Volume 45, Issue 9 - November/December  2006

In the News


Code Addresses Exterior Doors
The latest proposed changes to the pending 2006 Supplement to the 2004 Florida Building Code reference all three omnibus window and door standards (AAMA/NWWDA 101/I.S. 2-97, ANSI/AAMA/WDMA 101/I.S. 2/NAFS-02 and AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S. 2/A440-05). However, while the referencing of the 2005 standard in the Residential Code (the standard is referenced only as an option in the FBC) appears on the surface to involve side-hinged doors, they are not subject to its requirements.

That is the consensus among AAMA experts within Southeast Region and Florida venues as code changes sort themselves out for the 2006 Supplement to the 2004 Florida Building Codes.

Key point, brought forth by Sarah Rice of the Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD): Despite all three standards being referenced in the draft code supplement, the net change as far as side-hinged doors are concerned is zero. This is because the scope of products to which the code applies has not changed, namely “windows and glass doors.” The latter are generally accepted by AAMA and WDMA to refer to sliding glass doors. The 2005 standard’s requirements for side-hinged doors, even those that contain glass, are thus not part of the Florida Code.

By this reasoning, manufacturers selling exterior doors in the Florida market are not required to conduct Forced Entry Resistance (FER) testing (per AAMA 1304-02, Voluntary Specification for Forced Entry Resistance of Side-Hinged Door Systems) for exterior doors under the Florida Building Code, except for products to be used in the High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ), per section R4410.

The 2006 supplement to the Florida Residential Code (section R613.4.1) specifically calls for exterior door assemblies to be “tested for structural integrity in accordance with ASTM E 330 Procedure A at a load of 1.5 times the required design pressure load, applied for 10 seconds.” Pass/fail criteria boils down to no “damage which causes the door to be inoperable.” Minimum test sizes and design pressures are specified.

Doors in HVHZ must comply with TAS 202. The code further provides for interchanging of door components, provided they can be demonstrated “by accepted engineering practice” (and through evaluation by an approved product evaluation entity, certification agency, testing laboratory or engineer) to provide “equal or greater structural performance.”

With the exception of those in HVHZ, exterior side-hinged door assemblies can optionally be tested and rated for structural integrity per SDI A250.13.

The 2006 Supplement also permits use of one-of-a-kind custom exterior door assemblies that have been “engineered in accordance with accepted engineering practices, or tested by an approved testing laboratory” (R613.4.3). This alternative is also accepted by Miami-Dade and by the Texas Department of Insurance.

The Florida Code is also on track to reference AAMA 450-06 (for performance rating of mullioned assemblies), AAMA 501-05 (for testing exterior walls) and AAMA 506-06 (for hurricane impact and cycle testing).

According to Ken Brenden, AAMA code and industry affairs manager, the Florida Building Commission has approved/accepted all proposals brought forward by AAMA for inclusion in both the Florida Residential Code and Florida Building Code. Therefore, the following documents will now be referenced within their codes:

  • AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440-05 Standard/ Specification for windows, doors, and unit skylights 

    (in addition to the 97 and 02 versions of the standard)

  • AAMA 450-06 Voluntary Performance Rating Method for Mulled Fenestration Assemblies

  • AAMA 501-05 Methods of Test for Exterior Walls

  • AAMA 506-06 Voluntary Specifications for Hurricane Impact and Cycle Testing of Fenestration Product

A PDF copy of the “Final 2006 Supplements to the 2004 Florida Building Code” can be downloaded from the Florida Department of Community Affairs/Building Codes and Standards at http://www.dca.state.fl.us/FBC/thecode/1_code_modifications.htm.

Editor’s Note: This is reprinted with the permission of the “American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s Door Council Annual Newsletter.”


Lumber Agreement Raises Concerns
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that two days of talks between U.S. homebuilders and Swedish trade and industry officials were, “extremely productive.” Executive vice president and chief executive officer Jerry Howard said, “All the parties expressed a strong interest in the U.S. market.”

