Updated November 10, 2022
We understand that the building process can be complicated and we are working to improve this process. Regulations may vary depending on the application. Some requirements are provincially legislation and the District is the administrator in the applications. Where District bylaws apply, we are committed to ensuring a fair and equitable process for all applicants.
- January 1, 2022 – Building owners and designers are required to comply with the requirements of the applicable Step of the BC Energy Step Code and as indicated in the District of Sooke’s Building Bylaw.
When you have a building project in Sooke, we will receive your complete application, then:
- review your plans and paperwork
- work with you to make certain the plans meet all the required codes
- issue the building permit
- inspect the work.
Every property owner must obtain all required permits or approvals, pay all fees and provide all deposits prior to the commencement of work. Upon receiving your complete application, our team will process your application as quickly as possible. Times to process applications may vary depending on the number of applications under review.
A building permit is required before constructing, repairing, altering, moving or demolishing a building or structure.
If the applicant is not the owner of the property, an Owner’s Authorization form (see page 5 of building/plumbing permit application form) must be submitted. All property owners registered on the Certificate of Title must provide written approval to allow the applicant to act on their behalf.
Please note that the District does not issue the following permits:
- Electrical and Gas Permits
Contact Technical Safety BC at 1-866-566-7233
- Septic Field Information and Potable Water Supply
Contact Vancouver Island Health Authority at 250-519-3401
- Highway Access Permit for access to Highway 14
Contact Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
BC Energy Step Code
Through the BC Energy Step Code, the Province has set performance requirements to increase the energy efficiency of newly constructed buildings. BC’s goal is that all new buildings be net-zero energy-ready by 2032.
As of January 1, 2022, building owners and designers, you are required to comply with the requirements of the applicable Step of the BC Energy Step Code as indicated in the District of Sooke’s Building Bylaw.
The Step Code is a provincial standard that provides an incremental and consistent approach to achieving energy-efficient construction. Through performance modelling and on-site testing, buildings constructed to the Step Code standard will exceed the energy performance requirements of the base BC Building Code.
The Step Code provides local government and industry with a clear framework to make progress towards the provincial goal that all new construction in BC is built “net-zero energy ready” by 2032. The Province defines a net-zero energy ready building as one that has been designed and built to a level of performance, such that it could (with additional measures) generate enough onsite energy to meet its own energy needs. It’s expected that net-zero energy ready buildings will be required by the BC Building Code by 2032.
The energy model results for the building design shall be provided by your Energy Advisor using the Pre-Construction Compliance Report, to be submitted with your building permit application.
- Advisory #10 – BC Energy Step Code.
- District of Sooke Building Bylaw #780
- District of Sooke Fees and Charges Bylaw #752
- BC Building Code Part 9, 2018 – Seismic Bracing Requirements
The Province of B.C. is now offering the BC Building, Plumbing and Fire Codes online at no charge at:
The Updated Building Accessibility Handbook 2020 – Digital Version Now Available at no charge at:
To help ensure that the National Model Codes are properly understood and effectively implemented, the National Research Council Canada (NRC) is now offering free electronic access to the related user’s guides, including:
- Structural Commentaries (User’s Guide – NBC 2015: Part 4 of Division B)
- Illustrated User’s Guide – NBC 2015: Part 9 of Division B, Housing and Small Buildings
- User’s Guide – National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2017
The user’s guides are designed to complement the National Model Codes by providing additional background information, as well as detailed examples and calculations.
- BC Energy Step Code website: www.energystepcode.ca
- A look inside an energy-efficient home
- Working with an Energy Advisor: Your roadmap to a High-Performance Home