New updates to B.C. Building Code

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The B.C. government is introducing four new requirements to the B.C. Building Code that take effect on December 19, 2014.

Improved energy efficiency and better building practices are at the heart of the updates, which are:

• New code provisions to set a minimum standard for insulation performance, heating and cooling systems, hot water tanks and the performance of doors, windows and skylights. Energy-efficiency standards will include the entire building and not just wall insulation.

• To ensure houses have sufficient ventilation to improve air flow in homes and reduce potential mould and mildew in new construction.

• Child-care facilities can occupy small wood-frame buildings, as long as fire safety requirements are met. Buildings containing such facilities may be classified as assembly occupancy (A-2).

• In radon hot-spot areas, builders must rough in radon vent pipes that vent outside. This requirement follows a pilot project in Castlegar and Prince George.

“The Canadian Home Builders’ Association of B.C. has been following the development of the amendments to the B.C. Building Code and has tailored our industry-driven education programs to support builders as they prepare for these new standards,” said Neil Moody, chief executive officer of the Canadian Home Builders Association of B.C.

Scott McDonald, president and CEO of the B.C. Lung Association added that upgrading the radon venting requirements in new homes is a huge win for public health. “B.C.’s new requirements are among the strongest in Canada and will help save lives,” he said.

The Homeowner Protection Office also offers an illustrated guide to new energy efficiency requirements:

Builders and developers can learn more about the upcoming changes by reading the technical bulletins for each update: