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Planning & Development

Building Permits & Inspections

BC Building Code Updated

The ACRD will begin following the recent updates to the BC Building Code, which come into effect on March 8, 2024 and will apply to building permits applied for on or after that date. The Province adopted the British Columbia Building and Fire Codes (BC Codes 2024) to provide people with a greater level of building safety and to make new buildings more sustainable, resilient and accessible. Their announcement can be found HERE.

To download a free copy of the BC Codes 2024, please visit the Building and Safety Standards website.

Buildings with permits in place under the BC Codes 2018 will generally not be affected by the adoption of the new BC Codes.

The effective date for the new adaptable dwellings and earthquake design changes will be deferred to March 10, 2025 to allow additional engagement and sufficient training to support innovative and cost-effective design solutions. This delay represents a measured approach that aims to balance accessibility and housing supply priorities while minimizing impacts to industry. The delay also considers human rights, equity for all people, accessibility engagement feedback, and product availability and affordability.

The BC Codes are substantially based on the National Model Codes. The 2020 National Model Codes adopted more than 400 technical changes to improve the level of safety, health, accessibility, fire and structural protection, and energy efficiency provided by the Code. BC Codes 2024 harmonized with the 2020 National Model Codes to enable mass timber construction and require rough-ins for radon safety province-wide, as well as other topics to make new buildings more accessible and healthy.

Although the 2024 BC Building Code includes most of the 2020 National Building Code requirements, some BC-specific Code changes include:

  • Requiring 100% adaptable dwellings in large condominium and apartment buildings and some first-floor dwelling units in new small apartments and condominiums with shared entrances and common corridors to be adaptable (effective March 2025)
  • Reinforcement of bathroom walls to allow future installation of grab bars (effective March 2025)
  • Early adopting national provisions to improve earthquake design changes for housing and small buildings with high seismic hazard values (effective March 2025)
  • More complete and specific language for constructing extended rough-ins for radon subfloor depressurization systems (March 2024)
  • Adopting cooling requirements to provide one living space that does not exceed 26 degrees (March 2024)
  • Retaining existing ventilation requirements for systems serving single dwelling units.

New National Code content for large farm buildings and farm building equipment as well as un-sprinklered home-type care occupancies have not been adopted. The Province will be conducting further analysis on these matters. The National Farm Building Code of Canada 1995 continues to apply to farm buildings.

If you have any questions, please email Building.Safety@gov.bc.ca

Updated Building Bylaw Regulation
On May 26, 2021, the ACRD Board of Directors adopted Building Bylaw PS1013. Visit the Bylaws Page to find additional ACRD Bylaws.

Summary of updated Building Bylaw changes:

  • New $100 application fee (due when building permit application is submitted)
  • Minimum building permit fee increased from $50 to $100
  • Building permit fee doubled when construction is started without a building permit
  • New expiration time (6 months) to submit a complete building permit application, and 60 days to pay and pick up an approved building permit
  • Exemption for farm buildings under 500 square metres on properties with active farm status
  • Updated fee schedule (including calculating fee based on new definition)

When is a Building Permit Required?

A Building Permit is required when you:

  • Construct any new building or structure
  • Construct a new accessory building
  • Make alterations, additions or repairs to an existing building or structure
  • Complete a previously unfinished area in an existing building, (e.g., a recreation room or bathroom)
  • Make interior structural renovations
  • Demolish or relocate a building or structure
  • Locate or relocate a manufactured or mobile home on a lot
  • Remodel or construct a deck
  • Construct a swimming pool
  • Install or alter plumbing within a building or structure or on a property
  • Install a new chimney or fireplace
  • Enclose your carport
  • Change the use/occupancy of an existing building, (i.e., from office to retail)

This is not a comprehensive list. If you are unsure whether your project will require a permit visit the Contacts Page for emails or call 250-720-2700.

Note: You may not start any stage of a project, including demolition or excavation, until a building permit has been obtained.

A Building Permit is not required for:

  • Installing cupboards
  • Roofing repairs or replacements (providing that no structural changes are made)
  • Exterior finish repair or replacement (e.g., stucco or siding, providing that no structural changes are made)
  • Landscaping or sidewalks
  • Buildings (e.g., a storage shed) less than 10 square metres in size (note: even though a permit is not required, the structure must still comply with zoning regulations with respect to setbacks and height)

Note: A detached accessory building less than 10 square metres and built on properties containing a single family dwelling is exempt from requiring a building permit, but must still meet setback requirements specified in the Zoning Bylaw.

Downloadable Forms
Building Permit Fees
The charge for building permits is based on the value of the construction authorized by the permit. For example, if the building cost is $100,000.00 the fee would be approximately $624.00.

Building Permit Application Requirements

The following information is required upon application for a building permit. If all items listed below are not attached, the permit application will not be accepted.

BUILDING PERMIT REQUIREMENTS INCLUDE:

  • 1 completed Building Permit Application
  • 2 sets of plans that include foundation layout and details, floor plans and point loads, roof plan and point loads, cross section, north/south/east/west elevation drawings
  • 1 site plan showing location of existing and proposed structures on property. Note: any structure within 20 feet of a given setback will require a registered BC Land Survey
  • 1 recent certificate of title (can be obtained at a Land Titles registry agent)
  • Proof of Island Health Filing of Sewerage System Form
  • 1 homeowner protection form approved by the homeowner protection office. Forms can be obtained from the Homeowner Protection Office 1-800-407-7757

Building Permit Agency Contact List

Resources

Contact Us

Visit the Contacts Page for electronic document submissions, application or permit inquiries or other external agency contact information.