CALIFORNIA

Page updated as of November 2018

State Code Agency:

California Building Standards Commission:
Executive Director Mia Marvelli
2525 Natomas Park Drive, Suite 130
Sacramento, CA 95831
(916) 263-0916

Current State Codes and Edition Adopted:

  • 2015 International Building Code (IBC) *
  • 2015 International Residential Code (IRC) *
  • 2015 International Existing Building Code (IEBC) *
  • 2015 International Fire Code (IFC) *

* The 2016 California Building Code effective January 1, 2017 based on the above model codes and state amendments.

https://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/bsc/2015TriCycle/Information%20Bulletins/BSC-Bulletin-16-01.pdf

2016 CALGreen and the 2016 California Energy Code also went into effect on January 1, 2017.

Additional emergency balcony and elevated walkway amendments were adopted and go into effect on projects submitted for permit on or after January 30, 2017.

https://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/bsc/Info-Bulletins/BSC_Bulletin_17-01_FINAL.pdf

Applicability (statewide, local, limited): STATEWIDE

Title 24 serves as the basis for the design and construction of buildings in California. Codes are adopted at the state level and are enforced on a statewide basis. Each local building and fire jurisdiction may amend these state codes providing their amendments are more stringent based on findings justified by climatic, geographic and topographical conditions of the jurisdiction. California's building codes are published in their entirety every three years. Intervening Code Adoption Cycles produce Supplement pages half-way (18 months) into each triennial period. Amendments to California's building standards are subject to a lengthy and transparent public participation process throughout each code adoption cycle. The 2016 California Building Code is based on the 2015 edition of the I-Codes. Please review the information found here for code adoption: https://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/bsc/2015TriCycle/Information%20Bulletins/BSC-Bulletin-16-01.pdf

Amendments Disadvantaging Wood Construction:

The SFM office has several height and area amendments which disadvantage wood construction for SFM regulated occupancies by not allowing NFPA 13 sprinklers to be considered for both an increase in height and an increase in area. The one exception is type VA apartment buildings the SFM allows an increase in height and allowable area with NFPA 13 sprinklers. The full increase allowed in the 2015 IBC is not allowed for NFPA 13R sprinklers. Additionally the SFM has amended the allowable area increase for SFM regulated occupancies decreasing it from 3 times the allowable area to two times the allowable area.

Next Update Cycle (amendment opportunities):

The 2016 CBC, based on the 2015 IBC, was published on July 1, 2016 and went into effect on January 1, 2017. The Building Standards Commission and state agencies are in the process of completing the next 18 month update cycle.

Additional Notes:

The addition of Cross Laminated Timber to the 2016 CBC has spurred interest of SEAOC and CALBO looking at ways this new material can be utilized in the current code as well as through alternate methods of construction. Currently a group has formed to develop guidelines along this subject. State agencies including the Department of State Architect and Building Standards Commission staff are interested.