Architecture and Engineering
What is required?
The passage of Senate Bill 326 (SB 326) added new Civil Code § 5551 to the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act and became effective on January 1, 2020. The new law makes it mandatory that a licensed architect or structural engineer conduct visual inspections, in the least intrusive manner possible, of exterior elevated elements at all common interest developments in the state of California.
The licensed architect or structural engineer is required to provide a stamped or signed inspection report to the HOA.
Exterior Elevated Elements refers to load bearing components and associated waterproofing systems, which includes balconies, decks, porches, stairways, walkways, and associated railings.
The Exterior Elevated Elements subject to the new requirements include those with a walking surface elevated more than six feet above ground level, designed for human occupancy or use, and supported by wood or wood-based products.
Under SB 326, what number exterior elevated elements are required to be inspected and how often? The answer is not simple. SB 326 requires a random statistically significant sample of exterior elements sufficient “to provide 95 percent confidence that the results from the sample are reflective of the whole, with a margin of error of no greater than plus or minus 5 percent.”
B2R has the experience and expertise to meet all requirements established by SB 326. See How B2R Can Help You.
Why was SB 326 Passed?
In a word – safety. Historically, balcony and deck failures have led to thousands of injuries each year. The intended goal of SB 326 is to identify any exterior elevated elements in decay or disrepair, make any necessary repairs, and prevent future failures.
When is action required?
For existing HOAs the first inspections must be completed by January 1st, 2025 and completed again, once every nine years, thereafter. New HOAs for which a building permit application was submitted after January 1, 2020 must have the inspections completed within 6 years of the issuance of the certificate of occupancy and once every nine years thereafter.
How Can B2R Help You?
You can trust B2R to keep your HOA in compliance with inspection and reporting
requirements established in SB 326. B2R will:
Identify the types and quantities of Exterior Elevated Elements for which inspection is required.
Determine number of each type of element to be inspected to meet the confidence level required by law.
Report on the current physical condition of the load bearing components and associated waterproofing system, including whether conditions present an immediate threat to the health and safety of the residents.
Estimate the expected future performance and remaining useful life of the load bearing components and waterproofing system.
Make recommendations for any necessary repair or replacement of the load bearing components and associated waterproofing system.
If repairs are required, B2R can recommend a licensed and insured general contractor to complete the repairs.
In the event “emergency repairs” are required, B2R is required to notify the HOA immediately and will advise on steps required by the HOA to secure the affected area(s). Local code enforcement will be noted within 15 days.
Hopefully no repairs are required. In the event non-emergency repairs are required, B2R’s report will become part of the reserve study for the HOA. The HOA can complete the repairs as funding allows. B2R has an innovative and flexible inspection program to ensure compliance without the need for special assessments or budget impacts.
Senate Bill 721
The passage of Senate Bill 721 added Article 2.2 (commencing with Section 17973) to Chapter 5 or Part 1.5 of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code of California effective January 1, 2019. The new law requires an inspection of exterior elevated elements and associated waterproofing elements, including decks and balconies, for apartment buildings with three (3) or more dwelling units. The inspections must be completed by a licensed architect, licensed civil or structural engineer, a building contractor holding specified licenses, or an individual certified as a building inspector or building official. The first inspection is required to be completed by January 1, 2025 and subsequently every six (6) years. Any apartment building being converted into condominiums and sold to a separate interest must have an inspection conducted prior to the first close of escrow. An inspection report is required to be presented to the owner of the building within forty-five (45) days of the completion of the inspection. If the inspection reveals conditions that pose an immediate safety hazard, then the report is required within fifteen (15) days. Common Interest Developments are excluded from these provisions and are covered under Senate Bill 326.
B2R’s team of architects, engineers, and contractors will keep Owners in compliance with the new law. B2R will identify the types and quantities of Exterior Elevated Elements, determine the number to be inspected, report on the current physical condition of the load bearing components and waterproofing systems, estimate future performance and remaining useful life, and make recommendations for any necessary repair or replacement. In the event an immediate safety hazard is revealed, B2R will notify the Owner immediately.
B2R’s team of architects, engineers, and contractors can provide an array of design services to meet your needs. Our design services include necessary repairs and/or replacement, construction documents, permit processing, soliciting Contractor’s bids for required repair work, acting as an Owner’s Representative, and managing and overseeing any necessary repairs. B2R always acts in an ethical, unbiased, and confidential manner to serve the best interest of our clients.
