Building and Safety Standards Branch

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.

Update to Modernization Proposals

From 2011 to 2012, the Building and Safety Standards Branch undertook extensive stakeholder consultation on how to establish a more efficient and effective building regulatory system. The proposals that resulted were summarized in two discussion papers released in 2012. The papers were widely distributed to local governments and the building construction sector for their comments.

The Branch updated these two papers in May 2014 to reflect changes that were made to the initial proposals in response to stakeholder feedback.  

Read more about the updated proposals and view the updated discussion papers.

Public Review on Ventilation: Section 9.32

The Province’s recent adoption of the 2012 National Model Building Code amendments for energy efficiency in housing and small buildings will become effective on December 19, 2014.

In addition, BC intends to implement new ventilation requirements in conjunction with this adoption. While most commonly associated with energy performance, ventilation is more significantly a health and safety issue. Inadequate ventilation in energy efficient housing creates an environment for mould, high concentrations of CO2, and other indoor air pollutants which are linked to health problems.

The Building and Safety Standards Branch has been working on requirements which will improve ventilation in buildings and these proposals are available for review. BC intends to implement new ventilation requirements in conjunction with the new energy efficiency requirements in December 2014.

Click here to view the ventilation requirements. The survey is now closed. Thank you for your participation and feedback.

2012 Edition of Building, Plumbing and Fire Codes

The Province has adopted the 2012 editions of the BC Building Code, BC Plumbing Code, and BC Fire Code (“BC Codes”) with an effective date of December 20, 2012. If a building permit is applied for prior to this date, the 2006 edition of the BC Codes will still apply. Click here to review the Information Bulletin announcing the release. To access the Codes or for purchase information, please visit the Queen’s Printer.

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.