Code Compliance

Building and Fire Code Compliance

Over the years there have been numerous instances of unauthorized modifications made to existing facilities by unqualified persons without review by campus authorities responsible for building and fire code compliance. As a result, code violations and unsafe conditions were created. Correcting defective work involves modifications at the expense of the department performing the unauthorized work. Improperly performed work has also resulted in serious damage to buildings and equipment.

Please be advised that all construction projects, including modifications to existing facilities, must comply with state building code requirements and local, state, and federal agency regulations.

Within the Office of Design and Construction Services (DCS), the Campus Building Official reviews projects for compliance with and enforces the requirements of the building code. Within the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), the Designated Campus Fire Marshal (DCFM) represents the State Fire Marshal and reviews all projects for compliance with and enforces the requirements of the fire code. Per the Division of the State Architect all projects shall be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the California Building Code.

No building or structure regulated by code shall be constructed, altered, enlarged, improved, or converted without the approval of the Campus Building Official and the Designated Campus Fire Marshal. It is unlawful for any person to construct, alter, enlarge, improve, or change the use of any building or structure in violation of code. Approval typically takes the form of a Building Permit posted at the site of the work. This is the case for all properties owned or leased by the University.

Plans and specifications for new construction and modifications to existing facilities must be prepared by a licensed architect or engineer in conformance with state law and submitted to DCS and EHS for review. In accordance with the UCSB Delegation of Authority Memo (July 8, 2016), architects and engineers can be selected and hired only by the staff of DCS or Facilities Management (FM).

All construction work, including modifications to existing facilities, must be performed by Facilities Management (FM) staff, or by licensed contractors hired by, and under the direction of, FM or DCS. In accordance with campus policy, such work includes: fencing; painting, construction of partitions, doors, windows, flooring, carpets, cabinets, shelving and other equipment attached to a structure; repairs and alterations to basic utility services such as wiring, gas, steam, vacuum, air, water, de-ionized water, sewer and drain lines. In accordance with campus policy, students, faculty, and staff, excluding FM staff, are not permitted to perform construction work.

Departments may contract with office furnishings companies to supply and install office landscape partitions. However, this work is considered construction and payment of prevailing wage rates is required. The layout of office landscape partitions must conform to fire exiting requirements and accessibility requirements associated with ADA. Review of prepared layouts by DCS prior to installation is required to avoid potential retrofit costs to conform to code requirements. If an electrical contractor is needed to connect landscape partition power wiring to building wiring systems, that Contractor must be hired by FM or DCS.

Communications cabling may be installed by staff of Communications Services, by contractors working under the supervision of Communications Services, Office of Information Technology, or by trained departmental staff. Communications cabling must conform to Communication Standards, must conform to fire code requirements and penetrations of rated floor and wall assemblies must conform to fire code requirements. Installation of conduit and raceway is considered construction and typically involves issuance of a Building Permit. Penetrations of rated assemblies must be inspected by EHS or DCS.

Please cooperate with us to ensure that we are providing students, faculty, staff and visitors with a safe environment that conforms to code requirements. If you have questions please contact Ed Schmittgen at 805.451.1186 or ed.schmittgen@ucsb.edu.