SLRD amends Building Bylaw to align with new BC Building Code

May 09, 2023
All Areas

Revised Bylaw provides flexibility for builders in meeting energy-efficiency requirements

Pemberton, BC – The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) has amended its Building Bylaw to align with revisions to the provincial Building Code and provide options to meet energy efficiency compliance requirements.

Effective May 1, 2023, the Province has amended the Building Act and BC Building Code requiring buildings identified in Part 9 of the Code (small dwellings and apartments) to meet Step 3 of BC’s Energy Step Code. With these new energy efficiency standards, most new construction will be required to be 20 per cent more energy efficient than an equivalent building constructed to the 2018 Building Code.

Each step of the BC Energy Step Code establishes targets related to the efficiency of the building. It is a performance-based system that requires these buildings to be modelled prior to construction to ensure they meet the energy efficiency standards. The design and testing work must be performed by a qualified and registered Community Energy Advisor or qualified energy modeler. Under the performance-based system, a local government cannot issue a building permit unless the building passes the step code requirements.

The requirement to retain energy advisors or modelers is a challenge for rural and remote communities, where there is limited access to these resources. To accommodate this, the Province has provided a prescriptive option which allows builders to avoid the energy modelling process, while meeting the measures for energy efficiency.

The prescriptive option is not available unless a local government passes a bylaw enabling this alternative. The SLRD adopted its amended Building Bylaw, to allow for the prescriptive option, at its April, 2023 Board meeting.

While the performance approach remains the default option, the amended SLRD Building Bylaw provides a path forward for builders to use the prescriptive alternative to meet Step 3 of the of the BC Energy Step Code, and for the SLRD to issue building permits based on the prescriptive requirements.

The SLRD Building department is responsible for regulating the construction, alteration, repair or demolition of buildings and structures within Electoral Areas A, B, C and D. The Building department is also responsible for ensuring conformance with BC Building Code requirements, development bylaws and other regulations.

Residents with questions about the BC Building Code, or the SLRD Building Bylaw, can contact the Building Official at:

Additional information is also available on the SLRD website:

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About the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District

Located in southwestern BC, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) is a local government federation consisting of four member municipalities (the District of Lillooet, the District of Squamish, the Village of Pemberton and the Resort Municipality of Whistler) and four unincorporated, rural electoral areas (A, B, C, and D). Headquartered in Pemberton, which is the approximate geographic centre of the region, the SLRD delivers a wide range of local, regional and sub-regional services to approximately 50,496 residents (2021 Census as certified by the Minister of Municipal Affairs).

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District is found within the traditional territories of several First Nations, including the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), St'át'imc and Lil'wat. Small parts of the SLRD also overlap with the traditional territories of the Stó:lō, Tsleil-Waututh, Nlaka'pamux, Tsilhqot'in, and Secwepemc Nations. While the SLRD does not provide direct services to the residents of the First Nations communities located within the region, the organization is committed to enhancing relations with the Indigenous communities and First Nations within whose territories the SLRD operates.

Media Contact: 

Vanessa Murphy
Communications Coordinator
Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
Phone: 604.894.6371 x260

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