A Critical Industry Milestone?
by John Crowder
As everyone should know by now, SHEDS stands for Side Hinged
Exterior Door System. More importantly, it also could stand for a cumbersome
regulation that threatens our livelihood. Or it could stand for a fair,
tested and improved regulation that strengthens our industry.
The SHEDS standard focuses on the ability to allow for the interchange
of pre-hung door components while maintaining a structurally rated system.
Upgrading the performance of exterior door units is a good thing for America.
Over-complicating a new standard needs to be avoided in the process.
With the complexities and time involved with drafting an industry friendly
document, it is easy to discount the process and feel it “doesn’t apply
to me.” But it does apply to us, to all of us, the entire supply chain.
Who operates pre-hung door shops today? Manufacturers, two-step distributors,
one-step distributors, dealers and builders. Who supplies these door shops?
Manufacturers, distributors, dealers and builders—yes, the same list of
players. Unconventional is becoming conventional as our supply chain shrinks,
consolidates and evolves. But products still need to get to market efficiently
via a supply chain that works. Codes, regulations, testing and certifications
should improve product quality but not at the expense of economic growth
The Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD) assembled a world-class
group of individuals (the AMD SHEDS oversight committee) to draft a new
SHEDS standard that upgrades exterior door units, without negatively affecting
our current supply chain. The committee members represent manufacturers
of every component in an exterior door system. These companies are some
of the giants in our industry and validate the fact that we are all in
Working Through the Code Process
In 2008 a proposed code amendment to remove the exemption for side-hinged
exterior doors in the existing standard was proposed by the Window and
Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) to the International Code Council
(ICC). Removing this exemption would have required exterior door systems
to be tested and labeled to meet air and water infiltration, operational
and forced entry performance requirements, in addition to structural performance
requirements by the International Building Code and Residential Code (IBC
AMD spoke out against this code proposal at the 2008 code hearings due
to the lack of flexibility regarding interchange or substitution of components.
Fortunately, the proposal was defeated promptly and soon thereafter AMD
made the decision to take a more proactive role by creating an alternative
standard for its industry members. In 2009 AMD took the first step by
becoming ANSI-accredited as a standards developer and creating a first
draft of a structural standard for side-hinged doors. After 18 months
of evaluation the AMD SHEDS oversight committee is ready to submit its
new standard to the SHEDS consensus body.
The revised SHEDS standard is now referenced as AMD 100 and is titled,
“Structural Performance Ratings of Side-Hinged Exterior Door Systems and
Procedures for Component Substitution.” It will be formally balloted for
a second time to the consensus body in June and posted for public comment.
The standard has undergone substantive changes over the past year that
address concerns raised by the consensus body and that advance the standard
overall while still keeping to its original intent of being a procedure
for door component interchange.
is becoming conventional as our supply chain shrinks, consolidates and
The AMD is looking for your feedback on this standard during
the public comment period. I strongly urge you to set aside time to review
this critical industry milestone. Specific comments may be sent to Jessica
Ferris, AMD codes and standards director, at email@example.com.
Our industry will not come roaring back anytime soon. In fact, many markets
continue to slide. This is no time to be apathetic on any topic that could
be detrimental to our economy. The AMD SHEDS effort deserves our support.
John Crowder serves as president and chief executive officer of
Milliken Millwork Inc., and also serves as AMD second vice president.
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