The Final Review

Burnham’s Blog

The Final Review shares the knowledge of Burnham’s experts in building permit expediting and code compliance. Learn about different jurisdictional building permit requirements, and stay up-to-date on the Americans with Disabilities Act and local accessibility standards. Follow the latest in sustainability, including building energy codes and sustainability design developments.

Understanding California’s New Energy Benchmarking Regulations

May 8, 2018 10:00:00 AM

The California Energy Commission (Commission) recently finalized the rules implementing California ‘s new energy benchmarking program, the first statewide energy benchmarking program for commercial and multi-family residential buildings. Commercial buildings falling under the California Energy Benchmarking Regulations (Regulations) must submit their energy use data by June 1, 2018, and multi-family residential building need to comply the following year.

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Controversial California Legislation to Increase Transit Oriented Development

Mar 21, 2018 10:00:00 AM

A contentious California bill is designed to increase affordable housing and sustainability by providing density bonuses for developments near transit hubs throughout the state. This latest legislative effort to solve California’s housing crisis and encourage walkable communities, SB 827, was introduced in the state senate in January 2018. The bill already faces opposition by some because its requirements would force local communities to accept denser development.

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Groundbreaking California Law to Reduce Construction Materials’ Carbon Footprint

Dec 6, 2017 10:00:00 AM

California’s Governor Brown signed into law the California Buy Clean Act, AB 262, on October 15, 2017. The manufacture and processing of many construction materials is a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The progressive new California mandate requires state authorities to only award state infrastructure contracts to construction contractors using low-carbon emitting versions of designated materials. Cement, the largest contributor of construction materials GHG emissions, is noticeably absent from the new law. Hopefully, as the California Buy Clean Act is implemented and the GHG limitations for construction materials become customary, there will be greater openness to also setting emission limits for cement.

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How Will California’s New Affordable Housing Laws Impact Developers?

Oct 10, 2017 10:00:00 AM

California’s Governor Brown signed into law a package of bills on September 29, 2017, intended to increase the development of affordable housing. The state is deep in the middle of an affordable housing crisis and has been searching for solutions. Some major California cities passed ordinances in recent years, such as San Francisco’s new density bonus programs, to stimulate affordable housing development. However, change is also needed at the state level, and the set of new California laws has important implications for residential housing developers.

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Los Angeles’ New Comprehensive Energy Benchmarking Program is Under Way

Sep 19, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Los Angeles joins an expanding list of major American cities that require buildings to conduct energy benchmarking. The ambitious City of Los Angeles Existing Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency Program (EBEWE Program) went into effect this year and is particularly progressive because it requires auditing and retro-commissioning in addition to benchmarking.

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1,100 Ft. Wilshire Grand Tower Nears Completion in Los Angeles

Jun 22, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Now the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, Downtown Los Angeles’s Wilshire Grand Center obtained its temporary certificate of occupancy last week and the project is nearing completion after four years of construction. Burnham Nationwide’s Los Angeles office worked closely with the City of Los Angeles throughout the construction process and we are thrilled to have been a part of the team bringing the impressive new skyscraper to LA’s skyline.

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Avoiding Costly Delays with a Multi-Unit Residential Building Code Analysis

May 9, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Burnham recently completed a code review of preliminary drawings for a new multi-unit residential building in California. Our code consultants prefer to be involved at this early stage of the construction design process. An initial assessment allows us to suggest modifications and solutions to avoid building department requests for corrections that can result in project delays. The review helped the design team amend their plans, a four-story building with multiple roof decks and a large parking garage, to meet code requirements.


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ConvergenceLA Installation Celebrates Past & Future of Los Angeles

Apr 27, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Metropolis LA, developed by Greenland USA, is a much-anticipated downtown Los Angeles mixed use property consisting of residences, retail, and a hotel. Though the second phase is still under construction, Phase I (one residential tower and the Hotel Indigo) has been completed and on Thursday, March 2nd, Metropolis activated its 1,400 sqft LED video display installation titled ConvergenceLA - the first of its kind in Los Angeles.

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Los Angeles Construction Moratorium Ballot Initiative Defeated: Measure S

Mar 8, 2017 9:15:00 AM

On March 7, 2017, Los Angeles residents voted down a ballot initiative that included a two-year moratorium on much of the city’s new construction. The very controversial initiative, known as Measure S, was formally called the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative (Initiative). The Mayor of Los Angeles and a broad coalition of City of Los Angeles Council members, California State Assembly members, businesses, and organizations opposed the Initiative.

