Support for Step Code Implementation
Since 2021 the Building A Legacy North initiative, a collaboration of Community Energy Association (CEA) and Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) of Northern BC supports high performance building through implementation of the BC Energy Step Code and Zero Carbon Step Code in Northern BC. We provide training and support of the building industry and local governments. Find cold-climate-focused training opportunities, case studies, technical booklets, and program updates here.
Events & Training
Explore upcoming events & training.
Subscribe & Connect
If you would like to know more about High Performance Building and stay up to date with new training, resources and successes, please sign up to receive the CEA High Performance Building newsletter, below. If you'd like to talk to us about how this program might support your work and your community, please email us at email@example.com.
Effective May 1, 2023, most new construction will be required to be 20% more energy efficient than previously required, through the BC Energy Step Code. Zero Carbon Step Code was also introduced. CEA created this fact sheet to answer questions about the 2023 Building Code changes, summarize the requirements, and clearly show where local governments can choose to opt-in.
What does it mean to be comfortable in your home? In the North, it can me so many things. In this video, the Canadian Home Builders' Association of Northern BC explores high performance homes with Northern builders.
This quick explainer video provides the basics of BC Energy Step Code. This is a great video to share with colleagues so they understand the changes that are coming.
A webinar to support Local Government staff and elected officials to do what it takes to update their bylaws and processes to be ready for the May 1st province-wide implementation of Step Code.
Step Code Resources
Step Code Resources, especially for cold climate, rural contexts like Northern BC.
For Industry & Local Government
Step-Up to Step Code Week:
A one-hour session delivered to elected officials by northern-based builders, an energy advisor, and CHBA Northern BC, discussing how they are already succeeding at Step Code’s performance pathway to achieve energy efficient, high performance homes
Marketing High Performance, Energy Efficient Homes
Building a House as a System: Achieving Net Zero in Cranbrook, BC
Building a House as a System:
Residential Solar PV Systems: Demystified
Residential Solar PV Systems Demystified:
Cold Climate Heat Pumps: Mysteries Unraveled
CHBA Northern BC chapter: www.chbanorthernbc.ca
Home Performance Contractor Network: http://homeperformance.ca/about-the-network
NRCan toolkit for air source heat pump sizing and selection: https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/maps-tools-and-publications/tools/modelling-tools/toolkit-for-air-source-heat-pump-sizing-and-selection/23558
Working with an Energy Advisor
Working with an Energy Advisor:
Mechanical System Solutions (3 Part series)
Recording from April 8, 2021
Mechanical Decision Tree:
Recording from May 6, 2021
Recording from June 3, 2021
Enclosure & Airtightness Solutions
BuildSmart Tailgate on-site airtightness training:
Step Code Solutions for Northern BC
Step Code Lunch & Learn for local government & elected officials
- The Canadian Home Builders’ Northern BC Association covered the costs to the builder for an Energy Advisor (energy modelling, airtightness testing, incentives and labels) for ten projects *travel costs included
- Emphasis to work with builders in a variety of communities (size and location) throughout northern BC
- Two on-site mid-construction blower door test events were well attended by builders, building officials, EAs, designers and tradespersons, before COVID restrictions were enacted
- An online wrap-up event, ‘Step Code Solutions for Northern BC’ in partnership with the Community Energy Association on May 19, 2021, featured the 10 resulting case studies, builders sharing their experiences, and more than 100 registrations
LEEP Quesnel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAVW9irfPwY
Joe Hart, President, Icon Homes Ltd. shares his lessons learned on building an affordable high-performance home while incorporating the desired features to create maximum comfort. Joe’s bungalow is built to BC Energy Step Code for Part 9 Step 4 with an energy rating of 83 GJ/year.
Fort St. James: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAVW9irfPwY
Shay Bulmer and Beau Jackson owners of Northern Homecraft Ltd. discuss the importance of working with an energy advisor and using a good mechanical design to build high performance homes. The home featured in Fort St. James is a CHBA Qualified Net Zero Ready Home and has achieved BC Energy Step Code for Part 9 Step 4.
More Case Study information on the Energy Step Code website
There were 4 "Best Practices for Working with an Energy Advisor" sessions held for industry and local government staff through Spring 2021. View the March 10, 2021 recording here: https://building-a-legacy-resources.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/WorkingwithanEA.mp4
3 min Video: What it Takes to Become an Energy Advisor- Building A Legacy
Find a local qualified energy advisor: https://betterhomesbc.ca/ea/
CEA partnered with Hamid Design Build (HDB) to construct a set of 10 mobile demonstration wall assemblies, wall to window intersections, 9 roof assemblies, and several below-grade mock-ups, to assist with hands-on education (see the technical booklets links below).
These mobile assemblies, and accompanying booklets, showcase various methods of improving energy efficiency and moisture performances, effective building envelope detailing at window to wall interface, penetrations, as well as steps to improve the long-term performance of the building envelope.
Specifically for Local Government
The BC building code was updated. Effective May 1, 2023, most new construction will be required to be 20% more energy efficient than previously required.
There is also a new Zero Carbon Step Code that regulates the carbon emissions associated with operating buildings. This is mostly voluntary for local governments at this point. But what are the codes? What is the difference?
CEA created this fact sheet to answer these questions, summarize the requirements, and clearly show where local governments can choose to opt-in.
The mandate of the Step Code Peer Network is to support local governments to successfully implement the BC Energy Step Code and Zero Carbon Step Code by bringing local government staff together to support peer learning and knowledge sharing. The purpose of the BC Energy Local Government Step Code Peer Network is to:
- Accelerate local government understanding and adoption of the BC Energy Step Code and Zero Carbon Step Code
- Support local governments for successful implementation of the BC Energy Step Code and Zero Carbon Step Code
- Provide a communication channel between local governments and the Energy Step Code Council
The Local Government Climate Action Dashboard is a database that tracks climate action progress for 189 BC local governments (municipal and regional districts).
The Dashboard provides information like what communities are at what step of the Step Code, number of Electric Vehicles (EV) per community, which communities have an EV-ready Building bylaw and so much more. The dashboard will be publicly available in the summer of 2023.
For updates subscribe to the CEA High Performance Building newsletter.