Vancouver Bylaw Changes

west vancouver zoning changes

What are the changes in Vancouver Bylaw, and how would it affect your project?

The city of Vancouver is going under new changes on the VBBL starting on January 1st, 2022.

Some of the changes are for new home constructions and some can affect the renovations as well. How would these changes affect your project?

The city of Vancouver is changing Vancouver Building Bylaw to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions for new lowrise homes on the new lowrise buildings (single-family homes, laneway homes and infills).
That can be achieved by improving the performance of the homes. A simple explanation for this is that they are moving away from natural gas heating sources in homes. By electrification of the domestic hot water and space heating systems, the new homes will be more energy-efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Use of an electric heat source heat pump which can produce heat during cold weather and cooling during hot weather is encouraged.
 The move is to build homes to energy step code four standards, making homes more airtight with higher R-value on the building envelope; specifically, the new changes apply to the roofing systems.

If you are planning to construct a new house after January 2022, these changes will affect your project.

You might ask, “what about a renovation?”
If your renovation is not major, like replacing a bathroom, kitchen or small interior renovation, these changes will not affect your project.
However, if you are adding floor area or the roof is being affected by these renovations, the new bylaw has to be followed. As per walls, the city would ask to improve the performance of the walls and the house in general anyway.

heat pump
A heat pum unit installed outside a house.
Heat recovery system

Home recovery ventilation system is commonly used these days in the city of Vancouver and it will be mandatory in all newly constructed homes.
It helps to circulate the air throughout the house, and it will reduce the waste of energy by reusing the conditioned air within the house and combining it with fresh air.
The air quality in homes with HRV is much better and improved and will reduce the need to use individual fans in each bathroom.

If you are thinking of building your new home or renovating it after January 2022, stay in touch with us and take advantage of our 30 minutes free consultations to learn about your options.

We also offer a low-cost consultation which gives you a roadmap of what to expect before getting into more extensive commitments.
All you need to do is fill the form below, and we will contact you to arrange a time to talk or meet.

How to Hire a Good Architect or Architectural Designer

How to Hire a Good Architect or Architectural Designer

Before Choosing an Architect or Architectural Technologist

First, identify what you want to do. How complex is the project? If you are building a part 3 BC building code related building (like hospitals, schools, airports, office buildings, multifamily residential projects) then you have to hire an Architect.

However, if you are building a single-family house, applying for rezoning, subdivision or development permit, you can hire an Architectural Technologist. Other types of projects that an architectural technologist can offer are applications for restaurants, retail space, and office tenant improvements.

What is the difference between an Architect and an Architectural Designer?

According to the Architectural Institute of BC, under the Architects Act and Bylaws, the words “member” and “architect” and the professional title “Architect AIBC” are reserved for architects: those applicants who meet the education, experience and examination requirements for engaging in the full range of activities defined as the practice of architecture in the province of British Columbia.

An Architectural Technologist is an accredited professional by AIBC who provides services to the public within part 9 BC Building Code.

Both Architects and Architectural Technologists need to meet provincially regulated standards and licensing.

Interior Designers

Are you just making minor changes to the interior such as painting, floor change, window covering, tile selection for your bathroom or kitchen, kitchen layout? Then you will want an Interior Designer’s design help.

More information can be found in an earlier blog on a similar subject: WHY HIRE AN ARCHITECT?

What’s Next?

Take a few minutes before you meet with your Design Team and think about the following:

Home Renovation:

  1. What is the purpose of your renovation?
  1. Write down a detailed list of the challenges you face in your house.
  2. List the changes would you like to make in your house.
  3. List your priorities. Number one is the one major thing you cannot do without, working up to ten, which is the one thing you can do without if you need to; with the varying degrees in between.
  4. Do you have a budget? What is it and is there any flexibility in it?
  5. When would you like the renovations to be completed? Do you have a big event that you would like to have your home ready for?

New Custom Home:

  1. What style of house would you like?
  2. How many years do you expect to live in this house?
  3. What are your ten-year expectations (growing family, downsizing, etc.)?
  4. How much privacy do you want?
  5. Will you be doing a lot of entertaining or socializing?
  6. Do you have a budget? What is it and is there any flexibility in it?
  7. Does energy efficiency matter?
  8. Look at some magazines and visit open houses to get a feel for what you would like your comfortable space to be like.

Commercial use buildings have an entirely different set of priorities that go beyond the scope of this article and will be addressed in the future.

To make things easy for you, we have created two printable for you to download and use in preparation for meeting with your Design Team. There is even space for you to make notes of any suggestions provided by your Design Team.

Click here for renovation  or Custom home construction


Now that you have selected your Design Team and your ideas are on paper, you will need to get your municipal permits. This is when your Design Team begins to play a larger role in your project. They will help you through the application process and answer any questions that you have along the way.

At MyHomeDesigner, not only do we provide exceptional ideas for designing the most desirable home, but we think outside the box, which adds value to the project and goes beyond city bylaws and limitations. We proved 3D visualization, as well as walk-through and virtual reality views so our clients can better understand what they are getting for their hard-earned money.

Aryo Falakrou is an associate member of AIBC (Architectural Technologist),  Passive House Canada, and Built Green BC. He is insured and bonded with over 34 years of experience. Aryo offers peace of mind for your dream home design by providing a complete set of drawings with interior and exterior 3D images, walk-through and virtual reality to ease the understanding of the project and speed up the permit process.

North vancouver renovation design

North Vancouver renovation design

Here are a couple of articles you should read before going further:

What you should know before renovating your house in Vancouver

What you should know and do before renovating your house in Vancouver – Part 2


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What makes us different?

We think out of the box, See by yourself how our creativity can help your next project