Construction or alterations of buildings specified in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 129725 shall conform to the latest edition of the California Building Standards Code. The office shall independently review and inspect these buildings. For purposes of this section, construction or alteration includes the conversion of a building to a purpose specified in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 129725. Any construction or alteration of any building subject to this section shall be exempt from any plan review and approval or construction inspection requirement of any city or county.
The office may also exempt from the plan review process or expedite those projects undertaken by an applicant for a hospital building that the office determines do not materially alter the mechanical, electrical, architectural, or structural integrity of the facility. The office shall set forth criteria to expedite projects or to implement any exemptions made pursuant to this paragraph.
The Legislature recognizes the relative safety of single-story, wood-frame, and light steel frame construction for use in housing patients requiring skilled nursing and intermediate care services and it is, therefore, the intent of the Legislature to provide for reasonable flexibility in seismic safety standards for these structures. The office shall be reasonably flexible in the application of seismic standards for other buildings by allowing incidental and minor nonstructural additions or nonstructural alterations to be accomplished with simplified written approval procedures as established by the office, with the advice of the Division of the State Architect and the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
The office shall implement, and modify, as necessary, criteria to exempt from the plan review process or expedite those projects for alterations of hospital buildings, and for those specified in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 129725 that may include, but are not limited to, renovations, remodeling, or installations of necessary equipment such as hot water heaters, air-conditioning units, dishwashers, laundry equipment, handrails, lights, television brackets, small emergency generators (up to 25 kilowatts), storage shelves, and similar plant operations equipment; and decorative materials such as wall coverings, floor coverings, and paint.
The office shall include provisions for onsite field approvals by available office construction advisers and the preapproval of projects that comply with the requirements for which the office has developed standard architectural or engineering detail, or both standard architectural and engineering detail.