which the combustible content is more than 50 kg/m2 or 1 200 MJ/m2 of floor area and not classified as a high-hazard industrial occupancy.

Mercantile occupancy (subclass 1.2)

Means the occupancy or use of a building or part thereof for the displaying or selling of retail goods, wares or merchandise.


The activity of operating a deposit, most often below ground, in order to extract from it a metal or a mineral. Jointly, the structures, buildings, machinery and installations which are required for such an operation.

Examples: excavation, formwork for the beds and foundation walls, concreting; pile driving, reinforcing piles, sheet piles.

Mobile amusement game or ride

A game or ride designed for public entertainment or amusement, which is part of a temporary or seasonal installation, either set directly on the ground or on any other support structure. It is meant to be dismantled and reinstalled at each new season, or several times within the same season, at a single location or at various locations. This type of game or ride can be found in travelling amusement parks, for instance in shopping centers or at fairground stands, at festivals or special events.


A masonry or dry masonry construction intended to protect a harbour mouth or entrance or to facilitate the loading and unloading of goods.

Natural person

A natural person is inferred to be a private individual (as opposed to the notion of legal person, which designates a business enterprise, company, incorporated company, association, etc.).

Natural person doing business on its own (sole proprietorship)

A business enterprise which is not incorporated nor established as a partnership. It is actually the case of a natural person doing business on its own. Generally speaking, this natural person ensures alone the management and operation of its business enterprise, of which it is the sole owner-manager. Legally, this business enterprise does not have any separate existence from that of the owner-manager.


Means that a material meets the acceptance criteria of CAN4-S114-M, “Test for Determination of Non-Combustibility in Building Materials” (Construction Code, Chapter I, Building).




A member of a partnership, or in the case of a legal person, a director, officer as defined in the Business Corporations Act, or shareholder holding 10% or more of the voting rights attached to the shares; a full-time manager and, for construction work on an owner-builder's electrical installation, a journeyman electrician who has carried on the trade of electrician for at least 2 years, is a full-time employee of the owner-builder and supervises such work on behalf of the owner-builder, are also deemed to be officers and are authorized to apply for a licence on behalf of a partnership or legal person.

Noncombustible construction

A type of construction in which a degree of fire safety is attained by the use of noncombustible materials for structural members and other building components (Construction Code, Chapter I, Building).

NOTE: Please refer to subsection 3.2.2 of the Construction Code, Chapter I, Building, which establishes which type of building, depending on its intended use, must be noncombustible, and which type may be combustible.

On site

Any place which is near the job site and is used for the work performed on the site, or is made available to the workers. Examples: lodging, eating or recreation facilities, or physical location of a mobile plant for the needs of the job site.

Originating application

Document outlining the facts on which your application is based and the conclusions sought. It is accompanied by the notice to the defendant informing the latter about, among other things, the time period within which to appear and the date on which the originating application will be submitted to the court. The originating application can be drafted by the applicant or by the latter's attorney.

Outfall sewers

Structures for the disposal of waste waters, not being used for road collection, and connecting the agglomeration to the treatment plant or to the discharge point in the natural environment. This includes both the sewers and the treated water from the wastewater treatment plants.


A person who, on his/her own behalf, performs or calls upon somebody else to perform building work. The owner-builder can thus be a natural person, a partnership or a public or private legal person which performs work for his/her/its own needs, and on his/her/its own property or properties, and not in view of making profit out of the building work performance itself. More simply put, the owner-builder does not have clients in this regard.

For example, the person who erects a ten-storey building in view of renting the apartments thereof is an owner-builder. If this person erects a ten-storey condominium building in view of selling its units, he/she is then considered a building contractor.

Here are several examples of potential owner-builders within the meaning of the Building Act:

  • public agencies: government agencies, excepting agents of the Crown;
  • municipal bodies and paramunicipal bodies, school institutions;
  • health agencies or social services agencies; religious organizations;
  • owners of public buildings (office towers, multiple unit residential buildings, etc.);
  • owners of industries;
  • owners of duplex, triplex, etc. buildings;
  • owners of shopping centers and tenants of retail spaces;
  • other types of owners, such as cooperatives, associations of condominium owners, etc.


Part 3

Part 3 of the Construction Code covers buildings of more than 3 storeys in height and having a building area of more than 600 m2, care or detention occupancies, high-hazard industrial occupancies and, regardless of their dimensions, assembly occupancies.


