Building BC is published by the Homeowner Protection Office for Licensed Residential Builders and Licensed Building Envelope Renovators, as well as our partners within the residential construction industry.


Building Smart #6: Impact of the 2006 BC Building Code - Part 9 Construction

This fall the HPO will present Building Smart #6, which looks at major changes contained in Part 9 of the new 2006 BC Building Code and what these changes mean for house builders.

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Update on "Raising the Bar"

The industry task group has submitted its recommendations to the HPO Board of Directors. The HPO Board is now seeking feedback on the industry's recommendations from key groups such as warranty providers and the Provincial Advisory Council on Homeowner Protection.

Read more...


Builder Insight #2: 2006 BC Building Code- Highlights of Part 9 Changes for Residential Builders

The second Builder Insight bulletin is now available from the HPO. It provides an overview of the major changes contained in Part 9 of the new 2006 BC Building Code.

Read more...


New Maintenance Bulletins Help Builders and Consumers

The HPO and its partners have developed a series of consumer-friendly bulletins on maintaining multi-unit housing with a focus on the building envelope. The four Maintenance Matters bulletins are part of the HPO's ongoing consumer education and research program.

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Manufactured Homes: Does the Homeowner Protection Act Apply?

This article clarifies the rules regarding the manufactured home exemption under the Homeowner Protection Act (Act).

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Useful Industry Information on the HPO Website

The Research & Education Industry section of the HPO website contains the latest information for residential builders and consumers. This article summarizes the types of information found there.

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Licensing and New Home Enrollments Statistics

Statistics of Licensed Residential Builders and Licensed Building Envelope Renovators, and new home enrollments.

Read more...


Calendar of Events - Fall 2006

Listing of seminars, conferences and other events.

Read more... 


Building BC is published by the Homeowner Protection Office primarily for Licensed Residential Builders and Licensed Building Envelope Renovators

PO Box 11132 Royal Centre
2270 - 1055 W Georgia Street
Vancouver BC  V6E 3P3

Phone: 604-646-7050
Toll-Free: 1-800-407-7757
Fax: 604-646-7051

Website: www.hpo.bc.ca

[header=Building Smart #6: Impact of the 2006 BC Building Code - Part 9 Construction]

Building Smart #6: Impact of the 2006 BC Building Code - Part 9 Construction

The 2006 BC Building Code introduces changes that will impact the way houses are designed and constructed in British Columbia. The changes acknowledge new construction methods and materials that are now being used in residential construction, as well as advances in construction technology that contribute to improved performance of new homes, especially the building envelope.

Developed and delivered for the HPO by Murray Frank of Constructive Home Solutions, and in collaboration with the Building Policy Branch, Office of Housing and Construction Standards, this seminar will focus on Part 9 of the 2006 BC Building Code, covering:

  • major code changes that you need to know, such as new provisions regarding the building envelope ("capillary breaks" in high moisture index areas), flashings, balconies, decks and exterior walkways, air leakage and condensation control, foundations, concrete, structural design and more
  • how these code changes will affect the design and construction of new homes across the province, and
  • an explanation of the rationale behind many of the code changes and a look back at the progression of these changes over time.

The three-hour evening sessions (6:00 - 9:00 p.m.) will provide participants with a good understanding of the key changes that have been made to Part 9 of the BC Building Code and an understanding of the overall performance of the house as a whole system.

The seminar fee is $25 which includes a presentation guide. Online registration is available. In anticipation of a high level of interest from Licensed Residential Builders and others in the industry, we have expanded the delivery of Building Smart #6 to 22 locations which now also include Langford, Williams Lake, Penticton, Whistler and Richmond.

Building Smart #6 Seminar Schedule

September 25 Prince George,Treasure Cove Hotel
September 26 Fort St.John, Quality Inn Northern Grand
September 27 Surrey, Sheraton Guildford Hotel
October 2 Cranbrook, Heritage Inn
October 3 Castlegar, Sandman Hotel
October 4 Penticton, Penticton Lakeside Resort
October 5 Kelowna, Ramada Lodge Hotel
October 10 Sechelt, Seaside Centre
October 26 Vancouver, Plaza 500 Hotel
October 30 Whistler, Telus Conference Centre
November 1 Abbotsford, Abbotsford Banquet and Conference Centre
November 2 Terrace, Best Western Terrace Inn
November 6 Victoria, Ambrosia Catering and Event Centre
November 7 Langford, Olympic View Golf Course
November 8 Richmond, Executive Airport Plaza Hotel
November 13 Powell River, Powell River Town Centre Hotel
November 14 Courtenay, Best Western Westerly Hotel
November 15 Nanaimo #1, Coast Bastion Inn
November 16 Nanaimo #2, Coast Bastion Inn
November 20 Burnaby, Hilton Vancouver Metrotown
November 21 Kamloops, Forster's Convention Centre (Best Western)
November 22 Williams Lake, Overlander Hotel

[header=Update on "Raising the Bar"]

Update on "Raising the Bar"

Following the Raising the Bar consultation period which ended in October 2005, the Minister Responsible for Housing directed the HPO to undertake a collaborative process with industry to develop recommendations on what a future system of qualifications for residential builder licensees might look like. The industry task group, which met on numerous occasions from February to May of this year, has now submitted its recommendations to the HPO Board of Directors. They can be viewed on the "What's New" section of the HPO website.

