Nearly 5,000 people who purchased British Columbia Building Codes will soon get a refund.
The province has announced that building codes purchased after Sept. 4, 2018 are eligible for a refund.
The federal government and the province are refunding about $2.5 million in total: $1.875 million from Canada and $625,000 from B.C. Refund cheques will be mailed in the next four to six weeks.
As well, online versions of the B.C. Building Codes are now available free of charge.
“Not only are we returning money to the hard-working students and firms of B.C.’s construction sector and making national building codes free from now on, we are also celebrating the province’s role in setting the stage for better harmonization under one national standard,” said Navdeep Singh Bains, federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
Online building codes now free of charge
As of April 1, electronic versions of the National Building Code of Canada were made available at no cost.
The change eliminated the royalties British Columbia paid to the federal government for the national codes. The refunds for B.C.’s codes are the result of an agreement between the federal and provincial government to return the cash to British Columbians.
“Our government is working hard to make sure programs and services are affordable and accessible for all British Columbians,” said Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “Today, we’re giving $2.5 million back to British Columbians and making it easier for students, contractors, businesses and local governments to access these important codes for their studies and work – work that helps grow local economies and create good-paying jobs.”
B.C. will refund the full cost to anyone who bought an online subscription of the codes and offer a refund for those who purchased a printed copy.
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Going forward, the province will offer free digital versions of the codes and printed copies will be available at a reduced rate.
“When classes start next month, students will save close to 70 per cent on printed copies of the codes, while digital access will be cost-free,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
Building codes establish the minimum standard for the design and construction of buildings, supporting the safety, health, accessibility, fire and structural protection of buildings, along with energy and water efficiency. Typical users of building codes include industry and trades professionals, students enrolled in construction-related programs, building inspectors and other municipal officials and homeowners.