Here are a few of the BC govt half-truths and myths about the Step Code:
Step Code Myth: “2,600 square foot home to meet Passive House standards (Step 5) would cost about $20,000”
Truth: Most builders report the cost is at least $55,000 to more than $100,000 in today’s market. Add this amount to a mortgage and the consumer pays much more.
Step Code half-truth: “Step Code is voluntary provincial standard“
Truth: Voluntary for municipalities to impose, not voluntary for consumers paying for the homes
Step Code half-truth: “replaces patchwork of green building standards required”
Truth: For development applications & rezonings, not standard building permits. The municipality cannot force you to build a passive home. In circumstances where municipalities are going beyond their authority, the province could assert its authority but chooses not to. This is due to provincial policy of municipal self-determination, an anomaly in Canada and a failed governance model demonstrated by poor regional planning and “patchwork of green building standards.
Step Code myth: “cost-effective solutions, leading technologies”
Truth: Step Code is more expensive, plus the past minister signed off the Step Code before a cost/benefit study – key before passing a new code standard. As for leading technologies, what about past leaky condo, asbestos, urea formaldehyde? Proven practice supports consumer protection.
Step Code myth: “providing single standard for industry build capacity”
Truth: Actually creates 5 standards in BC unproven in large numbers. The standards may even change from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. The province could enforce a provincial standard now but chooses not to. Will not prevent municipalities demanding more amenities in development applications.
For more truth about the Step Code visit https://www.vrba.ca/bc-step-code-requires-diligence/
For media coverage of the Step Code visit https://www.vrba.ca/media-examine-bc-step-code-costs-housing/
Most of the media coverage is the result of our concerns. The govt never issued a news release to inform the public of the most significant and expensive building code change in decades.