Cities in British Columbia have an array of laws governing local building regulations, sometimes leading to confusion and inconsistency. The Province is now taking action to unify green building standards with the implementation of the new BC Energy Step Code, which will take the province to a higher level of energy efficiency.
The BC Energy Step Code became active in 2017, but only through voluntary participation. By 2032, the goal is for all new buildings to be in compliance with the zero energy ready standards.
With 14 years to go, there is a major push to educate construction practitioners about the BC Energy Step Code. The zero energy ready approach is to essentially follow an envelope-first tactic to reduce total energy requirements for regulating internal temperatures. This is done by creating an air-tight seal and high r-values in the exterior walls, making sure there are no thermal bridges, and installing high-quality windows and a mechanical ventilation system that also recovers heat losses.
BCIT is leading the way for education on the Energy Step Code across the province. In the last three months alone, the BCIT Zero Energy Building (ZEB) team presented on the new Energy Step Code to 100 builders in New Westminster, twice in Abbotsford at major residential construction conferences, and at the Greater Vancouver Home Builder’s Association (GVHBA) breakfast. The team also hosted a “train-the-trainer” session in our High-Performance Building Lab (BCIT Burnaby Campus) where the top 60 construction practitioners in BC (invited by BC Housing) met to become Provincial Trainers for the BC Energy Step Code. On top of all that, more than 60 students registered for our five-day trades training for Passive House certification. And the phone keeps ringing!
Alex Hebert is the Zero Energy/Emissions Building Manager and has been a leader at BCIT for almost 10 years. Pictured above during a sustainability tour with the Honourable Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, Alex has been very enthusiastic about the Institute’s success.
“Why are we so successful? Because BCIT School of Construction and the Environment is well-known for its hands-on, science-based green construction experiential and interactive learning,” says Alex. “BCIT is a leading expert in High-Performance Buildings education and, as an institute, we are committed to providing training on the BC Energy Step Code Standards.”
“BCIT is a leading expert in High-Performance Buildings education and, as an institute, we are committed to providing training on the BC Energy Step Code Standards.” – Alex Hebert, Zero Energy/Emissions Building Manager
Workshops, presentations, and short courses are hosted in the High-Performance Building Lab. They are available for those seeking training or general knowledge on the Step Code Standards.