Building Codes

Chico City Plaza
Chico City Plaza

The 2013 editions of the California Building Standards Codes were effective on January 1, 2014.  The statewide changes are listed in the Adoption Matrices at the beginning of each of the Code chapters and are annotated in each of the Code sections.  Local amendments are typically found on the jurisdictions’ websites.

Some of the more significant statewide changes are listed below:

2013 California Building Code


  • Performance design (engineered) now uses additional supplemental Reference Standards from AISC, ASCE, ACI, etc.
  • Prescriptive design (conventional construction) now has significant restrictions and limitations in Seismic Design Categories D & E.


  • Carbon Monoxide alarms are now required in new dwellings units.
  • Residential Fire Sprinklers are now required in all new residential construction.
  • Guards (guardrails) for all residential dwelling units (inside and outside) are now required to be 42 inches high.
  • Section R501.3 of the CRC requires fire protection of the underside of floor framing members with ½ inch gypsum wall board or 5/8th in wood structural panel Exceptions:
    1.  Assembly is directly over a space provided with a 13D or equivalent fire protection system
    2. Floor assemblies located directly over a crawl space not intended for storage or fuel fired appliances
    3. Portions of the floor can remain unprotected when complying with: 3.1 The aggregate area of the unprotected portions shall not exceed 80 square ft per story 3.2 Fire blocking shall be installed along the perimeter of the unprotected portion to separate the unprotected portion from the remaining assembly
    4. wood floors using dimension lumber or structural lumber equal to or greater that 2×10 or other approved assemblies demonstrating equal fire-rated performance


  • Catering kitchens are now considered a “Moderate Hazard Factory, F-1” occupancy.


  • Several thousand CBC accessibility regulations have been changed to conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including changing the numbering format.  The changes apply broadly to publicly funded buildings, structures, sidewalks, curbs and related facilities; privately funded public accommodations and commercial facilities; and public housing and private housing available for public use.
  • Although SB 1608  has provided certain legal rights for facilities which have been inspected by a Certified Access Specialist (CASp), non-compliance with ADA and CBC regulations is still susceptible to litigation in federal or state court.  CBC regulations have not been certified by the Department of Justice as equal to ADA regulations.

Check the Links below and your local jurisdiction’s website for additional information.



  • Library

Title 24

Building Standards Commission


Department of Housing and Community Development

Division of the State Architect

State Fire Marshal



  • City of Los Angeles