As of January 4, 2021, building permit applications for new homes must demonstrate compliance with BC Energy Step Code Step 3. Read on for details and information on other building types.
What is the Energy Step Code? The Step Code is a compliance path in the BC Building Code that local governments may use to require a level of energy efficiency in new construction that goes above and beyond the requirements of the BC Building Code.
Why is this important? To meet the targets set in the Climate Leadership Plan, Step Code compliance is required for new construction. After a transition year at Step 1, new construction must meet either Step 2 or 3 for building permits received after January 1, 2021. The step required is based on the building type and occupancy; for example, wood frame residential construction, 6 storeys or less in height, will be required to meet Step 3. Specific details can be found below, under "I want to learn more about..."
- BetterHomesBC.ca (new and existing houses)
- BetterBuildingsBC.ca (commercial projects)
- Community Energy Association - Step Code Introduction
- BC Energy Step Code
- Built Green
- National Resources Canada - Energy Efficiency
- BC Hydro
- Fortis BC
- BC Housing Construction Guides
The BC Energy Step Code consists of a series of steps, representing increasing levels of energy-efficiency performance. For residential construction, the steps are summarized as:
Step 1 - Base Building Code
Step 2 - 10% Better than Building Code
Step 3 - 20% Better than Building Code
Step 4 - 40% Better than Building Code
Step 5 - 80% Better than Building Code (or Net-Zero Energy Ready)
Minimum Step Code step required for new construction building permit applications received after January 1, 2021
|Residential - wood frame, less than 6 storeys (Group C)||3|
|Commercial - office, retail (Groups D or E, Part 3)||2|
|Assembly or Care - restaurant, hospital (Groups A or B, Part 3)||1|
|Remaining Part 9 Buildings to which Step Code applies||3|
The key performance metrics of the Step Code may be separated into three categories:
- equipment and systems; and,
- building enclosure.
Based on our location, in Zone 4, the BC Energy Step Code provides the minimum/maximum permitted threshold for the following:
- air changes per hour (based on the testing of air leakage);
- energy consumption (HVAC, hot water, fans, etc); and,
- energy demand (considers energy gain/losses through building enclosure).
Specific metrics are available from the Step Code, the Building Department or your Energy Advisor.
Central Saanich is offering a $500 rebate for eligible projects when construction to the BC Energy Step Code and completing a mid-construction blower door test. One available per builder - Just complete the application form and submit with your mid-construction report from your Energy Advisor.