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.

More than Solar: California’s Ambitious Net Zero Energy Building Goals

Jun 12, 2018 10:00:00 AM

There has been a great deal of press about California’s recently adopted mandate that all new homes must have solar power beginning in 2020. What has been missed is that this new rule supports California’s very progressive goal that all new construction attain net zero energy use for residential buildings by 2020 and commercial buildings by 2030.

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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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Building Façades: New San Francisco Requirements

Aug 17, 2017 8:00:00 AM

San Francisco has been updating its standards for building façade inspections and maintenance. In 2016, the City adopted an ordinance amending the San Francisco Existing Building Code (Ordinance) in June of 2017. The Department of Building Inspections (DBI) recently released an administrative bulletin implementing the legislation, the final phase of the new building façade inspection and maintenance requirements.

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New San Francisco Affordable Housing Incentives: Density Bonuses

Jun 27, 2017 8:00:00 AM

San Francisco recently adopted several new density bonus programs to help ease the city’s affordable housing crisis. Despite San Francisco’s economically diverse population, the city has one of the nation’s highest housing costs. San Francisco has taken various steps over the years to encourage affordable housing projects but much more needs to be done. In this post, we will look at the new San Francisco density bonus programs as well as the important role of the California Density Bonus Law.

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San Francisco’s New Transportation Program Imposes Developer Requirements

Mar 7, 2017 8:00:00 AM

On February 17, 2017, San Francisco’s Mayor Lee approved the city’s progressive Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program. The TDM is designed to promote sustainability by requiring building developers to provide on-site amenities and incentives that encourage the use of public transportation and other alternatives to driving. It is critical for developers to understand the TDM Program’s requirements.

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San Francisco Law to Increase Buildings’ Disability Access

Feb 2, 2017 8:00:00 AM

In April 2016, San Francisco adopted legislation intended to increase access to businesses for people with disabilities. Ordinance No. 51-16, known as the Mandatory Disabled Access Improvements Ordinance (Ordinance), sets forth primary entrance requirements for owners of existing buildings that serve as places public accommodations. The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (Department) is currently working on the details necessary for implementing and enforcing the new law that improves disability access.

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Burnham Assists With Exciting Improvements to San Francisco’s AMC Metreon Theater

Nov 15, 2016 8:00:00 AM

The 16-screen AMC Metreon in downtown San Francisco is undertaking significant renovations. The movie theater is the main attraction of the popular four-story Metreon shopping and entertainment center and takes up the mall’s entire third floor. Burnham Nationwide is helping obtain the permits for the theater alterations which present some unusual issues due to public health and accessibility requirements.

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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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Troubled Towers: San Francisco’s Sinking Millennium Tower is Not Alone

Oct 5, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Recently, San Francisco’s sinking Millennium Tower has received a fair amount of press. The luxury skyscraper has sunk about 16 inches and is also starting to tilt. Fortunately, problems of this magnitude are rare, but Millennium Tower isn’t the first troubled skyscraper to appear in the news during the last few decades. We thought it would be interesting to recall some other examples of problematic towers from across in the United States.

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Burnham Uses a Unique Approach to Expedite Permits for Fusion Academy

Aug 18, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Fusion Academy (Fusion), a learning center where one-to-one classrooms allow students to unlock their academic potential, opened its 9th location in San Francisco in 2011. Earlier this year, Fusion planned to move into a new location in Levi’s Plaza, which required an interior remodel to meet their needs. While Fusion provides similar services to a school, it differs in a variety of major ways. Burnham Nationwide developed a solution that helped change the classification of Fusion from educational to business, which helped expedite the necessary permits in just six weeks instead of three months.

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Six Things to Know About Building Permits in San Francisco

Apr 28, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Our Burnham Nationwide office location in San Francisco is open to meet the needs of our West Coast clients that need permitting services in Northern California. The San Francisco area has seen a building boom over the last few years, as tech companies chose the city over Silicon Valley and prices for office and rental space skyrocket, and construction show little sign of slowing down. If you're building in San Francisco, what do you need to know to permit your project successfully?

Here are six things to consider when applying for building permits in San Francisco:

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