| Sep 23, 2016
The Building Act, SBC 2015, c.2 is the first act to deal solely with construction and building in the province of BC. It was given royal assent on March 25, 2015 and will have effect throughout the province with the exception of the city of Vancouver, federal lands and on reserve.
The act will come into force over a multi-year transition period. Some sections came into force in 2015, others in 2016, and still others yet to come. The transition period is meant to give local governments time to amend their bylaws to be in keeping with the provincial standards set out in the act, and to give building officials the time they need to meet the new qualifications requirements.
The act will directly affect local governments or other local authorities able to enforce the BC Building Code, building officials that work for those authorities, and people working in the construction sector. Indirectly it will affect the rest of us who work and live in BC and therefore occupy the built environment.
Key areas of change
Consistency – Local government bylaws will cease to have legal force in December of 2017 after the two year transition period has come to an end. After that point, the province will have sole authority in establishing technical requirements that govern building construction as well as repair, alteration and demolition.
Competency – New qualification requirements for officials have been introduced in the interest of ensuring competence, professionalism and consistent interpretation of the BC Building Code. Requirements will take effect over the course of a 4 year transition period beginning in late 2016.
Innovation – Innovative building design will be supported by providing a formal process for review and evaluation of proposals.
Sections in force
The fundamental sections of the act (SBC 2015, c. 2, ss. 1 - 4, 6, 14 - 18, 19 (1), (2), and (3)(a), 20, 21, 39 - 42, 45, 46, 48, 50 - 55, and 58 – 62) came into force on September 18, 2015.
The consistency sections (ss. 5, 7, 9 and 43) came into force on December 15, 2015 and sections 31-34 came into force on June 10, 2016.
Consult the What’s Effective Now section of the province’s BC Building Act webpage for a regularly updated chronological list of sections in force.
You can also consult BC Laws for a current version of the act. Text in green denotes sections that have only recently come into force.
Sections not in force
Sections 8, 10-13, 22-30, 35-38, and 44 have not yet come into force. Primarily these are the competency related sections dealing with qualifications for building officials, administrative and monetary penalties for contraventions of the act, and applications to the appeal board. These sections will come into force by regulation over the course of the next 4 years.
BC Building Act webpage - http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/construction-industry/building-codes-standards/building-act
BC Laws - http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/content/complete/statreg/1944036832/15002_a/?xsl=/templates/browse.xsl
Bill 3 - 2015: Building Act - https://www.leg.bc.ca/parliamentary-business/legislation-debates-proceedings/40th-parliament/4th-session/bills/third-reading/gov03-3
Building Act, SBC 2015, c.2 - http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/15002