Energy Step Code & Building Bylaw
The BC Energy Step Code aims to reduce the amount of energy required for all new buildings being constructed. The regulation sets performance targets for new construction and groups them into "steps" that apply across various building types. The lower steps are relatively straightforward to meet; the upper steps are more ambitious. Through this program, local governments can choose to mandate that new buildings in their jurisdiction meet specific levels of the Energy Step Code. The District of Summerland aims to facilitate an engagement process with our local community to see how we can implement this in a updated and amended Building Bylaw for the District.
STEPtember: Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is partnering with the District of Summerland to host STEPtember. This program is a series of webinar workshops geared towards those working in building, trades, architecture or home design to learn more about the new BC Building Code requirements (BC Energy Step Code).
Please see further details on the dates, times, and topics of webinars to be hosted by the RDOS in the picture below. The District encourages all our builders to attend to learn more about how the Step Code may impact construction methods.
Registration details for these webinars can be found on the RDOS's website here.
District of Summerland - Implementation Process
The District of Summerland aims to remain compliant with applicable Provincial legislation, while still meeting operational and community needs and concerns. Our public engagement process for a new Building Bylaw will take place from August, 2021 until early 2022. Public review of the subsequent drafted bylaw will also take place, with an opportunity for input and comments. Some topics that can be anticipated for discussion include Energy Step Code implementation, possible building exemptions from the anticipated bylaw, the number of inspections required, reliance on professionals, development in floodplain areas, and treatment of older Downtown buildings.
Here are some definitions of common terms associated with BC Energy Step Code, for clarity and ease of understanding.
Part 3 Buildings:
Part 3 Buildings are classified as Group A, B, or F-1; or exceeding 600m2 in building area, or exceeding three storeys in building height and have major occupancies: Group C (multi-family residential), Group D (office/service), Group E (retail), or Group F-2, F-3 (medium and high-hazard industrial).
Part 9 Buildings:
Part 9 Buildings are 3 storeys or less, have a building area less than 600m2, and have major occupancies classified as Group C (residential), D (office/service), E (retail), or F-2, F-3 (medium and low-hazard industrial).
Net-Zero or "Passive":
A net-zero energy ready building is one that has been designed and built to a level of performance such that it could, with the addition of solar panels or other renewable energy technologies, achieve net-zero energy performance.
To see this work in action, check out the Township of Langley's video on their energy efficient demonstration home below!
There are lots of rebates and incentives available to builders and homeowners to encourage the adoption of the BC Energy Step Code. Below are two links to rebate search tools from the provincial CleanBC program for both residential and commercial builds.
Residential Rebate Search
Commercial Rebate Search