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New More Stringent Building Codes Go Into Effect July 1, 2014

Margaret Miglietta

Margaret R. Miglietta

CalGreen is expanded to include:

• All low-rise, high-rise, and hotel/motel buildings of R occupancy* (effective January 1, 2014)
• All multi-family buildings with three or fewer habitable stories above grade (Groups R-1 and R-2)**

• All new construction
• All additions of 1,000 square feet or more
• Alterations/valuations of $200,000 or more

Areas of Focus:
• BUG Ratings (Backlight uplight glare- applies to new construction only)
• Indoor water usage (more stringent limitations)
• Primary exterior entries must be covered by recesses, awnings, overhangs or other protections of at least 4 feet
• Higher Energy Efficiency

What this means for permits issues after January 1, 2014:

Installation of water efficient fixtures are required for:
• New construction for all multi-family and commercial buildings
• Building permits for a 10% increased floor area
• Building permits with an improvement valuation of $150,000 or more

If the structure was built before January 1, 1994, you must replace all non-compliant fixtures in the building with the proposed addition or improvement.

• New residential standards 25% more efficient
• Non-residential standards 30% more efficient

Practice Note:

More stringent codes can mean a higher risk of liability for building owners, architects, builders and contractors. Contract language should be reviewed to make sure that indemnity provisions protect against unintended liability exposure for code compliance issues.

* Residential and some cases, mixed use buildings
**Habitable story is defined as one that contains space in which humans may live or work in reasonable comfort and that has at least 50% of its volume above grade.