Reach Codes

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

What are Reach Codes?

Every three years, cities and counties across the state adopt the new Building Standards Code (Standards) or Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations. Cities may adopt building codes more advanced than those required by the state, which are known as reach codes. The next set of codes begins enforcement in January 2020.  

Reach codes pull the construction market upward, priming the construction industry for changes that could well be part of the next update for the state baseline energy code. The 2020 reach code effort is also taking place in a regional context, with model codes and studies provided by Silicon Valley Clean Energy, the California Energy Commission, and the Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN). This regional approach can also provide certainty and consistency for the construction sector by developing the reach code through the same public process as other statewide codes, and avoiding the pitfalls inspecting projects for compliance that may use many different standards or approaches to achieving greater performance. 

About 50 California jurisdictions are considering or have already adopted reach codes as mandatory requirements for newly constructed buildings beginning in 2020. 13 Silicon Valley jurisdictions are considering or have already adopted reach codes for 2020.  

How might a reach code impact me? 

Building codes govern the way that buildings are designed, constructed, and remodeled. Reach codes generally establish higher standards for new construction where they are proven to provide the owner with benefits that justify any additional costs of development. In some cases, it has been found that all-electric buildings are lower cost to develop than buildings with natural gas.  

The reach codes under consideration in Cupertino and other Silicon Valley cities are focused on new residential, commercial, and multifamily buildings that will be seeking building permits after January 2020. The scope of reach codes in the past have generally been limited to permits for newly constructed buildings, with exemptions made for cases where the reach code is not found to be cost effective.  

Why Establish Reach Codes? 

Cupertino’s Climate Action Plan outlines a path towards creating a healthy, livable, and vibrant place for its current and future residents to live, learn, work, and play. Because reach codes are designed and adopted locally, they serve as an opportunity to help address our community’s specific needs and achieve our climate goals. For example, Cupertino can enhance the safety and cost savings of our buildings by adopting reach codes that support energy efficiency, renewable energy, and electrification. Like the 13 other Silicon Valley jurisdictions who are in the process of studying reach codes, Cupertino is taking the lead on improving the quality of life for our communities and the health of our environment, in a way that provides economic benefits to the consumer and society.  

Process and Timeline 

  • July 1, 2019 City Council authorizes staff to study and bring a recommendation on reach codes to the Sustainability Commission 

  • August 29 Sustainability Commission Meeting 

  • September 10 Planning Commision Meeting 

  • October 16 public outreach event at Cupertino Community Hall, 10350 Torre Ave., 6:00pm – 8:00pm (PowerPoint Presentation

  • November draft ordinance 1st reading by City Council 

  • December ordinance 2nd reading by City Council 

  • January 1, 2020 new base building codes begin enforcement 

  • Energy components of any adopted reach codes may not begin enforcement until certified by California Energy Commission.  

Upcoming Events 

More Information