change beginThe 2014 Building By-law (hereinafter the “Building By-law”) is an objective-based code which identifies the minimum standard in the City of Vancouver for buildings to which this By-law applies. This Building By-law replaces the 2007 Building By-law and also contains certain transition provisions which apply to permits issued under the 2007 Building By-law. The Building By-law is regularly updated and users should ensure that the By-law is current. The Building By-law is substantially based on the British Columbia Building Code and British Columbia Plumbing Code, which in turn is substantially based on the model National Building Code of Canada 2010 and the model National Plumbing Code of Canada 2010. The Building By-law establishes minimum standards to meet the following five objectives, which are fully described in Division A of the By-law:
The Building By-law establishes standards for building materials, products and assemblies. Some standards are explicitly provided in the Building By-law while others are incorporated by reference to existing standards for materials, products and assemblies which are developed and published by specialist organizations.
Organization of the Building By-law
A consistent organization system has been used in the Building By-law. The By-law is divided into Divisions which are designated by alphabetical letters. Divisions are divided into numbered Parts; each Part is divided into Sections; Sections are divided into Subsections; and Subsections are divided into Articles. Articles are divided into Sentences, which are delineated by numbers in brackets. Sentences may be further broken down into Clauses and Subclauses, delineated respectively by letters and roman numerals in brackets. This organization system is illustrated as follows:
Divisions of the By-law are identified either:
Use of the term “Reserved”
The term “reserved” is used in the Building By-law in place of provisions from the National Codes which have not been adopted in the By-law. Term “reserved” is used so that the numbering structure of the Building By-law aligns with the model National Code of Canada 2010 and the model National Plumbing Code of Canada 2010, for ease of comparison and possible future harmonization.
Change Indication
Every effort has been made to identify technical changes or additions relative to the 2006 edition of the British Columbia Building and Plumbing Codes. In the printed version, these changes or additions are enclosed by angle brackets wherever practical. The online version of British Columbia Building and Plumbing Codes ( contains additional functionality with regards to identifying changes from the previous edition. No change indication is provided for renumbered or deleted provisions.
Unique to Vancouver Indication
All text in the By-law that is unique to Vancouver is enclosed with { } brackets wherever practical. This identifier was utilized to provide the user of the By-law with a means by which to differentiate the Vancouver provisions of this By-law from those of the 2012 British Columbia Building and Plumbing Codes. Where the provisions of Vancouver have required the deletion of the 2012 British Columbia Building and Plumbing Code text, and no Vancouver text has replaced the deleted text, the word “Deleted” has been used to alert the user that a deletion has been made and that there is a difference from the 2012 British Columbia Building and Plumbing Codes text.
Intent and Application Statements
The intent statements pertaining to the National Building and Plumbing Codes, which also pertain to the Building By-law, are available, free of charge, on the national codes website at As those substantive parts of the Building By-law which are not unique to Vancouver are identical to the National model Codes, users may consult the national website to access intent statements.
The application statements for the 2010 National Building, Fire and Plumbing Codes have not been updated as the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes discontinued their publication. In view of these developments at the national level, the Building By-law does not include application statements.
Metric Conversion
All values in the Building By-law 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 By-law.
Acknowledgements and Copyright
Copyright 2012 Province of British Columbia (portions)
Copyright 2012 National Research Council (portions)
All rights reserved. This Publication contains material that is copyrighted by the National Research Council of Canada and reproduced herein under a license agreement. This Publication also contains material that is copyrighted by the Province of British Columbia. No part of that material may be reproduced without written permission from the Province of British Columbia and the National Research Council. For more information, please contact the Intellectual Property Program for British Columbia.
Requests for permission to reproduce the unique to Vancouver provisions of the By-law must be sent to:
The provincial government welcomes comments and suggestions for improvements to the Building Code and Plumbing Code. Comments and suggestions can be sent to:
Persons interested in the development of the National Codes, the model document for the British Columbia Building Code and Plumbing Code and for the Building By-law can contact: