What is "Title 24"?
If you're a builder or contractor in California, it's pretty much a given that you know what Title 24 is. But, for the rest of us, California's codes aren't so clear. We at buildaroo.com are here to give you the low down so you too can understand what all the buzz is about.
California's Code of Regulations contains California's building standards. These standards are best known as "Title 24," as they come from Title 24 of the code. Title 24 is composed of 12 sections that govern the construction of buildings in all of California. It is a compilation of building standards that are the same as the national codes, building standards from the national codes that have been adapted for California, and building standards that are not found in the national codes but apply specifically to California. The sections are as follows, and a few of them can actually be viewed online at the International Code Council's site, but only if you register (it's free).
1. California Building Standards Administrative Code
This section of the code is essentially background.
2. California Building Code
This section outlines minimum safeguards and general building design and construction requirements. The requirements relate to fire safety, structural safety, and access compliance.
3. California Electrical Code
The California Electrical Code (CEC) contains standards relating to electrical design and construction, and covers safety issues as well as construction and installation.
4. California Mechanical Code
The California Mechanical Code (CMC) covers mechanical design and construction standards. Naturally, this covers materials, construction, operation, maintenance, and much more.
5. California Plumbing Code
The California Plumbing Code (CPC) covers plumbing design and construction standards. Like this mechanical code, this section covers materials, construction, operation, maintenance, and much more as related to plumbing.
6. California Energy Code
This section covers energy conservation and efficiency. More information and code details can be found at the California Energy Commission's site.
7. California Elevator Safety Construction Code
This section covers elevator safety, construction, and accessibility. This section is enforced by Cal-OSHA, the organization that protects occupational health and safety.
8. California Historical Building Code
This section addresses historical preservation and restoration, as regulated by the State Historical Building Safety Board.
9. California Fire Code
The California Fire Code (CFC) follows national standards in protecting from the hazards of fires, explosions, and other hazardous conditions.
10. California Existing Building Code
The International Existing Building Codes that have been adopted by California can be found in this section.
11. Reserved for the California Green Building Standards Code
As its title suggests, this section is reserved for green building standards.
12. Reference Standards Code
This final section contains the minimum test and reference standards required by the code.
Title 24 in its entirety can be found at various libraries throughout the state. A list of these libraries can be found here. Title 24 can also be purchased in its entirety or in part through a variety of publishers, listed here. For more information on Title 24 and California's building standards, check out the the Building Standards Commission's website at http://www.bsc.ca.gov/default.htm.