The California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) is a commission within the Department of General Services and is charged in state law with the responsibility to administer the process of approving and adopting building standards for publication in the California Building Standards Code (Cal. Code Regs., Title 24). This is a brief summary of key events that led to the present form of CBSC, California laws regarding buildings, and the California Building Standards Code.

2019

At the CBSC meetings on January 15 and 16, 2019 the commissioners reviewed the remaining 2018 Triennial Code Adoption proposals for publication in the 2019 California Building Standards Code (Cal.Code Regs., Title 24), which is scheduled for publication on or before July 1, 2019 with an effective date of January 1, 2020.

CBSC launched a new website www.dgs.ca.gov/BSC on February 15, 2019 and the Department of General Services (DGS) has committed to updating its website to a more modern and intuitive format. CBSC is a commission within DGS and our website is updated to better serve local building departments, state agencies and departments, and interested parties.

2018

The 2018 Triennial Code Adoption Cycle dominated CBSC staff activity during the year. This activity included pre-cycle code development meetings, six Code Advisory Committee meetings, public comment periods and CBSC meetings to consider proposals that, when adopted, would result in the publication of the 2019 California Building Standards Code (Title 24, California Code of Regulations [CCR]). Final adoptions were to occur in December and early 2019.

It is with great sadness that serving Commissioner James W. Barthman passed away on March 23, 2018. Jim served as a commissioner as a public member of the CBSC for over 17 years. He served as commission vice-chair and on many subcommittees since his appointment by Governor Gray Davis in January 2001.

AB 565 (Bloom, Chapter 573, Statutes of 2018) Building standards: live/work units

This bill requires the Department of Housing and Community Development, commencing with the next triennial edition of the California Building Standards Code (Title 24, California Code of Regulations) adopted after January 1, 2019, to develop and submit for approval by the California Building Standards Commission clarifications in the California Building Code (Part 2 of Title 24) and the California Residential Code (Part 2.5 of Title 24) pertaining to the requirements for the construction of live/work units.

AB 2913 (Wood, Chapter 655, Statutes of 2018) Building standards: building permits: expiration

A provision of the California Building Standards Law specifies that a local ordinance adding or modifying building standards published in the California Building Standards Code applies only to an application for a building permit submitted after the effective date of the ordinance and to plans and specifications for, and the construction performed under, that permit, unless, among other reasons, the permit is subsequently deemed expired because the building or work authorized by the permit is not commenced within 180 days from the date of the permit, or the permittee has suspended or abandoned the work authorized by the permit at any time after the work is commenced. This bill provides that a permit would remain valid for purposes of the California Building Standards Law if the work on the site authorized by that permit is commenced within 12 months after its issuance, unless the permittee has abandoned the work authorized by the permit.

SB 721 (Hill, Chapter 445, Statutes of 2018) Building standards: decks and balconies: inspection

Current law provides authority for an enforcement agency to enter and inspect any buildings or premises whenever necessary to secure compliance with or prevent a violation of the building standards published in the California Building Standards Code and other rules and regulations that the enforcement agency has the power to enforce. This bill requires an inspection of exterior elevated elements and associated waterproofing elements, as defined, including decks and balconies, for buildings with 3 or more multifamily dwelling units by a licensed architect, licensed civil or structural engineer, a building contractor holding specified licenses, or an individual certified as a building inspector or building official, as specified.

SB 966 (Wiener, Chapter 890, Statutes of 2018) Onsite treated nonpotable water systems

This bill, on or before December 1, 2022, requires the State Water Resources Control Board, in consultation with the California Building Standards Commission and the Department of Housing and Community Development, to adopt regulations for risk-based water quality standards for the onsite treatment and reuse of non-potable water, as provided. The bill would authorize the state board to contract with public or private entities regarding the content of the standards.

SB 1226 (Bates, Chapter 1010, Statutes of 2018) Building standards: building permits

This bill requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to propose the adoption of a building standard to the Building Standards Commission pursuant to existing law that would authorize, when a record of the issuance of a building permit for the construction of an existing residential unit does not exist, specified enforcement officials to determine when the residential unit was constructed and then apply the State Housing Law, the building standards published in the California Building Standards Code, and other specified rules and regulations in effect on that date and issue a retroactive building permit for that construction.

SB 1397 (Hill, Chapter 1014, Statutes of 2018) Automated external defibrillators: requirement: modifications to existing buildings

Current law requires certain occupied structures that are not owned or operated by any local government entity and are constructed on or after January 1, 2017, to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) on the premises. This bill applies the AED requirements to certain structures that are constructed prior to January 1, 2017, and subject to subsequent modifications, renovations, or tenant improvements, as specified.

2017

Based on the Exterior Elevated Elements (EEEs) working group’s research conducted in 2016, CBSC, the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), and the Division of the State Architect (DSA), determined that emergency building standards were necessary to preserve the health and safety, and general welfare, of the public. The Commission approved the finding of emergency and emergency building standards, at its January 2017 meeting. The emergency building standards amended the 2016 California Building Code (Cal. Code Regs., Title 24, Part 2) and the 2016 California Existing Building Code (Cal. Code Regs., Title 24, Part 10) and became effective January 30, 2017. Two extensions were granted by the Commission pursuant to Government Code Section 11346.1 and the EEE emergency building standards became permanent December, 2017.

By late March, CBSC received and processed 280 local ordinance filings relative to the 2016 California Building Standards Code. Accepted filings of local ordinances were uploaded on CBSC’s website for public access.

