Photos of projects plan checked or inspected by Willdan


News for California Building Departments
Issue 14, April - June 2007

Index to all issues of The Willdan Letter

Important Dates

Apr 30, 2007

Annual Business Meeting of the County Building Officials Association of California in Morro Bay.

See the CBOAC website for details

May 2, 2007

Effective date of California Building Code supplement dated October 12, 2006, with new Chapter 11A and other amendments.


May 2, 2007

Public hearing of the Building Standards Commission

Watch for an agenda at the BSC website

May 18-26, 2007

ICC Codes Forum at Rochester NY

See ICC website for details.

Jun 4-8, 2007

CALBO Education Week at Modesto

See CALBO's website for details and registration.

Jun 16, 2007

Final filing date for IAPMO certification examinations to be held on July 21, 2007 in Oakland, Oroville, Sacramento, Ventura, and Ontario

See IAPMO website for application details.

Jun 25-29, 2007

CALBO Education Week at San Diego

See CALBO's website for details and registration.

What's Up With The State?

  • By now most everyone has heard that the 2006 Code Adoption Cycle hearings by the California Building Standards Commission concluded on January 30, 2007 with the adoption of the 2006 International Building Code, 2006 Uniform Plumbing Code, 2006 Uniform Mechanical Code, 2006 International Fire Code, Appendix 1A of the 2006 International Existing Building Code, and 2005 National Electrical Code along with related California Amendments proposed by various state agencies. The adopted model codes will be the basis for the 2007 editions of Parts, 2,3,4,5,9, and 10 of Title 24, known as the California Building Standards Code. At this time, the publishing of the new codes is underway with the publication date to be on or about July 1, 2007. The publication date will start the mandatory passage of 180 days before the effective date. The Building Standards Commission wants the effective date to be on or very near January 1, 2008.

  • The 2007 Code Adoption Cycle, which will produce supplements to the 2007 editions of the California Building Standards Code, is scheduled to begin on September 28, 2007. By that date state agencies must submit proposed changes to the 2007 California Building Standards Code for review and approval by the Commission. At a minimum, accessibility changes by HCD and DSA as well as technical corrections are expected. Public hearings will be scheduled and listed on the BSC website.

  • HCD released the certified Environmental Impact Report on chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) water supply and distribution piping materials in housing occupancies, which may be viewed at the HCD website. This step was necessary and instrumental in HCD proposing an amendment to the 2006 Uniform Plumbing Code to remove the requisite determination by the building official that water piping is or will fail prematurely, in order to allow CPVC water piping. This amendment was adopted by the California Building Standards Commission at the January 29, 2007 hearing and will become effective with the 2007 California Plumbing Code.

  • During the Building Standards Commission hearing on January 30, 2007 in Sacramento, the office of the State Fire Marshal made a commitment to the advocates for accessibility to conduct public workshops when developing egress standards. The first meeting is now scheduled for May 1, 2007 in Sacramento.

  • To date, HCD has held two workshops with stakeholders during 2007 to explore new issues for Chapter 11A of the California Building Code which apply to multifamily dwellings. During the rewrite project that resulted in a new Chapter 11A, effective on May 2, 2007, numerous issues were set aside for further work. That work has begun. HCD plans to submit proposed changes to the Building Standards Commission before the deadline of September 28, 2007, for consideration during the 2007 code adoption cycle.

  • The Division of the State Architect has set the 2007 Construction Valuation Threshold used in CBC Section 1134B Exception 1, at $116,837.68. Section 1134B, Exception 1 allows for a reduction in the amount to be spent on accessibility improvements when making alterations, structural repairs or additions to existing buildings where the project cost is below the valuation threshold.

  • The California Energy Commission released Blueprint, issue #87 on January 30, 2007, available at their website.

  • The Contractors State License Board has issued Bulletin #07-03, dated February 8, 2007, advising contractors of the provisions of AB2977 (Chapter 478 of the 2006 Statutes) amending Health & Safety Code Sections 115922,115924, and 115928, and in particular, requiring the installation of anti-entrapment covers for drain inlets on swimming pools that are accessory to single-family dwellings being remodeled by the contractor.

  • Kim Blackseth resigned from the Building Standards Commission after serving for almost one year in the seat designated by state law for a person with physical disabilities. There are now three vacancies on the Building Standards Commission.

Legislation of Interest to Building Departments

We are now in the 2007-2008 legislative session and the due date for introducing legislation has passed. It is very early in the year and there are several bills proposing changes that will impact building departments if passed in the introduced form. The most noteworthy are listed below, but remember it is very early in the legislative process-many bills will die or be amended substantially through the process.

SB888: If enacted will require state agencies proposing building standards to the Building Standards Commission to integrate specific green building elements into the proposed building standards.

