From Chapter President Dan Galvez: 

January 27, 2017

The State of California Building Standards Commission has approved emergency regulations to enhance building standards for the construction of exterior elevated elements (balconies, exterior stairs and walkways) for residential occupancies, hotels, motels, apartment buildings, state-owned buildings and public schools.  The emergency regulations become effective immediately, three years earlier than if they were adopted via the traditional rulemaking cycle.

New regulation (CBC 107.2.7) specifically addresses exterior balcony and elevated walking surfaces;

1) Design:

107.2.7 Exterior balcony and elevated walking surfaces. [BSC] Where balcony or other elevated walking surfaces are exposed to water from direct or blowing rain, snow, or irrigation, and the structural framing is protected by an impervious moisture barrier, the construction documents shall include details for all elements of the impervious moisture barrier system. The construction documents shall include manufacturer’s installation instructions.

This new regulation expands on the requirements of CBC 107.2.4 Exterior wall envelope.

We should all take some time to read through the new regulations and re-acquaint ourselves with existing regulations.  We want to be sure that we always include manufacturers’ installation instructions and information regarding proper maintenance of waterproofing systems we have detailed.  If you are a product representative, be sure to advise the Architect and installer of installation and maintenance requirements. Contractors can ask the designer and product representatives to clarify any questions regarding proper installation. Inspectors will need all relevant information to be shown on the plans or in the approved submittals.  Let’s all raise our awareness and cooperation to address this important industry issue.

Other new regulations and modifications of existing regulations address;

2) Loading:

 

Design Live Load for Balconies and Decks: TABLE 1607.1 MINIMUM UNIFORM DISTRIBUTED LIVE LOADS, [BSC] 1.5 times the live load for the area served. Not required to exceed 100 psf

 

 

 

3) Inspection:

 

109.3.8.1 Weather exposed balcony and walking surface waterproofing. [BSC]  and 110.3.8.1 Weather exposed balcony and walking surface waterproofing. [BSC] Where balcony or other elevated walking surfaces are exposed to water from direct or blowing rain, snow, or irrigation, and the structural framing is protected by an impervious moisture barrier, all elements of the impervious moisture barrier system shall not be concealed until inspected and approved.

4) Maintenance and Re-Inspection:

101.8 Maintenance. [BSC]

Buildings and structures, and parts thereof, shall be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition. Devices or safeguards which are required by this code shall be maintained in

conformance with the code edition under which installed. The owner or the owner’s designated agent shall be responsible for the maintenance of buildings and structures. To determine compliance with this subsection, the building official shall have the authority to require a building or structure to be re-inspected. The requirements of this chapter shall not provide the basis for removal or abrogation of fire protection and safety systems and devices in existing structures.

 

5) Manufacturers installation instructions for moisture barrier:

106.2.6 Exterior balcony and elevated walking surfaces. [BSC] 

Where the scope of work involves a balcony or other elevated walking surfaces exposed to water from direct or blowing rain, snow, or irrigation, and the structural framing is protected by an impervious moisture barrier, the construction documents shall include details for all elements of the impervious moisture barrier system. The construction documents shall include manufacturer’s installation instructions.

6) Drainage:

2304.12.2.5 Supporting members for permeable floors and roofs. [BSC] The impervious moisture barrier system protecting the structure supporting floors shall provide positive drainage of water that infiltrates the moisture-permeable floor topping.

7) Ventilation:

2304.12.2.6 Ventilation required beneath balcony or elevated walking surfaces. [BSC] Enclosed framing in exterior balconies and elevated walking surfaces that are exposed to rain, snow, or drainage from irrigation, shall be provided with openings that provide a net free cross ventilation area not less than 1/150 of the area of each separate space.

 

 

Read the emergency regulations, here and the Finding of Emergency, which is the basis for taking action immediately, here.

See the press release from the California Department of General Services, http://www.dgs.ca.gov/dgs/Newsroom/tabid/72/ArticleID/146/California-Adopts-Emergency-Building-Standards-Regulations-Aimed-at-Preventing-Repeat-of-Berkeley-Balcony-Tragedy.aspx

You can learn more about this topic and complete building envelope waterproofing at the CSI East Bay Oakland chapter Education Symposium in April , http://eastbay.csinet.org/Stay-Informed/Save-The-Date-Design-Detail-Disasters-April-2017-PDF.pdf

 

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