Investment in Non-residential Building Construction

Detailed information for third quarter 2017





Record number:


The investment in non-residential building construction represents the spending value for enterprises and governments, for industrial, commercial and institutional buildings.

Data release - October 16, 2017 (First in a series of releases for this reference period.); December 8, 2017 (revised data)


The investment data for non-residential building construction gives a detailed statistical image of this activity in Canada, in the provinces and territories, and for the census metropolitan areas (CMA). The non-residential building construction excludes expenditure on residential construction and engineering work (bridges, roads, electrical dams, etc.).

The statistics are used by a wide range of economists and analysts from the public and private sectors.

Reference period: Quarterly

Collection period: During the month following the reference period


  • Construction
  • Non-residential building construction

Data sources and methodology

Target population

All investment in non-residential building as defined by the Capital and Repair Expenditure Survey (record number 2803) on type of asset, grouped by commercial, industrial and institutional components.

Instrument design

This methodology does not apply.

Data sources

Data are collected from other Statistics Canada surveys and/or other sources.

Investment in Non-residential Building Construction is primarily based on data from the Building Permits Survey (record number 2802). Data from external sources such as Canadata are also used. Finally, the estimates are benchmarked to the National Gross Domestic Product by Income and by Expenditure accounts (record number 1901).

Error detection

Most reporting and data entry errors are corrected through computerized input and complex data review procedures. Strict quality control procedures are applied to ensure that collection, coding and data processing are as accurate as possible. Checks are also performed on totals and the magnitude of data.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.


Investment in Non-residential Building Construction is based on the Building Permits Survey, which collects information on construction intentions. Work put in place patterns are assigned to each type of structure (industrial, commercial and institutional). These patterns are used to distribute the value of building permits according to project length. These patterns differ according to the value of the construction project as a project worth several million dollars will usually take more time to complete than a project of some hundred thousand dollars. Survey information on Capital and Repair Expenditures, Actual, Preliminary Actual and Intentions (record number 2803) are used as a source for complimentary data, allowing for modification, if needed, of project values and duration. The data regarding Investment in Non-residential Building Construction also takes into account benchmark investment values in non-residential building construction of the Canadian system of macroeconomic accounts that are published quarterly. This benchmark is required because building permits do not include some supplementary additional costs such as architecture costs and legal fees. Also, building permits do not take into account changes which may occur after the project has begun.

Quality evaluation

Prior to the data release, results are analyzed for comparability. This includes a detailed review of: new permits issued (particularly for the largest projects), general economic conditions, and information from other external sources. Quarter to quarter and year to year trend analyses are conducted on the estimates nationally, by province and by type of structure in order to analyze large changes in the data. Such data movements are validated by examining the permit micro data, by consulting other data sources such as Canadata and by consulting internal stakeholders.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Estimates for each quarter are revised when those for subsequent quarters of the same year are published. On an annual basis, when the third quarter is released, revisions are made back four years.

Data are seasonally adjusted.

Data accuracy

No direct measures of the margin of error in the estimates can be calculated. The quality of the estimates can be inferred from analysis of revisions and from an assessment of the data sources and methodology used in the preparation of the estimates.

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