A business enterprise formed of two (2) or more individuals (the partners thereof) who agree upon engaging in pooling property, resources or credit, and to share the benefits thereof.

According to the type of partnership, the partners may have an unlimited liability or a joint and several liability, or both, with regard to the liabilities of the partnership. The partnership is governed by a contract entered into between the partners at the moment of its creation and in which are specified, in this instance, the capital outlay and functions of the partners, the profit-sharing base and the procedure to follow in case of a dissolution or liquidation of the partnership.

Personal use

The expression “for his/her personal use or that of his/her family” means something which is useful to the natural person or to the members of his/her immediate family, that is, his/her father and mother, spouse and children.

Petroleum equipment

Vessel, piping system, apparatus or other device which can be used for the purpose of distributing, handling, transferring or storing gas, diesel fuel, biodiesel fuel, fuel ethanol, aviation fuel or fuel oil.

Petroleum product (subclass 1.8)

A product such as gasoline, diesel fuel or biodiesel fuel and ethanol (ethyl alcohol).

Private seniors' residence

A private seniors' residence, according to the Act respecting health services and social services (Chapter S-4.2), is a residence capable of accommodating independent or semi-independent persons. Any residential building, the name of which contains one of the following expressions, must be considered a private seniors' residence:

  • residential centre for seniors or for the elderly
  • retirement centre for seniors or for the elderly
  • long-term care centre for seniors or for the elderly
  • living centre for seniors or for the elderly
  • centre for seniors or for the elderly
  • private housing and residential establishment for seniors or for the elderly
  • home for seniors or for the elderly
  • foster home for seniors or for the elderly
  • evolutive housing for the retired, for seniors or for the elderly
  • asylum for seniors or for the elderly
  • retirement home for seniors or for the elderly
  • residential home for seniors or for the elderly
  • residence for seniors or for the elderly
  • residence for the aged.
Propane (subclass 15.6)

A typical propane installation includes the following elements: cylinder or tank, accessories, piping, vaporizer and exhaust ducts or prefabricated stacks, burners and related controls.

Accessory: all elements being involved in the operation of an appliance and capable of performing any independent function. Examples: valve, regulator. Cylinder (when related to the storage of propane): a recipient designed and manufactured, in accordance with the standards of the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) or the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), for the storage and transportation of propane. Maximum capacity of 420 lbs.

Recipient (when related to the storage of propane): either a cylinder or a tank.

Tank (when related to the storage of propane): a category of recipients for the storage and transportation of propane, designed and manufactured in accordance with CSA standard B51, entitled Boiler, pressure vessel, and pressure piping code.

Vaporizer: an appliance which transforms liquid propane into gas, by means other than the transfer of atmospheric heat through the surface of the recipient.

Direct heating vaporizer: a vaporizer inside which the heat given off by a flame is transmitted directly to the surface of the heat exchanger in direct contact with the liquid propane to be vaporized.

Indirect heating vaporizer: a vaporizer inside which the heat given off by the vapor, the hot water or any other heat-transfer medium is transmitted to a spray chamber, a pipe coil or any other heat exchange surface containing propane to be vaporized, the heat-transfer medium being heated at a distance from the vaporizer.

Pressure vessel manufacturer

A company which fabricates all or part of a pressure vessel, a piping system or an accessory, or which assembles its components.

Private portions

Those portions of the building that are the property of a specific co-owner and are for his/her use alone. (Civil Code of Québec, Section 1042)


Probity (honesty and integrity) is the quality of someone who scrupulously respects the principles of social morality, the duties imposed by honesty, and justice. A contractor must perform his duties with competence and integrity at any time, in particular by complying with the laws, regulations and construction and safety standards, as well as by protecting the public.

Professional engineer

A professional who is qualified to perform activities of a scientific nature involving analysis, design, implementation, alteration, operation, counselling or coordination work for specific types of structures. A professional engineer needs to be certified by the Ordre des ingénieurs du Quebec.

Post-disaster building

A building such as a hospital, a fire station, a communications control room, etc., which must remain operational after a seismic event.

