Note: The California Historical Building Code, Part 8 of Title 24, governs for all
qualified historical buildings or properties in the State of California.

These regulations shall be known as the California Historical Building Code and will be referred to herein as “the CHBC.”
The purpose of the CHBC is to provide regulations for the preservation, restoration, rehabilitation, relocation or reconstruction of buildings or properties designated as qualified historical buildings or properties (Chapter 8-2). The CHBC is intended to provide solutions for the preservation of qualified historical buildings or properties, to promote sustainability, to provide access for persons with disabilities, to provide a cost-effective approach to preservation, and to provide for the reasonable safety of the occupants or users. The CHBC requires enforcing agencies to accept solutions that are reasonably equivalent to the regular code (as defined in Chapter 8-2) when dealing with qualified historical buildings or properties.
The intent of the CHBC is to facilitate the preservation and continuing use of qualified historical buildings or properties while providing reasonable safety for the building occupants and access for persons with disabilities.

The CHBC is applicable to all issues regarding code compliance for qualified historical buildings or properties. The CHBC may be used in conjunction with the regular code to provide solutions to facilitate the preservation of qualified historical buildings or properties. The CHBC shall be used by any agency with jurisdiction and whenever compliance with the code is required for qualified historical buildings or properties.

  1. The state or local enforcing agency shall apply the provisions of the CHBC in permitting repairs, alterations and additions necessary for the preservation, restoration, reconstruction, rehabilitation, relocation or continued use of a qualified historical building or property when so elected by the private property owner.
  2. State agencies. All state agencies shall apply the provisions of the CHBC in permitting repairs, alterations and additions necessary for the preservation, restoration, rehabilitation, safety, relocation, reconstruction or continued use of qualified historical buildings or properties.
It is the intent of the CHBC to allow nonhistorical expansion or addition to a qualified historical building or property, provided nonhistorical additions shall conform to the requirements of the regular code. See Chapter 8-2.
Relocated qualified historical buildings or properties shall be sited to comply with the regular code or with the solutions listed in the CHBC. Nonhistorical new construction related to relocation shall comply with the regular code. Reconstruction and restoration related to relocation is permitted to comply with the provisions in the CHBC.
For change of use or occupancy, see Chapter 8-3, Use and Occupancy.
Qualified historical buildings or properties may have their existing use or occupancy continued if such use or occupancy conformed to the code or to the standards of construction in effect at the time of construction, and such use or occupancty does not constitute a distinct hazard to life safety as defined in the CHBC.
When a qualified historical building or property is determined to be unsafe as defined in the regular code, the requirements of the CHBC are applicable to the work necessary to correct the unsafe conditions. Work to remediate the buildings or properties need only address the correction of the unsafe conditions, and it shall not be required to bring the entire qualified historical building or property into compliance with regular code.
Qualified historical buildings or properties shall not be subject to additional work required by the regular code, regulation or ordinance beyond that required to complete the work undertaken. Certain exceptions for accessibility and for distinct hazards exist by mandate and may require specific action, within the parameters of the CHBC.
The state or local enforcing agency, pursuant to authority provided under Section 18954 of the Health and Safety Code, shall administer and enforce the provisions of the CHBC in permitting repairs, alterations and additions necessary for the preservation, restoration, reconstruction, rehabilitation, relocation or continued use of a qualified historical building or property.
All state agencies pursuant to authority provided under Section 18954 and Section 18961 of the Health and Safety Code shall administer and enforce the CHBC with respect to qualified historical buildings or properties under their respective jurisdiction.
Prevailing law regarding immunity of building officials is unaffected by the use and enforcement of the CHBC.
In order to provide for interpretation of the provisions of the CHBC and to hear appeals, the SHBSB shall act as an appeal and review body to state and local agencies or any affected party.
When a proposed design, material or method of construction is being considered by the enforcing agency, the agency chief, the building official or the local board of appeals may file a written request for opinion to the SHBSB for its consideration, advice or findings. In considering such request, the SHBSB may seek the advice of other appropriate private or public boards, individuals, or state or local agencies. The SHBSB shall, after considering all of the facts presented, including any recommendation of other appropriate boards, agencies or other parties, determine if, for the purpose intended, the proposal is reasonably equivalent to that allowed by these regulations in proposed design, material or method of construction, and it shall transmit such findings and its decision to the enforcing agency for its application. The Board may recover the costs of such reviews and shall report the decision in printed form, copied to the California Building Standards Commission.
All state agencies with ownership of, or that act on behalf of state agency owners of, qualified historical buildings or properties, shall consult and obtain SHBSB review prior to taking action or making decisions or appeals that affect qualified historical buildings or properties, per Section 18961 of the Health and Safety Code.
Where an emergency is declared and a qualified historical building or property is declared an imminent threat to life and safety, the state agency assessing such a threat shall consult with the SHBSB before any demolition is undertaken, per Section 18961 of the Health and Safety Code.
If any local agency administering and enforcing the CHBC or any person adversely affected by any regulation, rule, omission, interpretation, decision or practice of the agency enforcing the CHBC wishes to appeal the issue for resolution to the SHBSB, either of these parties may appeal directly to the Board. The Board may accept the appeal only if it determines that issues involved are of statewide significance. The Board may recover the costs of such reviews and shall make available copies of decisions in printed form at cost, copied to the California Building Standards Commission.
Local agencies, when actively involved in the appeal, may also charge affected persons reasonable fees not to exceed the cost of obtaining reviews and appeals from the Board.
Repairs to any portion of a qualified historical building or property may be made in-kind with historical materials and the use of original or existing historical methods of construction, subject to conditions of the CHBC. (See Chapter 8-8.)
Solutions provided in the CHBC, or any other acceptable regulation or methodology of design or construction and used in whole or in part, with the regular code, or with any combination of the regular code and the CHBC, shall be allowed. The CHBC does not preclude the use of any proposed alternative or method of design or construction not specifically prescribed or otherwise allowed by these regulations. Any alternative may be submitted for evaluation to the appropriate enforcing agency for review and acceptance. The enforcing agency may request that sufficient evidence or proof be submitted to substantiate any claims that may be made regarding such solutions. Any alternative offered in lieu of that prescribed or allowed in the CHBC shall be reasonably equivalent in quality, strength, effectiveness, durability and safety to that of the CHBC.
Rulings of the SHBSB (i.e., formal appeals, case decisions, code interpretations and administrative resolutions, etc.) that are issues of statewide application are required to be submitted to the California Building Standards Commission in printed form. These rulings may be used to provide guidance for similar cases or issues.
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