Building and Safety Standards Branch

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The Ministry's Building and Safety Standards Branch is responsible for developing and implementing a modern regulatory framework for safe design, construction and occupancy of buildings. The branch works to achieve a balance between the health and safety objectives of the BC Building Code and affordability.

Proposed Code Changes: Doors, Windows and Skylights

Some changes to the BC Building Code have been developed in consultation with the fenestration industry and local governments to alleviate some key implementation issues. On June 18, the Building and Safety Standards Branch hosted a webinar on the topic of proposed code changes for doors, windows and skylights.

Background: The 2012 BC Building Code introduced new requirements for manufactured and preassembled fenestration products to conform to both:

  • AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440‐08  North American Fenestration Standard/Specification for Windows, Doors, and Skylights (NAFS 08); and
  • CSA A440S1‐09, “Canadian Supplement to AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440 North American Fenestration Standard/Specification for Windows, Doors, and Skylights.

These requirements rate products according to performance grade, performance class, water penetration resistance test pressure and air infiltration/exfiltration as well as specifying minimum quality of materials, finishes, and components.

The requirements for other glazed products that do not fall within NAFS 08,  such as curtain walls, site built doors and windows, and sloped glazing, have also been a source of confusion for industry since the introduction of the 2012 code.

While fenestration industry associations were heavily involved in developing the model National Building Code and the relevant standards, the industry has found the new regime more challenging than they had anticipated since it came into effect in December 2013. 

New Building Act Introduced

The Building Act received Royal Assent on March 25,2015. This new legislation is the result of years of consultation on a modern building regulatory system.

Read more about the Building Act.

Questions about the Building Act? Email us at building.safety@gov.bc.ca

Changes to the 2012 BC Building Code

Several changes are coming to the 2012 BC Building Code on December 19, 2014. There are a number of resources available to help Code users understand these changes, who they impact, and how to comply with the new requirements. Some of these changes amend existing sections of the Code, while others introduce new content and concepts. Everyone is encouraged to review these technical bulletins and guides in preparation for the effective date of December 19, 2014:

What’s New? A bulletin summarizing the most recent changes to the Code, with links to other bulletins and resources.

 

Miscellaneous Changes – This bulletin addresses many of the minor recent revisions to the 2012 BC Building Code, including updated standards, errata, and clarified intent of some requirements.

 

Daycare Facilities – This bulletin outlines recent changes to Daycare requirements as well as clarifying the intended application of existing requirements.

 

9.32. Ventilation – This bulletin provides an overview of the significantly updated ventilation requirements for residential dwelling units, such as houses and apartments. The full text of the new requirements and appendix notes are available below, in addition to the technical bulletin.

Division B- Technical Code Requirements - Section 9.32.

Division B- Appendix A - Explanatory Material

Thermal Performance of ‘Rainscreen’ Assemblies – This bulletin outlines how to calculate the thermal performance of wall assemblies that include a capillary break, also known as a ‘rainscreen’ assembly.  The new Section 9.36. requires builders to calculate the performance of all parts of the building, and this bulletin provides information required to complete this calculation for ‘rainscreen’ assemblies.

 

New Radon Rough-in Requirements – This bulletin provides an overview of the updated requirements in the BC Building Code related to soil gases, such as radon, which is a known hazard in communities east of the Coastal mountain range.

 

9.36. Energy Efficiency – This page provides a summary of the changes to energy efficiency for all buildings as well as an illustrated guide to the new Section 9.36. for houses and small buildings.

 

Please address questions regarding these changes or any other Building Code related issues to our technical inquiry inbox: codequestion@gov.bc.ca

Core activities of the Building and Safety Standards Branch include:

  • Governance of aspects of the building regulatory system framework;
  • Stewardship of the development and application of the BC Building Code;
  • Management of the administrative agreements with delegated authorities under the Safety Standards Act;
  • Acting as secretariat to the Building Code Appeal Board, the Province of British Columbia's building code dispute resolution board;
  • Working with the Homeowner Protection Office to strengthen consumer protection for buyers of new homes under the Homeowner Protection Act;
  • Liaising with the BC Safety Authority created under the Safety Authority Act; and
  • Promoting and facilitating British Columbia's interests in national standards while working with stakeholders to balance safety, economic and social priorities.

Key Legislation:

Building Code Enforcement and Building Permits

The Building and Safety Standards Branch does not enforce compliance with the BC Building Code. Local governments are authorized to enforce the BC Building Code through the Local Government Act and the Community Charter. If you have a question regarding building permits or building code enforcement, please contact the local government building department in your area.

You can find contact information for local governments here.