Sacramento, Calif. — The California Building Standards Commission voted to approve emergency regulations enhancing the California Building Code (CBC) balcony and walking surface construction requirements. The American Wood Council (AWC) was a proponent of similar balcony code change proposals recently approved for publication in the 2018 International Building Code (IBC) and Existing Building Code (IEBC).

The new CBC provisions went into effect on Jan. 30 and apply to multifamily residential, hotels, motels, state-owned buildings and public schools in California. The new regulations create consistency with ASCE-7 design loads, and require additional ventilation, detailing, and inspection for exterior balconies and elevated walkways exposed to the weather.

“We are pleased the California Building Standards Commission and state agencies are working proactively to improve balcony performance and safety,” said Dennis Richardson, AWC’s Western Regional Manager. “This allows building departments, architects and engineers in the state to use these code changes now, rather than wait until the 2018 IBC is published and adopted.”

A Building Standards Commission Info-Bulletin is available at

Correlated 2018 IBC and IEBC balcony code changes are available at