Step Code

Notice for Applicants:
On May 1, 2023, the RDCK as per the updated BC Building Code will require every new building to deliver a level of energy-efficiency performance equivalent to 20% more energy efficient over a 2018 baseline building. With this increase in Energy Step Code requirements, small residential homes (Part 9) will be required to meet Step 3, with more complex buildings (Part 3) required to meet Step 2. 

This change will not affect existing in-progress building permits; however, applications received after May 1,  2023 will need to show that the design of the building meets the new mandatory Step Code requirements. Please see the Step Code page for more details.

What is Step Code?
The BC Energy Step Code is a compliance path within the BC Building Code that addresses energy efficiency in new construction. The Step Code sets targets for building energy usage and airtightness. The building owner works with their designer and an energy advisor to optimize building mechanical, electrical and building envelope components in order to meet or exceed these targets.

For new home construction, the energy steps are as a follows:

BC has also developed a Zero Carbon Step Code. This is currently voluntary, however it is expected that the first step will become mandatory in 2024.

For more information on how the Energy Step Code works, please visit the Energy Step Code website.

Energy Step Code Case Studies
The RDCK in partnership with the RDKB has published 5 case studies highlighting high performance buildings that have achieved higher levels of the Energy Step Code.

Case Study #1: Cost effective, high performance traditionally framed single family home
Case Study #2: Comfortable, cost effective traditionally framed singe family dwelling
Case Study #4: A compact, comfortable laneway home
Case Study #5: A high performance single family spec home
Case Study #6: A modular single family home

Thank you to FortisBC for funding this initiative.

Energy Step Code and Building Permit Process Resources

To see how the Energy Step Code is integrated into the RDCK building inspection process:

Energy Step Code resources:

Information on Energy StepCode compliance tools:

Webinars and in person workshops / courses are available to help contractors and homeowners learn more about Step Code and related topics. 
For more information, please visit RDCK Training & Events.

The content on this page was last updated May 30 2024 at 2:06 AM