BC Building Code Changes Coming May 1, 2023

These building code changes enable 20% better energy efficiency and provide an opt-in Zero Carbon Step Code (formerly known as the Carbon Pollution Standard), and were signed by the Minister of Housing last week.  

Here are some highlights:

  • These Code changes take effect May 1, 2023. By that date, most new construction in BC must be 20% more energy efficient than base 2018 BC Building Code.
  • The opt-in Zero Carbon Step Code will also be available for local governments to reference starting May 1, 2023.
  • Read the amendment to the Building Act General Regulation online. 
  • Read a PDF convenience copy of the BC Building Code changes (for information only). 
  • The performance approach for Step 3 in Part 9 construction remains the default option. Local governments wishing to enable a prescriptive energy efficiency approach for Step 3 in Part 9 construction must pass a bylaw to enable that approach. This responds to feedback from rural or remote communities who wish to maintain a prescriptive-based option, while also meeting requests from other local governments wishing to retain the performance-based approach.
  • Backup heat from wood stoves and decorative gas fireplaces will be excluded from GHG modelling in Part 9 buildings. This responds to feedback from communities that experience frequent power outages.

The Building and Safety Standards Branch will release more information in the coming weeks to support a smooth rollout of the change. Email building.safety@gov.bc.ca if you have questions.

New Online Training Program for New Energy Advisor Students

Description:

An Energy Advisor (EA) conducts energy audits to help British Columbian builders and homeowners solve their energy efficiency concerns, save money, and possibly have a more comfortable, healthier home. They also help reduce the impact of home energy use on our environment. The Canadian Home Builders’ Association of BC offers training and certification for EAs, so you have the tools you need to deliver high-quality home energy assessments.

This Stage 1 workshop provides training on the use of the HOT2000 software which is used to model new house plans within the EnerGuide for New Houses, ENERGY STAR, and Net Zero certification programs. The course covers the responsibilities of a plan evaluator, who performs HOT2000 energy analysis of house plans, playing a key role in the quality assurance process for labelling EnerGuide, ENERGY STAR and Built Green® homes. Training is also provided on the blower door test equipment and procedures.

Cost: $2500 + tax

Course format:

Students are required to attend four (4) half-day online training sessions.
The next set of dates for Stage 1 training are: Feb 15 / Feb 22 / Mar 1 / Mar 8 8:30 am-12:30 pm for each session

Students will be required to complete weekly assignments including the submission of training files. The course will conclude with an online final exam. A pass mark of 80% is required.

Inquiries regarding the training should be sent directly to education@chbabc.org.

CPD Offering – Energy Step Code Training for Building Officials

Due to high demand, the Association is pleased to announce that we have brought back two more offerings of the Energy Step Code Training for Building Officials.  Each of these offerings is the same course, so only register for one.  This education is being offered to help enhance the capacity of qualified officials and local authorities to implement the Energy Step Code.

Details and registration information about the first course offering, Fundamentals of Zero Energy/Emissions and Passive House Buildings, are found below.

Course Name: XZEB 1001 Fundamentals of Zero Energy/Emissions and Passive House Buildings (private offering for BOABC)

Delivery Format: Online (interactive and instructor led)

Duration: Weekly three (3) hour sessions for five weeks (15 total hours of instructional time)

Dates: January 17, 24, 31 & February 7, 14, 2023 (you are committing to all five sessions when you register)

or

Dates: April 18, 25 & May 2, 9, 16, 2023 (you are committing to all five sessions when you register)

Time: All sessions are 1:00pm – 4:00pm (PST)

Cost: $199 (plus GST) per student.  This special price for members is made possible by generous support from BC Hydro and BCIT.

Registration: Click here (max 50 registrants per offering)

CPD Points: 5 points (automatically uploaded to your member portal when you register)

Course Description:

This course covers the fundamentals of for zero energy/emissions and Passive House buildings, with a focus on wood-frame construction subject to Part 9 of the BC Building Code. Students will acquire knowledge of applicable codes and standards with a focus on the BC Energy Step Code and 2022 changes to the BC Building Code.  Course topics will be applied to the role and responsibilities of building officials with case studies and examples of how Energy Step Code has been adopted and incorporated into permitting, plan reviews, site inspections, and monitoring of related construction metrics. Specific topics covered include: the BC Energy Step Code, Net Zero Energy, Zero Carbon and Passive House standards, operational and embodied carbon, building science, and low-TEDI and airtight enclosures, mechanical and electrical systems in Net Zero Energy-ready buildings. The course will focus provides a strong foundation for subsequent zero energy/emissions education.

Please note that you will need to provide a BCIT ID number to BOABC when you register for this course.  If you cannot remember your 9-digit BCIT ID number or you need to create a BCIT ID, please visit myBCIT to create or recover your BCIT ID number.

