Volume 8, Issue 5 - May 2007
Final ICC Hearings: WDMA Proposals Aim to Level the Playing Field
The International Code Council (ICC) Final Action Hearings are set for Rochester, N.Y, May 21 to 26 and will include consideration of dozens of code proposals of interest to the fenestration industry as a whole.
For WDMA members, the most significant proposal being considered would provide material-neutral commercial energy provisions and remove the discriminatory requirements that serve currently as a kind of affirmative action for metal-framed fenestration products.
With the completion of these upcoming hearings, the 2006-2007 ICC code cycle will be all but complete and the industry will prepare submittals for the next cycle due in August. While the current cycle is an interim process and will result in a supplemental code publication, the August submittals will be the first step toward the 2009 editions of the International Codes.
The Final Action Hearings include code proposals subject to public comments after the completion of code development committee hearings that were held last September in Orlando, Fla. WDMA’s interest in proposals in the upcoming hearings crosses several of the International Codes, encompassing myriad technical issues.
In essence, contractors who select products that perform above the prescriptive levels will potentially be able to take advantage of building envelope trade-offs among other energy features. This leveling of the playing field ensures that all products will receive credit for their energy performance, while still subject to the same code requirements in other areas including structural performance and resistance to impact from windborne debris in hurricane prone regions.
The WDMA proposals remove material bias, provide for all framing materials, consider specialty systems including curtainwall assemblies that do not feature the same energy performance as other types of end-uses and encourage the use of energy-efficient fenestration products.
Michael Fischer of the Kellen Company is director of codes and regulatory compliance for the Window and Door Manufacturers Association. He may be reached at MFischer@wdma.com. Mr. Fischer’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.