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Step Code Requirements:
Step 5

Need to meet Step 5 of BC's Step Code? We've got you covered.


Step Code has 3 requirement categories:​

  1. Air tightness

  2. Equipment

  3. Envelope

For a house to pass Step 5, it must meet at least one metric in all three categories. For more about the numbers involved, see metrics.

Step Code is a performance code, meaning there are many ways to meet the targets.

For specific ideas for assemblies and equipment, see our Step 5 Sample Home.

For more information on Step Code's design flexibility, visit our Learning Centre.

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Step Code Metrics

Step Code Metrics

BC Step Code metrics can be divided into 3 areas:

  1. Air tightness: ACH₅₀

  2. Equipment: Reference House and MEUI

  3. Envelope: TEDI

ACH₅₀ (Air changes per-hour at 50 Pa) is a measure of a home's air tightness. ACH is tested with a blower-door for Step Code compliance. ACH₅₀ requirements vary only by step level.

ERS ref. House measures envelope and equipment efficiency. When a proposed house is modeled, is it compared with a twin version of itself, built according to the 2018 code. The difference in efficiency is used for Step Code compliance. ERS ref. House requirements vary only by step level.

MEUI (Mechanical Energy Use Intensity) measures envelope and equipment efficiency. It is based on how much annual energy input is required to condition the home. MEUI requirements vary by climate zone and floor area, as well as Step level.
TEDI (Thermal Energy Demand Intensity) is a measure of envelope efficiency. It is based on how much annual energy output is required to condition the home. TEDI requirements vary by climate zone, as well as Step level.

For more information about MEUI and TEDI requirements for your project, see the BC Climate Map and Section 9.36 of the BC Building Code, or contact us for a free consultation with a certified Step Code advisor.

Sample Home

Step 5 Sample House

Air Tightness

  • Continuous air barrier

  • Extreme care with air sealing details

  • Walls: 2x8, R28 batt plus R6 exterior insulation

  • Windows: triple glazed, USI 0.9, SHGC 0.3

  • Ceilings: R50 batt insulation

  • Basement: R22 ICF foundation 



  • Heating and AC: heat pump, HSPF 8, SEER 16

  • Hot water: integrated heat pump

Registered Energy Advisors
all low-rise residential

British Columbia Building Code
Part 9

What's required in your area

Step 3 is now the minimum for all BC municipalities, but some municipalities require Step 4 or 5.

Use our infographic to check what your area requires.


(Updated August 17th, 2022)

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Fortis BC Rebates

We expect that Fortis BC will soon launch a rebate program for new homes that meet Step 4 and Step 5. More details will be added to this page as they are released. (Last updated May 2024)

New to Step Code?

Get the basics at our

Learning Centre

Looking to save?

Optimize your design with Step Code options


Get a free consultation with one of our advisors

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