Well today had the option of being a fantastic day or a totally crappy day. It was the day I was to apply for my building permits and the process was either going to be successful or a dismal failure.
Unfortunately, it has been a utter and complete failure and I am not sure what the next step will be.
It comes down to liability – the Municipalities of BC do not appear to be willing to take on the liability of the new Part 9 Lateral Bracing Requirements. Even though Part 9.23.13 provide for a pretty comprehensive prescriptive approach to Seismic Design, it appears that many (most?) Municipalities are just going to make it too difficult to build the structure under Part 9, resulting in all builders instead going the Part 4 engineered approach at a much higher cost and complexity to the overall dwelling design.
SO where does this leave me, well that is to be seen. The DNV manager has offered to review the policy and asked that I leave it with them for a couple of weeks. Unless I am able to successfully build this structure to Part 9, I am fairly certain that we will be unable to afford the additional build cost resulting from a fully engineered solution.
The main hurtle with an engineered solution is that APEG BC have advised their members that they are not to use the Part 9 prescriptive for the Lateral Bracing because in their view, it is inadequate. Instead their members must use the guidelines set by the Canadian Wood Council. APEG’s lack of support for Part 9 Lateral Bracing implies that dwellings are falling down in regions of high wind and earthquake activity. Decades of experience with stick frame structures in these regions shows this not to be the case. The CWC approach usually requires $10K+ of additional Simpson seismic hardware and then there is also significant added engineering cost.
SO it looks like I am stuck. Looks like my dream of building a high performance home under Part 9 may be coming to an close and there is a good chance I will not be able to afford to build any other way. My decision will need to hinge around whether I downgrade the design (which would entail giving up substantial sponsorship that made the building science lab possible), or just give up all together and sell the lot as is and move on (most likely leaving this region entirely and forever saying good by to a lifetime dream).
SO yes – A Totally Crappy Day unless I can find some flexibility within the DNV Building Department.