Code Advisory Committee and CBSC meetings were held in the spring and summer of 2017 to consider proposals that, when adopted, resulted in the publication of the 2016 Intervening Code Adoption Cycle amendments (blue supplements) to the 2016 California Building Standards Code for publication on January 1, 2018, and effective July 1, 2018.

AB 1671, Caballero (Chapter 533, Statutes of 2017)—Backflow protection and cross-connection controls: standards.

This bill requires the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) to adopt standards for backflow protection and cross-connection control on or before January 1, 2020. This bill authorizes the State Board to implement the standards through the adoption of a policy handbook that is not subject to the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act or review by the Office of Administrative Law. This bill necessitates CBSC monitor and participate in the development of the policy handbook to ensure that any appropriate changes to the California Building Standards Code (Cal. Code Regs., Title 24) are made and no building standards are adopted into the handbook outside of Title 24.

SB 442, Newman (Chapter 670, Statutes of 2017)—Public health: pools: drownings.

Among changes to other sections of law, this bill amends the Swimming Pool Safety Act (HS Code, §§ 115920 - 115929.)—the text of which CBSC is required to publish within the California Residential Code (Cal. Code Regs., Title 24, Part 2.5) pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 18942, subdivision (b). CBSC also publishes this text within the California Building Code (Cal. Code Regs., Title 24, Part 2) for convenience.

This bill makes the following changes to the Swimming Pool Safety Act:

  • Increases the minimum number of specified drowning prevention safety features required for a swimming pool or spa at a private single-family home when a building permit is issued for the new construction or remodel of the swimming pool or spa.
  • Revises the characteristics of some of those safety features.
  • Repeals a previous exemption to the requirements of the act for political subdivisions that adopt ordinances for swimming pools as specified.

2016

At the CBSC meeting on April 19, 2016, an Exterior Elevated Element (EEE) subcommittee was formed in response to the 2015 balcony failure at the Library Gardens Apartments in Berkeley, California. The subcommittee was comprised of Commissioners Kent Sasaki and Steve Winkel. The purpose of this subcommittee was to review reports and other information regarding failures of this type and to make regulatory or statutory recommendations to the CBSC and/or state agencies that have authority to amend the California Building Standards Code (Cal. Code Regs., Title 24).

On September 15, 2016 Governor Edmond G. Brown Jr. enacted into law Senate Bill 465, Hill (Chapter 372, Statutes of 2016) and became effective January 1, 2017. Health and Safety Code Section 18924.5 was added to require the working group, EEE subcommittee, to review reports and other information regarding failures of this type and to make regulatory or statutory recommendations to the CBSC and/or state agencies that have authority to amend the California Building Standards Code (Cal. Code Regs., Title 24). Additionally, by January 1, 2018 the EEE working group was to submit a report to the Legislature containing its findings.

At the CBSC meeting on December 13, 2016 the EEE working group provided an update to the full commission regarding documents provided by Contractors State Licensing Board, the City of Berkeley, the Structural Engineers Association of California, and the American Wood Council. The working group conducted research on other EEE failures within California and throughout the United States regarding existing building standards, and construction materials and practices. At this meeting, CBSC, HCD, and DSA acted independently to pursue the development of emergency EEE building standards based on the International Code Council’s 2018 code changes.

Mia Marvelli became the Executive Director of the California Building Standards Commission in February 2016, following the retirement of James “Jim” McGowan on October 1, 2015.

AB 1732, Ting (Chapter 818, Statutes of 2016) requires, commencing March 1, 2017, all single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or government agency to be identified as all-gender toilet facilities, as specified. The bill authorizes inspectors, building officials, or other local officials responsible for code enforcement to inspect for compliance with these provisions during any inspection.

AB 2515, Weber (Chapter 576, Statutes of 2016) requires the Department of Water Resources (DWR), on or before January 1, 2020, and at least every three years thereafter, to either update the Model Water-Efficient Landscaping Ordinance (MWELO) or make a finding that an update at that time is not a useful or effective means to improve either the efficiency of landscaping water use or the administration of the ordinance. Further, this bill requires DWR, when MWELO is updated, to submit the update to CBSC for consideration during the triennial revision process of the California Green Building Standards Code (Cal. Code Regs., Tit. 24, Part 11), also known as “CALGreen.”

SB 7, Wolk (Chapter 623, Statutes of 2016) authorizes, effective January 1, 2018, landlords of multifamily residential rental buildings to use submeters to separately charge tenants for water service. The bill establishes rules and safeguards for tenants and landlords for the practice of submetering individual dwelling units. Further, this bill authorizes the Department of Housing and Community Development to develop and propose for adoption by CBSC, building standards requiring the installation of water meters and submeters in newly constructed multiunit residential structures or mixed-use residential and commercial structures, as those terms are defined in Section 517 of the Water Code. Finally, effective January 1, 2018, the Water Measurement Law would be expanded to require an owner of a newly constructed multiunit residential structure or mixed-use residential and commercial structure to install submeters that comply with all applicable laws and regulations prior to receiving service from a water purveyor.

SB 465, Hill (Chapter 372, Statutes of 2016) requires a working group formed by CBSC, to study recent exterior elevated element failures in California and related relevant information, solicit technical expertise from specified state agencies and other parties, and submit a report containing findings and recommendations for statutory changes or changes to the California Building Standards Code (Cal. Code Regs., Title 24) to the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature by January 1, 2018. If the working group determines that one or more changes to the California Building Standards Code are needed as soon as possible in order to protect the public, the bill requires the working group to submit the recommended changes to the appropriate state agency or agencies for consideration as soon as possible.

