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Seismic Retrofitting

Seismic Retrofitting

First off, why was SB721 and SB326
legislation passed



A balcony that building management thought was healthy, wasn't

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A terrible tragedy occurred in Berkeley California on June 16, 2015. A group of friends were gathered at an apartment to celebrate a 21st birthday party. The balcony, which they were outside on celebrating the birthday, suddenly failed.


The results of this collapsing balcony was heartbreaking. Six people died and seven others sustained serious injuries. Because of a faulty balcony, what started out as a celebration, ended in disaster.

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What apartment, multifamily, and condo building owners need to know about SB 721 / SB 326

Here's the nuts and bolts about this ordinance


1. SB 721 SB 326 legislation requires inspection of all Exterior Elevated Elements (EEE) of apartment communities, multifamily, and condo buildings prior to January 1, 2025. And every six years thereafter.


NOTE Exterior Elevated Elements are load-bearing components (together with their associated waterproofing system)


2. This applies to all Load-bearing components. These are components that extend beyond the exterior walls of the building to deliver structural loads to the building from decks, balconies, stairways, walkways, and their railings. 


This applies to any structure that has: 

Any walking surface elevated more than six feet above ground level. 

Any structure designed for human occupancy or use. 

Any structure that is supported in whole by wood, or a substantial part of structure is supported by wood or wood-based products.


3. Your buildings associated waterproofing systems include flashings, membranes, coatings, and sealants that protect the buildings load-bearing components of Exterior Elevated Elements from exposure to water must be maintained and in proper working order.


4. Better to get the ball rolling now on your SB 721 or SB 326 inspection. There’s a massive amount of buildings with Exterior Elevated Elements throughout California.  As January 1, 2025 draws near, it will become progressively more difficult to schedule your inspection. Not to mention very expensive to arrange your mandated SB7212 and SB326 inspections and contractors to make the repairs (if needed) resulting from those inspections. So the sooner you start the better.


5. The SB 721 SB 326 law requires inspection of at least 15 percent of each type of Exterior Elevated Element. NOTE, not all building elements will be inspected. And the number of Exterior Elevated Elements inspected will vary based on the total number of elements at each community. NOTE, building elements will be selected randomly using a tested random selection process.


6. Each selected element must be inspected. This will determine the overall condition of the load-bearing (structural) components. This includes support framing that extends beyond the exterior wall of the structure, walking surfaces, attachment points, hardware, railings, and the associated waterproofing systems. 

NOTE associated waterproofing systems include flashings, membranes, coatings, and sealants that protect the load-bearing components of the Exterior Elevated Element from exposure to water.


7. Based upon the SB 721 SB 326 inspections, the inspector shall issue a written report containing the following information for each inspected element:

  1. The identification of the building components comprising the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing system.

  2. The current physical condition, including whether the condition presents an immediate threat to the health or safety of the occupants.

  3. The expected future performance and projected service life.

  4. Recommendations for all necessary repair or replacement of the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing system.


8. The inspectors written report will be presented to the Owner of the building within 45 days of finishing the inspection. 

NOTE If the SB 721 SB 326 inspector advises that any Exterior Elevated Element poses an realtime, immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, or that preventing occupant access or emergency repairs, including shoring, are necessary, then the report shall be provided by the inspector to the Owner of the building (and to the local balcony enforcement agency within 15 days of completion of the report).


9. Only buildings containing three or more multifamily dwelling units need to be inspected. 

10. NOTE the SB 721 SB 326 Balcony Inspection Law requires the inspection of balconies, stairways, and similar structures at multifamily buildings with three or more units inspected no later than January 1, 2025. After that, Elevated Exterior Elements should be inspected every six years.

If you're ready to start the process, Sinai construction has the experience and expertise to repair the damage identified during SB721 SB326 inspections.

Although we can't do balcony inspections, or stair inspections, click SB 721 SB 326 inspections and we can connected you to people who can.


After you have an inspection, we will handle all construction management, and all construction repair or replacement that is needed per your inspectors report. Rest assured Sinai construction will get your repairs completed in compliance with all design details, code, and product manufacturer specifications. In other words, it will get done on time, on budget and done the way it should of been the first time.

Last but not least, the SB 721 and SB 326 benefits of maintaining a preventative balcony maintenance program will keep all your elevated exterior elements (balconies, stairs) safe and sound. 


With this new ordinance, repairing, replacing and maintaining a safe balcony and or stairs isn't just sound advice, it's now California Law.

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