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Posted: February 9, 2021

New construction requirements now in effect

City adopts BC Energy Step Code

The City of Cranbrook will join several other municipalities in the region by adopting the BC Energy Step Code, to mandate energy efficiency in new construction that goes above and beyond the requirements of the 2018 BC Building Code.

The new bylaw, adopted by city council February 8, requires all new residential and commercial construction in Cranbrook to meet Step 1 of the Step Code, effective immediately.

This bylaw amendment will harmonize with required energy modelling and air-tightness testing within the Building Code for new Step One Code construction and performance requirements.

The bylaw is also implementing a deadline of August 1, 2021 for commercial and residential buildings to meet Step 2 of the BC Energy Code.

“By introducing a requirement for Step 1 now, we will align with most other East Kootenay communities and regional districts that have adopted Step Code, which will help to prepare our industry to become comfortable with the new process. This will put our builders and suppliers at an advantage ahead of these hard adoption dates anticipated in the BC Building Code during 2022,” said Tony Luce, Building Inspector and Planning Supervisor for the city.

“As we make this transition, builders should be aware that there are many time-limited, high-value incentives available from the Province and utilities right now and adopting Step Code allows us to support our builders and clients to access those,” said Paul Heywood, Manager of Building and Bylaw Services.

City administration also identifies a training and capacity building program, called “Building a Legacy” which over the past five years, has established East Kootenay builders as some of the province’s most knowledgeable in the industry regarding the Step Code and its “performance pathway” approach.

“Many builders across the East Kootenay have successfully embraced the Step Code’s higher-efficiency, more comfortable and more durable building standards, and they are already achieving performance much higher than current code requires,” Heywood added.

Step Code will be mandated province-wide in 2022, requiring 20% higher energy efficiency than current 2018 Building Code Many builders are already achieving Step 2 and 3 of the Step Code with their current building practices.

For more information about BC Energy Step Code, links to available incentives and other important resources.

Photo credit: Bernhart Contracting.

City of Cranbrook

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