CHBC Part 4: Structural Requirements and Archaic Materials

The California Historical Building Code (CHBC) is an important tool for the preservation of historic buildings, structures and sites in California. Use of the CHBC protects the historic fabric and features of a building by providing alternative regulations to meet the mandates for fire and life safety, seismic, universal access and site access requirements. The fourth module in this series covers Structural Requirements and Archaic Materials. The California State Historic Building Code includes structural regulations in Chapter 8-7. However, these are not the only provisions that are applicable to structural modifications of historic buildings. The CBC includes provisions in Chapter 34 for additions, alterations and repair. This chapter also points to the International Existing Building Code (IEBC), which addresses the same modifications. The IEBC makes reference to the performance-based provisions in ASCE 41-06 Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings, which may be more applicable in many cases. Information regarding archaic materials in is presented in SHBC Chapter 8-8. As with the structural regulations, there is similar information presented in the IEBC and in ASCE 41-06. In this module we will discuss these various provisions and their most effective use.


  • Steven Harris, PE, Simpson Gumpertz Heger