The BC Energy Step Code is now in place in a number of cities across British Columbia. Step Code is important and it means changes for new homes and major renovations being built now and in the future.
How will it affect you and your Custom Home Design?
What future government initiatives do you need to keep in mind?
Today, we are covering everything you need to know about the Step Code before getting a Custom Home Design!
What You Need To Know About The Step Code And Beyond
The Canadian government has put new regulations in place with regard to residential homes. By 2032, all new buildings below seven stories with have to be Net-Zero. Then, by 2050, all old buildings seven stories or less in height will have to be renovated to be Net-Zero.
The Step Code is a way to allow Designers, Builders, and Homeowners to work their way up to the new regulations. Each Step forces Designers and Builders to move closer and closer to creating Net-Zero buildings. Currently, for example, the City of North Vancouver is at Step 3, which means new homes must be built 20% more energy efficient than the requirements in the basic Building Code. Here is a link to where you can see a list of all of the Cities participating in the Step Code.
What The Step Code Means For Your Custom Home Design
If you are building in the North Shore and many of the other Cities in the Lower Mainland, then your home will likely have to meet the requirements for Step 3 or higher. That means your Custom Home Designer will have to use various options to make your home 20% more energy efficient. The easiest way to achieve this is to work with a Design firm, like Draft On Site, that has experience in green and/or efficient building techniques. This way, you ensure your Custom Home Designer has the expertise they need to make your home everything you want it to be – and everything required by the Step Code.
Given the coming need for your home to be Net-Zero, though, you may want to consider going beyond the current BC Energy Step Code requirements now. This will save you a great deal of time and money down the road as you will not have to do any renovations to meet the new regulations in 2050. If you are taking this route, look for a Custom Home Design firm with Passive House or envelope experience. You may want to check if the company has a dedicated Passive House designer, such as Tannaz at Draft On Site. This shows a dedication to green building practices.
Worried about the cost of making your home Net-Zero? Speak to your Custom Home Designer about grants that you may qualify for. Also remember that having a Net-Zero home will allow you to save money in the long term as your monthly heating and cooling bills will drop dramatically, which is money you can use for other bills.