Seminars help builders master changes to the B.C. Building Code

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HPO workshop explains Code in language that 'makes sense to a builder'

When you're facing a steep learning curve, it's a lot easier with a little help.

That's the main comment from people attending a recent seminar in Burnaby hosted by the Homeowner Protection Office (HPO) and supported by BC Hydro's New Home Program. The session was part of a province-wide series focusing on the new ventilation requirements in the B.C. Building Code.

Ciaran Devlin, a builder attending the seminar, said he not only found the session informative and engaging. Originally from Ireland, he also learned some Code provisions for ventilation that, while new to him, make complete sense.

Benny Shum, who works checking construction plans to ensure they'll meet Code requirements, also found the seminar valuable.

"Absolutely informative," he says. "The session talked about different types of mechanical systems that will work in different designs. It helps me keep up to date."

Continuous learning helps builders stay up to date on building science

Ryan Connolly and Shawn Carey of Epic Homes were at the seminar to figure out how to implement the new requirements in their builds. "I think [the new ventilation requirements] are a win-win all the way around," said Carey. "It'll cost some money, of course, but we'll find a way to balance that out."

Carey says that every time the Code changes, it's a challenge until the new requirements are built into the company's systems. "Then in six months you're saying, 'That wasn't so hard after all.'"

Connolly came away a fan of the workshop presenter, Murray Frank.

"Murray does a good job of presenting things in language that makes sense to a builder," he said. "That helps us take the information and translate it to the job site."

Builder Pintu Panesar has already incorporated HRVs in his builds and didn't foresee many challenges in keeping up with the new Code, in part because he attends HPO seminars regularly.

"There are a lot of changes happening now," he said. "It's not like back in the day where it was one Code for the longest time and everybody was just building to Code. Now, the actual technicality and science of building is more difficult. Builders need to be a lot more aware of that."

Like Panesar, people attending the seminar agreed that a continuous-learning approach is necessary to succeed in the home building market today. "Your name's on the product," he says. "So it has to be done right."

Missed the seminars? There's good info available through webinars

If you didn't manage to make it to one of the HPO seminars, you can catch up on some of the information through the HPO's webinars, which cover subjects ranging from residential basements and parkades, to thermal bridging, and roof system design.

You can access the seminars from the HPO's Building Smart Seminars page. Just scroll down past the seminars information to find the webinar links.