The British Columbia Building Code (BCBC) sets out technical provisions for the design and construction of new buildings. It also applies to the alteration, change of use and demolition of existing buildings. Code users should consult the authority having jurisdiction regarding application of BCBC provisions to existing buildings.

The BC Building Code is a regulation of the Local Government Act and is based on the model National Building Code of Canada 2005 and the model National Plumbing Code of Canada. Building code users are involved in the development of the BCBC and they help determine the content. The 2006 BCBC succeeds the 1998 British Columbia Building Code.

The BCBC addresses the following four broad objectives:

The BCBC is not a textbook on the design or construction of buildings and facilities, nor is it the only document regulating health and safety. Designing and building in a technically sound manner depends upon many factors beyond simple compliance with building regulations. Such factors include the availability of knowledgeable practitioners who have received appropriate education, training and experience and have some degree of familiarity with the principles of good practice and experience using textbooks, reference manuals and technical guides.

The BCBC does not list any proprietary products. It establishes the criteria that materials, products and assemblies must meet. Some of these criteria are explicitly stated in the BCBC while others are incorporated by reference to material or product standards published by standards development organizations.

This volume contains information pertinent to 2006 BC Building Code Division B Part 7, Plumbing Services. It has been prepared for the convenience of some BC Building Code users. Code users wishing to consult portions not contained in this volume should consult

Guidelines for requesting changes to the BCBC are available on the Internet at Printed copies of the guidelines may also be requested from the Building Policy Branch, whose address is provided at the end of this Introduction.

Relationship between the BC Building Code and the BC Fire Code

The BC Building Code (BCBC) and BC Fire Code (BCFC) each contain provisions that deal with the safety of persons in buildings in the event of a fire and the protection of buildings from the effects of fire. The BCFC also applies to other types of facilities besides buildings (e.g. tank farms and storage yards).

These codes are developed as complementary and coordinated documents to minimize the possibility of their containing conflicting provisions. It is expected that buildings comply with both the BCBC and the BCFC. The BCBC generally applies at the time of construction and reconstruction while the BCFC applies to the operation and maintenance of the fire-related features of buildings in use.

The scope of each of these Codes with respect to fire safety and fire protection can be summarized as follows:

The BC Building Code covers the fire safety and fire protection features that are

The BC Fire Code includes provisions for:

In addition, the BCFC contains provisions regarding fire safety and fire protection features that must be added to existing buildings when certain hazardous activities or processes are introduced in these buildings.

Some of the BCFC’s provisions are not duplicated directly in the BCBC but are in fact adopted through cross-references to the BCFC. Thus, some BCFC provisions may apply to original construction, alterations, or changes in use.

Objective-Based Code Format

The BC Building Code (BCBC) is published in an objective-based format for the first time in the 2006 edition. The objective-based format organizes the BCBC into three Divisions:

In the 2006 BCBC, Division B provisions are linked to:

In addition, with the electronic version of the Code, each provision is linked to two new types of explanatory material:

Previous explanatory material found in Appendices continues to be provided.

A complete description of the objective-based code structure is available on the Building Policy Branch website (

Additional Information

Numbering System

A consistent numbering system has been used throughout the BC Building Code. The first number indicates the Part of the Code; the second, the Section in the Part; the third, the Subsection; and the fourth, the Article in the Subsection. The detailed provisions are found at the Sentence level (indicated by numbers in brackets), and Sentences may be broken down into Clauses and Subclauses. This structure is illustrated as follows:

  3 Part
  3.5. Section
  3.5.2. Subsection Article Sentence Clause Subclause

Change Indication

Technical changes or additions relative to the 1998 edition of the BC Building Code are enclosed by angle brackets. In the printed version of the BC Building Code, change indicators have not been provided within tables and figures.

Code users wishing to identify specific changes within tables, figures or Part 4 should consult electronic versions of the BC Building Code, in which changes are indicated by a green underline.

No change indication is provided for renumbered or deleted provisions.

Online information

Additional information relating to the BC Building Code is available on the Building Policy Branch website at Online information includes:

Metric Conversion

All values in the BCBC are given in metric units. A conversion table of imperial equivalents for the most common units used in building design and construction is located at the end of the Code.

Commercial Rights to Reproduce the BC Building Code

Copyright in the BC Building Code is owned by the Queen’s Printer of British Columbia. All rights are reserved.

This publication contains material that is copyrighted by the National Research Council Canada and reproduced herein under a license agreement. The National Research Council Canada makes no representations, warranties or conditions, statutory or otherwise as to the accuracy or completeness of its copyright material, including the opinions expressed therein, or its suitability for any user’s requirements.

Request for permission to reproduce the BC Building Code must be sent to, or to the following address:

Contact Information

The provincial government welcomes comments and suggestions for improvements to the BC Building Code. Persons interested in requesting a change to a technical provision of the BCBC, or proposing a new provision, should refer to, where additional information is available.

Comments, suggestions and requests for printed copies of web site material referred to in this introduction should be sent to:

Persons interested in the development of the National Building Code and the National Plumbing Code, the model documents for the British Columbia Building Code can contact:

On the Internet at