Building Codes

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Special Announcement:

New Building Codes In Effect as of January 1, 2017

All applications for building permits submitted on or after January 1, 2017 must comply with 2016 California Building Standards Code. Local Adoption and California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) Filing with Acceptance: Ordinance No. 551 with CBSC Filing 


The City of La Quinta Building Division uses the following codes in the plan check process and in field inspections:

  • 2016 California Building Code (based on the 2015 IBC; effective 01/01/2017)
  • 2016 California Residential Code (based on the 2015 IRC; effective 01/01/2017)
  • 2016 California Mechanical Code (based on the 2015 UMC; effective 01/01/2017)
  • 2016 California Plumbing Code (based on the 2015 UPC; effective 01/01/2017)
  • 2016 California Electrical Code (based on the 2014 NEC; effective 01/01/2017)
  • 2016 California Energy Code (effective 01/01/2017)
  • 2016 California Green Building Standards Code (effective 01/01/2017)

Structures are governed by the Code that was in effect at the time of application for building permit. Consequently, any building permitted or in plan review under the previous Code will be governed by that Code, provided that the application or permit does not expire. For example, applications processed between 01/01/2014 and 12/31/2016, will be governed by the 2013 California Codes. See additional information at the Building Standards Commission site.

Design Criteria:

In addition, for structures in La Quinta, design for the following requirements:

  • Seismic Design Category: "D₂"
  • Basic Wind Speed: 110 mph for Risk Category II Buildings and other structures (usually results in 85 mph for Allowable Stress Design); Exposure "C"; Not Within a Special Wind Region or Wind Borne Debris Zone
  • Climate Zone: 15
  • Subject to Damage from: Weathering - Negligible, Frost - N/A, Termite - Very Heavy
  • Winter Design Temperature: 34°F
  • Flood Hazards: A/AO/X - See FEMA Map

Please note: These are general requirements.  Licensed engineers and architects are responsible for considering all site-specific conditions and code requirements in design documents.

Please call the Design & Development Department at (760) 777-7125 if you have other design questions.


The California Energy Code, supplemental material, and compliance forms are available at the California Energy Commission Web site.



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