Streamlining the building process with a new Construction Bylaw
The Province of BC has introduced a new Building Act designed to modernize and streamline the building regulatory system, along with new standards for achieving more energy-efficient buildings.
In response, we have have made changes to a number of our bylaws, policies, and guidelines that will allow us to comply with the Building Act, while following current best practices and improving the construction process.
A new Construction Bylaw
Our new Construction Bylaw consolidates the previous Building, Electrical, and Gas Bylaws. The new bylaw will help us move towards a risk-based model for required inspections, as well as strengthen existing environmental controls.
Specific changes to the bylaw include these:
- You must post a construction notice on all significant construction sites, including new single family homes
- You must hire a building envelope professional for all new single family home construction
- We will no longer be inspecting any component of a building’s external cladding materials
- We will have a new method for calculating security deposits for building projects
Adopting the BC Energy Step Code
The new Construction Bylaw also adopts the BC Energy Step Code.
The Step Code is the Province’s greening of the Building Code through a series of progressively increasing energy performance targets for buildings. Municipalities can set Energy Step Code requirements by bylaw after December 15, 2017, to replace individual green building strategies which were not consistent across municipalities.
We have adopted the Energy Step Code in the following manner, effective July 1, 2018:
- All Part 3 Commercial Buildings are required to meet Step 1
- All Part 3 Residential Buildings are required to meet Step 2 (Part 3 Residential Projects that require rezoning will be required to meet Step 3)
- All Part 9 Residential Buildings are required to meet Step 3
Updates to related bylaws
In addition to the changes to the Construction Bylaw, we have updated these other bylaws and policies:
- Adopted a new Radio Amplification Bylaw to provide for better emergency communication in certain larger complex building types
- Deleted the 'Density Bonus for Energy Performance' provisions of the Zoning Bylaw
- Rescinded District Policy 8.3320.7 Green Building Policy – Private Sector Developments effective July 1, 2018