Safe, energy-efficiency highlighted

Updates to BC Building Code take effect in December

To help support better building practices, including improved energy efficiency in homes, Minister Responsible for Housing Rich Coleman announced four updates to the BC Building Code on Nov. 25.

The new requirements to the BC Building Code will take effect on Dec. 19.

Energy efficiency

British Columbia adopted the 2012 National Building Code for energy efficiency in housing and small buildings.

The new code provisions will set a minimum standard for insulation performance, heating and cooling systems, hot water tanks and the performance of doors, windows and skylights. The new requirements broaden energy-efficiency standards to include the entire building, not just the insulation in the walls.

Ventilation

To make sure houses have adequate ventilation to improve air flow in homes and reduce the likelihood of mould and mildew in new construction.

Child care

The new code clarifies that buildings containing child-care facilities may be classified as assembly occupancy (A-2).

This means child-care facilities can occupy small wood-frame buildings, provided certain fire safety requirements are met. The change allows for more building options for child-care providers, while maintaining a high level of safety.

Radon rough-in

In known radon hot-spot areas, builders will be required to rough in radon vent pipes that vent outside (in stead of being capped).

This change follows a pilot project in Castlegar and Prince George.

FAST bytes

• The BC Building Code applies to new construction.

• The BC Building Code is based on the Model National Building Code of Canada and is updated at least every five years.

• The BC Building Code establishes minimum standards for health, safety and accessibility, as well as energy and water efficiency.

Builders and developers can learn more about the upcoming changes by reading the technical bulletins for each update at www.housing.gov.bc.ca/pub/bulletins/index.htm.

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