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Balcony Regulation Changes At-a-Glance

Posted by Ted Bumgardner on May 3, 2017 11:13:52 AM

Here’s what you need to know about the new code changes that took effect in California on January 27, 2017:

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. This requires the architect to provide complete details of the system including the membrane, flashings, scuppers, etc. Many architects on large or complex projects will likely engage a building envelope consultant for this.
  • The construction documents shall include manufacturer’s
    installation instructions.
    This will have the effect of making the product specifications "proprietary," essentially limiting the bidders to use one specific
    product or requiring a plan change when an installer decides to
    use an alternate product.
  • All elements of the impervious moisture barrier system shall not
    be concealed until inspected and approved.
    This will require an additional building department inspection not
    currently required.
  • The impervious moisture barrier system protecting the structure
    supporting floors shall provide positive drainage of water that
    infiltrates the moisture-permeable floor topping.
    Most product manufacturers require this now, but not all.
  • Enclosed framing 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.
    This will require vents in the deck soffit.
  • Balconies and decks shall be designed to withstand 1.5 times
    the live load for the area served. Not required to exceed 100
    psf, as opposed to the previous code requirement to withstand
    the same live load as the area served.
    This is a substantial structural change requiring joists to be
    deeper, or spaced more closely together.

Topics: Apartments, California, Building Codes and Standards, Balcony, baconies

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