Public contract

A public contract is a building contract as well as all building subcontracts related to the former, entered into with:

  • A ministry or a public body: a school board, the Conseil scolaire de l’île de Montréal, or a CEGEP.
  • An organization from the school network: a school board, the Conseil scolaire de l’île de Montréal or a CEGEP.
  • An organization from the hospital network: a public institution coming under An Act respecting health services and social services, a regional board, the Corporation d’hébergement du Québec, a private institution coming under An Act respecting health services and social services for Cree and Inuit Native Persons.
  • An organization from the municipal network with regard to a subsidized project: a municipality, an urban community, the Kativik Regional Government, a mixed enterprise corporation, an intermunicipal transportation board, a municipal or intermunicipal transportation corporation, an intermunicipal transportation council, or any other organization whose Board of Directors is formed in majority of municipal elected officials, in the case where the government of Quebec, or one of its ministries or agencies, funds the building project set out in the contract.


Qualified salaried worker

A worker holding the certificate of qualification in elevator mechanics required under the Regulation respecting certificates of qualification and apprenticeship in electricity, pipe fitting and mechanical conveyor systems mechanics in sectors other than the construction industry (RRQ, c. F-5, r.1).


Real estate developer

The real estate developer is a person who enters into a contract directly with a third party in order to sell this third party a building that the developer has built or has had built, or that the developer commits him/herself to build or have build. This person must hold a licence to this effect.

Refractory material

A material which resists very high temperatures.

Related work

Work which is required to complete the subject-matter of a contract but is not part of the subclass for which this contract has been awarded, which includes the work required to rehabilitate the premises and restore these to their original condition.

Related work is generally of a much lesser scope than the work covered by the subject-matter of the contract.

Renovation work

Any work intended to refurbish in whole or in part a building, a piece of equipment intended for public use, a facility independent of a building or a civil engineering structure. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, such work is aimed at upgrading such an equipment, facility or structure, or at reverting it to its original condition. Renovation work projects do not include the building, demolishing or moving of walls.

Repairing work

Any work designed to restore the condition of any element of a building, a piece of equipment intended for public use, a facility independent of a building or a civil engineering structure, which has been damaged or broken, or which has deteriorated, without changing the characteristics of said element. Such remedial work aims at giving back to this building, equipment or structure its initial function or at extending its useful life.

Residential occupancy (subclass 1.2)

Means the occupancy or use of a building or part thereof by persons for whom sleeping accommodation is provided but who are not harboured or detained to receive medical care or treatment or are not involuntarily detained.


Means the surface of a highway and of its borders up to the line separating it from the adjacent land. (Definition extracted from section 3 of the Roadside Advertising Act, R.S.Q., c. P-44)


A covering made of large dry masonry elements on a bank intended to maintain the dirt in place (particularly against the erosion caused by the waves).

Rope tow

A ski lift system for boardsports or snow riders, consisting of a traction cable set in a loop on two (2) pulleys at the bottom and at the top of a slope. This is the original ski lift type, where the skier grasped the cable with both hands. The rope tow has been progressively modified over the years and became the T-bar.


The RSI is a unit of measure used to determine thermal resistance. To convert an RSI value (metric system) to an R value (imperial system), the RSI value has to be multiplied by 5.678263.


Seal (to)

Mark with a seal for authentication purposes.

Salaried worker

A person who receives a salary from his/her employer and who appears on this employer’s payroll. The salaried worker may be a permanent, a contingent or a temporary employee or worker.

Examples: employee of an owner-builder, a municipality, a plant.


The security is the contract through which the surety defines his/her/its commitment to perform the contractor’s obligations.

The security is issued by the surety to the contractor, which is either a natural person, a legal person or a partnership, at the time the latter applies for a contractor’s licence.

Any building contractor must supply the RBQ with a security in view of compensating his/her clients which might suffer prejudice if he/she omits to perform the building work that he/she has committed him/herself to perform, or when such work has not been performed according to good practice. Furthermore, the work to perform must not be already covered by any guarantee plan coming under the Law.


A product of erosion, which grain-size is comprised between that of sand and that of clays.

Similar work

Work which may be considered similar or of a similar nature to those included in the definition of the subclass, with regard to:

  • a) the objective to achieve;
  • b) the building techniques; or
  • c) the technical principles involved.
Single-family house

Any building comprised of only one (1) dwelling, for example a detached house (bungalow, two-storey house, summer cottage), a semi-detached house or a row-house. This interpretation can be wider within the context of bi-generational houses.

