Building Requirements Change to Support Increased Earthquake Safety

Canada is one of the most beautiful places in the world to live. However no place is perfect. On the West Coast for example we live on the “Ring of Fire “, comprised of basically all of the land surrounding the Pacific Ocean. This so-called ring is extremely prone to earth quakes. These quakes can be so small that they cause little to no damage at all or they can get big enough to cause serious damage – like we saw in the 1989 San Francisco earthquake or the 2011 Japanese earthquake and resulting tsunami.


Because of the damage a strong earthquake can do to even the most modern buildings, on December 20, 2012, the BC Residential (Part 9) Building Code was changed. The changes were made to better prepare new buildings for the forces they will experience when an earthquake does happen. Alair Homes is a member of the Canadian Home Builders Association, a key contributor to a new Illustrated Guide detailing these new changes:

  • Lateral Bracing: Wall construction details applying addition material and specific nailing patterns to increase the amount of lateral load resistance
  • Seismic Regions: An overview of the specific areas in Coastal British Columbia defining the specific Spectral Acceleration rates
  • Braced Wall Band: An imaginary band that can extend both horizontally and or vertically in which braces walls must be constructed
  • Spacing & Dimensions: The dimensions of walls required in new construction so to help in the house and floor plan design
  • Design Requirements: Overview of minimum requirements & exceptions
  • Construction Requirements: Specific nailing patterns, Anchorage patterns, Screw patterns using different construction materials
  • Follow this link for a PDF version of the full BC Building Code Illustrated Guide.


    Alair Homes is completely up to date on all of these changes and the requirements needed to bring all newly constructed homes up to these more detailed and much safer seismic standards.

    If you are concerned about your home being prepared for a substantial earthquake, give Alair Homes a call. We will ensure that your home meets or exceeds these guidelines. Call today for a free quote.