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What Is An Exterior Elevated Element (EEE)?

Updated: Jun 7

If you're a California property owner, particularly of a multi-family building, you've likely encountered the term "Exterior Elevated Element" or EEE. It's a central concept in the state's balcony safety laws, including SB 721 and SB 326. But what exactly does it mean, and why should you care? Let's break down the ins and outs of EEEs and their significance for property safety and compliance.


EEEs Defined

At its core, an EEE is any load-bearing component of a building that extends beyond the exterior walls and is elevated above the ground.  While often associated with balconies, the definition encompasses a wider range of structures, including:

  • Balconies: Platforms projecting from a building, often used for outdoor access or recreation.

  • Decks: Typically larger than balconies, decks are often attached to a building at ground level.

  • Walkways: Elevated pathways connecting different parts of a building or property.

  • Stairways (with wood components): Outdoor stairs with wood elements supporting weight.

  • Guardrails: Safety barriers designed to prevent falls from elevated areas.

  • Other elevated elements: This can include awnings, canopies, or other structures that meet the criteria of being load-bearing and elevated.


Why EEEs Matter: Safety and Compliance

EEEs are of particular concern due to their exposure to the elements and the potential risks they pose if not properly maintained. Over time, factors like moisture, sunlight, and wear and tear can compromise their structural integrity, leading to potential safety hazards like collapses or falls.

This is where California's balcony inspection laws come into play. SB 721 balcony inspections and SB 326 balcony inspections mandate regular inspections of EEEs to identify and address potential issues before they become dangerous.


Distinguishing Between SB 721 and SB 326

While both laws address EEEs, they have distinct focuses:

  • SB 721: Primarily applies to multi-family dwellings with three or more units, mandating inspections of specified EEEs like balconies, decks, and exterior stairs.

  • SB 326: Expands the scope to include all condominium associations, regardless of the type of EEEs present.

Understanding which law applies to your property is crucial for ensuring compliance with the appropriate inspection and maintenance requirements.


The Role of EEE Inspections: Protecting Your Investment

Regular inspections of EEEs offer numerous benefits for property owners:

  • Safety: Identifying and addressing potential safety hazards before they result in accidents or injuries.

  • Property Value: Maintaining well-maintained EEEs can enhance the curb appeal and value of your property.

  • Compliance: Meeting the legal requirements of SB 721 and SB 326 avoids potential fines and legal issues.

  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your property is safe and secure for residents and visitors.

Partnering with EEEadvisor for Expert Assessment

EEEadvisor specializes in California balcony inspections and can help you navigate the complexities of EEE assessment and compliance. Our team of experienced professionals can identify all relevant EEEs on your property, conduct thorough inspections, and provide expert guidance on any necessary repairs or maintenance.


Don't underestimate the importance of EEEs in maintaining a safe and valuable property. Contact EEEadvisor today for a free consultation and let us help you protect your investment! Let EEEadvisor be your partner in EEE safety and compliance.

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