Volume 36, Issue 3, March 2001

NFRC Enforces New Rating and Labeling Criteria

Effective January 1, 2001 the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) began requiring that all products be labeled and rated for U-factor, solar heat gain coefficient and visible transmittance.
On a voluntary basis, however, manufacturers may choose to rate and label products for air leakage, beginning in 2002. According to the NFRC, those who choose to add the air leakage label should tighten the size of the existing ratings boxes to make room for a fourth box, to be placed at the end of the same row. In addition, air leakage should be expressed to one decimal point with no leading zero, such as .3. For manufacturers who do not add the fourth box, they should continue to use their existing labels with no changes from the current format or tighten the three boxes to make room for a fourth box added to the end, which is to be left blank.

New Jersey Closing in on 1995 Model Energy Code
The state of New Jersey is approaching the adoption of the 1995 Model Energy Code, according to state officials. It has been reported that rising energy prices and concerns over air pollution have led the move towards a new code. Presently, New Jersey enforces codes ASHRAE 90A-1980 and 90B-1975 for residential and ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1989 for commercial.

Once adopted New Jersey will become the 21st state or local jurisdiction to adopt the code or its 1998 cousin.

ICC Alters Model Codes Development Procedures

The International Code Council (ICC), administrators of the new international model codes—the International Building Code (IBC) and the International Residential Code (IRC), has recently changed how the model codes will be developed and maintained. The council decided that at future code development public hearings where model codes are first debated, all attending members of BOCA, ICBO and SBCCI will be permitted to vote on floor motions made during consideration of committee actions.

For final code actions, voting by all members will be allowed at remote locations where proceedings have been broadcast.

Lone Star State Approaches its First Statewide Energy Code
Texas, which presently has no mandatory statewide energy code, could soon have its first mandatory regional code. The North Texas Council of Government is looking into the possibility of adopting a code based on the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code. While no word is out as to when the code may be adopted, sources say the effort has the support of both Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston builders.

ICC Named "Best of the Best" by HUD
The Inter-national Code Coun-cil (ICC) was recently honored with the Best of the Best Award from the De-partment of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which is given to the top 100 Best Practices nominees. ICC was given the award for its contributions in helping HUD with its review of the four model building codes for consistency with the accessibility provisions of the Fair Housing Act.
“The entire team of organizations that came together to provide the necessary assistance for this effort deserves much thanks and recognition for the success of the review,” said Larry Bell, ICC chair. “An effort like this is seldom accomplished by an individual or a single organization, and the model code review is an example of the good we can accomplish when we put our best collective effort toward a common public interest goal.”

Religious Land Use Bill Signed Into Law
The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 was signed into law September 22, 2000, by former president Bill Clinton. According to Soy Williams of the International Code Council, “the new law prevents state and local governments from using zoning and landmark law in a manner that imposes a substantial burden on religious exercise unless they can demonstrate that imposing such a burden is the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling governmental interest.” The law can not keep religious groups from zoning and other land use regulations, but does allow them to more easily challenge those rules in federal court.

Disaster Mitigation Act Passed; Windstorm Hazard Bill Still to
be Resolved

The Disaster Mitigation and Cost Reduction Act of 2000 was passed into law October 30, 2000. Through 2003, the law allows the establishment of a pre-disaster mitigation program to finance activities that reduce the vulnerability of buildings
and other structures from natural
disasters.

Recently introduced by Rep. Dennis Moore of Kansas is the Windstorm Hazard Reduction Research and Technology Transfer Act. This act seeks to reduce the impact of hurricanes, tornadoes and other windstorms through a program of research development and technology transfer. The bill is expected to appear in a future session.