A new version of the Vancouver Building By-Law (VBBL), commonly known as the building code, came into effect in November 2019. Any applications for new building work, including alterations to existing buildings, will need to comply with the new By-Law.
VHF created an introductory guide to the 2014 Vancouver Building By-Law as it relates to heritage and character one and two family homes. The guide offers information on how the By-Law may affect individual homes, what may or may not need to be done, types of projects that may be affected and resources for further information. Every project and home is different and VHF strongly recommends contacting City staff and qualified professionals.
There is also an important bulletin released by The City of Vancouver in 2014 regarding exclusions for heritage buildings and buildings with heritage character (that may not be on the Heritage Register) when working with the VBBL 2014.
VHF continues to advocate for improvements to better accommodate heritage projects. The guide we produced in 2014 is still relevant, and the Bulletin 2014-007-BU is still in effect and provides important options for heritage projects.
Energy Efficiency Requirements:
Heritage and character homes and buildings can access exemptions and alternative options for energy efficiency requirements. You can find out more on this page, and specifically in the Renovation Energy Upgrade Proposal Checklist that can be downloaded.
Important options include: Original doors and windows can be kept, and walls and ceilings do not need to meet full insulation requirements, avoiding the need to increase the thickness of walls or ceilings which can be destructive to exterior or interior finishes, character elements or even floor space.