The HPO Board is seeking feedback on the industry's recommendations from key groups such as warranty providers and the Provincial Advisory Council on Homeowner Protection until September. Then, the HPO Board of Directors will consider the industry's recommendations, comments received from key interested parties and recommendations from staff to form its final recommendations to the Minister Responsible for Housing.[header=Builder Insight #2: 2006 BC Building Code - Highlights of Part 9 Changes for Residential Builders]

Builder Insight #2: 2006 BC Building Code - Highlights of Part 9 Changes for Residential Builders

The second Builder Insight bulletin is now available from the HPO. This bulletin provides an overview of the major changes contained in Part 9 of the new 2006 BC Building Code, including the new objective-based code format as well as major technical revisions that you will need to know.

Also, be sure to attend the Building Smart #6 seminar entitled Impact of the 2006 BC Building Code - Part 9 Construction which provides more information on what the new code means for design and building practices in your region of the province.[header=New Maintenance Bulletins Help Builders and Consumers]

New Maintenance Bulletins Help Builders and Consumers

The Homeowner Protection Office (HPO) has developed, in conjunction with private and public partners, a series of consumer-friendly bulletins on maintaining multi-unit housing with a focus on the building envelope. The four Maintenance Matters bulletins are part of the HPO's ongoing consumer education and research program.

The bulletins, and the accompanying set of website links to more detailed information on each topic, cover maintenance issues and scheduling for key components of the building envelope: roofs, windows and doors, and exterior coatings. There is also a bulletin on avoiding condensation problems.

"We hope builders will refer homebuyers to this information on our website as part of the after-sales package. We are trying to raise consumers' awareness of their responsibility to maintain their new homes. The bulletins contain a wealth of practical information intended to help buyers get the best value from their new homes and from their home warranty insurance," said Ken Cameron, CEO of the HPO.

The HPO's message to homeowners on maintenance is twofold. First, a regular maintenance program is, in the long run, cheaper than paying for emergency repairs. Second, a homeowner's failure to perform proper home maintenance can limit, but not void, the coverage to which the homeowner is entitled under the 2-5-10 year home warranty insurance policy. Under B.C. legislation, home warranty insurance providers can limit or exclude the value of claims that stem from, or have been made worse by, improper maintenance on the part of homeowners.

The Maintenance Matters bulletins are also a useful tool for builders. The Homeowner Protection Act establishes the need for clear communication as an integral part of consumer protection. In practical terms, that means maintenance obligations must be made clear to the buyer.

If coverage is conditional upon certain maintenance being performed, the warranty provider or residential builder must provide the appropriate maintenance information to the first owners of the new home. The maintenance bulletins can be used to augment, but not replace maintenance manuals to be provided by the builder/warranty provider if a policy of home warranty insurance is conditional upon proper maintenance by the owner.

If maintenance information is not provided, then the homeowner cannot be held responsible for damage caused as a direct result of improper maintenance.

"The more information on maintenance that is made available to strata councils, managers and homebuyers, the better it is for the residential construction industry," said Cameron. The Maintenance Matters bulletins are posted. Along with the bulletin, you will find an online resource guide for each of the bulletins.[header=Manufactured Homes: Does the Homeowner Protection Act Apply?]

Manufactured Homes:
Does the Homeowner Protection Act Apply?

The HPO frequently receives calls from builders and building officials requiring clarification regarding the manufactured home exemption under the Homeowner Protection Act (Act). The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) certifies producers of manufactured homes. All manufactured homes in British Columbia are also subject to the requirements of the Manufactured Homes Act, which requires applicable CSA certification.

These CSA certifications are key to the exemption from licensing and mandatory home warranty insurance. A manufactured home may be only exempt from the requirements of the Act if it is a "factory-built home" governed by or required to be certified under CSA standard CAN/CSA-A277, or a "mobile home" governed by or required to be certified under CSA standard CSA-Z240.

A CSA-Z240 certified "mobile home" is constructed in a factory and is complete when it leaves the factory except for incidental assembly on site. It is generally easier to move to another site than a "factory-built home" certified under CSA-A277. A factory-built home requires development of the site, preparation of the foundation, connection of services, connecting modules and additional work on-site, to ready the home for occupancy.

For a factory-built home certified under CSA-A277, proof of home warranty insurance coverage is not required in order to obtain a building permit for the foundation.

Generally, the BC Building Code does not apply to factory-built homes certified under these same CSA standards; however, the exemption from the building code only applies to the components certified prior to placement on the site. Therefore, on-site preparations such as foundations, basements, mountings, interconnection of modules, connection to services and installation of appliances must all comply with the BC Building Code.

