Understand the Regulations Affecting California Properties

October 17, 2023

Legislation Following the Berkeley Balcony Collapse

In 2015, a fifth-floor apartment balcony in Berkeley, California, collapsed during a party, resulting in the deaths of six people and injuring several others. This devastating incident prompted California lawmakers to pass stricter building safety regulations related to balconies and other outdoor structures to prevent similar accidents and protect public safety.

The Rimkus Built Environment team has significant experience providing investigations of balcony failures and other structural issues. Our more than 40 years of experience investigating systemic failures within building envelope and structural systems make us uniquely qualified to identify potential failure points before they put people and property at risk.


California Senate Bills 721 and 326

Senate Bill 721 (SB 721) and Senate Bill 326 (SB 326) are two California state bills aimed at improving the safety of residential buildings, particularly those with balconies and decks.

SB 721, the “Building Inspection and Notification Act,” and SB 326, the “Balcony Inspection Bill,” require the inspection of balconies and other elevated exterior elements of multi-family residential buildings with three or more units, such as condominiums and apartment buildings. That is, every apartment or condo facility with decks, balconies, entries, or walkways elevated more than six feet must have safety inspections performed before January 1, 2025.

These bills also mandate that property owners, managers, and landlords disclose the results of these inspections to all residents. This transparency is essential to building trust and ensuring the well-being of occupants.

Ultimately, both bills aim to help prevent accidents and injuries related to structural failures by identifying structural issues and safety hazards.



How Rimkus Can Help

SB 721 and SB 326 require inspections to be performed by qualified personnel. Rimkus offers a team of experienced engineers, architects, and technical consultants in California who specialize in building inspections and compliance.

If deficiencies are identified during the inspections, we can provide recommendations and guidance through the remediation process. Focusing on energy, resilience, maintainability, and sustainability, our experts can help with every phase of the building life cycle.

We can assist with:

  • Mandatory Safety Inspections
  • Detailed Inspection Reports
  • Building Envelope Assessments
  • Façade Restoration
  • Historic Preservation
  • Waterproofing and Weatherproofing Assessments and Design
  • Code Compliance

Partnering with Rimkus is the first step toward ensuring your property meets all statutory requirements, ensuring the safety of your residents. Let us help you proactively address issues before they become costly problems.

To learn more about our comprehensive suite of solutions for the built environment, visit our website.

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