What Are the Legalities in the Modular Building Construction Process?
In a perfect world, putting up a new building is as easy as selecting a spot and starting construction. However, in reality, that isn’t how it works. There is a whole legal process with the building codes in Canada you need to go through before you can break ground and it can be a confusing journey.
We’re here to help you work through the modular building construction process and you’ll see how working with Britco can make this process smoother.
Where to Start?
The first step is to always check with your Municipal or Regional District Office to see if your project will work in the area you want to build in and understand the specific permits, inspections, and associated costs are included. If there aren’t any prefab building codes standing in your way, then you can start looking for a building location.
Your location is going to determine much of the modular building construction process since the permitting process will change depending on your job site. Locations in the country might need the same permits or zoning ordinances as ones in the city, or they may need different ones.
You may find the perfect location but that area isn’t zoned for a modular building or they type business you want to open or expand. It’s better to check this information with your local government planning staff to see what British Columbia’s building codes are before you start construction than after so you don’t incur fines or have to relocate.
If your location isn’t zoned for your project or commercial use, you can apply to your local government for a zoning amendment.
What Licenses Do You Need?
In addition to the building and zoning permits you need, you’ll also need to look into occupancy licenses and how big your space needs to be by law.
For example, if you’re using modular buildings for a school you need to allot a particular square footage for each child, which depending on your municipality's rules and the age of the child can range from 80m² to 130m². That will give you a rough number of how much space you are going to need, based on how many children you’ll have at the school.
The occupancy permit shows that you went through the zoning process and are compliant with all the ordinances and safety building codes in Canada. This process usually happens at the end of your construction project and is the last piece before you open for business.
Other Tips to Remember
There are a few other legal tips to remember while you’re going through the modular building construction process.
Check Local Ordinances
We’ve recommended your check with your Municipal or Regional District Office for different zoning questions but also check with them if there are any local ordinances or modular building codes you should be aware of like the Vancouver Construction Noise bylaw.
This states that all construction must be done between 7:30 am and 8:00 pm on any weekday that is not a holiday, and between 10:00 am to 8:00 pm on any Saturday that is not a holiday. Construction is not permitted on Sundays.
Violating these ordinances can result in fines and ill will from your neighbours before you even move in. It’s a little thing but it’s good to be considerate to your new community and not burn any bridges before you move in.
Remember the Timeline
While we think “this time around” will be different, working with government bureaucracy is always a mystery. You can follow all the prefab building codes and sometimes your project can go right through the channels with your permits issued on time. Other times, it can get tied up in red tape and could take longer than you anticipate.
So make sure to budget a reasonable amount into your timeline so your project doesn’t come to a standstill and follow all of British Columbia’s building codes.
Why Work With Britco?
Just like not all businesses are the same, not all modular structures are the same. There are several benefits to using a Britco modular structure that differentiate us from our competitors.
Built To Code and Safety Standards
As we mentioned above, it’s essential to be compliant with the most recent Canadian National Model Codes, which are the national building codes of Canada, for not only your workers' protection but for yourself, too. You could be opening yourself up to liability in an accident if your structures aren’t up to British Columbia’s building codes.
That’s why all our modular structures are built in adherence to all current safety standards and modular building codes, so you won’t have to worry about if anything is up to code or standards since we already did that. All you need to worry about is arranging for delivery and set up knowing that building safety is already taken care of.
Quick Delivery and Assembly
Not every building site can be in an easy-access area. At Britco we are used to working in all different kinds of terrain, from city centres to rugged rural areas. And even taking these challenges into account, our process is still faster than a traditional build.
Another benefit of choosing a modular structure is that fabrication and site prep takes place at the same time, shortening the installation schedule. And weather delays aren’t an issue since our buildings are built in a factory setting. This helps keep your project from falling behind schedule and costing you time and money. An additional benefit of this method is that your structure is also environmentally friendly.
Customized for Your Needs
When you’re thinking about starting your building project, wouldn’t it be nice to find a structure that you can customize while it is being built?
With a Britco modular structure, you can choose what layout you want, whether it’s an open-concept layout or not. You can customize cabinetry to create built-ins for whatever storage fits your needs. Then you won’t need to worry about retrofitting any additional storage into a design.
Learn more about the modular building construction process by contacting our team for your quote.
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