Further, the bill requires licensees to report to the Contractors State License Board’s (Board) registrar any felony convictions and any other convictions related to their work as a licensed contractor. The bill requires the Board to study results of certain claims for construction defects for rental residential units as part of a report to the Legislature containing other specified information. This bill also requires the Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Occupational Safety and Health to transmit copies of its actions taken against a contractor to the Board.

2015

The 2015 Triennial Code Adoption Cycle dominated CBSC staff activity during the year. There were several Code Advisory Committee meetings and CBSC meetings to consider proposals that, when adopted, would result in the publication of the 2016 California Building Standards Code (Title 24, California Code of Regulations [CCR]). Final adoptions were to occur in early 2016 with an effective date of January 1, 2017.

California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) Executive Director James “Jim” McGowan retired on October 1, 2015, following nearly 40 years of state service. Deputy Executive Director Michael L. Nearman was named Acting Executive Director during the search and selection process for a new Executive Director, which continued into 2016.

At the CBSC meeting on May 29, 2015 the commission approved the emergency building standards regarding the drought proclamations issued by Governor Brown in January and April of 2014 and resulted in the Executive Order B-29-15 (issued April 1, 2015).  CBSC’s emergency building standards included the reduction of potable water for exterior landscape irrigations for specified nonresidential buildings. CBSC coordinated with the Department of Water Resources (DWR), Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), Division of the State Architect (DSA) and other stakeholders to develop these emergency building standards that amended the 2013 California Green Building Standards Code (Part 11, Title 24, California Code of Regulations, also known as “CALGreen”)

 

At the CBSC meeting on October 21, 2015 and in December 15, 2015 the commission approved the emergency building standards regarding the Executive Order B-29-15.  These emergency building standards align Title 24 with the installation requirements that the California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted within Title 20 which prohibits the sale of specific noncompliant plumbing fixtures effective January 1, 2016. CBSC worked with HCD, DSA, and other stakeholders to develop these emergency building standards that amended the 2013 California Plumbing and Green Building Standards Code (Parts 5 and 11 of Title 24).

On June 16, 2015 a balcony failure occurred at the Library Gardens Apartments in Berkeley, California, which resulted in serious injuries and fatalities. CBSC received a letter from the City of Berkeley urging the amendment of the California Building Standards Code to require higher standards for weather-exposed exterior building elements. CBSC received a local ordinance from the City of Berkeley on July 28, 2015 amending the California Building Standards Code to require more restrictive building standards for certain residential and non-residential structures. The balcony failure and the Berkeley action were discussed at the October CBSC meeting. The commissioners stated the importance of reviewing pertinent information regarding the incident in further detail, including any forensic reports and other similar failures.

Emergency building standards were adopted during the year in response to Executive Order No. B-29-15 by Governor Edmond G. Brown Jr., which addresses the drought conditions in California. In an effort to increase water conservation in new buildings, these emergency building standards were proposed by CBSC, Division of the State Architect, Department of Housing and Community Development, and Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, and adopted by CBSC.

SB 88 (Chapter 27, Statutes of 2015), a 2015 budget trailer bill, added Sections 116680, 116681, 116682, and 116684 to the Health and Safety Code, along with several other additions and amendments in other codes, relating to water conservation. Specific to building standards, this bill added Section 21080.45 of the Public Resources Code to, until July 1, 2017, exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act the development and approval of building standards by state agencies for recycled water systems.

SB 287 (Chapter 449, Statutes of 2015) added Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 19300) to Part 3 of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code, requiring privately owned buildings of Group A, B, E, F, I, M and R occupancies, with a specified occupancy load, to be equipped with an automated or automatic external defibrillator January 1, 2017.

AB 1236 (Chapter 598, Statutes of 2015) added Section 65850.7 to the Government Code to require a city, county, or city and county with a population of 200,000 or more to adopt an ordinance, by September 30, 2016, that creates an expedited and streamlined permitting process for electric vehicle charging stations. A city, county, or city and county with a population of less than 200,000 residents must adopt the ordinance by September 30, 2017.

AB 662 (Chapter 742, Statutes of 2015) added Section 19952.5 to the Health and Safety Code, requiring a commercial place of public amusement, as defined, constructed on or after January 1, 2020, or renovated on or after January 1, 2025, to provide and maintain at least one adult changing station with specified signage. Other requirements and exemptions are provided.

2014

The 2013 edition of the California Building Standards Code (Title 24, California Code of Regulations [CCR]) became effective on January 1, 2014. The effective date of the California Energy Code (Part 6 of Title 24, CCR), and related provisions in the California Administrative Code and California Green Building Standards Code (Parts 1 and 11 of Title 24, CCR) were delayed to July 1, 2014. The delay was approved by the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) on December 18, 2013, because 2013 Public Domain Residential and Nonresidential California Building Energy Code Compliance software would not be available on January 1, 2014, as originally planned.

AB 2282 (Chapter 606, Statutes of 2014) added Sections 17921.5 and 18940.6 to the Health and Safety Code, relating to building standards. This bill requires the Department of Housing and Community Development and CBSC to conduct research to assist in the development of mandatory green building standards for recycled water systems for newly constructed residential, commercial, and public buildings, and building site landscaped areas during the 2016 Intervening Code Adoption Cycle. 

2013

AB 341 (Chapter 585, Statutes of 2013) amended Sections 18930, 18930.5, and 18931.7 of, and added Section 18940.5 to, the Health and Safety Code, relating to green building standards. Specifically, this bill does the following:

  • Health and Safety Code Section 18930 is amended to specify that, for purposes of the Nine Point Criteria all building standards must meet, the public interest includes, but is not limited to, health and safety, resource efficiency, fire safety, seismic safety, building and building system performance, and consistency with environmental, public health, and accessibility statutes and regulations.