Basements may be included, also without home warranty insurance, as long as the existence of the basement does not require modifying the home to the extent that it no longer complies with the applicable CSA standard. Any other modification or addition rendering the CSA certification void would also have the effect of nullifying the exemption under the Act and the home would require a licensed builder and home warranty insurance coverage like any other new home.

Manufactured homes eligible for exemption from mandatory home warranty insurance by virtue of their CSA certification are often confused with other types of pre-fabricated homes, such as panelized and pre-engineered homes. Panelized homes may use pre-fabricated wall sections, either fully or partially complete with windows, siding and doors. Pre-engineered homes are "packaged" homes where many of the components, such as lumber, doors, windows, flooring, etc., are prepared off-site and sent to the building site for relatively fast assembly. The difference with panelized and pre-engineered homes is that they are not prepared as complete modules in a certified factory setting, do not have a CSA certificate, and are, therefore, not exempt from the requirements of the Act.

In order to construct such a home, an owner would have to qualify as an owner-builder and personally undertake the assembly of the components, or hire a Licensed Residential Builder to perform the work and arrange for 2-5-10 home warranty insurance. If the manufacturer of the pre-engineered home provides on-site service to construct the components, that manufacturer would also have to be licensed as a residential builder with the HPO.[header=Useful Industry Information on the HPO Website]

Useful Industry Information on the HPO Website

Check-out the Research & Education Industry section of the HPO website to find the latest information for residential builders and consumers. Here's a description of what you’ll find:

  • Builder Insight Bulletins - Practical information on new technologies, research results, good building practices and emerging technical issues in residential construction.
  • Building Science Research Projects - Browse through the list of HPO research projects and download reports.
  • Building Smart Seminars - Information on upcoming and completed seminars, including an online resource guide for each seminar.
  • Building Code Information for Residential Construction - Connects you to the latest information on Building Code.
  • Education and Training Resources for Residential Construction (updated and expanded) - Connects you to a wide range of education and training resources related to residential construction in B.C.
  • Green Building and Energy Programs - Browse though this list to find out more about energy programs, green building rating systems and assessment tools for residential construction.
  • HPO Survey Results - Take a look at the results from the survey of Licensed Residential Builders as well as the consumer satisfaction and awareness surveys.
  • Maintenance Matters Bulletins - Provides practical information for homeowners on how and what to maintain related to the building envelope of multi-unit residential buildings.[header=Licensing and New Home Enrollment Statistics]

Licensing and New Home Enrollments Statistics

Number of Licences Issued - New and Renewals

Region Jan-May 2006   Jan-May 2005   % Change
Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley/Sunshine Coast 897 913 -2%
Vancouver Island/Coast 367 337 9%
Central/Okanagan/Kootenay 270 289 -7%
North/Central 46 44 5%
Other Areas 12 13 -8%

 

Total

 

1,592

 

1,596

 

0%

New Homes Enrolled in Warranty Insurance

Region Jan-May 2006   Jan-May 2005   % Change
Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley/Sunshine Coast 9,156 7,979 15%
Vancouver Island/Coast 1,890 2,103 -10%
Central/Okanagan/Kootenay 2,479 2,625 -6%
North/Central 215 162 33%
Other Areas 51 189 -73%

 

Total

 

13,791

 

13,058

 

6%

[header=Calendar of Events - Fall 2006]

Calendar of Events - Fall 2006

September 12 Canadian Home Builders' Association Upper Fraser Valley General Meeting - HPO sponsor and speaker
September 15-16 Builder Designers Institute of BC Annual Meeting - HPO speaker and sponsor
September 23 Canadian Condominium Institute Seminar - HPO speaker and sponsor
September 23 2006 CARE Awards (Canadian Home Builders' Association Victoria) - HPO sponsor
September 23 2006 Keystone Home Builder Awards of Excellence (Canadian Home Builders' Association Kamloops) - HPO sponsor
September 29 Canadian Home Builders' Association B.C. Industry Conference - HPO sponsor
September - November Building Smart #6: Impact of the 2006 BC Building Code - Part 9 Construction- HPO seminar (see article for dates and locations)
October 3 Canadian Standards Association Strategic Steering Committee for Building Systems and Products - HPO participant
October 12-15 Vancouver Home & Interior Design Show - HPO exhibitor
October 21-29 Greater Vancouver Home Builders' Association Fall Parade of New Homes - HPO sponsor
October 31 Urban Development Institute Breakfast Seminar - HPO speaker and sponsor
November 2 Canadian Home Builders' Association National Education and TrainingCommittee meeting, and Technical Research Committee meeting - HPO participant
November 9 18th Annual Awards of Excellence (Vancouver Regional Construction Association) - HPO sponsor
November 9-10 National Building Code Part 9 Committee meeting - HPO participant
November 18 Northern B.C. Housing Awards (Prince George Home Builders' Association) - HPO sponsor
November 24-26 BOABC Education Seminar - HPO presenting Building Smart #6