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BC Energy Step Code for New Buildings

construction workers framing a house

The City of Surrey has adopted the BC Energy Step Code. It will come into effect April 2019. The BC Energy Step Code is a set of steps for improving energy performance levels. It measures the efficiency of different parts of the building, such as its airtightness, windows and walls, roofing and mechanical equipment. The BC Energy Step Code will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the energy performance and comfort of new buildings in Surrey.

Changes to the Building Process

Starting April 1, 2019, the Step Code will apply to new, BC Building Code Part 3 and Part 9 commercial and residential buildings in Surrey, changing the City's inspection, permitting and review processes and requirements for new construction.

For specific information on changes to the permitting, review and inspections processes, review Building Division bulletins on the Residential Building Permits page (for single- and two-family Part 9 buildings) and the Commercial Building Permits page (for all other buildings). To stay up to date with these and other Step Code building changes in Surrey, subscribe to Step Code alerts using the form below.

 The following chart summarizes how and when Surrey plans to implement the Step Code:

  Building Permit Application Filed On Estimated Timetable for Future Adoption
April 1, 2019 January 1, 2021 2023 / 2024 2025 / 2026*
Single Family Home Step 1 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5
Townhouses and Small Apartments Step 1 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5
Large Wood Frame Residential Apartments Step 3 (or Step 2 if connected to Surrey City Energy or satisfies low-carbon energy requirements) Step 4 (or Step 3 if satisfies low-carbon energy requirements, or Step 2 if connected to Surrey City Energy)
Large Concrete Residential Apartments Step 3 (or Step 2 if connected to Surrey City Energy or satisfies low-carbon energy requirements) Step 4 (or Step 3 if satisfies low-carbon energy requirements, or Step 2 if connected to Surrey City Energy)
Commercial Office and Mercantile Step 2 Step 3

Visit the BC Energy Step Code website for more information on each of the Step requirements.

Energy Advisors

When Step Code is implemented in Surrey, builders will be required to hire a certified energy advisor to meet Step 1 minimum requirements. Learn more about Energy Advisors.

Airtightness Testing

Airtightness testing at the building completion stage is another new core requirement of the Step Code in Surrey. To meet Step 1 requirements, the Province requires that Part 3 and Part 9 builders conduct a final airtightness test to receive an occupancy permit. Buildings do not need to achieve provincial performance requirements until Step 2 or higher.

Your certified energy advisor will help with these tests and suggest ways you can improve your building’s energy performance.

Incentives for Builders

The City of Surrey is developing a program to provide free mid-construction airtightness tests for certain Part 9 buildings. A mid-construction airtightness test is an effective way to expose building teams on simple steps to inexpensively improve airtightness before building completion.

More details will be provided on the Incentives page once available.

Training Opportunities

BC Energy Step Code training opportunities are listed on the BC Step Code Events Calendar.

Part 9 builders and tradespeople are also encouraged to attend a hands-on airtightness workshop and demonstration course.

Background

Surrey has been engaging with industry stakeholders and other local governments since November 2017, researching the costs, benefits and other implications of Step Code in Surrey. The BC Energy Step Code will help us achieve our long-term target of an 80% reduction in GHG emissions per capita by 2050 from 2007 levels.

For details, see the Corporate Report on Step Code Adoption presented to Council in July 2018.

Sign up for the BC Step Code Newsletter for Stakeholders for updates.

Key Resources

Contact

For more information, contact stepcode@surrey.ca.