Single-family type private seniors' residence

A single-family dwelling having a building height of no more than 2 storeys, in which a natural person who resides in that dwelling operates a private seniors' residence, lodging no more than 9 elderly persons.

Sign support (subclass 11.2)

An element used to support a sign.

A sign support may be comprised of an element such as a column, a pier or pillar, a pole or a pedestal, as well as the anchoring devices used to attach the sign to its support, or of the anchoring devices only.

Site rehabilitation (subclass 2.7)

Work aimed at restoring the premises as they were before building operations took place, that is, to re-establish the safety of the land by filling up the excavations, by clearing the sidewalks, streets or public roads, and by cleaning up the site of all which may cause an accident to happen or a fire to break out, or may adversely affect public health.


A type of overhead window located on a flat or pitched roof.


A panel made of aluminum, granite or other material substituting for the glass pane inside curtain-walls and including the insulating materials.

Specialized contractor

The category of specialized contractor includes any contractor whose main activity consists in carrying out or having carried out, in whole or in part, construction work in the licence subclasses in the specialized contractor class, or in making or submitting tenders, personally or through an intermediary, for the purpose of carrying out or having such work carried out in whole or in part.


The owners and construction specialists including contractors, owner-builders and designers, as well as architects, professional engineers, technologists and any other person coming under the Law.


Mark affixed on an object, a product, a document, that certifies its authenticity and origin.

Stationary amusement game or ride

A game or ride designed for public entertainment or amusement, which is installed permanently on the ground or on any other type of support structure, and which is not meant to be dismantled. This type of ride or game can be found in some public parks.


Means that portion of a building situated between the top of any floor and the top of the next floor above it, and if there is no floor above it, that portion between the top of such floor and the ceiling above it.

Structural (subclasses 3.1, 4.1, 5.1 and 6.1)

Related to the structure or the framework of a building, a piece of equipment intended for public use, a facility independent of a building, a facility of petroleum equipment installation or a civil engineering structure.

Structural members (subclass 5.1)

Elements comprising the structural framing (structure, framework) of a building or a civil engineering structure, such as beams, light beams (small beams), studs, joists, lintels, shores, bracing, roof trusses, concrete slabs and columns.

These elements may be made of wood, steel or masonry (reinforced or not) parts, of concrete (reinforced or not, prestressed), aluminum or other materials.


This term includes all built structures which can sit on the lot of a single-family house, such as a garage, a shed, a garden house, etc. It can also encompass bridges, roads, etc.


With regard to securing a licence from the RBQ, the surety is the natural or legal person which commits him/her/itself to fulfill the obligations of a contractor towards his/her client, in the case where said contractor fails to do so. It is said therefore of a person or of an insurance company, for instance, that he/she/it is surety to the contractor.



A technician holding a college diploma for three (3) years of having studied the theory of engineering and the fundamentals of science.

Temporary installation

Jointly, any objects, devices or pieces of equipment which are temporarily installed for a specific use.


  • elevator on a job site;
  • formwork;
  • signage for a road building site;
  • exit stairway;
  • electrical installation to power tools or equipment used on a job site;
  • electrical or gas installation to heat and illuminate a structure under construction;
  • experimental or testing installation;
  • electrical distribution system to supply ice fishing shelter houses;
  • etc.
Treatment institution (Subclass 1.2)

Building or part of a building where treatment is provided (hospital, CHSLD, walk-in clinic, etc.).


Underground petroleum equipment

If a component is completely or partially buried in the ground, the petroleum equipment is considered underground. 


Introduction of a support (pile) under a structure or consolidation of the base of a structure.



Walk-in clinic

A treatment facility, other than a hospital, where treatments for no more than one day are provided and no overnight stay is offered.

Water service pipe

A pipe carrying water from a public water distribution system or private water source to the interior of a building.

Water table

An underground body of water, flowing or not towards an outlet.


Designates the operation of uniting materials with the aid of heat.

Window (subclass 8)

A building component which is installed inside a vertical or more or less vertical opening inside a wall or a pitched roof, fitted with a glass sheet closure for lighting and/or ventilating purposes.

Wood flooring

An assembly of strips or planks of wood forming a flooring (also including marquetry and assembly thereof).

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