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City of Hercules

Architect/ Engineer Plans

1. Section 5537 of the California Business and Professions Code:

Exemption per Section 5537 of the California Business and Professions Code are applicable to building plans that have been designed in accordance with the conventional framing requirements of Chapter 23 of the 2007 edition of the California Building Code and tables of limitation for wood frame construction.

An unlicensed person may prepare plans, drawings or specifications for the following:

  • Single-family dwelling not more than two stories and a basement in height.
  • Structures containing no more than four dwelling units and not more than two stories and basement in height. Also, a maximum of four dwelling units on any lot.
  • Garages or other structures appurtenant to single-family dwellings or multiple dwellings not more than two stories and basement in height.
  • Agricultural and ranch buildings unless the Chief Building Official deems that an undue risk to the public health, safety, or welfare is involved.

However, if any portion of any structure exempted by this section deviates from conventional framing requirements for wood frame construction found in Chapter 23 of the 2007 edition of the California Building Code or tables of limitation for wood frame construction, the Chief Building Official may require the preparation of plans, drawings, specifications or calculations for that portion by, or under the direct supervision of, a registered engineer or architect. The documents for that portion shall bear the stamp and signature of the licensee who is responsible for their preparation.

2. Section 5538 of the California Business and Professions Code:

This chapter does not prohibit any person from furnishing plans for any of the following:

  • Non-structural storefronts, interior alterations and additions, fixtures, cabinet work, furniture, or other appliances or equipment.
  • Any non-structural work necessary to provide for their installation.

However, an unlicensed person may not prepare plans for those alterations that will change or affect any components of the structural system or safety of the building or its occupants.

Plans prepared for the following work except as specifically noted above, shall be deemed as affecting the safety of a building or its occupants and shall be stamped and signed by a registered engineer or architect:

  • New buildings, additions to existing buildings
  • Projects with interior or exterior structural alterations
  • Interior alteration with an occupancy change
  • Interior alteration with walls and partitions over 5’9” in height
  • Storage racks
  • Remodeling projects with changes to 1-hr rated corridors, fire rated occupancy separations, area separation walls
  • Alterations with changes to exiting requirements
  • Hazardous occupancies H1, H2, H3, H4, H5
  • Assembly occupancies A1, A2, A3, A4, and A5
  • Tanks and vessels
  • Machinery and equipment requiring design per Section 1632 of the 2007 edition of the California Building Code
  • Roof mounted mechanical equipment
  • School and daycare occupancies E
  • Hospital occupancies I1, I1.1, I1.2, I2, I2.1 and I3
  • Laboratories occupancy L
  • Projects with S1, S2 occupancies
  • Hotel, motel and apartment occupancies R1 and R2
  • Projects with mixed occupancies
  • Lateral force resisting systems utilizing poles embedded in the ground
  • Any project deemed by the Chief Building Official to require professional design by a California Registered Engineer or Architect
Last updated: 5/8/2008 11:06:08 PM