Alternative Solutions FAQ's
What is an Alternative Solution?
Previously, a formal building code rationalization equating an equal or better level of protection and performance was called an “Equivalency.” Since the introduction of the BC Building Code 2006, edition, it is now labeled an “Alternative Solution.”
The BC Building Code sets out technical provisions that regulate the design and construction of buildings or building components through the use of legal prescriptive language that dictate a minimum requirement/standard. An alternative method of compliance can be achieved by demonstrating that an equivalent (or higher) level of protections and/or performance can be designed and constructed with respect to satisfying the minimum prescriptive building code requirement.
This Alternative Solution Proposal must identify the applicable objectives, functional statements, and intent statements, including providing a brief project description and a summary of all relevant building code deviations. These objections and statements must be analysed and evaluated in detail to justify how acceptance of the Alternative Solution Proposal is validated. A summary of the mitigating features must be stated to establish what design features are being proposed beyond the minimum building code requirement(s).
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How do I Apply for an Alternative Solution?
Please incorporate the entire proposal with the attached City of Abbotsford Alternative Solution Proposal form. Submit the completed form along with payment ($520 per code deviation) to:
Building Permits & Licences Division
City of Abbotsford
32315 South Fraser Way
Abbotsford, BC V2T 1W7
Note that Alternative Solution Proposals typically take approximately three to four weeks to review depending on complexity. These proposals must be submitted with each building permit application, and must be accepted prior to the issuance of any building permit; otherwise the design will require to be altered to a code conforming “fall-back” solution.
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Who to Contact for More Information?
For more information, please refer to Section 2.3 of Division C of the BC Building Code 2006 edition. To have the proposal form emailed to you in a Word document format please contact the Building Permits & Licences Division.
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