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Re: Historical Building Repair

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The California Historical Building Code [CHBC] is Part 8 of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations.  It applies to all California buildings that have historic designation by a governmental agency.  It is intended to facilitate preservation and continued use while providing reasonable safety.
The CHBC allows alternatives to the structural regulations of the Building Code.  It provides for evaluation and continued use of archaic structural elements on the basis of the test of time providing there is no distress and there is a complete load path.
The local building official is required to enforce the CHBC, but there will be issues of interpretation and appropriateness to be dealt with during plancheck.
On an old fire escape that I worked on, I first saw the power of rust: bolts holding two parallel steel angles together were broken in tension by the rust that built up between the two angles.
Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer
South San Gabriel, CA