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The Building Division ensures new construction is built in a manner that satisfies the health and safety regulations set forth by the California Building Code and other laws and that that existing structures are maintained in a safe condition.

The Building Division assists residents, business owners, residential contractors and commercial developers with construction related issues through counter assistance, Code interpretations, plan review, issuance of building permits upon approval of plans, inspection of construction, as well as code enforcement.

Use the buttons on the left or the links below to learn more about the Building Division:

Building Permits

Residential Rental Inspection Program

Green Building

Current Building Codes

Code Enforcement

2014-15 Master Fee Schedule, including Building Fees

New Energy and Water Efficiency Building Standards Now Effective
Every three years, the California Energy Commission revises the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards, contained as Part 6 of the California Building Code. THe 2013 Standards went into effect on July 1, 2014 for all new construction of and additions or alterations to residential and non-residential buildings. Construction related to repairs or maintenance of the structure is not considered to be an alteration or improvement. Local governments are responsible for enforcing these standards.

The following summarizes new Part 6 requirements for some of the most prevalent types of residential building permits in El Cerrito:
  • Hot Water Heater Replacements, Window Retrofits: Two CEC forms are required, one to be submitted with the permit application and another to be made available during final inspection, to verify that equipment and installation complies with current energy efficiency standards.
  • Furnace Replacements: All newly installed furnaces must be certified by a state-approved Home Energy Rating Services (HERS) rater to ensure efficiency and proper installation and that the furnace ducts do not leak excessively. Two CEC forms are required, one to be submitted with the permit application and another to be completed by the HERS rater after installation.
  • Building Additions and Remodels: Additions and alterations to existing buildings must comply with new, more stringent, energy requirements. In general, it is much simpler to comply with the "prescriptive approach", which addresses such components of the building as lighting, heating, insulation, glazing and water heaters. All of these components must meet a list of prescribed standards, also called "Package A". If you choose not to comply with "Package A", you will need to retain a designer familiar with the State's computer programs to take the "performance approach". This gives you greater design flexibility at the cost of additional design work.

In addition, Senate Bill (SB) 407, passed in 2009, requires the following upgrade to plumbing fixtures for buildings built on or before January 1, 1994.
  • All non-compliant plumbing fixtures (faucets, showerheads, toilets, etc.) to be replaced with code-compliant, water-conserving plumbing fixtures when a structure is undergoing additions, alterations or improvements.
Per SB 407, the City now requires a "Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures Certificate of Compliance by the Property Owner" in order to finalize a building permit. Some types of improvements are exempted from this requirement. Go to the Quick Links box to the right to download the "Certificate of Compliance", including more details on the requirement.

For details on the Standards and means of compliance, visit the California Energy Commission (CEC) website at All forms and assistance determining the correct CEC compliance forms can be found on

Mark Soltes
Building Official
Ph: 215-4365
Fax: 233-5401 

Building Permits
To schedule an inspection:
Ph: 215-4360

City Hall

10890 San Pablo Ave.
El Cerrito, CA 94530

Monday & Wednesday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Tuesday and Thursday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Alternate Friday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
(closed every other Friday)