New bylaw aims to build better buildings

(Penticton, BC - August 21, 2018) – More energy-efficient construction is one of the goals of the City’s new Building Bylaw. The City is planning to replace the current Building Bylaw created in 1994 with a new version that phases in the recommendations from the BC Energy Step Code. A draft of the new version, including the implementation plan for the BC Energy Step Code, was shared with Council at their meeting today and is now available on shapeyourcitypenticton.ca.

“The BC Energy Step Code is intended to introduce modern construction practices that are more energy efficient and better for the environment and the homeowner,” says Ken Kunka, Building & Permitting Manager. “Because the Code will significantly change the requirements for energy-efficient building materials and construction, we are proposing to phase it in over three years. The next two years will be focused on awareness and education and by year three, there will be new requirements for more energy-efficient building materials and construction practices.”

The inclusion of the requirements for the BC Energy Step Code is only one of several major changes proposed for Penticton’s Building Bylaw. The new version provides greater clarity around administrative authority and responsibilities, permit requirements for each building type, expectations for enforcement action and design criteria that is unique to Penticton, and incorporates recent changes in the BC Building Act that standardize regulations across the province.

“The province has made a number of changes to the BC Building Act to standardize and streamline the building permit process so that it is the same regardless of what community you are working in,” says Kunka. “The City’s new Building Bylaw will reflect the new standards for the province but will also address the unique requirements for building in Penticton, including design for fire department access, and precautions for infill and steep slope developments.”

The proposed bylaw applies to the design, construction or occupancy of new buildings or structures, and the alteration, reconstruction, demolition, removal, relocation or occupancy or change of use or occupancy of existing buildings and structure. Anyone interested in residential and commercial construction is encouraged to familiarize themselves with these new requirements in preparation for implementation anticipated this fall. “Taking the time now to understand the changes will make the process run more smoothly for you when you are ready to start your next project,” says Kunka. The City is hosting an industry stakeholder workshop on August 30 to review the draft with interested builders and developers.  A copy of the draft bylaw and a summary of the changes are now available at shapeyourcitypenticton.ca.

Residents can get involved

The new Building Bylaw is one of the four juicy topics that will be discussed at the open house on August 28 at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. Residents are invited to drop in between 4pm and 7pm, enjoy a fresh juice or smoothie and share their thoughts on the Building Bylaw as well as the legalization of cannabis in the city, the future of wastewater solids management and the findings from the SOEC parking study. Anyone not able to attend the open house can review the bylaw and supporting materials and share their feedback on shapeyourcitypenticton.ca beginning August 24.

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Contacts:

Ken Kunka

Building & Permitting Manager

City of Penticton

250-490-2505

 

JoAnne Kleb

Engagement Strategist

City of Penticton

250-490-2586