Updates to BC Building Code take effect Dec. 19

The B.C. government is introducing four new requirements to the BC Building Code

To help support better building practices, including improved energy efficiency in homes, Minister Responsible for Housing Rich Coleman has announced four updates to the BC Building Code.

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

Energy Efficiency – B.C. adopted the 2012 National Building Code for energy efficiency in housing and small buildings. The new code provisions will set a minimum standard for insulation performance, heating and cooling systems, hot water tanks and the performance of doors, windows and skylights. The new requirements broaden  energy-efficiency standards to include the entire building, not just the insulation in the walls.

Ventilation – To make sure houses have adequate ventilation to improve air flow in homes and reduce the likelihood of mould and mildew in new construction.

Child Care – The new code clarifies that buildings containing child-care facilities may be classified as assembly occupancy (A-2). This means that child-care facilities can occupy small wood-frame buildings, provided certain fire safety requirements are met. The change allows for more building options for child-care providers, while maintaining a high level of safety.

Radon Rough-in – In known radon hot-spot areas, builders will be required to rough in radon vent pipes that vent outside (instead of being capped). This change follows a pilot project in Castlegar and Prince George.

The BC Building Code applies to new construction, and is based on the Model National Building Code of Canada and is updated at least every five years.

The Code establishes minimum standards for health, safety and accessibility, as well as energy and water efficiency.

Builders and developers can learn more about the upcoming changes by reading the technical bulletins for each update: www.housing.gov.bc.ca/pub/bulletins/index.htm

The Homeowner Protection Office also offers an illustrated guide to new energy efficiency requirements: www.hpo.bc.ca/energy-efficiency-requirements

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association of BC offers an Energy Code Change Checklist: www.chbabc.org/energy-programs/energy-code-changes-(9.36).html

BC Lung’s Radon Aware website: www.radonaware.ca/

BC Building Code: www.bccodes.ca