The Report SB 326
The professional signed and stamped report constitutes the central requirement of SB 326 (Civil Code 5551). Our reports provide valuable information for the association to be able to maintain and, if necessary, repair their exterior elevated balconies, stairways, and other common-area elements. The data contained in the report is used by the Association's reserve study specialist when recommending reserve dollar amounts.
Basis of the Report of SB 326
The report is based on inspections of the exterior elevated elements such as balconies and stairways. It may be necessary to create openings in finishes such as plaster soffits (ceilings) below balconies to allow inspection of the structural components. Openings are made following consultation with the association regarding a number of openings and the manner of restoring the finish.
The local jurisdiction may impose requirements greater than those imposed by SB 326.
Balcony Inspection Architects use a custom-designed database application to photograph and record all inspection data. The data is stored on a secure server where it is used to generate the SB 326 report. This approach allows us to provide comprehensive professional service that is affordable.
The SB 326 report is required by statute to include certain information based on visual inspection of the exterior elevated elements at the project. Our reports go beyond these requirements to aid the association in using the report effectively. The report includes the following information:
Basis of Analysis
Homeowner Association Responsibility
Identification of Load-Bearing Components
Random List of Exterior Elevated Elements
Condition of Load-Bearing Components
Layout of inspection locations
Physical condition of each component inspected
Estimated remaining useful life
Recommendation for future inspection
Executive summary table of inspection resluts
Architect's signature and stamp
Our report includes labeled photographs of each component for the records of the Association and the use of the reserve study specialist.
Also, each report includes an executive summary table which provides a quick reference to the condition of any component inspected.
What is the SB 326 Report?
Balcony Inspection Bill, was signed into law in California in 2018.
The bill requires certain types of buildings with exterior elevated elements, such as balconies and decks, to undergo periodic inspections to ensure their safety. The goal of the bill is to prevent tragic accidents, such as the collapse of a balcony in Berkeley in 2015 that resulted in the death of six people.
A report released in early 2023, by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), provides new insights into the implementation of SB 326. The report indicates that the bill has been effective in improving the safety of balconies and other exterior elevated elements in California.
According to the report, building owners and managers have taken steps to comply with the requirements of SB 326. The bill requires that buildings with three or more multifamily dwelling units that have exterior elevated elements to be inspected at least once every six years. The inspections must be conducted by a licensed architect, structural engineer, or other qualified professional.
The report found that 94% of the buildings subject to the law had been inspected as of the end of 2022. Of those inspections, 89% identified some form of repair or maintenance that needed to be addressed to ensure the safety of the exterior elevated elements. Building owners and managers have made progress in addressing these issues, with 77% of the repairs or maintenance identified during inspections being completed by the end of 2022.
Cost of Compliance with SB 326
The report also indicates that the cost of compliance with SB 326 has been relatively modest. The average cost of an inspection was $2,800, and the average cost of repairs or maintenance identified during inspections was $4,100.
Overall, the report suggests that SB 326 has been successful in improving the safety of exterior elevated elements in California. The law has prompted building owners and managers to take proactive steps to ensure the safety of their buildings, and the cost of compliance has been reasonable.
However, the report also notes that there are challenges to implementing SB 326. One key challenge is ensuring that all buildings subject to the law are identified and inspected. The HCD has developed a database to track compliance with the law, but some buildings may still be missed.
Additionally, the report notes that some building owners and managers may need additional support to address the repairs and maintenance identified during inspections. The HCD is exploring ways to provide technical assistance and financial support to help building owners and managers make the necessary repairs.
In conclusion, the report on SB 326 suggests that the law has been successful in improving the safety of exterior elevated elements in California. However, ongoing efforts will be needed to ensure that all buildings subject to the law are identified and inspected, and that building owners and managers receive the support they need to make necessary repairs and maintenance.