- Defect Investigations
- Expert Testimony
- Building Envelope
- Contract Review
- Project Management
- Property Loss
DEFECT INVESTIGATION, RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS, AND FORENSIC ARCHITECTURE
B2R’s team of experienced and licensed architects, engineers, and contractors inspects, documents, and analyzes the as-built condition of a variety of existing projects including retail, mixed use, industrial, residential, high rise condominiums, and commercial construction. The process includes determining any failure mechanism(s) and preparing written reports, drawings, specifications, and repair recommendations unique for each project. B2R understands accepted testing procedures for building analysis, analyzes and interprets the results from the testing performed, and develops a conclusion from the results.
EXPERT WITNESS TESTIMONY
B2R’s team of expert witnesses have provided extensive deposition, arbitration, and trial testimony for complex construction defect and personal injury claims. B2R’s experts also have extensive mediation experience. B2R provides exhibits and graphics for clear and effective use at mediation, arbitration, and trial settings. B2R understands and will work hard to develop a collaborative, trusting, and supportive relationship with the attorneys we work for.
B2R’s team is trained to assess various building envelope systems, including 3-coat Stucco, 1-coat Stucco, Exterior Insulation & Finish Systems (EIFS), Curtain Wall/Fenestration Systems, Hardboard Siding, and other cladding materials.
ROOFING AND WATERPROOFING SYSTEMS
B2R’s team is qualified to assess the performance of roofing and above- and below-grade waterproofing systems. B2R’s experts are members of the International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants (IBEC) and National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA).
SB 800 INVESTIGATION, EVALUATION, AND RESOLUTION
B2R’s team provides timely investigation and analysis for the legislative requirements of California Civil Code §896 et seq.
CONTRACT REVIEW AND ALLOCATIONS – CODE ANALYSIS
B2R’s services include comprehensive review and analysis of contracts related to construction disputes. B2R will prepare allocation of responsibility based on the trade scope of work and construction deficiencies related to the various trades.
B2R’s extensive library of building codes and standards provide references for project design and evaluation of existing buildings.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT/OWNER’S REPRESENTATIVE – BUILDERS RISK
With experience in Project Management, B2R can manage the design and permit process, manage the construction process, develop bid packages, review payment and change order request, and act as the Owner’s representative. B2R’s team performs Third Party Compliance, Independent third-party inspections, QA work and peer review of building plans. B2R will review and comment on building plans prior to construction as well as inspect new construction during the various phases of construction.
1ST PARTY PROPERTY LOSS AND 3RD PARTY LIABILITY (INDEPENDENT ADJUSTERS FOR CONSTRUCTION RELATED CLAIMS)
B2R assists building owners, developers, and the insurance community by investigation, documenting, and analyzing documents for first- and third-party claims, including water loss, earthquake, hurricane, fire loss, and construction defects. Claims are investigated, documented, and reported (including cost of repair) according to the client’s needs.
B2R’s team can take the information collected during the forensic analysis process and apply it to the design, management, and implementation of the construction process.
- Due Diligence
- Property Condition Assessments
- Environmental Services
- Construction Cost Analysis
- Construction Loan Reviews
- Property Types
Complete, accurate and thorough due diligence is essential to making sound real estate lending and investment decisions. B2R (formerly Baucom Consulting, Inc.) meets or exceeds the client’s expectations in this process by providing nationwide services with the following objectives:
- Serve as a single source to the client for engineering, environmental and seismic services, resulting in lower costs and greater quality control.
- Provide accurate and thorough reports by employing only highly qualified consultants to complete and review all due diligence assignments, including licensed engineers, registered architects, and registered environmental assessors.
- Provide standard or customized report formats.
- Maintain the capacity and flexibility to meet the client’s requirement for quick responses and portfolio assignments.
- Always act in an ethical, unbiased, and confidential manner to serve the best interest of the client.
