Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Citizens' Guide to State Services

Published by
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
Citizen Information Service

Public Safety/Law Enforcement: Buildings

L2 Massachusetts Architectural Access Board

L3 State Board of Building Regulations and Standards

L2 Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (AAB)
Office of Public Safety and Inspection
One Ashburton Place, Room 1310
Boston, MA 02108
Tel: 617-727-0660
Fax: 617-727-0665

The Massachusetts Architectural Access Board has responsibility for ensuring that all public buildings and facilities are accessible, functional, and safe for use by the disabled. Both public and private buildings used by and open to the general public which have been constructed, altered, remodeled, or have undergone a change of use since 6/10/75 must comply with state regulations. With the recent passage of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, the board's responsibilities have expanded, as developers, contractors, and advocacy groups seek clarification of the act's requirements and guidelines for compliance. It oversees not only the updating of access regulations from the State Building Code but also answers technical questions; hears appeals and takes complaints from advocates, the public, and the construction industry; and provides training to building officials, architects, and consumers.

L3 State Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS)
Office of Public Safety and Inspection
One Ashburton Place, Room 1301
Boston, MA 02108
Tel: 617-727-3200
TTY: 617-727-4266
Fax: 617-248-0813

The Board of Building Regulations and Standards has the sole responsibility for maintaining the State Building Code. The State Building Code contains provisions for structural safety by specifying loading criteria for dead, live, wind, snow and seismic loads; has provisions for foundation and structural design; contains life safety provisions to provide for safe egress from buildings in the event of an emergency; contains provisions for fire safety through the installation of automatic sprinkler and fire detection and alarm systems and; standards for energy conservation in buildings. The board has the following major objectives: promulgating uniform standards throughout the Commonwealth for construction and construction materials compatible with accepted standards of engineering and fire prevention practices, energy conservation, and public safety; and promoting the use of modern technical methods, devices, and improvements. Its responsibilities also include: (1) approval of new building products, materials, and construction methods not addressed in the State Building Code; (2) licensing of concrete technicians as well as laboratories testing concrete; (3) licensing of construction supervisors, and registration of home improvement contractors and sub-contractors; (4) certification of producers of manufactured buildings (including modular homes) and third-party inspection agencies (i.e. agencies certified by the board to act on its behalf); and (5) registration of persons or firms milling lumber within the state. The State Building Code Appeals Board hears appeals between the regular community and local building officials on building code matters as well as reviews decisions by local building code appeals boards. The BBRS develops requirements for the certification of municipal building officials (referred to as Building Code Enforcement Officials which include inspectors of buildings, local inspectors as well as building commissioners) and develops and approves courses of continuing education for maintenance of such certification.

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