The generalized project timeline illustrates the typical steps in the development and adoption of a reach code. Jurisdictions and local government staff may find the generalized timeline helpful for planning their reach code development and adoption process.
Reach Code Timing Considerations
Because local energy codes must be more stringent than the statewide code, each local code needs to be re-approved whenever the statewide code is updated. As a result:
- Adopting a local code to take effect early in the code cycle will be most efficient. When adopted late in a code cycle, a local reach code may only be in effect for a few months
- If a jurisdiction has a reach code in effect and would like to continue it into the next code cycle, the local process needs to be completed early enough that it can be approved by the CEC before the start of the new code cycle, usually no later than September in the year before the updated code takes effect
Local governments can consider the following options for timing their reach code development:
Adopt a reach code at the time the local updated Building Code is adopted.
Each jurisdiction adopts the updated California Building Code, together with any local amendments, usually late in the year before the updated code takes effect. Because a reach code is an amendment of the Building Code, it often makes sense for a jurisdiction to adopt a reach code at the same time as it adopts the Building Code.
However, when they are adopted together, the Building Code and the local reach code usually will not take effect at the same time. This is because the CEC needs to approve the reach code, while no further approval is needed for the Building Code.
As a result, the reach code will likely not take effect for several months after the updated Building Code has been in place.
Adopt a reach code to take effect at the same time as the updated Building Code.
Another option is to adopt a local reach code earlier than the rest of the Building Code, so that they can take effect at the same time.
To do this, the reach code generally needs to be adopted no later than September of the year before the updated Building Code takes effect. This will allow time for the CEC to review the reach code, provide the required 60-day comment period, and hopefully to approve it at their December business meeting.
In most cases, local adoption of the California Building Code and any other amendments will then need to occur later in the year.
This path may be particularly useful for jurisdictions that have a reach code in place that they wish to continue into the new code cycle.
Adopt a reach code at some other time, when it makes sense in terms of the local process.
Some jurisdictions may not have previously adopted a reach code they want to continue, and may not be ready to adopt a reach code when the updated Building Code is adopted.
In this case, the best option may be to plan to adopt once the local process is complete.