Energy Efficient Buildings
Step Code is a performance-based compliance path in the BC Building Code that sets out energy and airtightness performance targets for new buildings. Designers or builders decide how to meet these required targets.
On February 16, 2019 the City of Rossland adopted the BC Energy Step Code program. The City adopted a phased approach to incentivize and encourage energy efficient building construction in Rossland.
The Step Code provides an incremental approach to make new buildings more energy efficient now and net zero energy ready by 2032. A net zero energy ready building is designed and built to achieve net zero energy performance by adding renewable energy technologies.
In Rossland, the first phase began with the requirement for all new Part 9 (standard) and Part 3 (complex) buildings to achieve Step 1 of the Step Code for any building permits issued as of February 3, 2020. Following this, Part 9 buildings had to meet Step 2 for any permit issued after January 15, 2021 and Step 3 for any permit issued after January 15, 2022.
The BC Building Code requirements as of May 1, 2023:
– Step 3 for standard buildings (20% increase in energy efficiency)
– Step 2 for complex buildings
What are the potential future requirements?
The Province has committed to taking these incremental steps to increase energy efficiency requirements in the
BC Building Code for new buildings:
• Step 4 – 40% better, by 2027
• Step 5 – Net zero energy ready by 2032
In addition, local governments have the option to opt-in to the new Building Carbon Pollution Standard for new buildings. It is proposed this province-wide carbon emissions requirement will take effect in 2024, with zero carbon new buildings in 2030.
Builders, developers, and designers are encouraged to consider these potential future requirements when planning new buildings.