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Kamloops had repeatedly set new records for the value of building permits – in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020

For the first time in five years, the city of Kamloops has not broken a record for building permit values ​​in 2021.

Last year, the city issued 1,565 permits worth $ 200.3 million. The city broke its permit value records for a third consecutive year in 2020, with $ 416.2 million in permits issued.

The city’s construction and engineering development director Jason Dixon said 2021 was a typical year, noting that 2020 was bolstered by a $ 94.5 million permit for the final stage of the project. Royal Inland Hospital’s $ 417 million patient care tower, the largest building permit ever. issued in Kamloops.

Dixon said residential development was strong in 2021, especially the traditional residential sector.

The city issued 510 residential permits worth $ 113.3 million. This compares to 501 residential permits worth $ 173.7 million issued in 2020. There were 104 permits issued for single-family units, up from 90 in 2020. Permits for secondary suites have also increased. with 54, against 42 in 2020.

Dixon said changes in city policy that allowed secondary suites in more parts of the city likely prompted more people to go through the proper process. Kamloops is traditionally known to have illegal sequels.

The total number of residential units, however, was down in 2021 compared to 2020, with multi-family units not being as prevalent. In 2021, permits were issued for 234 collective dwellings, compared to 769 in 2020.

Dixon said apartment statistics were down last year simply because of the timing.

The past year has seen challenges for the industry. Lumber prices have skyrocketed, causing some permits to be delayed, and the pandemic has resulted in supply chain issues that continue to persist.

The year ended strongly, however. Dixon said applicants rushed into projects ahead of the implementation of the BC Energy Step Code, which requires, through British Columbia’s building code, that construction be carried out to certain efficiency ratings. energetic.

In December, the city issued 104 permits worth $ 31.9 million, up from 86 permits worth $ 81.1 million in the same month in 2020.

“I think people were making requests to get ahead of this change in requirements,” Dixon said, noting that residential buildings must now meet phase three of the BC Energy Step Code.

“They have to do energy modeling. They have to meet the efficiency goals for the house, then they have to model and design it to achieve a certain efficiency goal, and then they have to perform tests at the end of construction to prove that the house is as efficient as it is. ‘they had foreseen it. . “

In recent years, the city has provided incentives to build voluntarily to improve the efficiency of the code. Dixon said the initiative was more successful than any other incentive program in the province, which he attributes to the city working closely with local home builders. Still, he noted, some people will likely be surprised by the new construction changes this year.

“I feel like we’ve done everything we can to prepare the industry for this,” he said.

To be noted on the construction schedule

Another notable project to receive a permit last year included a $ 21.7 million permit issued for a new Parkcrest Elementary School, after the original building in Brocklehurst burned down in September 2019.

The city also plans to issue permits this year for renovations to the existing Royal Inland Hospital building, as well as City Gardens, the largest residential development in Kamloops history, which is slated to begin construction downtown. this spring and eventually span several blocks.