On January 30, 2018, changes to the 2012 BC Building Code were approved. These changes introduce updated Letters of Assurance for Schedules B and C-A, which apply to all projects involving a building permit application. The update relates to the assurance of conformance to Part 10 (Energy) aspects of the code.
The changes to Schedules B and C-A are detailed in the Member Advisory issued by Engineers and Geoscientists BC and the Architectural Institute of British Columbia. The updated Letters of Assurance should be used for all projects for which a building permit application is submitted on or after January 31, 2018. The updates do not apply retroactively to projects for which a building permit application has already been submitted.
In addition, changes have been made throughout the BC Building Code and its Appendix, notably to Article 220.127.116.11. Required Guards; Section 9.32. Ventilation, Section 9.36. Energy Efficiency, and Section 10.2. Energy Efficiency.
The BC Energy Step Code was introduced in April 2017 as a new energy standard under the code. It establishes a set of voluntary, incremental energy-performance targets for new buildings (via new Subsections 9.36.6. and 10.2.3. of Division B) that builders can choose to build to, and communities may choose to require within their jurisdiction. The new standard is a tool designed to help both government and industry prepare for a future in which all new construction across the province is "net-zero energy-ready" by 2032, as identified in the BC Climate Leadership Plan. To date, 17 municipalities have notified the Province of BC of their intent to reference the Step Code within their jurisdictions.
Engineers and Geoscientists BC is offering two seminars (also available via webinar) that will provide an overview of the BC Energy Step Code and its application, as well as the changes to the Letters of Assurance.
Additional guidance on professional practice considerations in demonstrating conformance to the BC Energy Step Code will be provided through the publication of Engineers and Geoscientists BC/Architectural Institute of BC Professional Practice Guidelines: Whole Building Energy Modelling Services, which is currently being finalized and is expected to be released in the spring of this year.