  • Health and Safety Code Section 18930.5 is amended as follows:

  • Requires the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) and state agencies that propose green building standards to allow for input by other state agencies that have expertise in green building subject areas.

  • Requires the process by which these other state agencies shall submit suggested changes for consideration to be adopted as administrative regulations that include certain elements.

  • Requires a state agency that offers advice to CBSC via an advisory panel to, if feasible, indicate when voluntary green building standards may be adopted as mandatory.

  • Health and Safety Code Section 18931.7 is amended to expand upon existing requirements for the expenditure of moneys appropriated from the Building Standards Administration Special Revolving Fund;

  • Section 18940.5 is added to the Health and Safety Code to require the referencing and reprinting of green building standards into other Parts of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR).

AB 980 (Chapter 663, Statutes of 2013) added Section 18944.18 to the Health and Safety Code, relating to health care facilities, and enacted the following:

  • The intent of the Legislature is for all primary care clinics, including those that provide abortion services, be subject to the same licensing and building standards.

  • The intent of the Legislature is to render unenforceable Section 1226.7 of the 2013 Triennial Edition of the California Building Standards Code (Title 24, CCR).

  • Requires CBSC and the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to adopt emergency regulations that would repeal Section 1226.7 of the 2013 California Building Standards Code, including all cross-references to that section, as soon as possible.

  • Requires the California Department of Public Health to repeal regulations relating to abortion services in primary care clinics in specified sections of Title 22 of the CCR.

AB 1092 (Chapter 410, Statutes of 2013) added Section 18941.10 to the Health and Safety Code, relating to building standards for mandatory electric vehicle charging infrastructure. This bill requires the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and CBSC to adopt mandatory standards for the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure for parking spaces in multifamily dwellings and nonresidential developments. Such requirements must be added in the next triennial edition of the California Building Standards Code. Further, the bill also requires HCD and CBSC to actively consult with specified interested parties in developing these standards.

AB 1317 (Chapter 352, Statutes of 2013) amended Sections 18901, 18917.5, 18920, and 18922 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to statutory changes specific to the creation of the Government Operations Agency and the continued existence of CBSC. These modifications to existing statute are necessary to reflect the changes made by the Governor’s Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 2012, as introduced to the Legislature on May 3, 2012 and made effective on July 3, 2012. Specifically, this bill does the following:

  • Health and Safety Code Section 18901 is amended to state that CBSC shall continue within the Department of General Services.

  • Health and Safety Code Section 18917.5 is amended to state that “Secretary” means the Secretary of Government Operations.

  • Health and Safety Code Section 18920 is amended to state that CBSC consists of the Secretary of Government Operations and 10 members appointed by the Governor subject to confirmation by the Senate.

  • Health and Safety Code Section 18922 is amended to state that the Secretary of Government Operations or the secretary’s representative shall serve as the chair of CBSC.

2012

AB 296 (Chapter 667, Statutes of 2012) amended the Health and Safety Code and the Public Resources Code to require the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to develop a standard specification for sustainable or cool pavements that can be used to reduce the urban heat island effect index. The bill also required the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC), in its next triennial code adoption cycle after the development of the standard specification by Caltrans, to consider incorporating that specification as an additional strategy for Urban Heat Island Effect: Hardscape Alternatives in the California Green Building Standards Code (Part 11, Title 24, California Code of Regulations [CCR]).

AB 2030 (Chapter 370, Statutes of 2012) added Health and Safety Code Section 18934.9 to require CBSC to adopt building standards requiring accessible routes to stadium press boxes, with specified exemptions. This mandate required CBSC’s adoption to take place during the next triennial building code cycle that began on or after January 1, 2013.

AB 2697 (Chapter 770, Statutes of 2012), a 2012 housing omnibus bill, amended Health and Safety Code Section 18942 to correctly reference the California Residential Code (Part 2.5 of Title 24, CCR) and also made several technical changes to state law relating to housing.

SB 1186 (Chapter 383, Statutes of 2012) added Health and Safety Code Section 18944.15 to require that upon the publication date of the 2013 California Building Standards Code (Title 24, CCR), for the purpose of any claim brought under Section 51, 54, 54.1, or 55 of the Civil Code based on an alleged violation of a construction-related accessibility standard, compliance with the building standards for disabled accessibility as provided in Chapter 11B of Part 2 of Title 24 of the 2013 California Building Standards Code shall be authorized as an alternative method of compliance (effective January 1, 2013 through January 1, 2015, and as of that date is repealed).

2011

The 2010 edition of the California Building Standards Code (Title 24, California Code of Regulations [CCR]) became effective on January 1, 2011. This edition includes the first ever California Green Building Standards Code (Part 11 of Title 24, CCR). It applies green design and construction standards to most new buildings. Some provisions are voluntary. The nonresidential provisions were developed by the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) staff while residential provisions were developed by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

Additionally, James “Jim” McGowan became the Executive Director of CBSC in August 2011, following the retirement of Dave Walls.

AB 930 (Chapter 399, Statutes of 2011) amended Health and Safety Code Section 18921 to require that at least one member of CBSC to be experienced and knowledgeable in sustainable building, design, construction, and operation.

AB 849 (Chapter 577, Statutes of 2011) amended both the Health and Safety Code and Water Code regarding graywater usage as follows:

  • Health and Safety Code Section 18941.7 was amended to remove the authority of a city, county, or other local agency to prohibit the use of graywater. A local ordinance or resolution may establish more restrictive graywater building standards than building standards adopted by HCD and published in the California Building Standards Code. 

