The Codes

Three codes guide building construction and renovation in B.C.

BC Building Code: Provincial regulation that governs how new construction, building alterations, repairs and demolitions are completed. This code establishes minimum requirements for safety, health, accessibility, fire and structural protection of buildings and energy and water efficiency. It applies throughout the province except for some federal lands and the City of Vancouver.

BC Plumbing Code: A part of the BC Building Code that provides minimum requirements for plumbing installations in buildings to protect health and prevent water or sewer damage.

BC Fire Code: Provincial regulation that generally applies to the ongoing use of existing buildings and facilities. It sets minimum requirements for health, safety and fire protection of buildings and facilities. Contact the Office of the Fire Commissioner for information about application of the BC Fire Code.

Each code is organized using the following structure:

  • Division A: Main objectives and functional statements for technical requirements – to help explain why a requirement must be met and how to evaluate alternative solutions
  • Division B: Code provisions or acceptable solutions along with objectives and functional statements to clearly explain the purpose of each provision
  • Division C: Administrative requirements

Get a Copy

Copies of the codes may be available for reference at B.C. public libraries. Copies can also be purchased in print and online subscription formats from the Queen's Printer:

For more information about products and pricing:

Compliance with the Codes

Existing buildings: Generally speaking, buildings should conform to the version of the BC Building Code in force when they were constructed. Existing buildings are not automatically required to be upgraded when codes change.

The current building code does apply if an existing building:

  • Is altered or renovated
  • Has a change to its use or occupancy
  • Has components replaced

Temporary buildings: These buildings may not need to meet building code requirements. Contact your local government for temporary building requirements (external link).

How the Codes are Developed

B.C. participates in the national code development system. Codes in our province are based on the National Codes of Canada (external link) with some modifications specific to B.C. Proceeds from the sale of codes are used to fund further development of the national codes.

The content on this page is periodically updated by the Province of British Columbia per the date noted on the page: January 23, 2018.