ICC Structural Committee Disapproves Proposed Shower Enclosure Code Change Proposal

The structural committee of the International Code Council (ICC) did not approve a code change proposal to the International Building Code about glazing in shower enclosures, which proponents said would have made glazing in shower doors safer. Donn Harter of the Americas Glass Association (AGA) was the code change proponent.

Code consultant Bill Koffel spoke in opposition to the proposal on behalf of the Bath Enclosure Manufacturers Association (BEMA) and the Glazing Industry Code Committee (GICC). According to Chris Birch, executive director of BEMA, their organization sent a member who presented a "summary of talking points, problems with the proposal, or technical deficiencies." He also said the GICC position was more global, as "the details provided belong in a standard that can be referenced in the building code."

The AGA, however, still has plans to continue forward with its proposal. "We will re-propose our shower amendment in the next code change cycle. It was not surprising that such a massive addition to Chapter 24 would be turned down the first time," said Harter. "Opposition created concern for the code change committee to admonish the proponent (AGA) to gain industry consensus before our return. Although there was general support from the ICC members, it was felt that certain word-smithing should be employed. It is our intent to resolve industry differences without sacrificing the life safety issues addressed in our amendment."

The proposal called for changes in the code to read:

2410.1 General. Glazing and installation of framed and frameless shower units shall be in accordance with manufacturer's instructions and the AGA Industry Frameless Shower Standards (AGA-SH1) and comply with Category II of CPSC 16 CFR 1201.

2410.1.1 Structural framing. The entire surround of a shower opening shall be no less than nominal wood stud construction or steel studs with wood furring.

2410.1.2 Jumping retainers. A device shall be installed in the header that prevents a sliding panel from accidentally vacating the opening.

2410.1.3 Towel bars and handles. Horizontal bars and handles shall not be mounted to the interior of the glass surfaces. A vertical handle may be mounted to the interior of the door.

2410.1.4 Doors. Hinged doors shall open outward and provide a minimum of 22 inches (559 mm) clear opening when opened to 90° (1.57 rad). No portion of a bi-fold door may open into the shower area.
Exception: Self centering doors that swing both ways are permitted provided there is no restriction for the door to open outward to 90° (1.57 rad).

2410.1.5 Steam/canopied enclosures. The roof or enclosed glass top of a shower enclosure shall be 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) tempered/laminated glass or 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) plastic and shall not exceed 36 inches (914 mm) in the short dimension.

2410.2 Frameless light glass shower enclosures.

2410.2.1 Frameless light hinging and sliding shower doors. Frameless light hinging and sliding shower doors shall be a minimum of 3/16 inch (4.8 mm) tempered glass.

2410.2.2 Size limitation. Compression hinged doors shall not exceed 28 inch (711 mm) in width. Compression attached rollers to sliding doors shall not exceed 32 inches (813 mm) in width. Neither may exceed 70 inches (1778 mm) in height
Exception: When ¼ inch (6.4 mm) tempered glass is used with through glass fastening, hinged doors shall not exceed 36 inches (914 mm) in width and 96 inches (2438 mm) in height.

2410.2.3 Panels. All 3/16 inch (4.8mm) or 1/4 inch (6.4mm) panels shall be framed and attached to three sides.

2410.3 Frameless heavy glass shower enclosures.

2410. 3.1 Hinges. Hinge weights shall not exceed the manufacturer's tested maximum load. Each hinge shall be labeled with it's load rating and the label may not be removed before inspection. Three hinges are allowed only when a plumb substrate is provided.

2410.3.2 Screws. Stainless steel screws shall be used of minimum size #10 and a length sufficient to make a minimum penetration into the wood frame of 1½ inch (38 mm). This penetration into the substrate shall be sealed with a non-hardening, asphalt base sealant.

2410.3.3 Hinged shower doors and stationary panels. Hinged shower doors and stationary panels shall be a
minimum of 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) tempered glass.

2410.3.4 Recommended clearances. Clearance between a door and panel or door and wall shall be no less than 1/8 inch (3.2 mm). Clearance at the bottom of the door shall be no less than 3/16 inch (4.7 mm) between the exposed glass edge and the curb or threshold.

2410.4 Size limitation.

2410.4.1 Shower doors. Shower doors shall not exceed 38 inches (965 mm) in width or 150 pounds (68 kg) in weight.
Exception: These limits may be exceeded where a registered design professional submits a stamped calculation.

2410.4.2 Non-load bearing panels. 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) panels shall not exceed 110 (2794 mm) united inches, width +height (UI). 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) panels shall not exceed 120 (3048 mm) UI. Height shall not exceed 84 inches (2134 mm).
Exception: Where three sides of the panel are attached to the structure, the UI limitations may shall not apply.

2410.5 Mechanical fastening hardware. Metal clips, header or transom, tube bracing and channels shall comply with this section.

2410.5.1 U channels. U channels shall be fastened to the finished shower wall. Penetration through the finished shower wall shall be limited to the mounting screws for clips, channels, and hinges. Reglet design is not permitted.

2410.5.2 Clip location. Clips on the long edge of the glass shall be located between 4 inches (102 mm) and 8 inches (203 mm) from each end of the glass. A third clip shall be on the long edge if the glass exceeds 48 inches (1219mm) in length. Clips shall be centered on the short edge on panels up to 16 inches (406 mm) in width. For greater widths, two clips shall be used, one at each one-third point.

2410.5.3 Non-load-bearing side panels. Non-load-bearing side panels shall be mounted by mechanical fasteners on the bottom and the top or bottom and one vertical side.
Exception: For two in-line side panels (such as a buttress design) and/or to a return panel, the vertical butt joint(s) shall be sealed with a structural silicone sealant and shall be secured at the top with a joint spanning clip(s) or header.

2410.5.4 Load-bearing side panels and any return panel. Load-bearing side panels and any return panel shall be secured with mechanical fasteners on three sides. The minimum width of a load-bearing panel shall be 5 inches (127 mm).

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