The Province has adopted the 2018 edition of the British Columbia Building Code, including Book II Plumbing Services (BC Building and Plumbing Code). The new BC Building and Plumbing Code will be effective December 10, 2018 and will apply to building permits applied for on or after that date. The BC Fire Code is anticipated to be adopted in the fall of 2018 and effective December 10, 2018. Buildings with permits in place under the previous 2012 BC Building Code will generally not be affected by the adoption of the new code.
The AIBC, along with partners Building Officials Association of British Columbia, Engineers and Geoscientists BC and BC Housing, are developing upgrade seminars to be delivered in the fall and winter. There will also be a mandatory Part 3 upgrade seminar for Certified Professionals in the fall.
The BC Building and Plumbing Code is based substantially on the model National Building and Plumbing Codes of Canada (National Codes). The 2015 National Codes adopted 600 technical changes to improve clarity, introduce new concepts, and expand existing requirements. Some of the new requirements in the National Codes include:
- updates to airborne sound transmission ratings,
- seismic design and climatic data, and
- updates to stairs, ramps, handrails and guards, including an increase to the run dimensions for residential dwellings.
For more information about the changes introduced in the 2015 National Codes, please visit Codes Canada.
The 2018 BC Building and Plumbing Code includes most of the 2015 National Code requirements and some variations specific to British Columbia. Some important BC-specific code changes introduced in the 2018 BC Building Code include:
- increasing building accessibility for persons with disabilities,
- improving the energy efficiency of buildings to require compliance with new building energy efficiency codes and standards,
- providing a variation to the National Building Code requirements for mid-rise combustible buildings to require 10 percent street frontage and exterior cladding with increased fire resistance, and
- updating radon data, based on recent studies.
More information about the 2018 BC Building and Plumbing Code can be found here. Additional online resources include:
- Summary of changes
- General technical bulletin
- Accessibility bulletin
- Mid-rise combustible construction bulletin
The online version of the 2018 BC Building and Plumbing Code will be available for purchase in the coming weeks at www.bccodes.ca The print version is expected at a later date, and code users will be notified when it becomes available.
If you have any questions, please email Building.Safety@gov.bc.ca.