2016 California Building Code Change Summary

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The following changes are not inclusive of all code changes.  They are a brief summary of changes that may have an impact on your project.




Chapter 2

New Definitions:Adjusted Construction Cost; private garage; cross laminated timber (CLT); gypsum panel product.

Chapter 2

Revised Definitions: Covered Multifamily Dwelling; Horizontal Exit; Gypsum Board; Platform.

304.1 and 306.2

New Occupancy Classification: New classification for food processing establishments and commercial kitchens not associated with restaurants, cafeterias and similar dining facilities. If not more than 2,500 square feet, they shall be classified as Group B. If greater than 2,500 square feet, they shall be classified as Group F-1. A commercial kitchen serving a Group A-2 restaurant shall be classified as Group A-2 (303.3).

Chapter 5

The allowable area and height provisions have been reformatted into Tables 504.3, 504.4 and 506.2. Equation 5-1 has been revised to accommodate the new Table format.

Table 601

Table 601, footnote d (one-hour substitution for sprinklers) has been eliminated.


Cross laminated timber (CLT) is now allowed within exterior wall assemblies with a two-hour rating or less provided the exterior surface is protected per specific provisions in 602.4.2.


The method for determining the minimum distance between the leading edge of a projection, to the line used to determine fire separation distance, has been revised in a manner that will increase the required separation.


The requirements for elevator lobbies, previously found in 713.14.1, are now in Section 3006.


Where an occupied roof has an assembly occupancy with an occupant load exceeding 100 for Group A-2 and 300 for other Group A occupancies, all floors between the occupied roof and the level of exit discharge shall be equipped with an automatic sprinkler system.

Table 1004.1.2

The occupant load factor for mercantile use is now 60 gross, regardless of the floor or level where the use occurs.


Number of exits:Most of the egress provisions previously found in Sections 1015 and 1021 have been combined, reformatted and relocated to Sections 1006 and 1007. Renumbering and formatting affect most remaining sections.


Door Operations:Numerous changes in terminology regarding locking devices, made to coordinate with language used in the lock industry and in UL 294. The intent is to clarify the use and application of various types of locking devices on doors within the means of egress.


The requirement for elevator hoist way venting has been eliminated.





Dead load of PV panels is required to be shown on plans.


Minimum live loads now include ice skating rinks and roller skating rinks. Residential Live Loads now include canopies and marquees

1607.9.3, 9.4

Live load and anchorage requirements for elements supporting façade access equipment.


PV Panel Live Load requirements for accessible/inaccessible roofs.


PV panel seismic requirements for ballasted systems.


Deletion of Table 1705.2.2. New required verification of steel non-structural requirements for welded rebar (1705.3.1), cold formed steel decking (1705.2.2), and open web steel girders and joists (1705.2.3).


Shoring drawings are required for excavations that will reduce support of an existing foundation including underpinning requirements.


If underpinning is used, sequencing of the system shall be provided on the construction documents to protect neighboring structures and the construction site.


Cross-laminated timber is now incorporated and allowed under the new code. Please refer to the CLT Handbook for additional requirements and information.

Chapter 34

Chapter 34 has been removed from the 2016 CBC. Provisions previously found in Chapter 34 are now located in CEBC Part 10 and CHBC Part 8. Note additional requirements may be in the Sacramento City Code.