In This Issue:
2014 Legislative bills
Current code adoption activites
Separate Hearings for Building Standards
New Guidebook from Commission
Stay in the Loop
If you know anyone not receiving our e-mail notice of the availability of our latest issue of The Willdan Letter, tell them to sign up or e-mail the webmaster. We won't use your information for any other purpose.
April 22, 2014: California Building Standards Commission public meeting. Meetings are generally webcasted so you may watch from your desk. Check the CBSC website for the agenda and webcast information.
April 23-24, 2014: CALBO Mini Education Week in Santa Maria, CA. Details are available at the CALBO website.
May 28, 2014: Last day to register for the DSA-administered Certified Access Specialist program examination to be held on June 25, 2014. Details the DSA website.
July 1, 2014: Effective date of the 2013 editions of the California Energy Code in Part 6 of Title 24, Chapter 10 within Part 1 of Title 24, and the California Green Building Standards Code in Part 11 of Title 24.
Other News & Things to Remember
If you own the 2013 California Building Standards Code in Title 24, California Code of Regulations, by this date you should have received eleven errata with pages to insert into your code. An erratum is a correction and is printed on buff colored paper for identification purposes. To obtain the issued errata, contact the ICC, for Title 24 Parts 1, 2, 2.5, 6, 9, 11 and 12, and the IAPMO for Title 24 Parts 4 and 5.
The Fire Protection Research Foundation, an affiliate of the NFPA, has published a report titled Fire Safety Challenges of Tall Wood Buildings, dated March 5, 2014. Find this very interesting research document on the Hot Topics listing on the website of the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
Did You Know?
Some State Agencies Can Hold Separate Public Hearings on Building Standards
Did you know that some state agencies can hold public hearings regarding proposed building standards separate from the hearings conducted by the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC)? It is true, and the reason is found in state law.
The California Building Standards Law in Division 13, Part 2.5, of the Health and Safety Code, establishes two types of state agencies for the purpose of creating building standards. The first type is known as a state proposing agency. State proposing agencies are authorized by various state laws to develop proposed building standards for presentation to the CBSC. The CBSC conducts the public hearings and performs the adoption and publication of those building standards developed by the state proposing agencies. The Department of Housing and Community Development, Office of the State Fire Marshal, Division of the State Architect and Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development are among those state agencies that are classified as state proposing agencies.
The second type is the state adopting agency. The state adopting agencies have authority in state law to develop proposed building standards, conduct their own public hearings, and adopt their proposed building standards. The adopted building standards must be presented to the CBSC for approval and publication in Title 24. However, the CBSC's authority in the case of building standards adopted by a state adopting agency is limited to verifying compliance with provisions of the California Building Standards Law, with references to requirements in the Administrative Procedures Act of the California Government Code that govern the process for adoption of building standards and assure public participation. The CBSC publishes those building standards adopted by the state adopting agencies that have been approved by the CBSC as meeting all requirements of the adoption process.
Examples of state adopting agencies include the California Energy Commission, State Historical Building Safety Board, Board of State and Community Corrections and Department of Food and Agriculture. Again, these agencies conduct public hearings on proposed building standards separate from the hearings conducted by the CBSC. When you see the CBSC hearing agenda listing a building standard by a state adoption agency, such as the California Energy Commission, the building standards have been adopted by the state adopting agency and are before the CBSC for approval of the process, not the merits of the building standards.
In summary, Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations contains building standards proposed by the state proposing agencies and adopted by the CBSC, and building standards adopted by the state adopting agencies and approved by the CBSC.
What's Up with the State?
- The California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) is currently administering the 2013 Intervening Code Adoption Cycle. Recently three Code Advisory Committees (CAC) met to consider proposed additions, amendments and deletions to the 2013 California Building Standards Code in Title 24, California Code of Regulations. The CAC-Access met in February and the CAC-Green met in March. An Ad-Hoc CAC was formed from members of the other standing CACs to consider the proposals for the building, electrical, plumbing and mechanical codes. That CAC also met in March.
The next step in the process is for the agencies to issue the Notice of Proposed Action with a 45-day public comment period. The Notice will advise of the nature of the proposals, how to obtain the proposed regulation language, and the date, time and location of meetings planned by the CBSC. The first Notice and 45-day public comment period for proposals relating to accessibility, have been issued with a public comment period beginning on March 21, 2014 and closing on May 5, 2014. The second regarding all other proposals will be issued soon with the public comment period beginning on April 25 and closing on June 9, 2014.
This information and the rulemaking documents are available via this CBSC webpage.
- The Building Standards Commission has a new educational document called the Guide to Filing Permit Surcharge Fees. It provides information regarding the fees each city and county building department must collect and remit to the CBSC. Explanations of the state law requirements along with examples of how the fee is to be calculated are provided. It is available at no charge at this CBSC webpage.
- The Building Standards Commission recently issued the 2014 Winter edition of the CAL Code Quarterly, an online newsletter. It includes information about the current code adoption activities, the appointment of three new Commissioners, the reappointment of three Commissioners and a quiz about codes.
- The Office of the State Fire Marshal has issued its annual report titled 2013 Year in Review. It provides extensive information on numerous statewide activities of the SFM regarding training, code development, fire prevention and more. Find it at this SFM webpage.
Legislation of Interest to Building Departments
The last day to introduce legislation for the 2014 portion of the 2013/2014 Legislative Session was February 21, 2014. There are numerous new bills that could impact local building departments if passed this year. Here are abbreviated descriptions of several bills.
AB 1918 proposes to require the Contractors' State License Board to develop a system to track air conditioner appliance sales and installations and to ensure that installations are made with permits and comply with building codes.
AB 2181 proposes to authorize each city, county, or city and county to require that soft story, older concrete buildings, and concrete residential buildings that were constructed prior to ductility standards, be evaluated for the potential seismic hazard. The bill would require the seismic retrofit of specified potentially hazardous buildings.
AB 2192 proposes to allow a local building department to implement a program that when plan checking delays occur, plans for the reconstruction or repair of apartment houses, hotels, and dwellings, prepared by an architect may be reviewed by another unaffiliated architect.
AB 2227 proposes to require the California Building Standards Commission to adopt building standards for the construction, installation, and alteration of solar energy systems and publish the standards in the California Building Standards Code on or before July 1, 2015.
AB 2282 proposes to require the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and the California Building Standards Commission, in consultation with the Department of Water Resources, to develop mandatory building standards for recycled-water infrastructure.
AB 2386 proposes to require day care centers and family day care homes to have one or more functioning carbon monoxide detectors meeting specified requirements.
SB 1350 proposes to require a baby changing station in a men’s restroom if one is being installed in the women’s restroom, or in a family restroom that is available to both men and women. The bill does not propose retrofitting of existing restroom facilities.
SB 750 proposes to require individual water measurement for each unit of a newly constructed multi-unit residential structure or newly constructed mixed-use residential and commercial structure when water connections are made after January 1, 2015.
The following bills should be watched for amendments that will impact local building departments: SB 1885 relating to building accessibility complaints, AB 2285 regarding the State Housing Law, and AB 2644 proposing waste container requirements in food service facility restrooms.
Our descriptions are abbreviated, so access the bills at the Legislature's website.