2022 Building & Fire Code Update and Reach Codes
2022 Building and Fire Code Updates
Every three years, the State adopts new building, residential, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, energy, historical, fire, existing building, and green building codes (known as the California Building Standards Code). Earlier this year, the State released the 2022 California Building Standards Code, which will become effective on January 1, 2023. All construction and development projects submitted to the City on or after this date will be required to comply with the new code.
As part of the update, the City has proposed local codes/ordinances for adoption that are more stringent than the State code. On Tuesday, September 13, the City presented information about these local code changes during a Special City Council Meeting.
Significant changes in 2022 State Building and Fire Codes
- New construction to be “all-electric ready”
- “Electric ready” requirements for altered areas
- New minimum Residential electric service size requirement
- Improved indoor air quality
- Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure requirement
- Energy Storage System (ESS) infrastructure requirement
- Mass Timber/tall wood construction
Resources for the 2022 State Building and Fire Codes
Local Amendments to 2022 Building and Fire Codes
- Fencing requirement for uninhabitable residential construction project
- Modification to site addressing requirements
- Emergency Escape window amendment for change of use rooms
- Mobile Food Preparation permits
- New definitions to be added to Fire Code
- Recreational Fires
- Nuisance Alarm Notification ramifications
- Fire department inspection and maintenance records reporting
- Additional Fire Sprinkler requirements in Non-Residential garages for Lithium-ion batteries in vehicles
- Smoke detection requirements for Raised Access Floors
- Non-Residential Combination alarms system modification
Reach Codes Initiative
The California Building Standards Code (California Code of Regulations, Title 24) sets statewide building code standards. Title 24, Part 6, also known as the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards or "Energy Code", contains mandatory measures for residential buildings and non-residential buildings and sets an energy budget for each type of building. Title 24, Part 11, also known as the California Green Building Standards Code, contains mandatory requirements for all types of buildings in areas such as green materials and recycling, water efficiency, and electric vehicle charging. Title 24 receives updates every three years to incorporate the latest changes in construction and technology.
Reach Codes are local amendments that exceed the Energy Code and Green Building Standards Code. The adoption of Reach Codes aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by reducing reliance on natural gas and gasoline by refocusing energy consumption towards electrification. California state law allows local governments to impose additional measures beyond the California Building Energy Efficiency and the Green Building Standards Codes through the adoption of Reach Codes.
March 8, 2022 – City Staff presented Reach Codes to City Council as part of a sustainability work plan study session to seek feedback on Reach Codes and possible exceptions
September 13, 2022- City Council introduced, read by title only, and waived the further reading of the Reach Code ordinances. The City Council also set the public hearing on the adoption of the ordinances on October 11, 2022.
Council meetings links:
The City seeks community feedback to evaluate how the proposed Reach Codes may impact residents, businesses, and developers prior to adopting an ordinance. Stakeholder input on the proposed amendments will provide further guidance toward adopting Reach Codes. City staff will incorporate community feedback on the Reach Codes as it develops its recommendation to the City Council, tentatively scheduled for September 2022. The survey should take approximately 5 minutes to complete, and your responses will remain anonymous.
Darcy Axiaq, Chief Building Official
Radha Mehta, Management Analyst