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Interview with VRBA in Canadian Contractor Magazine

Casey Edge, VRBA’s Executive Director was interviewed in Canadian Contractor magazine and had this to say about residential construction, BC Energy Step Code, housing affordability and other topics.   

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VRBA Opposes Saanich DCC and Building Bylaws Raising Costs

On May 27, Saanich Council will consider and likely pass several items adding significant costs to housing.  VRBA has sent the following letter to council opposing the new costly bylaws: May 24, 2019 Mayor Fred Haynes and Council District of Saanich 770 Vernon Ave, Victoria, BC V8X 2W7   Dear Mayor and Council Re: Development Cost […]

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Report Reveals Unintended Consequences in BC Step Code: Higher Costs In Some Municipalties

At a National Building Code meeting last week, a presentation by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) revealed the BC Step Code metrics and targets result in higher costs to build in some municipalities over others despite having similar climates. This has been covered in Canadian Contractor Magazine.  The NRCan report says “Near the boundaries of climate […]

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Letters to Saanich Council re: Step Code Challenges

The municipalities of Saanich, Oak Bay, Victoria, Central Saanich and North Saanich are adopting the ill-advised Step Code bylaw increasing the energy efficiency of new homes before the National Building Code undertakes its diligence and public review anticipated in Fall 2019. Langford, the most efficient municipality offering the largest number of energy efficient homes will […]

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No Public Review For Seismic Changes to Building Code

VRBA recently inquired about significant changes to seismic reinforcement for Part 9 housing (single family, duplexes, etc) and discovered the changes were not included in the public review for the National Building Code, nor were they included in the recent public review for the BC Building Code. These changes come into effect December 10, 2018 […]

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Radon and Step Code – A Perfect Storm

It is important to be aware of new developments in potential radon gas exposure as some municipalities consider adopting the Step Code and tightening homes through their bylaws. Very energy efficient homes tend to draw in more radon gas. According to Health Canada, radon gas is responsible for 16 per cent of lung cancers in […]

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BC Govt Launches Housing/Energy Efficiency Consultation

The BC govt has launched a consultation on increasing the energy efficiency of buildings until August 24. The link is at https://engage.gov.bc.ca/cleangrowthfuture/ VRBA has strongly advocated for some of the initiatives such as financial incentives for retrofits and additional training. Clearly VRBA’s voice has had an impact by outlining the flaws of the Energy Step […]

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Politics, Social Policy Overshadow Safety, Affordability in Code

Building Code regulations are changing from a focus on safety & affordability to politics and social policy, boosting the cost of new housing. Design of stairs is again being reviewed, but not with the goal of reasonable safety. Govt is claiming that even a small number of injuries must be prevented due to the health […]

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BC Circumvents National Code Diligence

The Hon. Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources for Canada replied in a letter to VRBA’s concerns regarding BC fast-tracking housing energy efficiency via the Step Code. Carr says, “As part of a plan to make buildings more efficient, Natural Resources Canada and the National Research Council will support the work of the Canadian Commission […]

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Fast-Tracking Energy Efficiency Raises Costs, Risks

Central Saanich, Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria councils are fast-tracking energy efficiency in new homes via the BC govt’s Step Code without fully appreciating the costs and risks to residents. On the other hand, Langford is wisely disregarding the Step Code and is waiting for the National Building Code Committee’s proper diligence on more energy […]

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