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The Government of British Columbia's Building and Safety Standards Branch is responsible for the British Columbia Building Code. The BC Building Code is based on the model National Building Code and is adopted by the province with changes and modifications specific to British Columbia. The BC Building Code document is revised and updated in conjunction with the National Building Code.
The 2012 BC Building Code came into effect on December 20, 2012, replacing the 2006 BC Building Code. One of the major changes include new lateral load (seismic/earthquake) design requirements for residential home construction (view the Illustrated Guide for Seismic Design of Houses). Another major change that came into effect December 19, 2014 are new energy efficiency requirements for Part 9 buildings (view the Illustrated Guide for Energy Efficiency Requirements).
The Building and Safety Standards Branch provides a number of materials related to the BC Building Code including: information on the new objective based format, where to obtain a copy of the Building Code, Errata and Revisions, Letters of Assurance, as well as other resources.
How do I obtain a copy of the BC Building Code?
Copies of the 2012 BC Building Code, the 2014 Vancouver Building By-law and other codes applicable to British Columbia can be purchased from Crown Publications.
Ensure that you are purchasing the Code that is currently in effect and applicable to the jurisdiction in which you are building. If you are uncertain which Code applies, check with the city or municipality for advice.
Where does the British Columbia Building Code come from?
The National Building Code of Canada is a model national code that forms the basis for provincial and territorial regulations, including the BC Building Code. The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC) prepares the national code as well as oversees the technical standing committees whose members represent all areas of the construction industry who effect change to the codes to protect the health and safety of Canadians.
How do I obtain a copy of the National Building Code?
Copies of the National Building Code of Canada 2010, as well as the following other national model codes, can be obtained from the Construction Publications of the National Research Council of Canada Virtual Store:
- National Building Code 2010
- National Fire Code 2010
- National Plumbing Code 2010
- National Energy Code for Buildings 2011
The British Columbia Building Code is based on the National Building Code, but also contains unique provincial changes and modifications.
Links to Related Departments and Organizations in B.C.
- British Columbia Safety Authority (BCSA)
- A non-profit corporation that administers the service delivery components of the Safety Standards Act. Responsibilities related to residential construction include elevating, electrical (including electrical equipment and systems), and gas equipment and systems (natural gas and propane).
- Building and Safety Standards Branch
- Responsible for developing and implementing a modern legislative framework for regulated products and processes that balances the safety, economic and social concerns of all British Columbians.
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