Bylaws and Setbacks

There is no consistency in the location of the outside the building for setback determination. The following table shows the setback definition for each of the jurisdictions in the lower mainland. Use this table as a rough guide only and confirm exact setbacks with your local authority.

Jurisdiction R-value Setback
Vancouver Effective R-22 Envelope
Surrey Effective R-18 Structure
Squamish Effective R-18 Envelope
Whistler Effective R-18 Envelope
City of North Vancouver Effective R-18 Structure
District of North Vancouver Effective R-18 Structure
District of West Vancouver Effective R-18 Structure (below grade)
Envelope (above grade)
City of White Rock Effective R-18 Structure
Vancouver City Hall

City of Vancouver Code Changes

On the 1st of July 2014, the City of Vancouver introduced significant changes to it's building code.

As shown in Table 10.2.1.1.A below, the City now requires the foundations for one and two family dwellings to have an effective thermal resistance of 3.85, which is equivalent to an effective R-value of 22.

As the effective R-value of Nudura® concrete walls is 24, all Nudura® formed foundations and above grade walls out perform the new code.

City of Vancouver code table

What does Effective R value Mean?

"Effective" R-value measures the actual thermal performance of the wall assembly. This must include the reduction of thermal value due the thermal bridging across studs.

Actual testing by the National Research Council of Canada shows that the effective R value of a 8" concrete wall + a 2x4 stud wall with studs 16" on centre, will achieve an effective R-value of only 13.

For a plywood formed foundation wall to meet the new code, a fully insulated 2x6 wall is required with a stud spacing of no less than 24" on centre.

Click here for the NRC web page which evaluates the effective thermal performance of different stud walls inside a plywood formed concrete foundation.

Nudura block

Increased Living Area with Nudura®

The actual width of a 2x6 stud wall inside an 8" plywood formed foundation wall is 14 1/2".

The Nudura® 8" concrete wall is 13 1/4" wide, a reduction of 1 1/4". Assuming a perimeter distance of 250 lineal feet, this represents a total area of 26 square feet. With selling prices in Vancouver at $400/ft2, this provides savings to the home owner of $10,400.

If a 6" Nudura® block is used, the savings increase to 68 ft2 or $27,200, allowing most of the foundation's cost to be paid for by Nudura®.