Building is here to help you when:

  • you need a Building or Plumbing Permit
  • you wish to install a sign or awning Sign Bylaw
  • you would like to renovate, or put on an addition, or make other changes to your house or building
  • you need to demolish a building
  • you need to move a building onto a property
  • you are going to change the use of the unit or building
  • you are going to build a deck
  • you have acquired Planning approval and now need a building permit
  • you are ready for building or plumbing inspections, or ready for occupancy
  • you would like to request copies of building plans (available to the owner or their authorized agent)


Important Reminder New for Building Inspections

Step 2 of the BC Energy Step Code will apply on May 1, 2021 See the April Building Industry Newsletter for details.

Energy Step Code Incentive Rebate Program

Building Industry Newsletter

Sign up to receive the newsletter

2018 BC Building and Plumbing Code

Effective August 14, 2019

The BC Building Code, Plumbing and Fire Codes are now available online at no charge. The free online access is available at,  under the "Public Library" collection. Printed copies of the BC code material will also be made available at a reduced cost.  

Effective December 10, 2018

The Province has adopted the 2018 edition of the British Columbia Building Code, including Book II Plumbing Services (BC Building and Plumbing Code).

The new BC Building and Plumbing Code will be effective December 10, 2018 and will apply to your building permits applied for in North Cowichan on or after that date. The BC Fire Code is anticipated to be adopted in the fall of 2018 and effective December 10, 2018. Buildings with permits in place under the previous 2012 BC Building Code will generally not be affected by the adoption of the new code.

The BC Building and Plumbing Code is based substantially on the model National Building and Plumbing Codes of Canada (National Codes). The 2015 National Codes adopted 600 technical changes to improve clarity, introduce new concepts, and expand existing requirements. Some of the new requirements in the National Codes you should be aware of include: 

  • updates to airborne sound transmission ratings,
  • seismic design and climatic data, and
  • updates to stairs, ramps, handrails and guards, including an increase to the run dimensions for residential dwellings. 

For more information about the changes introduced in the 2015 National Codes, please visit the Codes Canada website.        

The 2018 BC Building and Plumbing Code includes most of the 2015 National Code requirements and some variations specific to British Columbia. Some important BC-specific Code changes introduced in the 2018 BC Building Code you should be aware of include: 

  • increasing building accessibility for persons with disabilities,
  • improving the energy efficiency of buildings to require compliance with new building energy efficiency codes and standards,
  • providing a variation to the National Building Code requirements for mid-rise combustible buildings to require 10 percent street frontage and exterior cladding with increased fire resistance, and
  • updating radon data, based on recent studies. 

For more information about the 2018 BC Building and Plumbing Code, please visit the British Columbia Codes website. Online resources include:

Please note that the online version of the 2018 BC Building and Plumbing Code will be available for purchase in the coming weeks at The Building and Safety Standards Branch will notify code users when the online version is published. The print version is expected at a later date, and code users will be notified when it becomes available.

The Building and Safety Standards Branch is working with partners to deliver education and support Code users in learning about the new requirements. Additional Code resources will be posted to the website, in the coming months.

If you have any questions, please email

Other Resources