Building Inspector Praised for Finding Faulty Flue in Collierville, Tenn., Home
California Adopts New Building Standards
Steve Winkel Appointed to California Building Standards Commission
Indian Shores to Name Community Center after Former Building Official
Building Inspector Praised for Finding Faulty Flue in Collierville, Tenn., Home

David Stewart doesn't think of himself as a hero, but some of his co-workers in the Town of Collierville's code enforcement division, an ICC Member, think he saved a family from a life-threatening situation.

In mid-January, Stewart, who has been a town building inspector for 20 years, was sent to Jackie and Chris Keller's Collierville home to inspect a coil replacement inside the furnace. Stewart did not give his final approval because the furnace's flue pipe, which carries excess heat and carbon monoxide out of the home, was concealed and he was unable to get a complete view of it.

Stewart convinced the Kellers and town building official Tim Pendleton to allow him to investigate the flue pipe, and he found that it did not extend through the home's roof and that gas fumes and exhaust heat were flowing into the attic.

"There was heat charring to some of the roof members and could have started a fire real easily," Pendleton said. "In my mind he potentially saved the lives of the family."

Jackie Keller said the family was in Stewart's debt. "I told him we'll send him a Christmas card for the rest of his life."

"I'm doing my job and protecting the citizens in Collierville," Stewart said. "It's what each of our inspectors do."

SOURCE: Memphis Commericial Appeal
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California Adopts New Building Standards

The new code includes stricter energy efficiency requirements and more-straightforward rules for accessibility.

Given California's reputation for regulation, the state's 2013 Building Standards Code could have been a headache and a half for builders.

But the newest version of the code, adopted by the California Building Standards Commission in January and slated to go into effect in 2014, promises to make life easier for builders, especially in the area of accessibility. "Last week represented a huge long-term victory for us," says Bob Raymer, senior engineer and technical director at the California Building Industry Association in Sacramento.

That's because the new code streamlines the rules for accessible buildings, building on last fall's emergency legislation against frivolous Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits.

For years, California builders have been responsible for somehow following the overlapping and often conflicting rules regarding accessibility from both the feds and the state. In recent years, that led to "drive-by lawsuits," where attorneys and others threatened to sue California businesses whose offices, residential properties, or common areas weren't in compliance with the confusing rules.

"They would send letters saying, 'if you give me $4,000, I won't proceed with litigation,'" says Raymer. "And a whole lot of people were just paying that, especially small- or medium-sized businesses. We estimated it would cost $22,000 to $25,000 to fight this in court, and that was if you won."

Last fall, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill (SB 1186) into law that reduced California businesses' exposure to such lawsuits. Since then, such complaints have required, among other things, detail on what part of the state or federal code was being violated.

In addition, California addressed the confusion between whether the state or federal codes applied in various situations by adopting the federal guidelines where accessibility was concerned, with an overlay of state codes as necessary.

"For the first time in 20 years, we're going to have building officials in localities checking to see if buildings are in compliance with state and federal codes," says Raymer, who believes the more coordinated approach should help builders ensure their projects' accessibility is up to code. "The last thing we want is to get into court over a civil rights violation," he says.

Public and multifamily buildings such as apartments and condos will need to be wheelchair-accessible; new single-family homes, despite lobbying by disability rights groups, will not. "There has been a strong desire to mandate access in single-family dwellings," says Raymer, who has technical and design concerns about adding such features to all new homes.

One feature that will be added to all new homes under the new code is greater energy efficiency.

Thanks to regulations adopted in 2012 by the California Energy Commission and now included in the state code, builders will need to use highly efficient windows with a solar-heat-gain coefficient of .25 and U-value of .32; insulation with values of R-19 to R-21 in much of the state, and HVAC systems with a SEER rating of 14. Ductwork must be tested and allow no more than 6 percent air leakage. California wants all new homes to be zero-net energy by 2020.

"They've taken all this to an extremely stringent level," says Raymer, who estimates the new requirements will boost construction costs by $2,500 per home.

SOURCE: Builder Online

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Steve Winkel Appointed to California Building Standards Commission

Steven Winkel, FAIA, P.E., CASp, was appointed to serve as the Architect Member to the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC). First appointed in 1999, this reappointment marks the beginning of his fourth, four-year term. As testimony to the level of respect for Winkel, his reappointment to the CBSC was endorsed with letters of support from CALBO, SEAOC, CBIA, CBPA and BOMA.

Winkel is recognized, regarded and respected as an expert in building codes and regulations. In addition to being a licensed architect for more than 40 years, he is a licensed civil engineer, landscape architect and a Certified Access Specialist. Since 2005, he has managed the San Francisco office of The Preview Group. Winkel is also the author of several books on building codes.

The CBSC is responsible for the administration and implementation of each building code cycle, which includes the proposal, review and adoption processes.

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Indian Shores to Name Community Center after Former Building Official

Lawrence Nayman, the former building official for Indian Shores who passed away in 2012, will be honored with a namesake in the Indian Shores Municipal Center. The community room on the fourth floor of the Indian Shores Municipal Center is set to be named after Nayman, according to the Beach Beacon. The naming was reccomended by Mayor Jim Lawrence and approved unamiously by the town council.

Nayman had been a big part in the work of getting the new municipal center and and citizens had requested part of the building be named after him when passed in July of last year.

SOURCE: Pinellas Beaches Patch
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