Building Standards Institute

Service Through Education and Communication

About Us

The Building Standards Institute (BSI) is comprised of a recognized group of professional and experienced volunteers within the building industry. We draw our membership from a wide range of backgrounds and specialties, all committed to the same goal of improving standards and education within the residential building community.

Board of Directors

David Maclellan

David E. MacLellan (1941-2016)

The Board Members of The Building Standards Institute lost a respected leader, Chairman, Director and friend last year, David E. MacLellan. Dave was instrumental in the founding of our organization and brought over 45 years of experience in the construction industry to the Board.

During his career, Dave constructed 18 residential projects, currently valued at over $300 million and was responsible for planning, design, construction, finance, marketing and community association administration. He was a winner of the AIA and Urban Land Institute Award for Architectural Planning, three MAME awards for design excellence, and the William Watson Memorial President’s Award from the HBANC (2002). Dave was also inducted into the California Homebuilding Foundation Hall of Fame in June 2011.

Dave was a graduate engineer, Licensed General Contractor (B), and a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson. He was the principal author of four books on residential construction quality and maintenance published by MacLellan Media, Inc. and a Certified Mediator (University of Oregon School of Law), a Partition Referee in the California Superior Courts, and served on the Panel of Arbitrators for the American Arbitration Association. He was past President and Director of the Northern California Homebuilders Association, Eastern Division and served on the CBIA Construction Dispute Resolution Task Force.

Dave embodied an exceptional blend of inventive spirit, foresight, and entrepreneurship. We will all miss him deeply.

Research and Development

The Building Standards Institute engages in research and development in fields of study that have historically been problematic for both home builders and consumers. This research program contains many facets, including destructive testing, work in laboratories with scientific and educational partners, and intelligence gathering through internet research.

Research Project I: Research Project I is the study of sulfate attack on concrete in the field. The performance of concrete foundations of houses 35 to 40 years old in a sulfate soils environment will be made by coring, followed by strict protocol laboratory testing. Petrographic analysis and scanning electron microscope analysis will be performed.

Research Project II: Research Project II is the study of molds and spores as a human pathogen. While molds are found everywhere, they can become concentrated in today's tightly built houses. Although numerous health claims have been made recently, there are no federal or state standards to determine harmful exposure to mold spores and their micotoxins. The research will involve a comprehensive literature search and published clinical results.

Research Project III: Research Project III is the study of green home guidelines for homeowners and builders with the goal of increasing the daily use of sustainable and renewable materials while decreasing the use of water and carbon products. The first phase of the project is the creation of the 2011 Green Home Maintenance supplement used to educate homeowners on energy and water conserving home products and their recommended maintenance. The second phase is the submission of qualifications as reviewers of CALGreen Residential Mandatory Measures to cities within the San Francisco Bay Area...

Perimeter Relief and Control Joints in Fire-Rated Gypsum Board

In multi-family residential construction, involving fire-rated assemblies stress relief in the fire-rated assemblies is important, but often overlooked.

The 2015 Gypsum Association Fire Resistance Design Manual (the 21st Edition or GA-600-2015) addresses perimeter relief and control joints in fire rated gypsum panel assemblies in Section II on page 18. It is specifically noted that these control and strain relief designs do not affect the fire rating of any rated assembly.

Since the 2009 version or the 20th edition of the Gypsum Association Fire Resistance Design Manual is a Standard Reference in the 2016 CBC (Chapter 35), this Standard Reference has the same standing as the Code for the 2016 Code Cycle. The 2015 FRDM is not adopted in the 2016 CBC, but why not use the design recommendations in the most current version of this Standard Reference?

A number of Strain Relief designs are listed in the 2015 Gypsum Association Fire Resistance Design Manual on pages 279 to 301 and include walls, ceilings, shafts, and head wall conditions.


Education Programs and Training Seminars

This Seminar is an interactive 4 hour course designed to increase the skill levels of field superintendents and customer service personnel.

This award winning program is currently being taught to hundreds of site superintendents and customer service employees.

  • Simple Quality Control Methods
  • Subcontractor and Building Inspector Relations
  • Applying Building Codes
  • Right to Repair” Laws
  • Identifying Buyer Expectations
  • Effective Use of Written Workmanship Standards
  • 5 Mistakes that Cause Buyers to Sue
  • Successful Walk Through Techniques
  • How to Deal with “The Angry Customer"

All participants receive a course workbook, and depending upon location, a copy of the The Home Book or National Home Maintenance Manual, and a Certificate of Course Completion.


We Keep Our Industry Professionals Informed
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Green Building

The California Building Industry Association (CBIA) recently announced that they would support a series of executive orders established by the Governer's Administration that outlines a series of "green building programs" for state-owned buildings and the commercial sector.

The Administration is sponsoring a legislative proposal which would:

  • Specify that the Building Standards Commission (BSC) shall oversee the development of voluntary green building guidelines for residential and non-residential buildings and that the individual components of the guidelines be produced by appropriately authorized state agencies;
  • Ensure that the voluntary guidelines are compatible and do not conflict with existing building standards contained in the California Building Code and that they meet the same administrative “nine-point criteria” that the BSC applies to the adoption of mandatory building standards (i.e. cost impact, etc.)
  • Direct BSC to publish the guidelines as a stand-alone “Green Building Guideline Manual”, separate from the California Building Code;
  • Establish a task force of local government and industry representatives who would develop a list of potential incentives for consideration by local government in promoting the voluntary application of the green building guidelines.”