AB722: If enacted will direct the Energy Commission to prescribe the minimum level of operating efficiency for lighting devices and prohibit the sale of general service incandescent bulbs on and after January 1, 2012.

AB715: If enacted will prohibit the installation of flush tank and flushometer type toilets using more than 1.6 gallons per flush for solids and 1.1 gallons per flush for liquids, and urinals using more than 0.5 gallon per flush, on and after January 1, 2010. Related testing and labeling will be required and other water usage reductions will continue through 2012.

AB723: If enacted will provide for a "CEQA Holiday" from the environmental impact report requirement of the California Environmental Quality Act for a period of 5 years for the construction of agricultural employee housing, affordable housing, and urban infill housing projects.

There are several other bills that appear to be so-called "spot bills", introduced as a place holder while the language is being developed, and that may have potential interest to building departments. Subsequent issues of our newsletter will report on these and other bills as they take shape, like AB14,18, and 460. See legislation for yourself at the Legislature's website.

Did You Know?

Did you know those manufactured wall panels appearing in increasing numbers at construction sites must have state approval before installation? That is true if used in housing occupancies! In recent years, there has been an increase in the use of manufactured or prefabricated wall panels, sometimes called Structural Insulated Panels (SIP). Any closed panel system manufactured offsite for use in a roof, wall or floor assembly of housing construction, including hotels, motels, apartments, condominiums, and one & two family dwellings, is subject to requirements of the California Factory-Built Housing Law, administered by the California Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD).

In Issue #9 of this newsletter, we discussed the difference between manufactured housing and FBH, and introduced the FBH law and regulations briefly. We said, "The California Factory-Built Housing Law located in a portion of the California Health & Safety Code (Division 13, Part 6, beginning with Section 19960) provides a definition of factory-built housing and how it may be constructed and utilized for housing. In short, there are multiple forms of FBH ranging from complete homes transportable on the highways just like manufactured homes to completed modules or portions of dwelling units. There is also a FBH building component consisting of completed component parts such as roof, wall and floor panels (e.g. structural insulated panels). All forms of FBH if sold in California must bear an insignia of approval issued by HCD.

FBH in any of its forms must comply with applicable provisions of the California Building Standards Code (Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations) and administrative regulations adopted by HCD in Title 25, Division 1, Chapter 3, Subchapter 1, beginning with Section 3000. FBH is subject to HCD oversight but local government has a required role in the installation and alteration inspection. Inspectors finding building component systems must verify HCD plan approval and in-plant inspection by witnessing the HCD Insignia of Approval on each panel. The insignia for building components is made of red paper, 3/4" x 1-1/2" in size, and must be adhered to each panel offered for sale to the first user in California. Insignia or labels by any other state or code organization do not eliminate the requirement for the HCD Insignia of Approval. HCD has placed a California Amendment in the 2001 California Building Code, Chapter 17, Section 1704, Prefabricated Construction, as a pointer to the FBH law and Title 25 regulations.

The common panel has interior and exterior wall material encasing foam or cellulose insulation materials. It is a closed system such that the interior components are hidden from sight. The HCD in-plant inspection program is designed to verify compliance with the approved engineered design that includes specific adhesives and assembly processes.

For more information about FBH and responsibilities of the local building department, obtain a copy of the Factory/Built Housing Handbook for City and County Building Departments. This handbook is available at HCD's website.

Other News

In the new CBC Chapter 11A effective May 2, 2007, there are no state agency acronyms (HCD-1AC, DSA/AC or SFM). This means we must use the Matrix Adoption Tables to identify those provisions that apply to either public housing or multifamily dwellings, or both. However, an error occurred during the adoption process that omitted new Matrix Adoption Tables. The 2001 CBC with the inclusion of the new Chapter 11A will still have the Matrix Adoption Tables for the old superseded Chapter 11A. The Building Standards Commission plans to issue an Errata with new Matrix Adoption Tables soon.

An error during the adoption process for the new Chapter 11A resulted in no requirements for detectable warning surfaces (truncated domes) on curb ramps within the parcel boundaries for multifamily dwellings. Replacement provisions were included in the adoptions on January 30, 2007 to be effective with the 2007 CBC (expected to be January 2008). The language will be in Section 1112A and will refer to Chapter 11B, Section 1127B.5#7 for detectable warning surface requirements. Therefore, from May 2, 2007 and until the 2007 CBC becomes effective, there are no detectable warning surface requirements on parcels with multifamily dwellings.

Useful Websites

Department of Housing & Community
Development/Division of Codes & Standards

California Energy Commision

Division of the State Architect

Contractors License Board

Office of the State Fire Marshall

Building Standards Commission

State regulations other than Title 24

Current and prior year legislation

State laws