The BC Step Code

What is it? The BC Energy Step Code is a voluntary provincial standard enacted in April 2017 that provides an incremental and consistent approach to achieving more energy-efficient buildings that go beyond the requirements of the base BC Building Code. It does so by establishing a series of measurable, performance-based energy-efficiency requirements for construction that builders can choose to build to, and communities may voluntarily choose to adopt in bylaws and policies.

Why do we have it? In addition to supporting long-term improvements in energy efficiency in the BC Building Code, the BC Energy Step Code will improve the consistency of building regulations in the Province. The Energy Step Code is a single provincial standard that replaces the patchwork of different green building standards that have been required or encouraged by local governments in the past. This will allow local governments to continue to play a leadership role in improving energy efficiency, while providing a single standard for industry and build capacity over time.

How does it work? The BC Energy Step Code takes a new, performance-based approach rather than the traditional prescriptive approach. The BC Energy Step Code does not specify how to construct a building, but identifies an energy-efficiency target that must be met and lets the designer/builder decide how to meet it.

To comply with the BC Energy Step Code, builders must use energy modelling software and on-site testing to demonstrate that both their design and the constructed building meet the requirements of the BC Energy Step Code. The new standard empowers builders to pursue innovative, creative, cost-effective solutions, and allows them to incorporate leading-edge technologies as they come available.

Step 3
20% Beyond Code

2.5 ACH50

20% better than ERS v15.ref house OR MEUI – 45 kWh/m2/year

Step 2
10% Beyond Code

3.0 ACH 50

10% better than ERS v15 ref. house OR MEUI – 50 kWh/m2/year/

Step 1
Enhanced Compliance

Energy modelling is required 3.5 ACH 50

BCBC using 9.36.5 OR ERS v15 ref. house

(MEUI of 80kWH/m2/year is likely, not required)

Performance Compliance