  • Water Code 14877.3 was amended to remove the authority of a city, county, or other local agency to prohibit the use of graywater. The adoption of graywater building standards by local ordinance or resolution must result in more restrictive building standards than provided in the California Building Standards Code.

2010

SB 518 (Chapter 622, Statutes of 2010) added Health and Safety Code Section 18941.8 to require that the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC), as part of the next triennial edition of the California Building Standards Code (Title 24, California Code of Regulations) adopted after January 1, 2011, to adopt building standards for the construction, installation, and alteration of graywater systems for indoor and outdoor uses in nonresidential occupancies. Further, the bill amended Water Code Section 14877.1 to terminate the Department of Water Resources’ authority to adopt graywater standards for nonresidential occupancies upon adoption of graywater standards by CBSC.

AB 1693 (Chapter 145, Statutes of 2010) amended the Health and Safety Code as follows:

  • Health and Safety Code Section 18929.1 was amended to modify the existing annual (12-month) building standards code adoption cycle to an 18-month code adoption cycle.

  • Health and Safety Code Section 18934.8 was amended for consistency to reflect that emergency amendments made to model codes in an expedited rulemaking process would occur outside of an 18-month code adoption cycle rather than an annual code adoption cycle.

  • Health and Safety Code Section 18942 was amended to require CBSC to publish supplements in the intervening period between triennial publications, rather than each intervening year.

AB 2001 (Chapter 246, Statutes of 2010) added Health and Safety Code Section 18949.7 to transfer any responsibility for the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to adopt regulations related to building standards to CBSC. The adoption of regulations by CBSC on behalf of CDPH requires the concurrence of CDPH.

AB 2762 (Chapter 610, Statutes of 2010), which was a 2010 housing omnibus bill, added to and amended the Health and Safety Code as follows:

  • Sections 18902, 18921, 18931, 18934.7, 18941.7, and 18949.4 were amended to make technical amendments to update both references and outdated terminology in California Building Standards Law.

  • Section 18926 was amended to remove the Department of Industrial Relations from membership on CBSC’s Coordinating Council, and changes the designation from State Director of Health Services to the State Director of Public Health.

  • Section 18931.8 was added to authorize CBSC to accept federal funds, gifts, donations, grants, bequests, or other funding for any purpose of funding the operations of CBSC.

2009

AB 1164 (Chapter 140, Statutes of 2009) amended Health and Safety Code Section 18931.7 regarding the Building Standards Administration Special Revolving Fund. Only non-substantive corrections were made.

2008

The 2007 California Building Standards Code (Title 24, California Code of Regulations) became effective on January 1, 2008.  

SB 1258 (Chapter 172, Statutes of 2008) required the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to develop building standards for graywater systems in residential occupancies. Further, this bill defined graywater as:

“...untreated wastewater that has not been contaminated by any toilet discharge, has not been affected by infectious, contaminated, or unhealthy bodily wastes, and does not present a threat from contamination by unhealthful processing, manufacturing, or operating wastes. “Graywater” includes wastewater from bathtubs, showers, bathroom washbasins, clothes washing machines, and laundry tubs, but does not include wastewater from kitchen sinks or dishwashers.”

Further, SB 1258 added to the State Building Standards Law the provision that a local jurisdiction may prohibit the use of graywater entirely, or adopt building standards that are more restrictive than the graywater building standards adopted by the HCD and published in the California Building Standards Code.

SB 1473 (Chapter 719, Statutes of 2008) was became effective January 1, 2009. This bill enacted two major changes impacting the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC). The first was a mandate for CBSC to develop and adopt green building standards to apply to nonresidential buildings, where no other state agency has the authority or expertise to do so. The second was the establishment of the Building Standards Administration Special Revolving Fund (Fund). Local jurisdictions began collecting a fee from applicants for building permits assessed at the rate of $4 per each $100,000 in valuation. The local jurisdiction is permitted to retain not more than 10% of the fees for specific statutory mandated activities, with the balance of the fee submitted to CBSC, deposited into the Fund and for appropriation to the CBSC, HCD and the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

SB 1473 further provides that the funds appropriated to these state agencies are to be used for carrying out the provisions of California Building Standards Law, with emphasis on the development, adoption, publication, updating, and educational efforts associated with green building standards.

2007

AB 715 (Chapter 499, Statutes of 2007) added to the State Building Standards Law the requirement that any state agency which adopts or proposes building standards for plumbing systems consider developing building standards that would govern the use of nonwater-supplied urinals for submission to the California Building Standards Commission.

2006

Dave Walls became the Executive Director of the California Building Standards Commission in May 2006, following Stan Nishimura’s retirement.

2005

A 2004 edition of the California Electrical Code (Part 3 of Title 24, California Code of Regulations [CCR]) became effective August 1, 2005. A 2005 edition of the California Energy Code (Part 6 of Title 24, CCR) became effective on October 5, 2005. Except for the 2004 California Electrical Code, the balance of the 2001 edition of California Building Standards Code (Title 24, CCR) continued as the current and applicable code. This is the era when the controversy over the International Code Council (ICC) model building code and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) model building code was unresolved and thus there was no 2004 edition of a California Building, Fire, Existing Building Codes (or related and dependent Title 24 Parts). The California Building Standards Commission continued to believe that the available model building codes were not appropriate replacements for the 1997 Uniform Building Code. This situation continued until the 2007 edition of the California Building Standards Code, in whole, was published.

