BEMA to Pursue Industry Consensus Standard; AGA Stands Behind Code Submission

The Bath Enclosure Manufactures Association (BEMA) has issued a statement saying the Americas Glass Association (AGA) has again rejected its request to reconsider an offer to jointly develop construction and performance standards for shower enclosures and to withdraw its code submission.

"Unfortunately, the code process has no consensus requirements and doesn't always represent the industry's best thinking or technology," stated the BEMA release. "While the AGA decision is regrettable, BEMA intends to continue its efforts to develop consensus standards for the construction and performance of bath enclosures and to oppose the code changes submitted by the AGA."

BEMA executive director Chris Birch stated, "It is unfortunate that the associations could not come together in the interest of the public and the industry. However, it is no longer a question of standard or code change for BEMA, [as we] simply cannot support the code change as written. Without reference standards for evaluating enclosure construction and performance, it is hard to imagine that code officials will be any better equipped to interpret the proposed code requirements than they are now."

Donn Harter, president of the AGA said that they have never had a list of BEMA's concerns regarding the AGA's code development, but have asked for one several times.

"Our consensus was based on eight shower manufactures and scores of installers in response to concerns voiced by the public," said Harter of the AGA's code submission. "We are still open to working with BEMA on any changes during the next code cycle." The AGA's current code submission is before the International Code Council (ICC) and will be voted on during the ICC Conference taking place next month in Florida.

According to BEMA's statement, it had hoped to use its "limited resources" to fund the standards process, [but] will now use them to oppose the AGA code change.

"Regardless of how well intentioned, it is imperative that the industry not let government officials or regional interests speak for the industry in regulating our products," said the BEMA statement. "Other prominent industry associations and organizations support the standards approach and will provide assistance in opposing the code change. BEMA members simply will not let a handful of individuals determine what is best for the public and the industry when it comes to the construction and performance of our products."

CLICK HERE to read the BEMA press release.

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