The Code Process
The Code Process
The code process is a fundamental step that ensures that all the requirements for the project are met before it is allowed to proceed. The process takes place in stages, starting with the initial code research, preliminary reviews, appeal process, permit approval, projection inspection, and the final project approval. The code process ensures that interior designers understand the code within their jurisdiction; this creates room for filing appeals, the addition of new codes, or accepting the existing code. The code process is categorized into three main groups; the code research and design stage, the permit process, and the inspection stage. The codes used in California are modified and enforced by San Diego city; the codes are adopted to safeguard health, life, environment, properties, and public welfare (www.sandiego.gov, 2021). The codes are applicable in the construction, design, renovation, relocation, repair, use, and maintenance of structures and buildings in San Diego city. This paper discusses the code stages with reference to California, San Diego County, and San Diego city.
Figure 1: Steps in Code Process.
The Code Research and Design Phase
The first step in this phase is research; the step determines the project’s jurisdiction, which can be in a township, city, county, and even state. The research involves contacting the local department to determine the codes and standards being enforced and make further amendments if necessary. The California codes refer designers to chapter 13, Article 1 under divisions 2-6 to evaluate their projects based on their size, density, height, and structure (www.sandiego.gov, 2021). During the research step, the California codes mandates project designers to identify the following factors. The factors include; the size and scale of the project, the developmental regulations that apply to the project, determine if the property is under environmental sensitive land, determine if the land contains historic resources, and determine the geological hazards such as fault lines and seismic safety within the proposed project.
The main aim of the preliminary step is to review all the code issues and ascertain if the conclusion made after the research step is valid. As stipulated under the California codes, projects that fall under process one, two, and three take less time in preliminary review meetings than those in categories four and five. In most cases, the projects under process four and five require performance code rather than just the simple requirement guidelines; the use of performance codes must satisfy the code official through a concept report that must show the design satisfies the code intent of the project. The federal regulations can also undertake reviews, and it’s only applicable to federal agencies’ projects and public projects. The step offers an opportunity to designers to clarify potential issues from the codes by incorporating all the requirements into drawings for the official to familiarized themselves with the project even before the actual review.
The objective of the code is to safeguard the users and occupants of the project, but sometimes the codes may fail at some point, and clarification will be necessary through the appeal request with the help of the code officials. Appeal requests are made through formal writing to the code officials or the board of appeals. The code officials or appeal board may accept or reject appeal requests based on their impact on each relevant regulation that the project has to follow. In California, appeals such as a change in policy such as relocation of the project site can follow the proper steps. With a final public hearing, the project designer can win based on the appeal reasons that must be justified (www.sandiego.gov, 2021). Upon accepting the project meeting all the codes and regulations through the review procedure, the project designer must obtain construction documents to begin the proposed project within the zone. The California code mandates that the architectural and design plans must be reviewed by either the administrative or ministerial code officials for a project to be issued with construction permits.
Figure 1: Decision-making process in California state during project review steps-Source; www.sandiego.gov, 2021
The Permit Process
A permit is required for any interior design project that encompasses new construction, modification to the existing structure, change to the occupants, installation and renovation of regulatory equipment, and repairs and maintenance. The process is done by the licensed contractor or designer submitting the permit application documents for consideration. The permit application documents can be submitted through a code expeditor to speed up the review process, especially for major cities. The documents submitted for permit application include the construction documents that must have followed all the standards and guidelines stipulated by the code for a given jurisdiction. The code officials and the regulation body review the construction documents in correspondence with the preliminary review and any granted appeal requests. The permit can only be issued when the plan review has been done and approved; any issues arising during the process must be corrected before the permit is issued.
The California code utilizes four categories for permit approval procedure; the first category is the construction permit that reviews the construction plans, including the building and the public right-of-way permits. Approval can only be made if the regulations are met and the administrative or ministerial officials decide. The second category is
The Code Process