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BC Building Code (BCBC) 2024: Pioneering Sustainability and Safety with BC Codes

BC Building Code (BCBC) 2024: Pioneering Sustainability and Safety with BC Codes

The BC Building Code (BCBC) 2024 brings a new era of innovation and safety to the construction landscape. Based on the National Codes 2020, BCBC 2024 incorporates BC-specific variations to cater to the province’s unique geography, climate, industry practices, and priorities. Let’s delve into the key highlights of BC Codes 2024 and the impactful changes they bring:

About BC Codes 2024

BC Codes 2024, comprising Book I (General) and Book II (Plumbing Systems), are meticulously crafted to align with national standards while addressing British Columbia’s distinct needs. These codes are designed to promote sustainability, safety, and efficiency in building practices.

National Code Changes

The BCBC 2024 incorporates significant national code changes, including:

  • Enabling Mass Timber Construction: A ground-breaking step towards embracing sustainable and innovative building materials.
  • Radon Safety Requirements: Province-wide implementation of rough-ins for radon safety, ensuring healthier indoor environments.

BC-Specific Changes (Effective March 2024)

Building upon national standards, BCBC 2024 introduces BC-specific changes to elevate safety and efficiency:

  • Enhanced Radon Safety Measures: More detailed guidelines for constructing extended rough-ins for radon subfloor depressurization systems.
  • Cooling Requirements: Introducing cooling requirements to maintain one living space below 26 degrees Celsius, enhancing comfort and energy efficiency.
  • Ventilation Standards: Retaining existing ventilation requirements for systems in single dwelling units, ensuring optimal indoor air quality.

BC-Specific Changes (Effective March 2025)

Looking ahead, BCBC 2024 sets the stage for future improvements with additional BC-specific changes:

  • Adaptable Dwellings: Large condominiums and apartment buildings will require 100% adaptable dwellings, promoting inclusivity and accessibility.
  • Reinforcement for Grab Bars: Bathroom walls will be reinforced to facilitate future installation of grab bars, enhancing safety and accessibility.
  • Seismic Design Improvements: Early adoption of national provisions for earthquake-resistant design in housing and small buildings with high seismic hazard values, bolstering structural integrity and safety.

BCBC 2024: Embracing Mass Timber and Enhanced Building Types

Exciting developments are on the horizon with the BC Building Code (BCBC) 2024 Revision 1, effective April 10, 2024. This revision brings forth significant changes, enabling a broader range of buildings to embrace the versatility and sustainability of mass timber construction. Let’s explore what’s new:

Taller Encapsulated Mass-Timber Construction (EMTC) Buildings

BCBC 2024 now allows for taller encapsulated mass-timber construction (EMTC) buildings. Residential and office buildings can reach heights of up to 18 storeys, a notable increase from the previous 12-storey limit. This expansion opens doors for innovative and sustainable high-rise structures.

Expanded Building Types

In a move towards diversity and flexibility, BCBC 2024 introduces new building types eligible for mass timber construction. These include schools, libraries, retail spaces, light and medium-industrial occupancies, and care facilities. This expansion recognizes the reliability and adaptability of mass timber across various sectors.

More Exposed Mass Timber

With the revised code, buildings can now incorporate more exposed mass timber elements based on their height and use. Residential buildings, for instance, can showcase up to eight storeys of exposed mass timber. This not only enhances aesthetics but also promotes sustainable design practices.

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Technical Bulletins for BCBC 2024

Alongside these exciting changes, several technical bulletins have been released to provide guidance and clarity for Code users. These bulletins cover a range of topics related to the BCBC 2024:

  • B24-04 Windows, Doors, and Skylights: Offering insights into the requirements and considerations for these essential building elements.
  • B24-05 2024 Edition of the BC Codes: Providing an overview of the updated BC Codes for comprehensive understanding.
  • B24-06 Self-Service Storage Buildings: Addressing specific considerations and requirements for self-service storage structures.
  • B24-07 Relocated Buildings: Guidance on building code considerations when relocating buildings.
  • B24-01 2024 Edition of the BC Plumbing Code: Details on the updated BC Plumbing Code, ensuring compliance with the latest standards.

Conclusion: Building for a Better Tomorrow

As we look ahead to the implementation of BCBC 2024, these timing considerations and regulations highlight a thoughtful and inclusive approach to building standards. By balancing the needs of accessibility, housing supply, and industry readiness, BCBC 2024 aims to create a more sustainable, safe, and accessible built environment for all.

The BCBC 2024 Revision 1 marks a significant step towards embracing innovation and sustainability in building construction. With the inclusion of taller EMTC buildings, expanded building types, and more exposed mass timber, British Columbia continues to lead the way in green building practices.

For builders, designers, and stakeholders, this timeline offers a clear path for transitioning to the new code while ensuring that projects continue to meet high standards of quality and accessibility. Let’s embark on this journey together towards a better tomorrow.


To explore the full extent of these changes and access the technical bulletins, visit the BC Building Code website. Let’s build sustainably, together.