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New code will make buildings safer, more accessible and resilient to climate change Updated on Dec. 5, 2023

Victoria  Tuesday, December 5, 2023 11:45 AM

The Province is adopting changes to the BC Building Code (BC Code), a provincial regulation that governs how buildings in B.C. get built. Most code changes will come into effect on March 8, 2024, except for adaptable dwellings and earthquake-design changes which will come into effect on March 10, 2025.

A summary of the changes to new residential buildings:

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 event facilities.
  • More inclusive signage to increase wayfinding and building safety.
  • Full-size change tables in universal washrooms.
  • Assisted-listening systems for people with hearing loss.

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:

  • The Province has permitted the use of mass-timber buildings, in harmonization with the National Building Code 2020, across B.C.

Radon safety:

  • Provincewide adoption of a rough-in for a radon-extraction system.

The Province is deferring the effective date on adaptable dwellings and earthquake-design changes to March 10, 2025, to provide a one-year transition period.

Adaptable dwellings:

Adaptable dwellings are designed and built with features that can be changed to meet occupants’ needs, allowing them to stay in their homes through illness, injury, and/or aging.

  • All residential suites in large residential buildings and ground-floor suites in small apartment buildings will have:
    • accessible clearances through doorways and along paths of travel to living spaces;
    • manoeuvring 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:
    • reinforcement of bathroom walls to allow future installation of grab bars.

Earthquake design:

  • New methodologies for earthquake design for small buildings, in harmonization with the National Building Code.
  • These changes respond to increased earthquake risks and new national standards to protect new buildings and life safety.
Translations

This is on Govt of BC website go to the link here

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