Volume 12, Issue 6 - July/August 2011

AMD Headlines

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.

Universal Applications
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 and competition.

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 this together.

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 and IRC).

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.

"Unconventional is becoming conventional as our supply chain shrinks, consolidates and evolves."

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 jferris@amdweb.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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