CA SENATE BILL 326:

New Requirements for Condominiums and DIY Inspection

Abstract:

In 2015 a tragedy in a Berkley, California apartment resulted in the death of several college students when a balcony collapsed. The resulting forensic investigation, which ABBAE took part in, concluded that water intrusion from waterproofing flashing failures had weakened the balcony’s structural members which contributed to the balcony collapse.

To prevent these life safety issues, the California State Senate passed Senate Bill (SB) 326 in response. It became law on January 1, 2020. SB 326 specifically requires all condominiums and town homes to conduct visual inspections of exterior elevated elements (balconies, amenities decks, elevated walkways, etc.) by a licensed professional. The inspections must be completed by the end of 2024 (or within 6 years of occupancy) and must be repeated every 9 years.

What does practical implication of balcony inspections look like during and directly after the COVID-19 crisis? Just as the crisis is changing many aspects of our day to day lives, it is changing the way we inspect buildings.

Allana Buick & Bers and Kasdan Lippsmith Turner, LLP have developed a seminar specifically for multi-family condominium owners, HOA Boards and property managers during the shelter in-place orders.

This seminar will teach you to conduct a simple inspection yourself, teach you to take photos of your balcony and landing and send them to us for evaluation. During the COVID-19 crisis, we are providing this seminar and photo review for free as a community service, to keep you and your families safe.

The seminar will show by example, forensic case studies of leaks, rot and failure mechanisms in typical balconies – including the 2015 Berkley tragedy – and visual signs to look out for. We will show you example how to take photos of undersides of balconies and landings, how to look for tobacco juicing, and take photos of wall penetrations, hand rails and deck flashings.

ABBAE and KLT are  offering this webinar to teach you how to take photos yourself and we will provide a portal for you to submit these photos to us for evaluation. We will have a professional expert review the submitted photos of your balconies and offer an opinion. This “do-it-yourself” approach can help keep homeowners safe during the COVID-19 crisis, identify immediate life safety concerns, and help prioritize a compliance plan for SB326. Although,  this approach will not satisfy the requirements of SB-326   the Webinar will address the specifics of the Bill and the fiduciary duties of the Board.

If your submitted photos seem to indicate an immediate need, or potential problem, we will schedule your project for a free initial consultation by an ABBAE professional and recommend next steps required to complete the SB-326 inspection requirements. 

We are open for essential businesses, which includes such life safety inspections and we will schedule a “free” preliminary inspection and consultation to help guide you to your next steps.  Since this process is also at the direction of KLT the results will remain Attorney Client protected until complete.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn about common balcony failure modes – and recognize which ones can have serious life-safety implications.
     

  2. Understand the specifics of the CA SB 326 Bill, the fiduciary duties of the Board, and the responsibility of individual homeowners and property managers.
     

  3. Learn about “DIY” inspections and how to properly photograph and document of the undersides of balconies and landings, and what visible signs to look for.
     

  4. Learn about our professional photo review services by our building experts and how it can help identify immediate life safety concerns and help prioritize repair projects.

Online Webinar

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

CA Senate Bill 326 - Practical Implement

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