Category Archives: Berkeley deck collapse

Excellent Read for Condo & HOA Managers “Footing The Bill Paying for SB 326 Balcony Inspections”

Let’s make balconies safe by building them right with the best materials and skill available.

I stumbled on this article by Rachel Miller Esq and Sarah Brown with Reserve Specialist Dennis Eckert RS PRA on CAI’s website. Here Ms. Miller and Ms. Brown discuss the balcony bill in detail and raise a very good point-that Condo’s less than 10 years old may have additional rights under SB-800. Hidden damage exposed during destructive testing may qualify as a latent defect under SB 800 and therefore repairs might be paid for by the builder.

Continue reading Excellent Read for Condo & HOA Managers “Footing The Bill Paying for SB 326 Balcony Inspections”

Who Should Inspect Deck’s & Balconies?

 “Leys makes a good argument that even the other groups identified in the draft bill—general contractors, architects, and engineers—aren’t qualified to perform these inspections, despite their skills and training.”

Andrew Wormer Editor Professional Deck Builder Magazine

If California’s Senate Bill 721 is adopted without modification by that state’s legislature, periodic inspections of enclosed balconies and similar structures on multi-family buildings that are higher than 6 feet above the ground would be required statewide. This is a common-sense measure, especially in light of the Berkeley balcony collapse in 2015 that killed six students. But as Bill Leys points out in an interesting post on PDB’s LinkedIn group, one of the groups that would be authorized under the law to perform these inspections, make repair-or-replace recommendations, and certify that repairs have been properly completed are structural pest control licensees.

Read the rest of Andrew’s editorial by clicking here 

Read my opinion by clicking here 

Exterior Elevated Elements Working Group Agenda for 5/25/17 is Announced

 

9e0e3-0216001100The deck waterproofing industry needs to speak up!

From the California Building Standards Commission-

Notice is hereby given that the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC), Exterior Elevated Element (EEE) Subcommittee will solicit technical expertise on the items listed in the attached agenda and the link below.  The public is invited to attend and provide their input or comments.  For questions on this notice, please contact CBSC at (916) 263-0916.

http://www.bsc.ca.gov/calendar/othermtgs.aspx Website www.bsc.ca.gov

 

Continue reading Exterior Elevated Elements Working Group Agenda for 5/25/17 is Announced

Common Interest Developments Could Benefit From SB 721 Inspection of Deck’s -The Law Is Being Debated in Sacramento

Let’s make balconies safe by building them right with the best materials and skill available.

Why Associations Should Embrace SB 721

Requiring Deck Inspections

Opinion by Bill Leys

I would like to provide a different look at SB 721 Contractors-Inspections of Decks & Balconies that the Community Legislative Action Committee (CLAC), the lobbying arm of Community Associations Institute, is now mustering its members to oppose and why this bill may actually benefit multi-family housing, including CID’s.

You may, or may not know that this bill has come about because of the parents of the six dead and seven seriously injured Irish students who were on a balcony in an apartment building when it collapsed. At the time of this opinion, the builder has settled claims with the families and while the settlement is confidential, experts estimate the payouts by insurance carriers was around twenty million dollars. Now imagine if a deck at your Association fell and what the costs of settling that might be vs the costs of an inspection of your decks.

Continue reading Common Interest Developments Could Benefit From SB 721 Inspection of Deck’s -The Law Is Being Debated in Sacramento

 SB 721 Will Force the Inspections of Decks-Who Should Perform the Inspections?

DeckExpert.com supports the inspection bill for decks. The Berkeley tragedy, the lives lost and the survivors who are left with serious life long injuries, has brought us all to realize the need to implement an inspection & repair program on a statewide level. This “accident” was no accident. 

The collapse at Berkeley was on a path to occur somewhere-the building industry in California and beyond will argue against my points, but this tragedy was years in the making. There are many reasons for this-from architecture schools that don’t teach it’s students the basics of waterproofing.  For example, right here at Cal Poly SLO, many courses, not one on waterproofing. I’ve offered to give a lecture at Cal Poly; my offers have been meet with silence.

http://www.catalog.calpoly.edu/collegesandprograms/collegeofarchitectureandenvironmentaldesign/architecture/#courseinventory

The architect who designed the balcony in Berkeley designed it poorly. Continue reading  SB 721 Will Force the Inspections of Decks-Who Should Perform the Inspections?

CA Senator Jerry Hill Introduces SB-721 Contractors: decks and balconies: inspection

DeckExpert.com Supports Requiring Deck Inspections

Bill Duplicates Berkeley Bill Langauge in Who Can Perform Inspections

Should structural pest control operators, general contractors, architects or engineers inspect deck inspections as the state of CA is proposing?

They will be if the consulting and inspection industry doesn’t act quickly and object. Senator Hill has just introduced a bill that uses much the same language Berkeley’s city ordinance does.

“The inspection shall be performed by a licensed general contractor, structural pest control licensee, licensed architect, licensed engineer, or other licensee as approved by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The purpose of the inspection is to verify that all of the balconies and other elevated walking surfaces covered by this section are in generally safe condition, adequate working order, and free from hazardous dry rot, fungus, deterioration, decay, or improper alteration to the extent that the life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare of the public or the occupants is not endangered.”

My thoughts-

Structural Pest Control Licensee-pest control licensee’s inspect buildings for termites/wood destroying organisms. They do not test roofs (or balconies) for water tightness, nor are they qualified to do so. Roof contractors can do so, but generally exclude themselves from inspecting decks. Pest control licensee’s do not know about waterproof coated decks, how they are installed, what problems to look for when doing an inspection and even if they do see a problem, don’t understand what caused it, what degree of a problems it is or how to repair it. Continue reading CA Senator Jerry Hill Introduces SB-721 Contractors: decks and balconies: inspection