Aug 21, 2011

Alternative Building Code for Existing Non-Permitted 2nd units

Gotta love those Canadians. Below is an excerpt from the British Columbia Housing Policy Branch. It explains how they are trying to maximize the number of legal Secondary Suites (Canada's name for Accessory Dwelling Units)), by providing safe and economical alternatives to existing fire safety provisions in the building code.
Some municipalities have opted to establish their own framework of requirements for suites that never received a permit. For example, the City of Coquitlam developed building standards, known as “alternate life safety standards”, for secondary suites in houses that were built or had a building permit issued before July 1, 2000. Under these standards, ceilings may be as low as 1.88 metres or 6’2” rather than 2 metres or 6’7” as specified in the Code.

One non-profit states the gov't wants to maximize the amount of revenue and user fees generated by these 2nd units.