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Illustrated Guide for Seismic Design of Houses

Lateral Bracing Requirements 
Part 9 BC Building Code 2012

This illustrated Guide helps house designers and builders to understand and comply with the requirements of the 2012 British Columbia Building Code. These new requirements are meant to help bring a higher level of safety in the event of an earthquake or other significant seismic activity.

The Guide is the first of its kind in Canada. It explains through text and drawings, the lateral bracing requirements for wood-frame buildings covered by Part 9 of the Building Code and located in high seismic regions as defined in the Code.

Home designers will need to consider these requirements when creating the form of exterior walls as well as the dimensions and locations of interior walls.

Builders will now have to understand the materials required and construction techniques needed to build braced wall panels at specified points throughout the home.

Available online, this free 28-page resource Guide:

  • Explains new lateral bracing requirements
  • Uses a helpful step-by-step process
  • Features full colour, 3-D illustrated graphics
  • Provides a flow chart and helpful checklist of design requirements 
  • Addresses exceptions and trade offs for greater design flexibility and construction


The Guide is a partnership between the Building and Safety Standards Branch, the Homeowner Protection Office, Canadian Home Builders’ Association of BC, Building Officials’ Association of BC, FPInnovations and other agencies.


To learn more about the Guide, view this short video with industry testimonials from the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, the Building Officials’ Association of BC, and the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC.