Learn about

  1. The BC Energy Step Code Requirements in the BC Building Code
  2. City of Vancouver Energy Modelling Guidelines

BC Energy Step Code Requirements

The BC Energy Step Code is a voluntary standard introduced as part of the BC Building Code (BCBC) in April 2017 that sets higher requirements for energy efficiency than in the base BC Building Code. Local governments have authority to require or incentivize the BC Energy Step Code in their communities. Where not required, builders also have the option of building to BC Energy Step Code requirements.

The original BC Energy Step Code requirements – sometime referred to as ‘targets’ or ‘metrics’ – have evolved and expanded since 2017 as part of the CleanBC commitment to have a net-zero energy-ready BC Building Code by 2032. As explained further below, there are four sets of Code requirements to date:

This page summarizes the BC Energy Step Code requirements in force since April 2017 and briefly explains the building types and occupancies the requirements apply to. Full details can be found in the BC Building Code.

You’ll find information about the City of Vancouver’s Energy Modelling Guidelines here, too.

The Code Requirements

BCBC 2012 Revision 11: April 7, 2017 to January 30, 2018

Application

Applies to building permits applied for on or after April 7, 2017 until January 30, 2018.

Code Requirements
Summary – Part 3 Buildings
  • Climate zone 4 only (Degree Days below 18°C less than 3000)
  • Occupancies
    • C (Residential) – 4 Steps
    • D (Business and Personal Services) – 3 Steps
    • E (Mercantile) – 3 Steps
  • Requirements established for Total Energy Use Intensity (TEUI) and Thermal Energy Demand Intensity (TEDI) as determined through energy modelling and air-leakage testing
Summary – Part 9 Buildings
  • All climate zones
  • Residential occupancies only – 5 Steps
  • Requirements established for building envelope performance (Total Energy Use Intensity or TEDI) and building equipment and systems (Mechanical Energy Use Intensity or MEUI) as determined through energy modelling and air-leakage testing
  • Unique requirements for different climate zones
City of Vancouver Energy Modelling Guidelines Version 1
  • Introduced into the BC Building Code to support the BC Energy Step Code
  • Guidelines intended for Part 3 buildings and available for Part 9 buildings not following the EnerGuide Rating System (ERS)
  • Access Guidelines Version 1

BCBC 2012 Revision 12: January 31, 2018 to December 9, 2018

Application

Applies to building permits applied for on or after January 31, 2018 until December 9, 2018.

Code Requirements
Summary – Part 3 Buildings – no change from BCBC 2012 Revision 11
  • Climate zone 4 only (Degree Days below 18°C less than 3000)
  • Occupancies
    • C (Residential) – 4 Steps
    • D (Business and Personal Services) – 3 Steps
    • E (Mercantile) – 3 Steps
Summary – Part 9 Buildings – no change from BCBC 2012 Revision 11
  • All climate zones
  • Residential occupancies only – 5 Steps

BCBC 2018 Revision 1: December 10, 2018 to December 11, 2019

Application

Applies to building permits applied for on or after December 10, 2018 until December 11, 2019.

Code Requirements
Summary – Part 3 Buildings
  • Expanded to all climate zones (the same TEDI and TEUI requirements apply across all zones)
  • Occupancies
    • C (Residential) with the creation of unique metrics for hotels/motels that reflect the heavier energy loads of these Group C occupancies
    • D (Business and Personal Services) with the creation of unique metrics for offices that reflect the lighter energy loads of these Group D occupancies
    • E (Mercantile)
Summary – Part 9 Buildings
  • All climate zones
  • Residential occupancies only, with amendments to support compliance and improved building performance, including revised requirements for Mechanical Energy Use Intensity (MEUI) and Thermal Energy Use Intensity (TEDI), and elimination of the Peak Thermal Load (PTL) requirements
City of Vancouver Energy Modelling Guidelines Version 2

BCBC 2018 Revision 2: Effective December 12, 2019

Application

Applies to building permits applied for on or after December 12, 2019.

Code Requirements
Summary – Part 3 Buildings
  • Climate zone 4 (Degree Days below 18°C less than 3000)
    • No change to the TEDI and TEUI requirements for Group C, D and E occupancies established in BCBC 2018 Revision 1
  • Climate zones outside of climate zone 4 (Degree Days below 18°C is greater than or equal to 3000)
    • New distinct TEDI and TEUI requirements based on climate zone for Group C, D and E occupancies across the province
  • All climate zones
    • The introduction of Step 1 for some Group A (Assembly) and Group B, Divisions 2 and 3 (Treatment and Care) occupancies but no intensity requirements yet
  • Requirements available for these occupancies only:
    • Group A (Assembly) – Step 1 only for schools (other than universities or colleges), libraries, colleges (other than schools or universities), recreation centres
    • Group B, Divisions 2 and 3 (Treatment and Care) – Step 1 only for hospitals and care centres
    • Group C (Residential) – with unique metrics for hotels/motels that reflect the heavier energy loads of these Group C occupancies
    • Group D (Business and Personal Services) – with unique metrics for offices that reflect the lighter energy loads of these Group D occupancies
    • Group E (Mercantile)
  • Learn more by reading Technical Bulletin 19-08 (PDF).
Summary – Part 9 Buildings
  • All climate zones
  • Residential occupancies only
  • No change to the TEDI requirements introduced in BCBC 2018 Revision 1, but two additional compliance options now available:
    • Using an adjusted TEDI based on Degree Days below 18°C or
    • Using a percent better (than the EnerGuide Reference House) approach for annual heating demand for the performance requirement of the building envelope

City of Vancouver Energy Modelling Guidelines

  • For use with the BC Building Code as noted on this page and in the BC Building Code
  • Version 1 – for use until December 9, 2018 with BC Building Code 2012
  • Version 2 – for use effective December 10, 2018 with BC Building Code 2018

Page Last Updated: December 11, 2019.