Give your opinion to make new buildings more accessible

Posted: 20 November 2021

Give your opinion to make new buildings more accessible

The provincial government invites all British Columbians to provide feedback on how to make new buildings more accessible to all.

“Everyone should be able to enter, exit and move around buildings independently and with dignity, and we need to hear from British Columbians on how best to support this,” said Dan Coulter, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility . “This commitment is the first step in fulfilling our commitment to ensure that the next British Columbia building code will do a better job of making new buildings more accessible for all.”

A public engagement on the accessibility requirements of the BC Building Code is open and will run until December 9. The survey is available here.

“The Rick Hansen Foundation supports the Province of British Columbia’s commitment to update the British Columbia Building Code to improve accessibility for people of all abilities,” said Doramy Ehling, CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation. “The contribution of industry and accessibility professionals, organizations of and for people with disabilities, and in particular those with lived experience, will ensure that users’ perspectives and expertise remain central to all. building code improvements. British Columbia’s leadership in creating a higher and consistent standard of accessibility that Canadians want and deserve is a good example for all other provinces and territories to follow.

The Ministry of the Attorney General and responsible for Housing will publish an online report summarizing key themes of public engagement in the new year. Proposed changes to the Accessibility Code based on the feedback received will then be developed and should be posted for further comment before being included in the next BC Building Code.

The British Columbia Building Code provides a standard set of building rules across the province. The accessibility requirements in the building code set the rules for the design and construction of new buildings to ensure that people can approach, enter, exit and move around buildings independently. Local governments across British Columbia are helping enforce the building code so buildings are safe and healthy to visit, work and live in.

“Occupational therapists have long been involved in formulating accessibility recommendations that remove barriers in the built environment and enable participation in meaningful activities for people with disabilities and those who wish to age in place”, said Tanya Fawkes, Regional Director of the Canadian Association. occupational therapists, British Columbia.

“Historically, this has often required significant changes to the existing environment because the current building code does not meet the needs of many British Columbians. We hope that with the engagement of the public and stakeholder groups, the consultation process will raise building codes to the standards set out in the Accessible British Columbia Act; aimed at removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and increasing inclusion.

Accessibility is an essential part of the daily life of over 20% of British Columbians.

The prevalence of disability is higher among Indigenous peoples in Canada: 36% of Indigenous women (compared to 24% of non-Indigenous women) and 26% of Indigenous men (compared to 20% of non-Indigenous men).

The British Columbia Building Code establishes the minimum accessibility code requirements for the design and construction of new buildings, including schools and recreation centers, care, treatment or detention facilities (such as hospitals, clinics and prisons), offices, stores, hotels / motels and common areas in apartments and condominiums.

The BC Building Code changes approximately every five years. A building must comply with the British Columbia building code in effect at the time of its construction.

The Accessible British Columbia Act came into effect in 2021. The act provides the framework for creating accessibility standards to identify, remove and prevent barriers.


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