OHS Canada Magazine

B.C. adopts new building, fire codes for new construction amid race to build housing

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December 6, 2023
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety british columbia Building Code Construction

Front view of group of engineers with blueprints standing on construction site.

With a rush to build more housing across Canada, British Columbia has adopted new building and fire codes it says will provide a greater level of safety while making structures more sustainable, resilient, and accessible.

Key updates to the building code include a requirement to provide one living space that is designed not to exceed 26C; power-operated doors in all building entrances and universal washrooms; and elevators in all large two- and three-story apartment buildings.

Additional updates to the building code focus on accessibility, mass-timber construction and radon safety.

Most updates to the building code will come into effect provincewide on March 8, 2024. The implementation window will allow construction and housing-industry professionals more time to review the changes and complete any necessary training. It will also allow an easier transition for housing projects underway.

The Province is deferring the effective date on the adaptable dwellings and earthquake-design changes to March 10, 2025, to provide a one-year transition period. This will allow the Ministry of Housing to work with interested parties and local governments to develop strategies to implement the new requirements.


The BC Building Code applies across the province, except on some federal lands and in the City of Vancouver, which has its own building bylaw.


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