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Ministry of Housing

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Proposed changes to BC Building Code

The Province is considering changes to the BC Building Code, a provincial regulation that provides rules about how buildings in B.C. get built.

Below is a brief summary of the proposed changes:

  • Accessibility
    • power-operated doors in all building entrances and universal washrooms;
    • an elevator in all large two- and three-storey apartment buildings;
    • designated wheelchair spaces in events facilities;
    • inclusive signage to increase wayfinding and building safety;
    • full-size change tables in universal washrooms;
    • assisted listening systems for people with hearing loss; and
    • emergency lighting in universal washrooms.
  • Adaptable dwellings
    • All residential suites in large residential buildings and ground floor suites in small buildings will have:
      • accessible clearances through doorways and along paths of travel to living spaces;
      • space in a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen;
      • switches and other controls at an accessible height; and
      • reinforcement of bathroom walls to allow future installation of grab bars.
    • Modest increases for smaller residential housing, such as single-detached homes, townhomes, and row homes, will require:
      • an accessible clearance at the entry door; and
      • reinforcement of bathroom walls to allow installation of grab bars.
  • Cooling requirements
    • All new residential buildings must provide one living space that is designed not to exceed 26 C. This may require a cooling appliance in many parts of the province, depending on weather and site conditions.
  • Mass timber construction
    • Provincewide adoption of mass timber requirements in new building constructions in harmonization with the National Building Code 2020.
  • Earthquake design
    • New methodologies for seismic design for small buildings in harmonization with the National Building Code.
  • Radon safety
    • Provincewide adoption of a rough-in for a radon extraction system.
  • Ventilation in houses
    • Adopt the ventilation requirements for houses in the National Building Code 2020, while retaining B.C. variations, such as allowing passive ventilation in secondary suites and requiring carbon-monoxide alarms in commercial buildings.