Welcome to the 2013 CSE Update Page.

I’ve made the following changes to 2013 CSE Edition. This is a MINOR update.

Summary of Changes to the STUDY GUIDE (Audio Companion updated to match below). All other materials remain as is.

Category IIA KS #11 – Added more info about the California Green Building Code. See below.

Category IIA KS #14 – Added a couple of paragraphs from DSA website addressing the 2013 California Building Code and ADA. See below.

Category IIA KS #18 – Added note about Design Professionals Lien. See below.

Category IIA KS #20 – Removed Corporations Code as it’s no longer referenced in latest edition of the Architects Practice Act

Category IIA KS #30 – Changed to current California Department Fish and Wildlife (no longer referred to as California Department of Fish and Game.

Category III #46 – Added Project Delivery Methods. See below. 

Detail of Changes

Category IIA KS #11 – Added more info about the California Green Building Code. 

Part 11 – California Green Building Standards  Code – (referred to as CALGreen)

You can view the CALGreen Code online at the California Building Standards Commission website

  • Purpose – Improve public health, safety, and general welfare by enhancing the design and construction of buildings through the use of building concepts having a reduced negative impact or positive environmental impact and encouraging sustainable construction practices in the following categories;
      • Planning and design
      • Energy Efficiency
      • Water efficiency and conservation
      • Material conservation and resource efficiency
      • Environmental quality
      • Voluntary Tiers
  • Scope – Shall apply to the planning, design, operation, construction, use, and occupancy of every newly constructed building or structure, unless otherwise indicated in this Code, throughout  the State of California.

Contents of the CALGreen Code:

  • Chapter 1 – Administration
  • Chapter 2 – Definitions
  • Chapter 3 – Green Building
  • Chapter 4 – Residential Mandatory Measures
  • Chapter 5 – Nonresidential Mandatory Measures
  • Chapter 6 – Reference Organizations and Standards
  • Chapter 7 – Installer and Special Inspector Qualifications
  • Chapter 8 – Compliance Forms and Worksheets


Important topics in the CALGreen Code:

Applicability – Applies to New Construction or Remodels

Compliance divided into two sections (We will focus mainly on the Nonresidential here as that is the main focus of the Exam):

  • Residential 
  • Nonresidential 
    • Applies to all Occupancy Types
    • Applies to newly constructed buildings, building additions of 1,000 s.f. or greater and/or 

building alterations with a permit valuation of $200,000 or above

Chapter 5 – Nonresidential (NOTE: These are MANDATORY measures)

Division 5.1 – Planning & Design

  • Site Development
    • Storm Water Pollution Prevention (SWPP) must be implemented for new construction

and additions which disturb less than one acre and shall prevent the pollution of

stormwater runoff from construction activities.

  • Bicycle Parking – 5 percent of tenant vehicular spaces being added with minimum of 1
  • Designated parking – for low-emitting, fuel efficient cars, carpool/van pool vehicles
  • Light pollution – reduction for Outdoor lighting
  • Grading and Paving – construction plans to indicate how site grading or drainage systems will manage water flow and keep water from entering buildings

Division 5.2 – Energy Efficiency

  • mandatory provisions found in Part 6 of Title 24

Division 5.3 – Water Efficiency and Conservation

  • Water meters
  • Water conserving plumbing fixtures
    • Water closets – not exceed 1.28 gallons per flush
    • Urinals – not exceed 0.5 gallons per flush
    • Showerheads – not exceed 2.0 gallons per minute
  • Wastewater reduction – reduce by 20%
  • Outdoor water use – develop water budget
  • Irrigation controllers – automatic irrigation systems controlled by weather or soil moisture

Division 5.4 – Material Conservation and Resource Efficiency

  • Weather Protection – provide a weather resistant exterior wall and foundation envelope
  • Moisture Control – prevent water intrusion of building
  • Construction waste diversion and management – recycle and/or salvage for reuse a minimum of 50% of nonhazardous construction and demolition waste
  • Recycling by occupants – provide accessible areas that serve entire building for recycling
  • Commissioning – for new buildings 10,000 s.f. or greater
  • Testing and adjusting of systems  – for new buildings less than 10,00 s.f. or new systems to serve an addition or alteration

Division 5.5 – Environmental Quality – items related to Indoor Air Quality including

  • Fireplaces and woodstoves
  • Covering of duct openings and protection of mechanical equipment during construction
  • Finish material pollutant control including adhesives, sealants, caulks, paints and coatings,  carpet systems, and resilient flooring systems
  • Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) control
  • Filters
  • Indoor moisture control
  • Outside air delivery
  • Carbon dioxide monitoring
  • Ozone depletion and greenhouse gas reductions

Voluntary Measures

Voluntary measures (and Tiers) are not mandatory unless adopted by a city or county and provide

additional measures for consideration. Voluntary measures appear in CALGreen as:

  • Appendix A4 – Residential Voluntary Measures
  • Appendix A5 – Nonresidential Voluntary Measures

CALGreen Tier 1 – provisions for achieving enhanced construction or green building measures

CALGreen Tier 2 – more enhanced than Tier 1

Category IIA KS #14 – Added a couple of paragraphs from DSA website addressing the 2013 California Building Code and ADA.

From the DSA’s website;

“The Division of the State Architect (DSA) promulgates California Building Code (CBC) provisions to address accessibility for persons with disabilities. These provisions are applicable to State and local government buildings and facilities, public accommodations and commercial facilities, and public housing.

The accessibility provisions of the 2013 CBC have been revised and reformatted to conform to the requirements of the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design and maintain enhanced California accessibility provisions from the previous building code. The 2013 CBC is effective as of January 1, 2014.

