Construction at UC Berkeley

Background image: Construction

Information and guidance for construction contractors work on the UC Berkeley campus. Construction contractors must be aware of their own obligations to comply with local, state and federal regulations as applicable to their work activities onsite.

How Do I:

Get approval from EH&S for my construction project?

Please contact the EH&S Construction Specialist at dscrimger@berkeley.edu or (510) 642-0359.

All construction projects that create and/or alter >2,500 SF of impervious surface area must fill out the following checklists:

Request an environmental assessment? 

Please contact the EH&S Construction Specialist at dscrimger@berkeley.edu or (510) 642-0359.

Request an occupational health and safety assessment?

EH&S offers environmental and occupational safety (CalOSHA) consultation and project assessments free of charge to campus project managers. If analytical testing or other services are required by your project that incur a cost to EH&S, a chartstring and EH&S Recharge account will be needed from your project.

Contact the Construction Coordinator at ehs@berkeley.edu to request a project assessment or inspection.

Typical environmental services and inspections for construction include:

  • Project planning and consultation regarding environmental compliance within building design and equipment selection.
  • Sampling soil or building materials for hazardous materials screening.
  • Disposal of shop and chemical wastes or equipment.
  • Stormwater monitoring.

Cal-OSHA requirements can be met in a variety of ways and should include EH&S’ Safety Engineer. Safety codes can be vague at times, but may greatly impact how buildings should be designed. Contact EH&S in advance for assistance in building design to meet Cal-OSHA requirements.

Most common Cal-OSHA violations and building design issues revolve around:

  • Ladders and maintenance access
  • Window washing
  • Fall protection
  • Lock-out, Tag-out (Energy Controls)
  • Confined spaces
  • Elevators


Building work areas that may include some of these elements can be challenging to maintain by the end-user and can be simplified with the right advice.

EH&S can also help you come up with a compliance checklist that is specific to your project needs.

Know what environmental permits I need? 

Environmental permits depend on the design, activity and size of the project as well as the disturbance that will occur to: soil, air water or spaces and buildings.

Some construction work has environmental compliance elements that are not part of a permitting process, but rather a documentation process involving some due diligence.

Common Environmental Permits

Examples of permits required before performing work are:

Air District Regional Water Board City of Berkeley
  • Cooling towers
  • Emergency generators
  • Boiler installations
  • Building demolition
  • Asbestos removal
  • Fumehoods
  • Chemical exhaust
  • Construction sites
  • Creek or habitat restoration
  • Groundwater cleanups
  • Wells
  • Borings & groundwater extraction or geothermal wells
  • Fuel storage tanks

Other Owner Obligations

Examples of owner obligations that do not require a permit, but are covered under federal law and applicable to any party who may potentially claim protection from Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) liability as an innocent landowner, a bona fide prospective purchaser, or a contiguous property owner:

  • Environmental site assessments
  • Hazardous materials building surveys
  • Excavation & soil off-haul/import
  • Proper characterization of waste

Regulatory Guide for Construction Managers

EH&S created the Regulatory Guide for Construction Managers as a screening tool for building changes and construction that may have environmental, health and safety exposure impacts or agency requirements beyond fire marshal requirements.

Review the Guide and contact the EH&S construction coordinator at (510) 642-3073 or ehs-ep@berkeley.edu to help you summarize compliance requirements specific to your project needs.

Request a fire and life safety construction inspection?

To schedule a fire and life safety construction inspection:

  • For New Construction and Renovation Projects
  • Purchased or Leased Spaces
    • Prior to purchase or entering into a lease agreement of space for use by UC employees, contact the Campus Fire Marshal for inspection.

If you have any questions, please contact the Fire Prevention Division at fireprevention@berkeley.edu or (510) 642-3073.

Resources

EH&S Contact

EH&S Construction Specialist: David Scrimger (510) 642-0359, dscrimger@berkeley.edu