Today's Law As Amended

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AB-1329 Building codes: earthquakes: functional recovery standard.(2021-2022)

As Amends the Law Today

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) California has experienced dozens of disastrous earthquakes, which have caused loss of life, injury, and economic loss. One of the most significant earthquakes in California’s history is the 1994 Northridge earthquake, which, at a magnitude of 6.7, claimed the lives of 60 people and caused direct economic losses of $42,000,000,000.
(b) The third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (UCERF3), released in 2015, predicted a 60 percent likelihood of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake in the Los Angeles area in the next 30 years and a 72 percent likelihood for the San Francisco Bay area.
(c) According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), each year hazard events lead to failures in buildings and infrastructure, as well as deaths and injuries, short- and long-term displacement of the affected population, adverse health effects, and disruption to the social order related to the impaired functioning of schools, government, and businesses.
(d) The primary, long-standing goal of building codes is to establish the minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety, and general welfare. However, a recent study by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests that 20 to 40 percent of modern code-conforming buildings in an affected region would be unfit for occupancy following a large earthquake, taking months or years to repair, and 15 to 20 percent would be economically unrepairable, taking many years to replace.
(e) California and its communities would benefit if owners and residents could expect and rely on buildings to maintain their structural integrity and continue to function after a seismic event. Buildings that are able to do so would make it possible to avoid lengthy and costly repairs or rebuilding and related disruptions. Consistent with the stated intent of building codes to safeguard health, safety, and welfare, California should update its building codes to not just provide adequate safety but also provide for timely recovery.
(f) The United States Congress enacted a reauthorization and amendment to the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) on December 11, 2018. According to the Congressional Research Service, the language of the NEHRP reauthorization and amendment “highlights one of the changes in overall NEHRP program direction to enhance the aspect of earthquake resilience, meaning building structures that would allow for continued use and reoccupancy following an earthquake.”
(g) In 2019, as mandated by the NEHRP reauthorization, the Director of NIST and the Administrator of FEMA jointly convened a committee of experts from federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, private sector entities, disaster management professional associations, engineering professional associations, and professional construction and homebuilding industry associations to assess and recommend options for improving the built environment and critical infrastructure to reflect performance goals stated in terms of post-earthquake reoccupancy and functional recovery time.
(h) In 2020, as mandated by the NEHRP reauthorization, the committee completed its report: NIST-FEMA Special Publication FEMA P-2090 / NIST SP-1254 “Recommended Options for Improving the Built Environment for Post-Earthquake Reoccupancy and Functional Recovery Time” which was submitted to Congress in January 2021. The report contains recommendations for state and local jurisdictions to improve the earthquake preparedness and recovery time of their communities, including modifications to building codes to incorporate functional recovery standards. Additional publications are available to support the development of such standards.

SEC. 2.

 Section 18941 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

 All building standards shall be administered and enforced and, whenever practicable, written on a performance basis consistent with state and nationally recognized standards for building construction in view of the use and occupancy of each structure to preserve and protect the public health and safety. safety, and to provide for the timely recovery of housing and other community services after earthquakes. 

SEC. 3.

 Section 18941.5 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

 (a)  (1) Amendments, additions, and deletions to the California Building Standards Code, including, but not limited to, green building standards, adopted by a city, county, or city and county pursuant to Section 18941.5 this section  or pursuant to Section 17958.7, together with all applicable portions of the California Building Standards Code, shall become effective 180 days after publication of the California Building Standards Code by the commission, or at a later date after publication established by the commission.
(2)  The publication date established by the commission shall be no earlier than the date the California Building Standards Code is available for purchase by the public.
(b)  Neither the State Building Standards Law contained in this part, nor the application of building standards contained in this section, shall limit the authority of a city, county, or city and county to establish more restrictive building standards, including, but not limited to, green building standards, reasonably necessary because of local climatic, geological, or topographical conditions.  conditions, or recovery-based design standards, based on local recovery needs and priorities identified by the city, county, or city and county through regular and open rulemaking processes that include consideration of input from various stakeholders and the general public.  The governing body shall make the finding required by Section 17958.7 and the other requirements imposed by Section 17958.7 shall apply to that finding. Nothing in this section shall limit the authority of fire protection districts pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 13869.7. Further, nothing in this section shall require findings required by Section 17958.7 beyond those currently required for more restrictive building standards related to housing.

SEC. 4.

 Section 18941.11 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

 (a) For purposes of this section, “functional recovery standard” means a set of enforceable building code provisions and regulations that provide specific design and construction requirements intended to result in a postevent performance state in which a building’s structural and nonstructural capacity are maintained or can be restored to support the basic intended functions associated with the building’s preevent use and occupancy within an acceptable time, where the acceptable time might differ for various uses or occupancies.
(b) (1) During the 2024 triennial code adoption cycle, the California Building Standards Commission and the Department of Housing and Community Development, acting in accordance with Section 17921, shall develop, adopt, approve, codify, and publish building standards that require buildings not already under the authority of a different state agency to be designed and built to a functional recovery standard for earthquake loads.
(2) In proposing and adopting standards pursuant to paragraph (1), the commission and the department shall establish acceptable functional recovery times for buildings of different uses and occupancies and shall identify specific design and construction requirements deemed to comply with those acceptable times. The commission and department may consider design and construction requirements that vary to suit different levels of seismicity and different seismic design categories. The commission and department may deem that design and construction requirements in the current codes provide acceptable functional recovery times for certain uses, occupancies, levels of seismicity, or seismic design categories.
(c) In proposing and adopting standards pursuant to subdivision (b), the commission and the department shall actively consult with interested parties, including, but not limited to, state agencies, local jurisdictions, organizations representing building officials, engineering professional associations, disaster management professional associations, professional construction and homebuilding industry associations, nongovernmental organizations, code and standards development organizations, and private sector entities.
(d) Standards referenced in subdivision (b) shall apply to new construction of buildings, except for buildings regulated by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development or the Division of the State Architect.