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Building Codes and Inspections/Sound Transmission Codes & Internal Door Codes, Regulations


I have two questions to ask of you.  My Name is Roy Ford and I am a volunteer for Catholic Charities in Oakland CA, we are currently in process of relocating to Richmond CA and would like to ask you the following two questions:

1.  Are there any sound transmission codes, regulations that we should be aware of in opening a Behavioral Health Care facility.

2.  We have clinicians who meet with children in rooms, and are wondering if the door to these rooms should have windows based on some code or regulation that might exist.


Building codes generally deal with doors and windows more as they relate to egress, the need for rated assemblies, and for glazing in hazardous locations. I think what you are dealing with here are regulations that are not building code generated, but maybe requirements of either medical regulators, health care industry standards, or to facilitate whatever legal position you may want to have. In your case, it seems to me that you have to weigh the privacy rights of someone under medical care against the other need to supervise a minor. You might also have a legal desire to design a room such that adult cannot be alone with a minor without being observable or known but to others. I know this has been the case with some day care facilities. In some states, juvenile detention facilities must be construction started such that the supervising adult always has a view of the juvenile. This is not in the building code, but in other regulatory documents.

These are all issues that would have to be taken into account by the design professional designing your facility. My suggestion is to be determined your legal  and practical concerns, give them to the design professional to design the space. As far as the building code is concerned, it can probably be designed like a doctor's office business use. The Department of Health maybe may have some regulations that you have to comply with. If the person you are dealing with is in legal custody, then there are other regulations you have to deal with in that regard. Its very complicated question.

The Building Official of the municipality in which the building is located is the best person to answer your code questions, as they will know their local regulations in addition to whatever national code is adopted there.

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Keith Fuller


I'm an ICC Certified Master Code Professional fielding general building code questions. My experience has been heavy in fire related issues.


I've been employed since 1985 as an inspector and plan reviewer, and am a municipal Assistant Building Official and Deputy fire Marshal. I've had fire service experience since 1972, having served as a three time Fire Chief and Fire Marshal in years past. The increasing workload, mandatory certifications, and continuing education requirements in recent years have caused me to concentrate my efforts on code related issues. I hold national fire service certifications as well.

ICC Master Code Professional

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