DSA has prepared several documents to help code users understand and apply the accessibility provisions. These documents will aid the code user’s transition to the newly reformatted 2013 CBC Chapter 11B, clarify obligations and code requirements under the CBC, and provide background and context for accessibility issues.”

A great manual to check out on DSA’s website is the 2013 CBC Advisory Manual

“This document contains the 2013 CBC accessibility provisions adopted by DSA and commentary on selected requirements. Commentary is included from the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design and from DSA for provisions unique to California. Additionally, an expanded table of contents for Chapter 11B is provided at the beginning of the chapter.”

Category IIA KS #18 – Added note about Design Professionals Lien.

IMPORTANT NOTE for 2015:  Design Professionals Lien law was repealed on July 1, 2012. However, Design Professionals may still appear on the Exam so it is important to still understand if (don’t ask me why, just accept it). Design Professionals can still file a lien, but it falls under a Mechanics Lien. Please see Design Professional Liens: Gone But Not Forgotten article for further information. 

Category III #46 – Added Project Delivery Methods. 

Project Delivery Methods

Design – Bid – Build

Construction Management at Risk (CM@R)

Design – Build

Design – Bid – Build

This is the traditional project delivery method, involving three roles:  Owner,  Architect & Contractor.  The Owner contracts separately with the Architect for the design and with the Contractor for construction.  The Architect does not contract with the Contractor, and the Contractor does not contract with the Architect.  This is done to protect the best interests of the Owner, and allow the Architect to represent the Owner during construction.

Design–Bid–Build is identified by the following defining characteristics:

  • Three prime roles:  Owner,  Architect & Contractor
  • Two separate contracts:  between Owner – Architect & Owner – Contractor
  • Final contractor selection based on lowest responsible bid or total contract price

The Design – Bid – Build approach has several characteristics and benefits:

  • Three linear phases:  Design > Bid > Build
  • Well-established and clearly defined roles
  • Carefully crafted legal and procedural guidelines
  • The lowest qualifying bid provides a reliable market price
  • Contract documents are typically completed before construction begins, requiring construction-related decisions in advance of actual execution, and allowing for easier pricing
  • Complete specifications produce clear quality standards
  • The design and details of the finished project are agreed to by all parties before construction begins

Construction Management at Risk (CM@R)

The Construction Management at Risk is a project delivery method and should not be confused with the Owner hiring a Construction Manager as an adviser using the AIA Contract A132, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor, Construction Manager as Adviser Edition.

The Construction Management at Risk (CM@R) approach involves a construction manager who takes on the risk of building a project, guaranteeing the Owner it will be completed on an agreed to schedule and set budget.  The Architect is hired by the Owner under a separate contract. 

The construction manager oversees the entire project management, and typically has past experience in similar project types.  Since the construction manager is assuming more risk, their services may include things to reduce risk, such as:

  • Pre-Construction Services during the design phase
  • Project Scheduling
  • Value Engineering
  • Timely purchasing of critical materials or materials with long lead times
  • Coordination of subcontractors

In CM@R, the construction entity takes on the financial obligation for construction under a specified cost agreement.  The construction manager frequently provides a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) based on the Architect’s contract documents, meaning that they agree to build what is shown in the drawings for a guaranteed cost.

CM@R is sometimes referred to as CM/GC because the construction entity becomes the general contractor (GC) through the at-risk agreement.  The term “at risk” is often a source of confusion. Sometimes it refers to the fact that the contractor holds the trade contracts and takes the performance risk for construction. Other times, the term refers to the guaranteed maximum price (GMP).  In the case for the CSE exam, we are referring to the risk the construction manager is taking with performance (the first one.) 

The guaranteed maximum price (GMP) is a risk, but the construction manager gets to control the timing and which set of construction documents sets the GMP.  A contingency (of 5 – 20%) is often added to the bid to account for the unexpected.  The changing costs of materials, unforeseen conditions on the site or construction delays all could change the price and could be covered by this contingency.

CM@R is identified by the following defining characteristics:

  • Three prime roles:  Owner, Architect and CM@R
  • Two separate contracts:  between Owner – Architect & Owner – CM@R
  • Final provider selection based on aspects other than total cost

The CM@R approach has several characteristics and benefits:

  • Overlapping phases:  design and build occur at the same time (fast track)
  • Construction manager hired early, during the design phase, to provide advice
  • Pre-construction services offered by the constructor (such as constructability review and bid management)
  • Specific contractual arrangement determines the roles of players
  • Clear quality controls from the use of prescriptive specifications in the contract

 Just as in Design – Bid – Build, the Architect does not contract with the Contractor.


In the design-build approach to project delivery, the Owner contracts with a single entity – a designer-builder – for both design and construction.  The design-build entity can be led by either an Architect or a General Contractor, or both, and can consist of any number of people.  The advantage to the Owner is one contract for both design and construction, and Architect and Contractor work together as one.  This gives the Owner a single source of responsibility for design and construction.  Since the Architect and Contractor are the same entity, a design-build approach requires clear definition of the roles and responsibilities of the design-build team.  

Design-build is identified by the following defining characteristic:

  • Two roles, one contract:  Owner – Design-Build entity

Design-build approach has several characteristics and benefits:

  • Project-by-project basis for establishing and documenting roles
  • Continuous execution of design and construction
  • Overlapping phases:  design and build occur at the same time (fast track)
  • Two prime players:  Owner & design-build entity
  • Carefully crafted legal and procedural guidelines for public owners
  • Some construction-related decisions can be made after the start of the project
  • Construction planning and scheduling is done with the design process


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