Retirement Announcement: Lori Staples

Please join us in extending our best wishes to Lorena (Lori) Staples on her retirement. After practising primarily local government law for 58 years, in British Columbia since 1980, and before that time in Ontario, Lori is officially retiring as of November 30, 2022.

“It has been my great honour and pleasure to serve the members and executive of BOABC since it became a self-governing professional association in 1997, and to have been awarded the Jim Robison award in 2014 for my efforts. I wish the Association and its members continued growth, success and satisfaction.” –Lorena (Lori) Staples, Q.C.

The Association thanks Lori for her counsel, remarkable dedication and commitment over the years that were integral to our success and continuity. Lori will be missed, but her contributions will be remembered. We wish her all the best in her new adventures.

Happy retirement Lori!

Consultation on 2025 National Model Codes

The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (Commission) is currently developing the 2025 editions of the national model codes.

As part of this process, the Commission is inviting code users and stakeholders to review proposed changes to the 2020 editions of the following national model codes:

  • National Building Code of Canada (NBC) 2020
  • National Fire Code of Canada (NFC) 2020
  • National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) 2020
  • National Plumbing Code of Canada (NPC) 2020

This national public review runs until December 23, 2022.

Details about the proposed code changes can be found under the summary of proposed changes section at the bottom of the Commission website. The proposed changes include updates to the documents referenced in the national model codes.

The relevant Commission standing committees will review comments received during the public review period. Based on their evaluation of the comments for each proposed change, the committees will then either withdraw the proposed change, recommend that it be reviewed further for possible re-submission in revised form in a future public review, or recommend that it be approved, with or without modification. If approved, the code changes will be incorporated in the 2025 editions of the national model codes.

Accessibility Standards Canada Public Review

In addition to development of the National Model Codes, standards development organizations and other partners are working to advance accessibility in the BC Building Code.

Accessibility Standards Canada is holding a public review of its draft model standard for the built environment – accessibility. The B.C. government is reviewing this standard and may consider adopting portions in future BC Building Codes. Your feedback will be valuable to confirm the requirements are clear, technically accurate, and remove barriers to accessibility at the design and construction stage.

The public review is open from November 8, 2022, to January 7, 2023. To participate, please visit the Accessibility Standards Canada website.

BOABC 2021-22 Annual Report

Following another successful year, the Building Officials’ Association of B.C. is proud to present its 2021-22 Annual Report.

The annual report:

  • Reflects outcomes and targets set out in the Administrative Agreement
  • Showcases data from the 2021 Member Survey
  • Presents data surrounding the number of qualified, certified, and designated building and plumbing officials
  • Highlights collaborations that helped the Association develop and improve training delivery
  • Speaks to the growing number of online CPD opportunities for qualified officials.

View the Annual Report

FOIPPA Foundations Course

FOIPPA Foundations is a free, interactive, online course that was just published today on privacy and access fundamentals in BC for public body employees in the broader public sector, as well as BC government employees and contracted service providers.

Latest Editions of the National Model Codes

As of March 28, 2022, code users can access the latest, updated editions of the National Model Codes, including the National Building Code of Canada 2020, the National Fire Code of Canada 2020, the National Plumbing Code of Canada 2020, and the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2020. The Codes are developed by the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC), and are published by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).

The CCBFC has included nearly 400 updates in the latest editions of the National Model Codes. These replace the 2015 and 2017 editions of the codes.

How to access the codes

The 2020 National Model Codes are available for free, in electronic format, through the NRC’s Publications Archive and for purchase, in printed format, from the NRC’s Virtual Store

Previous editions of the codes also remain available through these websites.

Provincial and territorial code regulations

Provincial and territorial governments have legislative authority over building design and construction within their jurisdictions, and adopt or adapt the National Model Codes into regulation in order for them to come into effect.

Provinces and territories were provided with advance copies of the latest code changes in December 2021, so that they could prepare regulations based on the updates.

Current provincial and territorial building, fire, plumbing and energy regulations will remain in effect until these latest editions of the National Model Codes are adopted, with or without modifications, by the provincial or territorial authority having jurisdiction.

For enquiries about the active code regulations in your jurisdiction, please contact your provincial or territorial ministry.

About the code development process

The CCBFC develops the National Model Codes on a 5-year cycle. It is the organization responsible for the independent code development process, and the regular review and updating of the codes.

The NRC provides the CCBFC with administrative support and evidence-based knowledge to inform the Commission’s technical committees.

Contact

For information about the code changes and provisions in the National Model Codes or details about the National Model Codes development system, please contact the CCBFC at CCBFCSecretary-SecretaireCCCBPI@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca.