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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 and have a significant impact on construction and therefore the cost of housing.

When new regulations are proposed, it is important that builders review the changes and provide feedback in areas such as costs, health and safety, proven practice, and affordability.

This is why public reviews are critical for a responsible Building Code.

BC builders on the West Coast are the most impacted by the changes, yet the BC govt did not apprise us of the changes and solicit our input.

As a result, VRBA has asked Selina Robinson, BC’s Minister of Housing for a postponement of the changes and a public review in the interests of transparency, affordability and integrity of the code development process.

Presently, another review and possible increase to seismic regulations is underway and who knows if we will see those before they are imposed? Another question arises – why do bureaucrats struggle so much with getting seismic right?

Add the present National Code review saying there is “confusion within industry” about the purpose of air barriers and vapour barriers. In the meantime the BC govt has already launched extreme energy efficient construction via their Step Code. Municipalities like Oak Bay, Victoria, Central Saanich, with little or no knowledge of these issues have already adopted Step Code. Saanich and others are considering this ill-advised program despite concerns expressed by VRBA.

For more info on the Step Code read http://www.vrba.ca/fast-tracking-energy-efficiency-raises-costs-risks/  

You have to seriously question who is in charge and where is the accountability?

It’s time for a transparent code process that includes, and listens to, those in the business of building homes.

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