Protecting the Manufacturer’s Bottom Line
by Pete Billing
At times, items of interest arise that have the potential to have a detrimental effect on the Window and Door Man-ufacturers Association (WDMA) membership. It’s important for the WDMA to monitor various items and take appropriate action when necessary.
Our number-one goal is to advance the door, window and skylight industry by promoting the benefits and value of superior-performing fenestration products. But to do this WDMA must increase its technical leadership in the industry by influencing code bodies and other building construction entities.
Opposing Harmful Legislation
Case in point is a new rule proposed by the Florida Building Commission called 9B-72. Initially, as proposed, the Statewide Product Approval System Program could have meant thousands of dollars in fees and related costs for fenestration manufacturers because of the way in which it defined and determined “product” and by what would be accepted as in compliance with the new program. In meetings with the Florida Building Commission, WDMA worked with the agency and emerged again as an influential leader.
The Statewide Product Approval System Program was designed to provide a way in which products could be approved by the state thereby eliminating the need for contacting each local jurisdiction to obtain their approvals. However, upon closer examination, several instances of wording in the proposed rule needed clarification, and without such may have actually been a hindrance to fenestration manufacturers.
As proposed the fees were $50 per product, with each different product requiring an additional $50. Different-sized products could be subject to an additional fee. That’s a big deal, especially when you consider that a single manufacturer making 1,300 different sizes of windows would have to pay a fee of $65,000.
In the final version of the rule there would be a $300 fee per application and each application would require an evaluation report and the approval would include all the products covered by the evaluation report. This caused a different concern because windows are not required to have evaluation reports if they have been tested and labeled to show compliance with ANSI/AAMA/WDMA 101 I.S.-2, the Voluntary Performance Specification for Windows, Skylights and Glass Doors and where applicable, ASTM E1886 and E1996, the test standards for determining the ability to resist damage from windborne debris.
WDMA Gets Modification Accepted
WDMA worked with the Florida Building Commission and submitted a modification to the definition of “product,” which was accepted. For the benefit of the law, product would be defined as any individual type of manufactured goods, systems or method of construction. It also became crucial for WDMA to be approved as a certification agency for the statewide program, and again, there was success. As a certification agency, WDMA pays a flat fee (proposed at $500) and provides evidence of approval by ANSI, indicating compliance with ISO 65.
The bottom line is that products certified under the WDMA’s Hallmark Certification Program or comparable ap-proved program, such as those administered by AAMA or ANSI are covered—a big savings for each of our members. In essence, any product listed as being certified by these organizations and their accompanying standards automatically would be accepted by the state as approved and under compliance.
The Florida Statewide Product Approval Program was a major issue for the door, window and skylight industry. Working steadfast and side-by-side with the state organization, WDMA was able to directly influence the Florida Building Commission and score
a major victory for fenestration
Pete Billing serves as a codes consultant for the Window and Door Manufacturers Association, based in Des Plaines, Ill.
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