Established in 1953 by the California Building Standards Law, the California Building Standards Commission (BSC) is an independent commission within the State and Consumer Services Agency. Commission members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate.
As provided in established laws and rules, the BSC is charged with:
Reviewing and approving building standards proposed and adopted by state agencies
Codifying and publishing approved building standards in one state building standards code (California Code of Regulations, Title 24)
Administering California's building code adoption processes - (BSC 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 California Code of Regulations, Title 24
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 the BSC, 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 Code Advisory Committees advise the BSC and its staff on proposed building standards.
The BSC's mission is to produce sensible and usable state building standards and administrative regulations that implement or enforce those standards.
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 a high-quality California Code of Regulations, Title 24 with minimal errors
The BSC'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, the BSC 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 Code of Regulations, Title 24 that is understandable, simplified, and devoid of errors and conflicts
More easily obtainable building permits
Improved building performance
Highly consistent building standards throughout California
The BSC 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 BSC activities
Complete cooperation and collaboration between BSC staff and the staff of proposing and adopting state agencies
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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 handicapped accessibility. 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 handicap accessibility 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 the BSC in determining if such codes and standards are in the public interest. If the BSC 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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