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B.C. Government Makes Updates to Building Code

The Provincial Government said new updates to the B.C. Building and Plumbing Code will support new construction methods to help build affordable homes faster.

It added that it will also enhance standards for energy efficiency and safety across the province.

“People deserve to have a safe, affordable and secure home, and we are working to make that a reality for all British Columbians,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “These changes to the building code will help create more affordable housing while ensuring buildings in B.C. meet world-class health, safety and energy efficiency standards.”

The province said it will now allow secondary suites in multi-family buildings and will remove maximum size restrictions in the building code. New regulations for secondary suites will also require fire separations between residences, to make the homes safer for families.

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The Province said Energy Step Code requirements have also been introduced for public sector buildings, such as schools, hospitals and community centres. It added that this policy aligns with the CleanBC commitment to protect communities and ensure a sustainable future.

Other changes include allowing wood frame buildings to be a maximum of 12 stories, up from the previous limit of six.

Changes made to the B.C. building code to enhance safety include:

  • Mandatory carbon monoxide detectors in commercial and assembly buildings, such as places of worship, offices, and schools.
  • Improved lighting in recycling rooms.
  • Additional requirements for fire alarms and exits on roof-top enclosures, like a patio.

The B.C. government says that new regulations will apply to permits made on or after December 12, 2019.



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