You are here

Northern Infrastructure Standardization Initiative

Infrastructure in the Canadian Arctic is being affected by climate change impacts such as permafrost thaw, coastal erosion, and changing temperatures and precipitation patterns.  With this in mind, the Standards Council of Canada established the Northern Infrastructure Standardization Initiative (NISI), which creates standards that are specific to infrastructure in the north. 

Phase 1 of NISI (2011-2016) lead to the development of 5 standards including:

  1.        Managing snow load risks for buildings;
  2.        Community drainage system planning;
  3.        Use of thermosyphon foundations in permafrost regions;
  4.        Managing the effects of thawing permafrost on existing infrastructure; and
  5.        Geotechnical site investigations for building foundations in permafrost.

Phase 2 of NISI (2016-2020) will create 7 additional standards including:

  1.        Operating, maintaining, and decommissioning of sewage lagoons;
  2.        Managing the impacts of extreme winds on infrastructure;
  3.        Adaptation guidance for infrastructure in permafrost;
  4.        Embankment protection in permafrost;
  5.        Fire protection and readiness;
  6.        Risk-based approach to community planning; and
  7.        Solid waste management.

In December 2018, CGS and CCS co-hosted NISI training in Iqaluit for over 30 GN and City of Iqaluit staff who work with infrastructure.

For more information on the individual standards or NISI, please visit: