On December 15, 2015 a few provisions of the new Building Act, S.B.C. 2015, c. 2 (Bill 3) came into force.
The sections now in force are: Sections 5, 7, 9, and 43.
The BC Government has stated that these sections aim to “bring greater consistency to the building requirements in effect across the province.”
The BC Government maintains a website on the Building Act and its progression into force, and provides the following summary of the sections now in force:
- Section 5 – specifies that local government building requirements have no legal effect to the extent that they relate to a matter covered by a provincial building regulation such as the BC Building Code. This is a key element of the effort to bring greater consistency to building requirements in the province. Section 5 does not apply until two years after it is brought into force (see section 43 below).
- Section 7 – allows local governments to apply for a variation from the building requirements in a provincial building regulation such as the BC Building Code. The variation would apply within the community or communities making the request and would not be specific to a single building site. Under the act, the building requirements in an approved request for variation will be enacted through a provincial building regulation and not through a local government bylaw.
- Section 9 – enables the Province to engage or retain technical experts for the review of a request for variation by a local authority or person.
- Section 43 – states that section 5 will not apply until two years after it comes into force (that is, it will not apply until December 15, 2017).
What does this all of this mean?
- Municipalities should review the act, ensure that they are prepared for the changes to local building requirements, and apply for a variation if desired;
- Contractors/builders should keep apprised of the changes (following our blog is a good starting point!), but note that building requirements will not actually change until December 2017.
If you have any questions about the Building Act or how it may affect you, Stephanie Streat would be pleased to speak with you. 604-917-0045