Two New Practice Advisories Provide Professional Guidance for Registrants

Posted on May 6, 2020

Engineers and Geoscientists BC recently issued two practice advisories: Structural Assessments of Exterior Means of Egress and Engineering Modifications to Fire-Tested and Listed Assemblies.

Structural Assessments of Exterior Means of Egress

Effective June 25, 2020, all structures providing exterior means of egress for applicable buildings in Vancouver, as defined in the City of Vancouver Fire By-law, including their guards, handrails, and connections to the building, must be inspected for structural integrity by a registered professional with appropriate experience, at least every 5 years.

Property owners and managers must engage structural engineers to provide the inspection services. Registrants wishing to undertake such work must act in accordance with the standard of practice described in this practice advisory.

Full details and the current standard of practice, including professional experience requirements, assessment process, reporting and tagging requirements, and definitions of follow-up structural work, are described in the practice advisory.

Engineering Modifications to Fire-Tested and Listed Assemblies

For both new and existing construction, the British Columbia Building Code and the Vancouver Building By-law mandate that some structural elements be designed and constructed to achieve a minimum fire-resistance rating. Similarly, fire-related separations or assemblies are also required between areas of different uses and occupancies. CAN/ULC-S101 Standard Methods of Fire Endurance Tests of Building Construction and Materials tests fire-related assemblies and assigns an hourly fire-resistant rating based on time to failure.

The preparation of technical documents relating to fire protection applications in buildings, dealing with modifications to fire-tested and listed assemblies, or dealing with the development of new assemblies not specifically listed, all fall under the practice of professional engineering as defined in the Engineers and Geoscientists Act. Therefore, those documents must be sealed by a professional engineer.

Full details, requirements, and the current standard of practice, are described in detail in the practice advisory.

These and other practice advisories and resources are available at To contact an Engineers and Geoscientists BC practice advisor, email [email protected] or call 1.888.430.8035 or 604.430.8035.

Photo: © Carrie Cole/Fotolia

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