2004

AB 2638 (Chapter 642, Statutes of 2004) added to State Building Standards Law the requirement that written rules and regulations by a local enforcement agency to clarify the application of the California Building Standards Code (Title 24, California Code of Regulations) be made available to the public upon request.

2002

The 2001 edition of the California Building Standards Code (Title 24, California Code of Regulations) became effective on November 1, 2002.

SB 332 (Chapter 31, Statutes of 2002) revised the straw bale guidelines in State Building Standards Law and required them to apply to the construction of all structures that use baled straw within a city or county that has adopted the guidelines in existing law prior to January 1, 2002. It also provided that the guidelines would become inoperative when building standards that permit the construction of these structures become effective after approval by the California Building Standards Commission.

2000

Stan Nishimura becomes Executive Director of the California Building Standards Commission following the retirement of Travis E. Pitts.

1999

The 1998 edition of the California Building Standards Code (Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations) became effective on July 1, 1999.

1998

AB 2697 (Chapter 426, Statutes of 1998) amended State Building Standards Law to require that, with regard to proposed residential building standards, the Trade and Commerce Agency, if requested by the State Building Standards Commission, to provide an economic review of the housing cost impact statement or related study submitted by a building standards code change proponent.

1997

AB 125 (Chapter 633, Statutes of 1997) added Section 18941.8 to State Building Standards Law authorizing the governing body of the County of Riverside of a city or joint powers authority within the county to adopt an ordinance that allows a building located on the former March Air Force Base to comply with specified provisions establishing state building standards in a graduated manner.

AB 1071 (Chapter 645, Statutes of 1997) did the following:

  • Allowed local agencies to adopt an ordinance permitting certain buildings and structures on specified military bases to comply with applicable state building and safety standards.

  • Allowed local agencies to adopt a graduated compliance plan, as specified, prior to January 1, 2000.

  • Allowed governing bodies of local agencies to adopt ordinances permitting buildings and other structures on military bases to comply with building and fire safety standards gradually over seven years, rather than three years as otherwise required, under specified conditions.

  • Required local agencies to arrange for the review of the proposed compliance plans by an engineer, architect or building inspector, as specified. Five years after the compliance period begins, the local agency will again arrange for review and if it is determined that compliance has not been achieved, the certificate of occupancy will be withdrawn.

  • Declared that unique problems exist with respect to conversion of military bases for other uses, that render the general statute regarding the allowable time for conversions to meet building and fire safety standards inapplicable.

The 1997 edition of the Uniform Building Code by the International Conference of Building Official (ICBO) was the last edition of the Uniform Building Code. Accordingly, the ICBO was blended into the new International Code Council. The 1997 edition of the Uniform Building Code would continue to be the basis for California Building Code from the 1998 edition up to and including the 2001 edition. The 2001 edition of the California Building Code (Part 2, Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations) remained in effect until superseded by the 2007 edition based on the 2006 International Building Code.  

This above events were the result of decisions by the California Building Standards Commission that neither the 2000 and 2003 International Building Code editions, nor the 2003 edition of the Building Construction and Safety Code published by the National Fire Protection Association, were appropriate replacements for the 1997 Uniform Building Code.

1996

AB 3372 (Chapter 384, Statutes of 1996) added into State Building Standards Law authority for the California Building Standards Commission to adopt amendments to the California Building Standards Code (Title 24, California Code of Regulations) if they are substantially the same as model code amendments that were adopted on an emergency basis by the model code publishers, provided the sections of the California Building Standards Code affected are not under the authority of another state agency. 

1995

AB 717 (Chapter 623, Statutes of 1995) added into State Building Standards Law specific certification, training and continuing education requirements for construction inspectors, plans examiners and building officials who are employed by a local agency in a temporary or permanent capacity. The bill exempts any person currently and continuously employed by a local agency as an inspector, plans examiner or building official, for not less than two years prior to the effective date of the bill, from its training and certification requirements. This exemption remains in effect until that person obtains new employment, as specified.

AB 1314 (Chapter 941, Statutes of 1995) added into State Building Standards Law, safety guidelines for the construction of structures using straw bales (baled rice straw). This bill provided that the guidelines shall not become operative within any city or county until an express finding is made and the finding is filed with the Department of Housing and Community Development.

1994

AB 1780 (Chapter 249, Statutes of 1994) directed the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) to prepare a comprehensive listing of all state amendments developed for publication in the California Building Code (Part 2, Title 24, California Code of Regulations) referencing the 1994 Uniform Building Code, for the period beginning January 1, 1995 through December 31, 1995. The bill also required CBSC to determine whether or not existing state amendments in Part 2 continued to be justified under the criteria set forth in State Building Standards Law, specifically Health and Safety Code Section 18930.

SB 1953 (Chapter 740, Statutes of 1994) was an amendment to and furtherance of the Alfred E. Alquist Hospital Seismic Safety Act of 1983 (Alquist Act). SB 1953 enacted Sections 130000 through 130070 of the Alfred E. Alquist Hospital Facilities Seismic Safety Act, a part of the Health and Safety Code. The regulations developed as a result of this statute were deemed to be emergency regulations and became effective upon approval by CBSC and filing with the Secretary of State on March 18, 1998. The bill required the evaluation of existing general acute care hospital buildings for seismic resistance. They employed standards developed by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to measure a building’s ability to withstand a major earthquake.

