Our Graphics are Now Your Graphics

We’ve released all BC Energy Step Code diagrams under a Creative Commons license. Now, anyone who wants to spread the word about the BC Energy Step Code can more easily do so.

4 min readMar 8, 2018


As interest in the BC Energy Step Code grows—across the province and the country—governments, companies, NGOs and others are looking to explain the basics of the new standard to constituents, partners, customers, and members.

To support their efforts, the Province of British Columbia has produced a spiffy new web site packed with resources, and the Energy Step Code Council has developed a variety of graphics, diagrams, and presentation templates.

Those resources include the logo you see up at the top of this post, and diagrams like this one, below. This simplified overview graphic aims to convey the idea that each step of the BC Energy Step Code represents an increasing level of energy efficiency until we reach the Province of British Columbia’s target that all new buldings must reach a net-zero-energy ready level of performance by 2032.

The simplified graphic conveys how the BC Energy Step Code takes us from today to the year 2032.

The Energy Step Code Council has also developed a few other graphics that explain how the standard works in various building types. The one immediately below highlights how the various steps translate into improved energy efficiency in homes. The scale on the right reveals approximately how much more energy efficient a given step is above a home built to the base BC Building Code. For example, a home built to meet the requirements of Step 4 will be 40 percent more efficient than one built to the requirements of code.

Note the grouping of steps. For homes, we refer to Steps 1 through Step 3 as the Lower Steps. They are easier for builders to achieve with conventional practices and materials. Steps 4 and 5, the Upper Steps, represent a more ambitious approach.

But the BC Energy Step Code is not just for simple and smaller buildings; it’s for larger and more complex ones, too. The following two diagrams explain how the standard applies in more complex buildings. These are known in the trade as Part 3 buildings—in reference to the section of the BC Building Code that addresses them.

The first one shows the increasing levels of energy efficiency for larger and more complex wood-frame residential buildings:

For larger and more complex buildings, Step 1 through Step 3 are the Lower Steps, but in these structures, there is only one Upper Step.

And this one shares the skinny on how the BC Energy Step Code applies for larger concrete residential buildings:

For larger concrete residential buildings, Step 1 through Step 2 are Lower Steps, and there are two Upper Steps.

We also offer a presentation template, and other graphics to explain the concept of “building envelope,” what the standard measures, and so on. You’ll find the full range of graphics and diagrams in the BC Energy Step Code Best Practices Guide for Local Governments (.PDF, 5MB).

The good news: We have now made all these graphics available under a Creative Commons license (motto: “When we share, everyone wins.”) Specifically, the BC Energy Step Code brand assets are available under the Creative Commons license Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada (CC BY-ND 2.5 CA).

Our new two-volume Brand Handbook details colors, styles, standard definitions, and more.

While the graphics are now available with a minimum of fuss, we would ask that you use them appropriately. Our new two-volume BC Energy Step Code Brand Handbook offers guidance. (Hint: please don’t use them to imply a product endorsement!)

Save the graphics above, review the Brand Handbook so you know what’s cool with the Energy Step Code Council, and what isn’t. Then put them to work. Presentation to council? You bet. High School Science Fair exhibit? Bring it on!

And if you would like to obtain high-resolution versions for print usage, please reach out.

Glave Communications produced this post on behalf of the Training and Communications Subcommittee of the Energy Step Code Council, with resource support from BC Hydro. In an effort to increase awareness and understanding of the BC Energy Step Code, the Energy Step Code Council is sharing information on how and why builders and communities are using the new standard. Local governments may use the BC Energy Step Code, if they wish, to incentivize or require a level of energy efficiency in new construction that goes above and beyond the requirements of the BC Building Code.



BC Energy Step Code

Sharing stories of how and why builders and communities are putting British Columbia’s energy-performance building standard to work.