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Future Strategy and Direction for Building Regulations and BC Building Code processes

In terms of building regulations, the Province of BC relies on the National Building Code as the model document- using the Vancouver Building Bylaw as well as the BC Building Code outside of Vancouver.

The current approach in the Code requires deviations to be dealt with as Alternative Solutions which can be expensive and time-consuming. The often formulaic approach to Alternative Solutions as well as strategies for heritage and other renovation strategies is somewhat inflexible and often relies on mitigating conditions to demonstrate that any given solution meets or exceeds the requirements. This increases cost of innovation and slows down the whole permit process. There is a trend  for building designers to rely on meeting the literal requirements of the code; this leads to increased construction costs, un-necessary demolition and leads to processing delays. This in turn is increasing the cost of housing and other construction.

The fundamental building science now available is such that Vancouver and the province, as the leading centre in Canada, has the largest core of fire protection engineers and code consultants; however, the experience of building officials in these techniques varies significantly and reduces flexibility and increases resistance to new fire and life safety approaches and techniques. 

The resources of municipalities overall are often insufficient to meet the demand for their services. Many municipalities rely on the professionals to propose solutions and these are typically accepted and relied on for liability reasons. Some progress has been made as a result of the Certified Professional Programme but new programmes have not been created for some time. A provincial incentive programme would assist in setting this on a straighter course. The CP programme is effective for new projects but heritage and other complex renovations/refurbishment as well as industrial processes require special treatment.

Issues such as reliability of solutions or holistic approaches to complex renovations may not be well-understood at the municipal level and there is often insufficient support in terms of technical direction for staff to make effective decisions. This results is an intractable situation where there is often poor communication and resistance to any change.

This presentation by Jensen Jun'ichi Team Lead, Building Codes and Standards, Building and Safety Standards,  in Victoria will set out the strategic direction and goals of Building Standards to enable the Branch to re-establish its key leadership role province-wide- including support of the building regulations through education and training of all those involved in the regulatory process.


Date:  December 4, 2018
Time: Registration and Reception 5:30pm
Location: False Creek Yacht Club (1661 Granville Street)
Cost: Members - $35; Non-members $40. Please bring cash or a cheque payable to BC Society of Fire Protection Engineers to cover the cost of dinner.
Registration Deadline: November 2, 2018

Free parking is available in the Yacht Club parking lot.

Start date: 
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - 17:30

Signups closed for this Event