On December 15, 2015, provisions of the new Building Act (the “Act”) came into force, initiating British Columbia’s transition toward a more unified, Provincial regime for construction and development regulation.

As previously reported, the Act’s primary purposes are the centralization of regulatory authority with the Province and the standardization of professional qualification and training for building officials.

Among other things, the newly-in-force provisions empower the minister to enact building regulations (Section 3), oust the application of municipal regulations (Section 5), enable government to delegate the administration of the Act to third parties (Sections 14-18), and continue the existing Building Code Appeal Board into the new regime (Section 19).

Municipalities, regional districts, treaty First Nations, and other local authorities are able to apply to the Province for exceptions under Section 7 of the Act. The City of Vancouver, which remains subject to Vancouver Building Bylaw 10908, is entirely exempt from the new regime.

Builders and developers have two years to ensure compliance with the new, Provincial legislation, as local building requirements will continue to apply until December 15, 2017.