By Canadian Contractor staff
RDCK announces new standards for home constructionCanadian Contractor
March 30, 2023, Regional District of Kootenay, B.C. – Starting May 1, 2023, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), in accordance with the BC Building Code (BCBC), will require every new Part 9 building — residential and small commercial/industrial — to meet Step 3 of BC’s Energy Step Code.
The change will aim to ensure new buildings are 20 per cent more energy efficient than an equivalent building constructed to the 2018 Building Code, and follows the BC Energy Step Code – a standard based on a series of energy efficiency performance targets, or “steps”, for new construction and major renovations in the province. The steps 1 to 5 represent increasing levels of performance related to building energy efficiency.
According to the Energy Step Code website, “the BC Energy Step Code is an optional compliance path in the BC Building Code that local governments may use, if they wish, to incentivize or require a level of energy efficiency in new construction that goes above and beyond the requirements of the BC Building Code.”
In 2017, British Columbia established the Energy Step Code Council to support the implementation of the BC Energy Step Code and the market transition to net-zero energy-ready buildings.
The council provides a venue for stakeholders to gather and share information, and work collaboratively to resolve issues as they arise. Issues identified by the council may inform future changes to the technical content of the regulation, or how it is implemented.
Currently, all new residences in the RDCK are required to meet Step 1 – enhanced compliance. With the revised code requirements, residences, small commercial and industrial buildings will now be required to meet Step 3.
This change will not affect existing in-progress building permits. Applications received after May 1, 2023, will need to design and construct new buildings to the new mandatory Step Code requirements. There are plans by the province to further increase the required energy efficiency for new buildings by 40 per cent in 2027 and 80 per cent in 2030.