Building News and Alerts

BC Energy step code seminar

BC Housing is offering Building Smart seminars that will help builders and designers understand the new requirements coming into effect 2017-DEC-15 in Section 5 of the Building Act.

Topics covered include:

  • Introduction to the BC Energy Step Code
  • Working with an energy advisor
  • Requirements of energy modelling
  • Airtightness testing
  • Optimizing building envelopes and windows
  • Choosing and sizing HVAC systems

Building Smart – BC Energy Step Code

Questions?  Contact BC Housing for more information.

BC Housing
Phone: 604-439-4135

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New rates for development cost charges

The Regional District of Nanaimo recently implemented new DCC rates that affect the City of Nanaimo.  Building permit applications received on or after 2071-JUN-28 will be subject to the new rates. Contact our office for details if you have questions about your application.

New sprinkler requirements for four-storey wood-frame buildings

All building permits for four-storey wood-frame residential buildings applied for on or after the date of 2017-JUL-20 will now require the installation of sprinklers on the balconies of the buildings. This is in accordance with a recent revision to the 2012 BC Building Code, which references the 2013 addition of the NFPA 13R.

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Phone: 250-755-4429

New tree requirements

When building on a newly-created lot (recently subdivided) where owners are required by covenant to plant trees within 6 months of the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy, owners will be required to post a bond of $300 per tree at the time of building permit issuance. The bond monies will be returned when it is confirmed the trees have been planted.

The owner is responsible for maintaining the trees and for replacing trees that are removed as per the covenant conditions.


Contact Patrick McIntosh, Urban Forestry Coordinator
Phone: 250-755-4460, extension 4357

New Building Bylaw

Council adopted Building Bylaw No. 7224, replacing Building Bylaw No. 5693. This was done to modernize the bylaw and bring it closer to compliance with the province's Building Act, which takes full effect after 2017-DEC-31. Most changes are administrative, but there are minor changes that will affect the construction community, as follows:

  • Increased bond for a temporary building from $1,000.00 to $2,000.00 (to be in line with that of moving a building).
  • Added in sheathing inspections in Section 17 in response to seismic changes in the Building Code.
  • Changed the addressing provisions to state that addresses are required to be visible from the street, not necessarily just posted on the house. This was meant to target larger properties.
  • Changed swimming pool fence height to mirror current Building Code requirements (bottom rail height has been raised to a maximum of 150mm from 100mm).
  • Stand-alone greenhouses up to 300 square metres in area will now be exempt from fire sprinkler requirements.

The complete bylaw is viewable on our website.

New BC Housing (formerly HPO) requirements for Owner Builders

Effective immediately, the Licensing and Consumer Services branch of BC Housing (formerly Homeowner Protection Office) has initiated new requirements for anyone wishing to build a home as an Owner Builder. Al Owner Builder applicants to BC Housing will be required to meet all eligibility requirements and to pass an exam designed to evaluate knowledge and understanding of home building basics.


Contact BC Housing Licensing & Consumer Services
Phone: 1-800-407-7757

Last updated: November 6, 2017

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