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USGNN Original StoryICC Upholds Decision to Disapprove S141 Code Proposal, Among Others

On Saturday, the International Code Council (ICC) upheld its original unanimous decision made in February regarding code proposal S141 (International Building Code-Structural), which addressed the side-hinged exterior door standard. The proposal, submitted by the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), attempted to remove the current exemption for side-hinged exterior doors from nationwide testing of the AAMA/WDMA/CSA A440 test standard. If approved, the proposal would have added testing and labeling requirements for side-hinged door assemblies that are included within the scope of AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440. The proposal was again disapproved at the final action hearings being held through Wednesday this week in Minneapolis.

Mike Fischer, spoke on behalf of the WDMA, in support of the proposal, but there were far more people speaking in favor of upholding the committee's original decision. This included Jeff Burton, director of codes and standards for the Association of Millwork Distributors' (AMD) and Larry Ray representing pre-hanger GHDC Inc. in Tupelo, Miss.

All who spoke reminded members to "uphold the committee's original unanimous decision in February."

"This [passage of this proposal] would cause utter chaos in the industry," said Ray. "Many [prehangers] would not survive."

According to Fischer, all exterior components in a structure face the same exposure to weather. "This proposal is a logical extension to apply the same requirements to side-hinged doors (within the scope of 101/I.S.2/A440) that are currently applied to windows and sliding doors. It is inconsistent for the code to require side-hinged door installation and flashing to prevent water infiltration while the door itself is exempted from any water testing requirements. Expanding the requirements for testing and labeling to 101/I.S.2/A440 to side-hinged doors addresses this inconsistency in the code."

"Although my heart goes out to those states with hurricane winds, we don't have these in Minnesota, but in the individual states that have these problems, there are state codes to address this issue," said one prehanger located in Minnesota.

A representative from Simpson Door reiterated the fact that it is to up to the states to address this issue.

"There are codes in place in hurricane prone regions to address this issue," he said.

He also noted that exterior side-hinged doors are all tested to NFRC 100 and 200 standards.

"I feel lonely up here," said Fischer when it was his turn to speak in favor of the proposal.

Another individual also supported the proposal and said, "Those who are opposed to this are saying that it is up to the states, but this is the International Building Code. It's for the entire country."

More Disapprovals
The following decisions from February were also upheld during the final action hearings this weekend.

S83—Proponent: John Woestman, representing the Door Safety Council. If passed this would have allowed side-hinged door assemblies to meet the impact testing requirements of ANSI/SDI A250.13. The WDMA opposed this proposal.

RB174—Proponent: Michael Fischer, representing the Window and Door Manufacturers Association. According to the proposal, window fall prevention devices and window guards, where provided, shall comply with the requirements of ASTM F 2090. The 2006 IRC and IBC contain a newly adopted requirement for minimum sill heights in windows located more than 72 inches above grade as a means to prevent child falls through open windows. During the consideration of this proposal over several code cycles, WDMA expressed dismay with the lack of technical substantiation that demonstrated any positive impact of this requirement on the number of child window falls. In fact, WDMA's opposition was due in large part to concerns about the unintended consequences such a requirement could have on fire safety.

When speaking before the committee on Sunday, Fisher said we shouldn't "experiment with our children."

He also pointed out that minimum sill heights don't help reduce child window falls.

"The only jurisdiction in the United States with a sill height requirement is Denver and falls are heightened in that area," he said.

But those in support of the committee's original decision urged the committee to not take the sill height requirement out of the code, and ultimately they were successful as the committee's original decision was upheld.

S142—Proponent: William E. Koffel, representing the Glazing Industry Code Committee. The proposal would have stated that exterior windows and sliding doors shall be tested and labeled as conforming to AAMA/WDMA/CSA101/I.S.2/A440. As was the case with S141, the committee's original decision in February was upheld.

According to the proposal, "the purpose is to remove the exemption that fenestration products labeled to AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440 do not have to meet the requirements of sections 2403.2 and 2403.3, which ensure safe performance through proper support of glass. Specifically, section 2403.3 requires that the deflection of framing members supporting glass may not exceed L/175 of the glass edge length (or ¾ inch, whichever is less) when subjected to the design load. Chapter 24 of the IBC relies on glass design curves that are contained in ASTM E 1300. This ASTM standard recognizes the importance of limiting edge deflection of the glass and also recommends a limitation of 1/175 of the glass edge length. Prior to the IBC, the legacy codes required deflection limitations of 1/175 of the span for glass holding members. It was not until the IBC was published that this exemption was allowed."

S143—Proponent: John Woestman, representing the Door Safety Council. This proposal would have added the ANSI Standard ANSI/SDI A250.13-XX Testing and Rating of Severe Windstorm Resistant Components for Swinging Door Assemblies to Chapter 35 of the International Building Code.

At the time of the February hearings this standard was not complete but is complete now so Woestman encouraged its addition in the code as it would, "allow a component-based approach and allow interchangeability of components."

This proposal helps resolve performance and code compliance issues when doors are assembled from components from multiple sources and include interchangeable elements, according to Woestman.

Gary Erlich of the National Association of Home Builders opposed the proposal in February but is now in favor of it as the standard is complete. The committee's February vote was no and in Minneapolis the motion failed by one vote.

RE2—Proponent, Thomas Zaremba and Thomas Culp. This proposal would have placed the residential provisions of the energy code in one place, rather than having potentially different requirements in the IRC and the IECC. The committee's original vote of disapproval was upheld.

For more info on these proposals go to www.iccsafe.org

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