flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

California’s wildfire building code significantly reduces structural loss

billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Codes and Standards

California’s wildfire building code significantly reduces structural loss

As other states consider upgrading their codes, Golden State provides useful model.

By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | January 12, 2022
Wildfire in a field

Courtesy Pixabay

A recently released study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that California’s building code for higher risk wildfire areas has significantly reduced structural loss.

A home built in 2008 or later under the Golden State’s expanded wildfire building code is about 40% less likely to be destroyed than a 1990 home experiencing an identical wildfire, according to the research. “There is strong evidence that these effects are due to state and local building code changes,” the bureau’s report says.

California now requires all roof material in wildfire hazard areas to be rated Class A for fire resistance. In addition, exterior siding must be fire resistant, vents must covered by a fine wire mesh to resist ember intrusion, windows and doors must resist fire for at least

20 minutes, and decks and other building appendages must be built of non-combustible materials. The most recently update code also includes requirements for defensible space.

Other states that have experienced damaging large-scale wildfires including Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington have not as yet followed California’s lead to beef up building codes. California’s code, research suggests, presents a useful model for others to follow.

Related Stories

| Sep 8, 2011

USGBC Streamlines LEED EB: O&M

The Council has reorganized the prerequisite and credit structure of LEED EB: O&M. 

| Sep 8, 2011

USGBC: 30 Legislative ‘Wins For Green Building’ So Far In 2011

A mid-year report by the U.S. Green Building Council says that there have been “30 legislative wins for green building” across 22 states in 2011. 

| Sep 8, 2011

Revised Building Codes Adopted After WTC Attacks Being Implemented

U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) code revision recommendations in the wake of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks are being implemented in new high-rise construction including One World Trade Center, the lead building of the new World Trade Center complex. 

| Sep 8, 2011

New Sustainability Standard Addresses Disaster Resistance

To aid local governments to adopt high-performance green building codes, the Portland Cement Association (PCA) and the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) have developed High Performance Building Requirements for Sustainability 2.0. 

| Sep 8, 2011

Pilot ISO 50001 Implementations Report Big Energy Savings

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recently published ISO 50001 to provide a recognized framework for integrating energy performance into management practices. 

| Sep 8, 2011

USGBC Revises Energy Demand Response Credit

Originally launched in 2010, the revised and enhanced Demand Response Pilot Credit establishes guidelines that are anticipated to increase participation in automated energy demand response programs.  

| Sep 8, 2011

Water Safety in Buildings Guide Published by World Health Organization (WHO)

This WHO book provides guidance for managing water supplies in buildings where people may drink water, use water for food preparation, wash, shower, swim or use water for other recreational activities or be exposed to aerosols produced by water-using devices, such as cooling towers. 

| Sep 7, 2011

NFPA Fire & Life Safety Conference in December

Presentations on recent Fire Protection Research Foundation projects, how September 11th and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire affected high rise design, and a panel discussion on emerging code issues will be featured at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)’s Fire & Life Safety Conference on December 12-14 in Orlando, FL.The meeting will include more than 60 educational sessions in which participants can earn continuing education units (CEUs). Presentations will be led by NFPA staff experts and technical committee members, and will be organized in four tracks – building and life safety, detection and alarm, fire suppression, and codes and standards. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org/FLSCONF.  

| Sep 1, 2011

Project Aims to Automate Code Compliance Assessment

FIATECH, a consortium of owners from the industrial, power, and retail markets that build large structures, launched a project this year to validate the use of automation technology for code compliance assessment, and to accelerate the regulatory approval process using building models. Long-term objectives include the development of an extensive, open-source rule set library that is approved by industry and regulatory bodies for use by technology developers and code officials.

| Sep 1, 2011

EPA Says Additional Lead Paint Cleaning Rules Not Necessary

The EPA has concluded that current Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program (LRRP) cleaning requirements and lead-safe work regulations are sufficient to protect the public from lead dust hazards. “Our members have been instrumental in contacting legislators to detail the detrimental impact of the current LRRP," says Richard Walker, American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s president and CEO. “This collective industry voice has prompted the EPA to make the responsible decision to refrain from adding further, unnecessary costs to homeowners under the current economic climate."http://www.aamanet.org/news/1/10/0/all/603/aama-commends-its-members-congress-for-vacating-lrrp-clearance-rule

boombox2 -
native1 -
halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021


Magazine Subscription

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.


Follow BD+C: