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May 16, 2012 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
About the Presenter: Steven Kuan, BC Building and Safety Standards Branch
Steven Kuan is Senior Seismic Engineer with the Building and Safety Standards Branch in the Office of Housing and Construction Standards, the provincial office responsible for the BC Building Code. He has been leading one of the major projects in the Branch which is the development of a new regulatory framework for construction work in existing buildings. A structural engineer, Steven has over twenty years of experience in government, consulting and academia.
About the Topic:
Applying the BC Building Code to construction work in existing buildings could be challenging for building owners, designers, contractors and building officials. It could be difficult and costly to renovate or change an existing building with outdated design standards and different construction techniques to levels of performance specified in the current code. Further, if only portions of an existing building are to be worked on, for example the building envelope only, how to apply the building code may not be straightforward. One main reason is that the building code is intended for new construction.
Developing a code specific for construction work in existing buildings is challenging as well. In addition to the technical requirements, such a code is desired to be practical and reasonable so to cover the many different scenarios, conditions and goals that would be presented by existing buildings projects. To that end, the development touches on several fundamental issues including acceptable performance levels for existing buildings.
The Building and Safety Standards Branch has been working on a new “Existing Buildings Code”. The work has been concentrated on four main disciplines: fire safety, seismic, accessibility and energy efficiency. Concepts, approach and requirements of this draft regulatory framework, along with the challenges encountered, will be discussed.