Building Regulation

The Province is responsible to regulate buildings and construction.  It gives local government the ability to administer and enforce provincial building requirements, including the BC Building Code.

The Town has enacted its own 1119 Building and Plumbing Bylaw to regulate construction and provide for the administration of building regulations.

To learn more about BC’s building regulatory system, the Province has produced this useful Guide.  The Guide is for anyone who would like a simple explanation of how buildings get built, including why building construction is regulated, what is the BC Building Code, and what do Building Officials Do.

2012 BC Building Code

The BC Building Code is based on the National Building Code, which is developed by the National Research Council of Canada. The BC Building Code is 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.

The BC Building Code is available for reference free of charge at public libraries. For a fee, it is available in print and online at www.bccodes.ca.  The Ladysmith branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library is located at 740 1st Avenue.

Secondary Suite Information

A Secondary suite is an additional Dwelling Unit within a Single Family Dwelling that has the following characteristics:

  • Maximum gross floor area of 90 sq m. or
  • 40 percent of the habitable floor space of the entire building
  • Only one secondary suite allowed per property.
  • Located on a property that is a single real estate entity. A secondary suite cannot be separately strata titled.

If a suite satisfies these characteristics, its construction is regulated by the secondary suites provisions found in Section 9.36 of the BC Building Code. Please see the following link to a Provincial BC Secondary Suites Information Bulletin.

Illustrated Guide for Seismic Design of Houses

The Province has developed the Illustrated Guide for Seismic Design of Houses to assist house designers and builders in understanding and complying with the new BC Building Code requirements applicable to Part 9 houses in high seismic regions in British Columbia.

Home Warranty Insurance for New Homes

The Province has implemented a requirement for home warranty insurance to protect new homes in British Columbia against construction defects such as materials and labour, building envelope and structural defects. It is Canada’s strongest construction defect insurance.

To learn more about new home warranty insurance, the Province has produced this useful Guide to provide prospective new home buyers and owners of new homes with information on home warranty insurance in British Columbia. 

B.C’s Homeowner Protection Act and its Regulations (Act) require that all new homes constructed under building permits must be covered by home warranty insurance unless they are specifically excluded by the Act or its regulations.

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