Find a range of publications here to help you understand and apply the BC Energy Step Code:

    1. Guides and Handbooks
    2. Bulletins
    3. Reports
    4. Brand Handbook

1. Guides and Handbooks

Listed alphabetically by title.

A Best Practices Guide for Local GovernmentsImage of the cover of the BC Energy Step Code Best Practices Guide for Local Governments

The Best Practices Guide is a resource for all local governments in British Columbia interested in referencing the BC Energy Step Code in policies, programs, or bylaws. The guide delves into the nuts and bolts of the standard, and offers context and clear information on the characteristics of each step. It highlights anticipated costs and benefits and offers guidance on suggested timelines and effective engagement for developing a community-specific strategy for implementing the BC Energy Step Code.

Builder Guide

This guide provides information on the key strategies and approaches that builders can use to meet the BC Energy Step Code for houses and low-rise (Part 3 and Part 9) wood-frame residential buildings up to six storeys. It’s a companion work to the BC Energy Step Code Design Guide.

Building Envelope Thermal Bridging Guide

This guide aims to help the B.C. construction sector realize more energy-efficient buildings by looking at current obstacles and showing opportunities to improve building envelope thermal performance. Version 1.2 expands the thermal performance catalogue with additional data for many newly analyzed assemblies and details. This includes more cladding attachment systems, window interfaces, precast concrete interfaces, wood-frame and brick veneer walls, and other thermal mitigation systems.

Design Guide

Image of the cover of the BC Energy Step Code Design Guide

The guide will help local governments and industry understand the benefits and impacts of key design strategies necessary to achieve each step of the standard, including both mechanical and envelope strategies. It also offers a graphic explanation of more detailed implementation tactics related to heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) solutions and strategies.

Design Guide Supplement on Overheating and Air Quality

The Design Guide Supplement on Overheating and Air Quality provides information on the key strategies and approaches necessary to reduce the impacts of a warmer climate on mid- and high-rise (Part 3) wood-frame and noncombustible residential buildings within British Columbia.

Guide to Low Thermal Energy Demand for Large Buildings

This guide aims to broaden the common understanding of how large buildings can meet higher levels of performance as required by Passive House, BC Energy Step Code, City of Vancouver Zero Emission Building Plan and City of Toronto Zero Emissions Building Framework. This guide has a focus on current Canadian code requirements, construction practice and tested systems.

Handbook for Building Officials —  Part 9 Residential Buildings

The BC Energy Step Code Handbook for Building Officials – Part 9 Residential Buildings – is a clear and concise handbook of key information gathered and  assembled into one readily available resource. It provides an overview of the BC Energy Step Code, explains new processes and roles, and describes the key elements of high-performance buildings. BOABC and partners developed the handbook specifically for building officials.

Illustrated Guide — Achieving Airtight BuildingsImage of the cover of the Illustrated Guide - Achieving Airtight Buildings

This guide is an industry resource to design, build and test airtight buildings. It also consolidates information on achieving airtightness in buildings, with a focus on larger or more complex building types while ensuring building enclosure performance, including moisture management, thermal performance and durability. Published by BC Housing, BC Hydro and the City of Vancouver.

Whole Building Energy Modelling Services (Professional Practice Guidelines)

These Guidelines provide guidance on the provision of services pertaining to building energy performance modelling and analysis, including, but not limited to, the responsibilities of members of a design team providing Building Energy Modelling services. They also address considerations that apply when hiring or evaluating the qualifications and/or work of a Qualified Modeller.

2. Bulletins

Bulletin 1 — Home Energy Labelling

Learn how local governments adopting the BC Energy Step Code for Part 9 buildings can, at no additional cost to the builder, provide home buyers with a home energy label that provides information about the energy performance of the home.

Other Technical Bulletins

Visit the Building and Safety Standards Branch’s Technical Bulletins web page for technical bulletins about the BC Energy Step Code.

3. Reports

Lessons from the BC Energy Step Code

Learn how British Columbia became the first North American jurisdiction to create a regulated pathway to net-zero energy-ready buildings. It is intended for any jurisdiction that may be considering a performance-based stepped energy code, or any jurisdiction interested in a market-transformation model that is grounded in shared leadership.

Local Government BC Energy Step Code Readiness Survey

These BC Housing reports present information collected through annual local government surveys. The purpose is to help determine the current level of knowledge of the BC Energy Step Code that exists in communities across B.C. as well as their capacity and interest in adopting a level of the BC Energy Step Code in the near future.

Metrics Research Report

The Metrics Research Report is a comprehensive exploration of the energy, emissions and economic impacts of the BC Energy Step Code. It was commissioned by BC Housing in partnership with BC Hydro, the BC Building and Safety Standards Branch, the City of Vancouver, and Natural Resources Canada. It was originally published in 2017 and updated in 2018.

2018 Edition

2017 Editions

Other Reports

Capacity and Market Scans

Costing Studies Analysis

  • Prepared by Morrison Hershfield | 2019
  • This report examines 10 main studies of the construction cost implications of the BC Energy Step Code, to better understand how the studies determine the cost of building to the BC Energy Step Code, rather than the base BC Building Code. It also makes recommendations for undertaking future research so that results are more easily compared across different studies.
  • Read the costing studies report (PDF, 1.4MB)

Development for Public Sector Buildings

Implications of the BC Energy Step Code on GHG Emissions

  • Prepared by Integral Group | 2019
  • The BC Energy Step Code’s focus on the use of energy-efficiency metrics raises the question of whether it is also effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the built environment. This report presents the results of a study intended to explore possible means of increasing the rate and magnitude of emissions reductions necessary to meet the Province’s CleanBC goal of reducing GHG emissions in the building sector by 40 per cent by the year 2030.
  • Read the GHG emissions report (PDF, 1.3MB)

National Reports

4. Brand Handbook

The two-volume Brand Handbook provides design and style guidance for governments, organizations, or companies that would like to use the brand to communicate accurate information about the standard to constituents, customers, or stakeholders. The Brand Handbook consists of two sections. They are distributed as separate files, but intended to be used together:

Page Last Updated: December 10, 2019.