Established in 1953 by California Building Standards Law (HS. Code, § 18901 et seq.), the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) is within the Department of General Services under the Government Operations Agency. CBSC members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate.
Per Section 1-409 of the California Administrative Code (Cal. Code Regs., Title 24, Part 1), and prior to conducting any hearing or public comment period as part of the rulemaking proceeding required by the Administrative Procedure Act, the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) assigns the initial code change proposals to one or more of the six Code Advisory Committees (CACs) specifically knowledgeable in the proposed building standards. CACs provide special technical review of proposed building standards and provide recommendations to CBSC and state proposing agencies. Public meetings are noticed and scheduled to ensure adequate opportunity for public participation and technical review.
Within CBSC, the Coordinating Council is responsible for:
- Ensuring coordination in the proposal of building standards;
- Assisting in the development of building standards;
- Resolving conflicting building standards.
Coordinating Council Meetings - for recent meeting dates, please access the Calendars page.
Coordinating Council Charter (HS. Code, § 18926.):
There is, in the office of the executive director, a Coordinating Council. The membership of the Council shall consist of the executive director, who shall serve as chairperson, and representatives appointed by the State Director of Public Health, the Director of the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, the Director of Housing and Community Development, the State Fire Marshal, the Executive Director of the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (California Energy Commission), and the Director of General Services.
Subject to the pleasure of the Commission:
- The Council or any member of the Council shall, when called and directed in writing by the executive director, work with and assist an agency proposing building standards or adopting building standards, or both, in the development of proposals for building standards.
- When a state agency contemplates the adoption of any building standard, it shall, prior to commencing any action to prepare a draft of the proposal, advise the executive director, in writing, of that intent and request the executive director to call the Council, or any member of the Council, as appropriate, for assistance.
- Whenever the Commission returns for amendment or rejects any proposed building standard, and one of the reasons for that action is that approval of the proposal would create a conflict with existing building standards of other adopting agencies, the executive director shall call the Council or any member of the Council, as appropriate, to assist in the elimination of the conflict.
- The Council shall draft proposed building standards which the Commission is authorized to adopt pursuant to Section 18933 for the consideration of the Commission and approval, utilizing the criteria of Section 18930.
The following documents contain historical information related to the California Building Standards Commission and the California Building Standards Code (California Code of Regulations, Title 24.). The following history documents help explain the developments of the current processes by which building standards are adopted, approved, published, used as design and construction requirements, and enforced.
- History of the California Building Standards Commission
- History of the California Building Standards Code (Title 24) - coming soon!
- History of the California Building Code (Title 24, Part 2) - coming soon!
CBSC is charged by California Building Standards Law (HS Code, §§ 18901 - 18949.31.) to administer the processes related to the adoption, approval, publication and implementation of California's building codes. These building codes serve as the basis for the design and construction of buildings in California.
California Building Standards Law: Part 2.5 (commencing with Section 18901) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code
California Building Standards Commission Duties, Mission, Vision & Challenges
As provided in existing law and regulation, CBSC is charged with:
Administering California's building code adoption process
Coordinating and managing the model code adoption process for various state agencies
Reviewing and approving building standards proposed and adopted by state agencies
Codifying and publishing approved building standards in the California Building Standards Code (Cal. Code Regs., Title 24.)
Resolving conflict, duplication and overlap in building standards
Ensuring consistency in the nomenclature and format of the code
Administering appeals and petitions regarding state building standards
Reviewing to accept/reject for filing local code ordinances to the California Building Standards Code
Proposing and adopting model codes and building standards for buildings owned by the state, including those constructed by the Trustees of the California State University and the Regents of the University of California
Adopting and approving model codes for state agencies that fail to adopt these codes within one year of their publication
Administering the Building Standards Administration Special Revolving Fund
Providing education and outreach to public and private stakeholders
CBSC's mission is to produce sensible and usable state building standards and administrative regulations that implement or enforce those standards. Specifically, CBSC:
Assists state agencies in producing high-quality amendments
Works to repeal unnecessary building regulations and see that ambiguous regulations are more clearly written
Assists various constituents and special interest groups in making their needs known to various code-writing departments
Administers a public appeal process
Educates the public about the state's building code, and helps them to understand and comply with it
Ensures Title 24 is published with minimal errors
CBSC's vision is to ensure that the statewide building code development and adoption process is efficient and effective.
To ensure that state building codes reflect California's interests, CBSC is committed to encouraging the participation of California's representatives in the development of model codes. The creation of such codes will result in:
Fewer amendments by state agencies and local governments
A California Building Standards Code that is understandable, simplified, and devoid of errors and conflicts
More easily obtainable building permits
Improved building performance
Highly consistent building standards throughout California
CBSC is also committed to ensuring an efficient and effective regulatory process that protects all Californians. Aspects crucial to realizing this vision are:
Dedicated funding for full participation of state agency staff in developing model codes
Stable funding for all CBSC activities
Complete cooperation and collaboration between CBSC staff and the staff of proposing and adopting state agencies
Areas of consumer and legislative interest are almost as diverse as the building code itself. Building regulations involve areas such as health, fire and panic safety, employee safety, energy conservation, and accessibility for persons with disabilities. These regulations impact various consumer and building industry groups, such as apartment owners, architects, engineers, and insurance companies.
California is a leader in the regulation of its building industry, particularly in the areas of accessibility for persons with disabilities and energy conservation. However, the current regulatory process is much more complex than in past years. Controversial and complex building standards and new emerging model codes and national standards present a challenge to CBSC in determining if such codes and standards are in the public interest. If CBSC were to approve and publish standards that were not in the public interest, it would cause confusion, create problems, and place an unreasonable burden on the public and the building industry.
- Kent Sasaki–Chair
- Steven Winkel
- Larry Booth
Code Adoption Committee
- Rajesh Patel–Chair
- Elley Klausbruckner
- Peter Santillan
- Steven Winkel