Building News and Alerts

Inspection bookings over the holidays

The doors to the Service and Resource Centre will be closed to the public starting at 3pm on December 24 and December 31. The switchboard will also be closed at 3pm, but if you need to schedule an inspection, you can still do so by booking online or by calling the 24-hour inspection line at 250-755-4420. Be aware that you need to book before 4pm on December 24 to get an inspection on the next business day of December 29, and before 4pm on December 31 to get an inspection on the next business day of January 4.

Building Inspections: 250-755-4429

Attention Energy Advisors, Modellers, and Consultants

Change affecting Energy Compliance Reports for Building Permits


The City of Nanaimo currently uses Climate Zone 4 for BC Building Code-related energy code requirements. This determination was based on climate data from 1981-2010, provided by the National Research Council (NRC). The heating degree days (HDD) value of 2966 has been used for the energy compliance report, to date.


The National Research Council has developed a new climate map for Part 9 buildings, the HOT2000 climate map using data averaged from 1997 - 2017. This new climate map should be used to determine the HDD when completing energy reports. The HOT2000 climate map may change over time as more data becomes available, which means a specified HDD value is no longer appropriate. Energy Advisors will have access to the most up-to-date information through the HOT2000 climate map.


To allow for a transition, the City of Nanaimo will accept either the previously-identified HDD of 2966 or the HDD identified in the NRC climate map until 2022-JAN-01. After that date, which coincides with the transition to Step Code Level 3 for Part 9 residential buildings, the NRC HOT2000 map HDD numbers should be used. However, the same HDD for a project must be used for both the Pre-Construction and As-Built Energy Compliance Reports. For example, if the project was submitted with a Pre-Construction Energy Compliance Report using an HDD of 2966, the As-Built Report must also use an HDD of 2966.

Part 3 Buildings

Energy Modellers for Part 3 buildings should use the Canadian Weather year for Energy Calculation (CWEC) as per the City of Vancouver Energy Modelling Guidelines.

Building Inspections: 250-755-4429

Electronic submissions to continue

In the past months during the COVID-19 pandemic, Building Inspections made the switch to an online application process. While the doors to the City have now been re-opened, our process will continue to be electronic. We request in-person contact be limited and encourage that as much business as possible be done through email, phone, or Zoom communications with staff. Moving forward, applications will be accepted in hard copy only by pre-approval under extenuating circumstances for simple applications.

Contact: Darcy Fox, Manager, Building Inspections
Phone:  250-755-4456

Architects Act

 The City of Nanaimo wishes to advise there are discrepancies between the Architects Act and the British Columbia Building Code (BCBC) as to when the services of an Architect are required. Historically, the City of Nanaimo has enforced the requirements of the Building Code; however, a recent Supreme Court decision has confirmed the law in British Columbia requires local governments to consider the Architects Act in their building permitting decision making. As such, if you need assistance to determine whether an architect is required on a particular project, please contact the Architectural Institute of British Columbia's (AIBC) Lead Practice Advisor and Regulator Liaison, Maura Batensby, Architect, AIBC CP, at or 604-305-2699.

Building Inspections:  250-755-4429

New online revision applications

Along with our online application portal, we are pleased to announce the addition of our online revision application portal.  If a revision to your plans is required after a your permit has been issued, you can now fill out your application for modifications online and upload your revised drawings at the same time.

Building Inspections: 250-755-4429

New online building permit application portal and other Building Inspections processes

With the restriction of public access to the Service and Resource Centre due to COVID-19 concerns, Building Inspections staff have been working diligently on creating alternative methods for receiving applications, revisions, and other Building-related documents.

We are pleased to announce that our new online building permit application is now available for your use. Visit the webpage that correlates with your project to access the building permit application portal and other relevant information. Please fill out the application through our new portal and upload your application documents directly.

Note that photographs of documents are not acceptable - please upload in PDF format only.

All other documents that aren't for a permit application, including permit revisions, can still be sent to

Building Inspections: 250-755-4429

BC Energy Step Code

The BC Energy Step Code is currently a voluntary standard in the BC Building Code providing an incremental approach to obtaining energy-efficient buildings. Local governments can choose, however, to require or encourage builders to meet one or more steps of the Step Code as an alternative to the BC Building Code's requirements.

Provincial Step Code Goals:

Pathway to 2032:  Part 9 (Homes)


Pathway to 2032: Part 3 (Commercial and Residential)

How many steps are there?

An amendment to the Building Bylaw was adopted during the 2019-OCT-21 Council meeting. The Building Bylaw amendment will phase in the BC Energy Step Code, beginning with Step One (Enhanced Compliance) starting 2020-APR-21.

City of Nanaimo Step Code Implementation Schedule
in the Building Bylaw:


Part 9


Part 3

 Step One
 (Enhanced Compliance)

Perform Energuide or Energy Modeling
to current BCBC requirements
Conform to Part 8 of the NECB 
 Step Two
10% greater than current BCBC requirements
20% to 40% greater than current BCBC requirements
 Step Three
20% greater than current BCBC requirements

Enhanced Compliance means the builder will need to complete energy modeling and energy benchmark assessments for their projects. The builder's energy advisor will use energy modelling software and on-site testing to demonstrate that both their design and the constructed building meet Step Code requirements.

Below are compliance report forms produced by the BC Energy Step Code Council for pre-construction and as-built stages of a project. Your energy advisor will fill out the pre-construction form, which is to be submitted with your building permit application. The as-built form completed by your Energy Advisor will be required prior to occupancy approval.

Based on the posted Government of Canada climate data for Nanaimo, degree days below 18°C of 2965.9, the City of Nanaimo has identified Climate Zone 4 as the appropriate zone for the purpose of BC Building Code requirements. This climate data should be used in the Energy Compliance Reports.

For more Information:

Further information and details on how the Energy Step Code will affect the building permit process will be posted in the near future.

Interested in rebates?  Check out cleanBC for available rebates

Questions about the implementation strategy?

Contact:  Rob Lawrance, Environmental Planner
Phone:  250-755-4429

Questions about the Building Bylaw amendment?

Contact:  Darcy Fox, Manager, Building Inspections
Phone:  250-755-4456

Permit application processing times

Please be advised that due to current volumes of permit applications received, target application processing times are not being met. Staff continue to work diligently and are processing applications as quickly as possible.  We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but appreciate your patience during this time.

Last updated: December 17, 2021

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