The City of Cranbrook has adopted the BC Energy Step Code – a provincial regulation that local governments in British Columbia may use if they wish to incentivize or require a level of efficiency in new construction above the requirements of the BC Building Code. Step Code is now part of the City’s Building Bylaw 4029, 2021, as adopted by Council on February 8, 2021.
Step 1 for all new Part 9 residential buildings – January 1, 2021
Step 2 for all new Part 9 residential buildings – August 1, 2021
The Building A Legacy (BAL) Toolkit, inspired by the successful BC Energy Step Code (ESC) engagement initiative carried out in the East Kootenay region of BC, has been prepared for local governments to assist the implementation of the ESC. In this guidebook you will find a general introduction to ESC, related Provincial and local government context, and a collection of implementation activities for use by municipalities. Learn more at https://www.communityenergy.ca/bal/.
What is the BC Energy Step Code?
The performance approach establishes a desired outcome, and leaves it to the design and building team to decide how to achieve it.
To comply with the BC Energy Step Code, builders must do an energy model at the design phase and conduct on-site testing to demonstrate that both their design and the constructed building meet the requirements of the standard. They may use any materials or construction methods to do so.
The Performance Pathway of the BC Energy Step Code changes the building process in three main ways. New builds will now have to:
- Conduct energy modeling at the design phase
- Test air tightness at completion
- Quantify mechanical efficiency and heating needs
As shown below, the regulation sets performance targets for new construction and groups them into “steps” that apply across various building types and regions of the province. The Lower Steps are relatively straightforward to meet; the Upper Steps are more ambitious.
For governments, the BC Energy Step Code offers assurance that new buildings are performing as billed. Meanwhile, on the other side of the counter, builders have a more flexible option to comply with the energy-efficiency provisions of the provincial legislation. The new standard empowers builders to pursue innovative, creative, cost-effective solutions—and allows them to incorporate leading-edge technologies as they come available.
Resources & Information
BC Energy Step Code
Community Energy Association - East Kootenay Step Code
Finding an Energy Advisor
Better Homes BC provides an up-to-date list of qualified professionals who can help with your project. For more information visit them online: https://betterhomesbc.ca/.
City of Cranbrook Building Bylaw 4029, 2021
BC Housing Resources
Building Envelope Thermal Bridging Guide: https://www.bchousing.org/research-centre/library/residential-design-construction/building-envelope-thermal-bridging-guide
Technical Resources: https://www.bchousing.org/research-centre/library
Roof Assemblies Technical Booklet: https://docs.communityenergy.ca/wp-content/uploads/Booklet_CEA_Roof_Assemblies_Final_Version.pdf
Wall Assemblies Technical Booklet: https://docs.communityenergy.ca/wp-content/uploads/Booklet_CEA_Wall_Assemblies_Final_Version.pdf
* StepWin is a web-based tool with an intuitive interface for Step Code Evaluation.
* Shift helps building industry participants, investors, and policy makers to:
- understand the changing building codes by city.
- identify the changing component landscape.
- realize new opportunities.
Incentives For Builders In the East Kootenay
- CleanBC Better Homes New Construction Program (Part 9) – Up to $15K for eligible new homes
- CleanBC Commercial Express (Part 3) - https://betterbuildingsbc.ca/incentives/cleanbc-commercial-express-program/
targeted to operators of small and medium-sized businesses with interest in fuel switching
- CleanBC GoElectric (Part 9 and Part 3)
- CleanBC Better Buildings – Custom, Custom Lite, New Construction (Part 3)
rebates for home (single family and MURB) and workplace EV charging
https://www.fortisbc.com/rebates/home/new-home-construction?utm_campaign=newhome&utm_source=collateral&utm_content=newhomeew Home Program
- BC Hydro
*check with your energy advisor and building official for any additional local incentives.
For more information, please contact Rob Dunker, Building Inspector at 250-489-0229.