PROPERTY CONDITION ASSESSMENTS (PCAs)
The determination of the condition of a property, and the costs associated with rectifying deficiencies is a critical element in the due diligence process. B2R provides these services in accordance with ASTM, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Conduit, and client specific requirements. PCA services typically include the following:
- Coordination of site inspection with all disciplines
- Walk through of the property to complete visual inspection
- Comprehensive description of the noted improvements
- Identification of noted damage, deferred maintenance, and deficiencies
- Preparation of opinions of costs for correction of noted deficiencies
- Preparation of opinions of costs for replacements over the reserve term
- Identification of ADA barriers and cost estimates for removal
- Review of governmental records for possible code violations
- Determination of flood zone designations
- Photographic documentation of the property
- A seismic loss analysis of the subject property can be included if requested
Protecting the client from environmental risks associated with known and unknown hazards is crucial to the financial success of any real estate lending or investment activity. Through strategic alliances, B2R can provide an array of environmental services to identify and correct environmental conditions:
- Phase I Environmental Assessments are performed following ASTM guidelines
- As required, perform testing for asbestos, lead-based paint, lead in water, or radon sampling
- When asbestos is identified, prepare operations and maintenance plans, or supervise asbestos removal
- Thorough investigations of possible soil and groundwater contamination
- Preparation of Environmental Impact Reports (EIR) relative to contemplated development projects
- Monitoring and closure of abatement operations
- Review of existing environmental assessment to evaluate the appropriateness of the scope of work, compliance with local practice/regulation, thoroughness of the report, and standard of care
CONSTRUCTION COST ANALYSIS
Several factors impact the construction budget of development projects. B2R’s Construction Cost Analysis assists the lender by evaluating the project to determine the adequacy of the proposed budget. The analysis includes the following services:
- Review plans, specifications, soils reports, contracts and environmental reports for completeness and adequacy
- Develop an independent construction cost estimate
- Perform line item comparisons between the estimated costs and the developer’s budget
- Identify areas of possible budget deficiency
- Identify possible budget front-loading
- Identify conditions that may impact the construction cost
CONSTRUCTION LOAN DISBURSEMENT REVIEWS
B2R can review draw requests to assist construction lenders in understanding the progress of the project and determine the appropriateness of the requested payments. This service includes the following:
- Perform site visit to observe progress and field conditions
- Review materials stored on and off site
- Review overall quality of work completed
- Analyze draw request for consistency with physical progress
- Evaluate sufficiency of funds to complete proposed work
- Review change orders to determine cost and schedule impact
TYPES OF PROPERTIES ASSESSED
B2R’s team has substantial experience with a broad range of property types, including:
- Multifamily Housing
- Assisted Living Facilities
- Retail Buildings
- Parking Structures
- R&D Buildings
- Schools and Athletic Facilities
- Single Family Residences
- Site Development
- Retail Centers
- Medical Office Buildings
- Subdivision Development
- Hotels and Motels
- Retail Malls
- Industrial Buildings
- Mixed Use Residential/Commercial
- Office Buildings
Properties assessed have ranged from small, single tenant buildings to expansion of a major resort in the Bahamas with a construction budget of nearly one billion dollars. Construction dates range from new construction to buildings constructed in the early 1900s. Types of construction reviewed vary widely and include:
Wood Stud Framing * Structural Steel * Cast-in-Place Concrete * Non-Ductile Concrete * Post-Tension Concrete * Precast Concrete * Masonry Non-Reinforced Masonry * Concrete Tilt-up * Pre-Engineered Metal
B2R’s team of licensed architects, engineers, and contractors bring decades of experience providing building inspections, due diligence inspections, property condition assessments and reports, damage assessments, SB800 inspections, construction defect investigations, code analysis, and building expert consultation and testimony. Our many years of experience uniquely qualifies us to provide construction consulting, due diligence, and minimally invasive and cost-effective SB 326 and SB 721 inspections and reports. Our services are always performed in an ethical, unbiased, and confidential manner to serve the best interest of our clients.
With offices in Orange, San Diego, and Sacramento B2R delivers our construction consulting services throughout California, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida, as well as our SB 326 and SB 721 inspection services throughout California. B2R’s due diligence and private investigation services are provided nationwide.
LATEST NEWS FROM B2R
March 11 – 13, 2020
B2R at Southern California CACM Law Seminar
B2R will be exhibiting @CACMchat #SCLSE20, the largest gathering of community management professionals in California! Visit us at booth #113 in the Hall of Fame Expo Hall and enter to win one of two DRONES.
February 5 – 7 2020
B2R at Northern California CACM Law Seminar
B2R enjoyed the CACM Law Seminar and Expo in Santa Clara in early February. Looking forward to Anaheim in March. #NCLSE20
GET IN TOUCH
For SB 326 or SB 721 Services, please download the Due Diligence From above, fill it out, and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do not give out your contact information without permission.