In 1994, the nation's three private building code publishers, the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), the Building Officials and Code Administrators International (BOCA), and the Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI), formed a nationwide organization known as the International Code Council (ICC). These three organizations dissolved their respective organizations and blended their copyrights and assets into ICC. The purpose was to discontinue publishing three different and competing building codes, in favor of one nationally acceptable code. ICC worked through the 1990s creating new codes through a consensus process. Several technical committees worked to blend the best of the three codes into one. The 2000 Edition of the International Building Code and International Residential Code, were the first published and available but were not adopted in California. Also, see the discussion for under the year of 1997 above. 

1993

AB 1904 (Chapter 1294, Statutes of 1993) expanded the exemption for local jurisdictions that, on or before January 1, 1993, adopted programs for mitigating potentially hazardous buildings, from the application of building standards contained in the Uniform Code for Building Conservation (UCBC) as adopted by the California Building Standards Commission.

1992

Editorial note:

At the time this history was created, legislative bills prior to 1993 were not yet available on California’s Legislative Information web sites, so hyperlinks to these earlier bills are not available. To view bills prior to the 1993-1994 Legislative Session, you may wish to navigate and search the archives section of the California State Assembly Office of the Chief Clerk website (http://clerk.assembly.ca.gov/).

AB 2358 (Chapter 346, Statutes of 1992) exempted local jurisdictions that, on or before January 1, 1993, adopted programs for mitigating potentially hazardous buildings, from the application of building standards contained in the Uniform Code for Building Conservation (UCBC) as adopted by the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC).

AB 2963 (Chapter 623, Statutes of 1992) specified that only the building standards approved by CBSC that are effective at the local level at the time an application for a building permit is submitted, shall apply to plans and construction work to be performed under that building permit.

AB 3515 (Chapter 897, Statutes of 1992) was primarily a "clean-up" bill to reorganize and clarify certain provisions in the State Building Standards Law. However, there were three substantive amendments:

  • The bill mandated that the Office of the State Fire Marshal review proposed building standards which, in fact, affect fire and panic safety, regardless of a state agency's intent when the standards were written.

  • The effective date of regulations that implement or enforce building standards was specified in the bill to be 30 days after filing with the Secretary of State.

  • The effective date of building standards adopted by the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) was also set at 30 days after filing with the Secretary of State.

SB 1588 (Chapter 896, Statutes of 1992) required that the publication date established by CBSC for the California Building Standards Code (Title 24, California Code of Regulations) be no earlier than the date the Code is available for purchase by the public.

1991

AB 47 (Chapter 865, Statutes of 1991) transferred the adoption authority of the following state agencies to the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC):

  • Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)

  • Office of the State Fire Marshal (SFM)

  • Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD)

  • Office (now Division) of the State Architect (DSA)

Several pieces of legislation were introduced at this time in response to the Loma Prieta earthquake. In particular, AB 204 (Cortese) increased the regulatory authority of CBSC to include, in general, existing buildings having at least one unreinforced masonry bearing wall. Specifically, the bill required CBSC to adopt and publish by reference the Appendix Chapter I of the Uniform Code for Building Conservation (UCBC) to provide standards for buildings specified in that appendix.

1990

AB 4082 (Chapter 1289, Statutes of 1990) required the California Building Standards Commission, in conjunction with all state agencies involved in the adoption of building standards and the interested public, to conduct a comprehensive review of state building standards and statutes relating to state building standards, beginning January 1, 1991 and continuing through December 31, 1992.

1988

AB 4616 (Lancaster, Statutes of 1988) provided that state agencies that adopt administrative regulations related to the implementation or enforcement of building standards must submit those regulations to the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) for approval.

SB 2871 (Marks, Statutes of 1988) provided that an amendment, addition, or deletion to the California Building Standards Code (Title 24, California Code of Regulations), adopted by a city, county, or city and county pursuant to provisions enacted by the bill (together with all applicable portions of the California Building Standards Code), shall become effective 180 days after its publication by CBSC. The bill also required that the building standards contained in specified codes (model codes) published by CBSC apply, with certain exceptions, to all occupancies throughout the state.

1987

The name of the California Administrative Code was changed to the California Code of Regulations by 1987 legislation (Chapter 1375, Statutes of 1987), effective on January 1, 1988. This must not be confused with the name of Part 1 within Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations, which is currently named the California Administrative Code. 

1982

The Commission of Housing and Community Development was eliminated and its powers were vested in the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).  

In August 1982, HCD adopted the first building standards requiring adaptability and accessibility accommodating persons with disabilities in newly constructed apartment houses containing five or more dwelling units. However, due to technical issues requiring additional regulatory action, these building standards in Part 2 of Title 24, did not become effective until September 15, 1984.

1979

SB 331 (Chapter 1152, Statutes of 1979) provided the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) with broader powers. As a result, all proposed building standards regulations adopted by various state agencies must be reviewed and approved by CBSC, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (Government Code Section 11346 et seq.) and the “nine point criteria” (Health and Safety Code Section 18930), before the regulations have any force or effect. Further, the bill required all building standards to be removed from other titles of the California Administrative Code (renamed in 1988 to the California Code of Regulations) and placed into a single code CBSC is responsible for codifying and publishing—Title 24.

1975

The Warren-Alquist State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Act was based on a legislative finding that the rapid growth rate in the demand for electric energy was in part due to wasteful, uneconomic, inefficient, and unnecessary uses of power.

The Legislature also found there was a pressing need to accelerate research and development of alternative sources of energy. This policy resulted in a situation where more than 20 agencies, ranging from the Barbers' Licensing Board to the State Architect, can adopt building standards and publish them in the separate titles of the California Administrative Code (renamed in 1988 to the California Code of Regulations).

