Inspections, codes under review after Berkeley balcony collapse
Berkeley officials released a report this week that confirmed wood beams with "significant rot and decay" contributed to the collapse of an apartment balcony last week that killed six and injured seven more.
The Berkeley Building and Safety Division proposed new construction and inspection regulations that might prevent future accidents. State housing officials also said they might consider changes to California’s building code, The Los Angeles Times reported.
The Berkeley report said inspectors found no building code violations, but discovered flaws in the code itself that could mean balconies across the state might not be safe.
The LA Times quoted a lawyer who pointed out that building to code doesn’t guarantee that an accident won’t happen in the future. "Whenever there is dry rot, that means somebody didn’t do something right," the lawyer said.
State code, for example, does not call for an inspection of a balcony’s waterproofing as it is constructed. The rules proposed by the Building and Safety Division would require multi-unit building owners to have balconies, stairways and elevated decks inspected every five years.
Read the proposal here.