Richard Avelar & Associates, a forensic architectural and construction consulting firm in the San Francisco Bay area, has issued a definitive chronology of San Francisco’s building laws and codes from 1906 to 1992.
Authored by RA&A principal codes consultant Lonnie Haughton, CSI, CDT (Westcon member and past-Secretary of the Westcon Board of Directors), this 78-page report additionally documents dramatic post-World War II story lines within the Bureau of Building Inspection, including tense turf wars with the Fire Department and the Board of Permit Appeals; the origins and development of the City’s current building codes and the doomed decades-long battle against State control of these codes; the career (and death in 1985) of renowned Superintendent Robert C. Levy; ongoing efforts to modernize management and record-keeping processes; and the Bureau’s stout response to the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
As reported several years later: “The devastating earthquake of October 17 provided the Bureau with its greatest challenge. Within minutes, BBI received reports of significant damage across the entire City. Phones were down, power was out, and towards the Bay, smoke could be seen billowing towards the sky. The needs of the public were overwhelming, and all too soon darkness began to fall.”
Supplemented with informative citations from other key reference resources, including archived newsletters of the San Francisco chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute, this free report can be downloaded at: http://www.ravelar.com/articles/SanFranciscoCodesHistory.pdf.
Lonnie Haughton is one of about 900 individuals nationwide who have been certified by the International Code Council as a Master Code Professional. His additional ICC certifications include California Commercial Building Inspector, California Residential Building Inspector, Certified Building Code Official, Certified Housing Code Official and Fire Inspector I.