1973

As a direct result of the devastation caused by the 1971 6.5 magnitude Sylmar earthquake (65 deaths and a hospital collapse), the Legislature passed the Alfred E. Alquist Hospital Seismic Safety Act. The quake hit the San Fernando Valley before rush hour, killing 65 people. Most fatalities occurred in the Veterans Hospital. The act requires that acute care hospitals be designed and constructed to withstand a major earthquake and remain operational immediately after the quake. The Sylmar earthquake is also known as the San Fernando earthquake.

The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development developed building standards under the authority of the Alfred E. Alquist Hospital Seismic Safety Act that were placed in Title 22 of the California Administrative Code (renamed in 1988 to the California Code of Regulations).

1970

The California Legislature made a finding that uniformity in building standards throughout the state is a matter of statewide interest and concern since uniformity would reduce housing costs. To assure uniform standards for housing, the legislature enacted Health and Safety Code Section 17958 requiring local governing bodies to enact ordinances imposing the same building standards as those adopted by the Department of Housing and Community Development. Other provisions in this same legislative bill allowed local governments to modify the state standards provided the local government made specific findings of need.

1965

The Commission of Housing and Community Development was created. The Division of Housing within the Department of Industrial Relations, along with all its duties, powers, responsibilities and jurisdictions, was placed in the newly formed Department of Housing and Community Development.

1961

The State Housing Act was repealed and the State Housing Law was enacted. Construction of dwellings, wherever located in the state, became subject to provisions of the State Housing Law. The new law established authority for the Commission of Immigration and Housing to adopt rules and regulations applicable to apartment houses, hotels, and dwellings to carry out the legislative intent.

1957

The Senate Interim Committee on Governmental Organization reviewed building standards and reported:

The handicaps under which the California Building Standards Commission operates emphasize the inadequacy of halfway measures. The promulgation of the State Building Standards Code would eliminate some of the confusion resulting from uncoordinated building regulations issued by the various state agencies, but would not be a substitute for an integrated department or agency with the responsibility for administration of the State's building laws activities.

1953

The initial State Building Standards Law was enacted (Chapter 1500, Statutes of 1953). As originally enacted, the law established a California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) with limited powers to control the building standards regulatory process. CBSC could not question the substantive provisions of the code if it found technical defects or that the provisions would have a negative impact on the public. Also, CBSC had no control over the filing of a building standard with the Secretary of State, and no appellant powers. Because of its limited powers to control the building standard regulatory process, CBSC was unsuccessful in its attempts to resolve longstanding problems that made it almost impossible for users of the code to understand and comply with its requirements.

Building standards continued to be located in different titles of the California Administrative Code (renamed in 1988 to the California Code of Regulations): OSHA in Title 8, Health in Title 17, Fire Marshal in Title 19, Hospitals in Title 22, etc. There was no codification or indexing, with standards scattered through the 30,000 plus pages of the California Administrative Code. Enforcement was complicated, costly, and in some cases, nonexistent.

1949

House Resolution No. 183 established a panel to study the building code issue and report back to the Legislature. One of the comments in that report was:

The State has no one agency concerned principally with building regulations. There are at least ten state agencies having some degree of authority in this field, and not one of them is responsible for taking the lead in coordinating the activity of all of them. This produces two kinds of confusion - conflict between state agencies themselves and too many kinds of relationships between State and local agencies. There is no consistent pattern for defining the relative responsibility of the state and local agencies in enforcing state regulations.

1945

The Division of Immigration and Housing within the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations was renamed the Division of Housing, the forerunner of the Division of Building and Housing Standards.

1939

The Garrison Act expanded the authority of the State Architect and scope of the Field Act to apply building standards to existing school buildings.

1933

The Field Act became law as a legislative response to the 1933 Long Beach earthquake. The 6.3 magnitude quake on March 10, 1933, resulted in 120 deaths and over $50 million in property damage. The quake destroyed 70 school buildings and rendered another 120 school buildings damaged, all in Southern California. Fortunately, no children were present during the quake that occurred at 5:54 p.m. The Act assigned responsibility for the design and construction of new public schools to the State Architect, but was limited to only the structural design and construction. The building standards developed by the State Architect were placed in Title 21 of the California Administrative Code (renamed in 1988 to the California Code of Regulations).

1927

The Pacific Coast Building Officials (later to become the International Conference of Building Officials [ICBO]) published the first Uniform Building Code (UBC). The ICBO family of Uniform Codes was adopted by many local governments. The UBC established uniformity of building codes in California.

The Division of Immigration and Housing was created within the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

1923

The State Tenement House Act, the State Hotel and Lodging Act, and the State Dwelling House Act were combined into the State Housing Act with the enforcement responsibility given to the Commission of Immigration and Housing.

The State Housing Act regulated the construction, alteration, maintenance, use and occupancy of tenement houses and hotels throughout California and of single family dwellings in incorporated municipalities. This new act combined the provisions of the repealed acts with changes and additions that included the following:

  • Defined fireproof, semi-fireproof and wooden buildings.

  • Required the rooves of all semi-fireproof buildings and of wooden buildings within incorporated municipalities be constructed of approved noncombustible materials or be well covered with an approved composition, fire resistive or fire retardant material.

1913

The State Division of Immigration and Housing and the State Division of Safety were created. Each had separate regulatory authority that established the unfortunate precedence of having different state departments responding individually to specific building problems that had statewide impacts.

1909

The first public building law enacted in California was called the State Tenement Housing Act. The Act regulated only tenements such as apartment houses and hotels within cities. This law banned the construction of dark and airless tenement buildings.

1905

One of the earliest attempts to unify codes on the national level was the National Board of Fire Underwriters successfully promoting a "Recommended National Building Code."