The talks were aimed at establishing contacts and identifying and dealing with possible policy barriers that might impede increased import volumes. NAHB says that increased interest in Swedish lumber imports, amongst other foreign sources, is a direct result of the trade pact between the United States and Canada that took effect November 1st. The pact instituted a complicated system of border taxes and quotas, “creating serious uncertainties for U.S. builders over the availability and price of Canadian lumber.”

The board adopted a resolution calling on NAHB to work with the governments of other countries and industry to increase opportunities for American homebuilders.

NAHB efforts aren’t confined to Sweden; the association recently met with Russian lumber officials at the International Forestry Forum.

“We support opening up competition in the U.S. lumber market because we know that it will be beneficial for those families in our country who want to buy homes,” said Howard. “We also appreciate the benefit it will bring to our homebuilders, who are seeking a steady supply of affordably priced lumber.”

As a result of environmental and regulatory policies that have greatly reduced timber harvests from public lands, America today does not have the domestic capacity to meet its demand for lumber. Last year, more than 38 percent of the lumber used in the U.S. was imported, with Canada supplying the bulk of that amount.

“Access to a reliable, steady supply of lumber is the lifeline for any American homebuilder,” said David Wilson, NAHB immediate past president and a homebuilder from Ketchum, Idaho, who provided conference participants with an overview of light-frame wood construction techniques in the U.S. housing industry. “We believe that lumber trade barriers impose an unreasonable burden on U.S. homebuyers and on the industries that depend on adequate, affordable supplies of lumber to provide the housing and other vital goods and services America needs.”

While Howard noted that the new trade pact is a misfortune for Canada, he said it represents an opportunity for Russia and the rest of Europe to increase lumber exports to the United States over the long term.

“Today, the United States is overly reliant on Canadian imports to meet its lumber needs,” said Howard. “We are reaching out to you to correct this problem and we are looking to Russia to add equilibrium to our market for this essential commodity for the homebuilding industry.”


CARB to Finalize Formaldehyde Regulation
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) held a public workshop on Monday, October 23, 2006, to discuss the on-going development of a proposed Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) to limit formaldehyde emissions from composite wood (compwood) products. Please visit www.sheltermagazine.com to learn up-to-date information on this topic.


Kval Celebrates 60th Anniversary
Kval Inc. of Petaluma, Calif., will be celebrating its 60th year in the industry as it enters 2007. Through the years, the company has seen many changes. 

Kval was started in the mid 1940s by AA Kvalheim, a Norwegian-trained furniture maker who turned to cabinetmaking and carpentry, and eventually machinery manufacturing after immigrating to the United States. 

In the mid 1950s, sons Andy and Irv Kvalheim joined in the business. During the 1960s, the company’s line of products grew with automatic machines for jamb processing, casing trimmers and updated door sizers. Kval introduced bi-fold door assembly and pre-hanging machines featuring fully-automatic screw driving systems in the 1970s.

The company has also grown to include the three grandsons of AA Kvalheim, Jerry, David and Mark Kvalheim, George Kameoka as head engineer and Mark Smith as a managing partner. 

The company currently has multiple outside salespeople, a growing team of service technicians around the country and a total staff of more than 120 people. 

Some recent innovations include CNC controls, solid state programmable controllers with automatic positioning and sequencing, and digital readouts with touch-screen controls.

Georgia Gulf and Royal Group Report Progress
Georgia Gulf Corp., an Atlanta-based manufacturer and marketer of chlorovinyls and aromatics, and Royal Group Technologies Ltd., a PVC extruder and manufacturer of building products and materials in Ontario, announced that approvals have been received for regulatory filings including: the Canadian Competition Act, Investment Canada and Hart-Scott-Rodino. Georgia Gulf’s acquisition of Royal Group Technologies is anticipated to close in October. 

August of this year, Royal Group’s shareholders approved Georgia Gulf’s proposal to acquire all outstanding shares of Royal Group for $13.00 (CAN) per share, pursuant to an agreement that was announced in June.

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