Building a Future for Distributors and Dealers of Building Products

Volume 44,  Issue 5                                        June 2005

AMD Executive Director Gives Insight to Industry Issues
by Rosalie Leone

While there is no “Wizard of Codes” to magically solve these issues, the effort of the Association of Millwork Distributors’ (AMD) Industry Standards and Certification Committee (ISCC) is paving our own yellow brick road toward a mutually acceptable solution.

Despite the efforts of the AMD over the past couple years in the arena of industry standards and codes, some are still asking, “AMD where have you been, where are you now and where are you going?” 

At AMD, we’ve been making changes, with one of the most important changes being AMD’s involvement of industry standards and codes as they affect our members and the millwork industry as a whole. Please allow me to give some answers to your queries.

“Where has AMD Been?” 
As a matter of background information, the American Architectural Manufacturer’s Association (AAMA) and the Window and Door Manufacturer’s Association (WDMA) proposed changes regarding side-hinged exterior door certification requirements (see SHELTER, January/February 2003 on page 32). These changes, if adopted, would dramatically affect how exterior side-hinged entry doors would be regulated in the IRC and IBC. These issues, being a concern to most AMD members, have resulted in initiatives by our past presidents George Lorenz and Brian McIlwee to open the channels of communication with WDMA. Shortly thereafter, AAMA opened its door to AMD and has continued to do so, expressing a mutual interest in our organizations to build a relationship.

In early 2004, Brian McIlwee implemented the AMD Industry Standards and Certification Committee. Sarah Rice, C.B.O. with Schirmer Engineering Corp., was retained by AMD to become a vital part of the ISCC and assist the association in embarking upon this endeavor. AMD has been working with AAMA and WDMA to adjust the language of their side-hinged door proposal. Although we were close to resolution, we collectively ran out of time and during the ICC Hearings in 2005 without the issues being completely resolved.

“Where is AMD Now?”
The International Code Council (ICC) held its Code Development Hearings February 21, 2005, through March 4, 2005, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to develop the language for the 2006 International Building Code (IBC) and the International Residential Code (IRC). For the first time in AMD history, AMD is playing a major role in the process, particularly as it relates to side-hinged exterior doors. 

AMD sent two representatives to the ICC Hearings with the express intent of monitoring the proposals submitted by AAMA and WDMA. At the ICC Hearings, AMD voiced their opposition to the proposals presented by AAMA and WDMA.

These proposals fundamentally sought to accomplish two things:

• Expand the current scope of the IBC and IRC so as to require all exterior side-hinged door systems be tested and rated for air leakage, water penetration, structural performance and forced-entry resistance; and

• Require all testing be in accordance with the newly developed AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S. 2/A440-2004. 

As part of this effort AMD’s representatives initially spoke in opposition to the proposals put forth by AAMA and WDMA. AMD was joined in their opposition by the Steel Door Institute (SDI), the Builders Hardware Materials Association (BHMA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). In an effort to seek an agreeable position on this issue, which is relatively common at the ICC Code Development Hearings, AMD was approached by AAMA and WDMA and asked to help resolve the remaining issues. This joint effort resulted in a mutually-agreeable proposal to the IBC and IRC which was put forth and recommended for acceptance, by both the IBC and IRC Code Development Committees.

As a result of this cooperative effort, the language recommended for acceptance by the IBC and IRC Code Development Committees does not change how exterior side-hinged entry doors will be regulated in the IBC or IRC. The accepted language:

• Does not expand the current scope of the IBC and IRC, e.g., only windows, skylights and exterior glass doors are required to be tested, and rated for air leakage, water penetration, structural performance and forced-entry resistance. As in the 2000 and 2003 IBC and IRC, all other exterior side-hinged door systems are only required to be tested for structural performance under ASTM E330. Doors installed in hurricane regions are still required to be tested for impact and cycling performance under ASTM E1886/E1996;

• Does require that all testing be in accordance with the newly-developed AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S. 2/A440-2004. In the 2000 and 2003 IBC and IRC, testing was required in accordance with AAMA/WDMA 101/I.S. 2. Since the content of the previous standards is contained within the new document, this is not considered a departure from previous editions of the IBC and IRC.

The end result, a combined effort of the AMD, AAMA and WDMA to explore a mutual position on this issue will commence.

“Where is AMD Going?” 
AMD will continue to work with AAMA and WDMA in the development of testing and certification standards appropriate and applicable to all exterior side-hinged entry doors. This effort began in April 2005, when AMD sent representatives to the AAMA/WDMA Joint Codes Committee meeting. In addition, AAMA is acknowledging both our organizations’ commitment to mutually come together by extending the opportunity for designated AMD representatives to participate in the appropriate Door Council committees and task groups.

This is a significant step for AMD and I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the hospitality and professionalism of all AAMA and WDMA members affiliated with their Joint Code Committee as well as the board and staff of both. AMD members will certainly benefit from our continued relationship with these two outstanding associations. 

Rosalie Leone is the Association of Millwork Distributors' executive director.

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