Stepping Up the Performance of New Construction in BC
May 1, 2023
Changes to the BC Building Code taking effect today mark an important milestone on the path to making new buildings – and especially new homes – more comfortable, more affordable in the long run, and part of the solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Starting today, most new construction in BC is required to be 20% more energy-efficient than buildings constructed under the most recent building code, which was updated in 2018. This new performance requirement has been outlined in the BC Energy Step Code, which regulates the energy consumption and efficiency of buildings.
For Part 9 buildings – such as single-family dwellings, duplexes, and small commercial buildings – the new minimum is Step 3.
For Part 3 buildings – including offices, hotels, apartments, and large retail buildings – the new minimum is Step 2.
In addition, a new Zero Carbon Step Code regulates the carbon emissions associated with operating buildings. This is mostly voluntary in BC at this point but provides an opportunity for local governments to incentive moderate, strong, or zero-carbon performance for Part 3 and/or Part 9 buildings.
Resources from CEA
Resources for staff working for local governments or Indigenous communities
Learn about and join the Step Code Peer Network - a community of peers who meet quarterly to increase knowledge and accelerate action related to the BC Energy Step Code and the Zero Carbon Step Code.
Resources for elected officials in BC
Watch the recording from a May 17th webinar on the Zero Carbon Step Code and how communities can lead in stepping up energy efficiency and carbon performance in new construction.
Resources for anyone looking to understand the BC Energy Step Code or the Zero Carbon Step Code
- Check out our new fact sheet for a summary of what’s taking effect today, and where local governments can choose to opt-in.
- View a recording of a webinar CEA hosted in April about the Energy Step Code and the Zero Carbon Step Code.
- CEA has produced a YouTube video playlist featuring builders and projects related to high performance homes, the BC Energy Step Code, and working with an Energy Advisor.
- Further resources: https://www.helpcitieslead.ca/contact/zero-carbon-step-code/