Government of BC – March 15, 2017

 

An update to the BC Building Code will require fire sprinklers to be installed on the balconies of all new four-storey wood-frame residential buildings.

Under the current BC Building Code, sprinklers generally are not required on balconies or in attics in residential buildings four storeys and under, but are generally required in residential buildings greater than four storeys.

The updated 2015 National Building Code, on which BC Building Code updates are based, requires sprinklers on balconies of four-storey residential buildings. Although the next edition of the BC Building Code is not scheduled to be adopted until late 2017, the Province is taking steps to adopt the new sprinkler standards sooner.

The new sprinkler requirements will take effect on July 20, 2017. The Province is providing a transition period to allow time for the industry to adapt to the new requirement. Building codes and fire sprinkler standards apply at the time of construction and do not apply retroactively to require owners to upgrade existing buildings.