As the agency responsible for the stewardship of all federal lands and waters that make up the port, the port authority issues building and occupancy permits for any new structures proposed within our jurisdiction. This responsibility stems from the Canada Marine Act, which requires us as a port authority to ensure all maintenance and building that happens in our jurisdiction meet applicable standards and minimizes environmental and community impacts.
Before issuing these permits, we work with contracted building code consultants and review design drawings to help ensure that the development taking place on port land is safe and follows professional standards, meeting the 2015 National Building Code of Canada and the 2015 National Fire Code of Canada. For projects that include new buildings or require modifications to existing buildings, a port authority issued building permit may be required in addition to a project permit issued through our Project and Environmental Review process.
New: 2020 National Building Code of Canada
Please be advised that the 2020 National Building Code of Canada will be officially adopted by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority as of January 1, 2023. Any Building Permit applications submitted after December 31, 2022 will need to adhere to the 2020 National Building Code of Canada. Any applications submitted on or prior to December 31, 2022, may adhere to the 2015 National Building Code of Canada.
Port authority-issued building permits are generally required for:
- New building construction
- Changes of building use
- Additions and renovations
- Structural modifications
- Interior renovations
- Temporary buildings and/or structures on port property
There are some exceptions, including works not regulated by the 2015 National Building Code of Canada, and certain in-water works such as:
- Floating docks or piers
- Mooring dolphins and pilings
Construction of structures that require a building permit must not begin until the building permit is issued. Similarly, structures cannot be occupied until the occupancy permit has been issued. If a project and environmental review is required, a building permit application can be initiated, but the permit will not be issued until a project permit has been approved.