Impacting the Building Code

Greetings from the AIA California Office,

As you experience daily, architecture is a challenging profession which is made more complex by the regulatory environment in our state. 20+ agencies and commissions influence the design and delivery of architecture and while each brings its own challenges to your work. The Building Standards Commission is one of the most impactful on your work, day to day.

Rarely is there a project not influenced, constrained, or made possible by this powerful commission in charge of producing building standards and building codes, and regulations to implement and enforce the building standards. Fulfilling its charge, it coordinates with the six different agencies that touch on the California Building Standards Code.

Given the critical nature of the Commission’s work to architects, AIA California commits significant resources to: actively engaging with this group, advocate on behalf of the profession, and find opportunities to improve the regulatory landscape for practice.

Because Building Codes are so particular to architects, AIA California engages a practitioner, Michael Malinowski, FAIA, who is intimately familiar with the perspective of an architect, and the impact of the code to solve design challenges.

Last year, Mike and members of the Climate Action Committee, succeeded in the passage of key code changes to reduce embodied carbon in the built environment. Through their efforts, California became the first state in the country to require the reporting of embodied carbon (for specific building types and sizes) and, in a separate action, reduce barriers to adaptive reuse in a state struggling to develop more housing.

Although these successes are deeply meaningful, they are only a small part of our work with the Building Standards Commission; we’re in it for the long haul. Quite often, you may not hear about smaller initiatives, but they are in motion, to proactively and positively impact the work of your firm daily.

It’s a paramount responsibility for us to do that for you. Have a good weekend.

Have a wonderful week,

Nicki Dennis Stephens signature

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