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More California Cities Moving to 100 Percent Renewable Energy

Oct 25, 2016 8:00:00 AM

In September, Los Angeles made the news with its commitment to pursue a 100 percent renewable energy goal. Although Los Angeles is not the first California city to set such a target, there is considerable variation in the way cities are planning to reach their renewable energy goals. We thought we would highlight some of the California municipalities looking to completely move to clean energy and compare how they are working towards implementing their plans.

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Wilshire Grand Sets the Standard for Architectural Design in Los Angeles

Sep 22, 2016 8:00:00 AM

The crowning touch to Los Angeles’ Wilshire Grand Center, its novel steel spire, was recently placed on the skyscraper. Los Angeles’ newest icon, scheduled to open in the spring of 2017, is located in the city’s financial district. With the addition of the spire, the Wilshire Grand becomes the tallest building in Los Angeles as well as the western United States. The 273-foot spire contains LED lighting that will shine varied colors from the tower. We want to highlight the addition of this feature to the Wilshire Grand, a Burnham project.

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Understanding the Building Permit Process in Los Angeles

Aug 24, 2016 8:00:00 AM

A permit from the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) is required for any private property construction, alteration or repair work on buildings within the City of Los Angeles. There are five different types of building permit processes in Los Angeles, Express Permit, Counter Plan Check, Expanded Counter Plan Check, Regular Plan Check, and Parallel Design Permitting Process. In this post, we’ll share information on each of the processes in Los Angeles and when to use them.

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Burnham Expedites Construction of Los Angeles’ Newest Iconic Building: the Wilshire Grand Center

Jul 14, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Burnham Nationwide is playing a key role in the construction of Los Angeles’ Wilshire Grand Center, soon to be the tallest building west of the Mississippi. The 1,100-foot skyscraper will be on the site of the original Wilshire Grand Hotel, a landmark of downtown Los Angeles since its opening in 1952. The owners of the Wilshire Grand, Korean Air, want to revive the hotel as an icon of Los Angeles and are developing a new complex to revitalize the downtown area. Demolition of the original 16-story hotel was completed in 2013 and construction on the new tower began in 2014.

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Avoid Costly Mistakes in the Los Angeles Building Permit Process With our Advice

Feb 11, 2016 12:00:00 PM

When you first check into obtaining Los Angeles building permits for your construction project, the whole process can seem so daunting. It might be tempting to put that onerous task off as long as possible – or skip it altogether, if your project seems small and insignificant.

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5 Things to Know About Building Permits in Los Angeles

Jan 27, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Understanding the Los Angeles building codes and permit process can be difficult, even for the most seasoned experts. Environmental issues, like flood hazards, soil conditions and coastal zones, can affect your architectural plans and construction permits. Add that to a variety of city departments to go through, and it can be tough to know where to start. Here are five of the most important things to know about building permits in Los Angeles.

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Need a Permit in Los Angeles? Start with these Important Areas

Jan 21, 2016 12:30:00 PM

If you’re getting ready to break ground on a new building or demolishing an old one to start over, the obvious answer is “yes.” But what if you’re remodeling an existing structure? The answer could be “no” or “it depends.”

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Changes in Los Angeles’ Planning Department

Jan 7, 2016 1:37:09 PM

Recently news broke that Michael LoGrande, Los Angeles' planning director, was leaving his position. LoGrande has decided to become a private land use consultant, and is departing from the Planning Department on good terms. LoGrande became the director of L.A.’s Planning Department in 2010, and since has almost doubled the department size, managed a positive budget and “transformed the Los Angeles skyline”. His resignation surprised many due to his major accomplishments while in the position.

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California Fire Code Requirements See Change

Jan 8, 2015 8:02:00 AM

As of January 1, 2015, several changes to the California Building Code and the California Residential Code have gone into effect. The changes apply to rooftop-mounted photovoltaic systems, also called PV systems, installed on residential, commercial and public buildings. Specifically, the code changes require that all PV systems be tested, listed and identified with a fire classification rating in accordance with UL 1703.

History of UL 1703 and PV Systems

Before 2013, PV systems were only subject to fire testing when they were stand-alone components – not when installed or mounted on a building. In 2013, UL 1703’s fire classification requirements changed, requiring all PV systems be tested for flammability characteristics. This test includes the PV module, the roof rack, and the roof itself, and is to be conducted by one of the Nationally Recognized Test Labs. UL, TUV, CSA and Intertek are all labs included on this list.

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