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Established in 1953 by the California Building Standards Law, 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.

Duties

As provided in existing law and regulation, CBSC is charged with:

  • Reviewing and approving building standards proposed and adopted by state agencies;
  • Codifying and publishing approved building standards in the California Building Standards Code (Title 24, California Code of Regulations);
  • Administering California's building code adoption processes - (CBSC Flowchart);
  • Resolving conflict, duplication, and overlap in building standards;
  • Ensuring consistency in the nomenclature and format of the code;
  • Hearing appeals resulting from the administration of state building standards;
  • Receiving local agency modifications to Title 24, California Code of Regulations;
  • Coordinating and managing the model code adoption process for various state agencies;
  • Adopting and approving 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.

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.

In addition, six (6) Code Advisory Committees advise CBSC members and its staff on proposed building standards.

Mission

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.

Vision

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 Title 24, California Code of Regulations 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.    

Challenges

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.

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