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.

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

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.

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.