Changes to Building Permit Applications Nov. 1 Following Bylaw Updates

October 26, 2023   
Building Permit applications for single family houses, coach houses, duplexes and some townhouses will be required to comply with new energy efficiency requirements as of November 1, 2023.  The City’s Construction Regulation Bylaw has been updated to reflect new minimum energy efficiency requirements for Part 9 residential buildings (single family homes, coach houses, duplexes and some townhouses) under the province’s Energy Step Code and the Zero Carbon Step Code.


New Requirements

As of November 1, 2023, building permit applications for new Part 9 residential buildings will be required to demonstrate compliance with the Energy Step Code and the Zero Carbon Step Code. Building Permit applications must include the Design Verification Report and the applicable portion of the Provincial BC Step Code Compliance Checklist. Details are available on the City’s building permit webpage at


Regulation Framework

The BC Building Code defines the minimum required performance levels for buildings in the areas of life safety, building safety, health, accessibility, and energy efficiency. The Energy Step Code was introduced in 2017 by the province to provide energy efficiency thresholds for local governments to implement. The City has been a leader in energy efficiency in new construction since adoption of the step code in 2017.

In 2021, The City implemented low carbon requirements to reduce emissions from building mechanical equipment. The adoption of the province’s new Zero Carbon Step Code will align City and provincial low carbon requirements to provide a more consistent regulatory framework for new construction.


City Initiatives to Reduce Emissions from Buildings

In the City, carbon pollution from buildings accounts for 43% of community-wide emissions, a significant proportion of which is attributed to natural gas for space heating and domestic hot water. 

The City has a target of zero emissions by 2050. An important step to achieving our target is through better constructed buildings and low-carbon energy systems. Transitioning to high performance new homes with zero-carbon emissions from mechanical systems will reduce emissions from residential homes and support quality construction, improved comfort, and better indoor air quality. 


2023 Building & Plumbing Code Update Training

Under the Building Act, code update training is mandatory for all qualified building and plumbing officials. To ensure we are in compliance with these requirements, all qualified officials will be in attendance for the mandatory training on the dates November 21 & November 22. As a result our inspections team will be operating in a reduced capacity on those dates. 

Inspections scheduled for November 21 or November 22 may be re-scheduled to a subsequent date due to reduced inspections staff availability. If you have any questions or concerns regarding inspections, please e-mail for assistance.


More Information

Updated information about the Energy Step Code and the City’s Construction Regulation Bylaw is available at
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