Volume 46, Issue 3 - April 2011

Codes&Regulations

Glass Industry Groups File Appeal of IECC Final Actions
Pilkington North America and AGC Flat Glass North America, along with seven others, have filed an appeal before the International Code Council (ICC) alleging ICC failed to follow its own governing consensus process during ICC Final Action Hearings on what will be the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) in Charlotte, N.C., in late October 2010. The other appellants include the Building Owners and Managers Association, the National Multi Housing Council/National Apartment Association, the Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) and the International Window Film Association.

Claims in the appellants’ consolidated statement of issues note that “adequate safeguards (policies and procedures) were either not employed or were not uniformly applied during the hearings to ensure that voting was limited to designated Governmental Member Voting Representatives” and that ineligible governmental member voting representatives were allowed to cast votes at the hearings. The appeal also alleges that “the governmental consensus process was subverted by vote stacking at the 2011 IECC Final Action Hearings in favor of outcomes sought by the Energy Efficient Codes Coalition (“EECC”) and its members.”

Thom Zaremba, who represented Pilkington and AGC, told USGlass, “Historically, one of the greatest strengths of the ICC’s development process has been the independence of the voting done at the Final Action Hearings ... In this last cycle, there was reasonable cause for concern that certain interests may have influenced the voting and the voting process that took place at the Final Action Hearing on the IECC. These appeals are meant to present this question for fair consideration and resolution by an appeals panel assembled in accordance with the ICC’s code development rules.”

Tom Culp, who represented AEC, added, “A large number of people who have been involved with the code development process for years were very concerned about voting irregularities that occurred at the IECC Final Action Hearings last fall … It’s really about preserving the credibility of the ICC’s consensus process and strengthening the codes.”

According to the joint statement, among the remedial actions requested, Pilkington and AGC seek to:
• Rescind actions taken at the IECC Final Action Hearings or reverse actions taken at the hearings on certain proposals including EC13-PC10, EC34 and EC35 (which would lower U-factors), EC41 and EC42 (which would lower SHGCs), EC97, EC141, EC165-
PC5 (which revises prescriptive fenestration criteria) and EC174;

• Prohibit voters who are members of organizations having proprietary interests in the outcome of Final Action Hearings from voting;

• Institute adequate safeguards to ensure that vote stacking is not permitted; that the code development process used at Final Action Hearings is open, fair, objective and not influenced by propriety interests; and

• Ensure that only governmental officials who, in their positions of public trust, actually enforce the code and are charged with the public’s safety vote at Final Action Hearings.

ASTM Moves Closer to Developing Standard for Glass in Furniture
ASTM International is continuing to work toward developing a standard for glass used in furniture. Subcommittee F15.42 on Furniture Safety, which reports to Committee F15 on Consumer Products, is leading these efforts, which have been ongoing since 2008.

According to Julie Schimmelpenningh, global architectural applications manager for Solutia Inc.’s Saflex unit, and a committee member, the task group met in November to go over the remainder of the concerns and comments from the last ballot cycle.

“The draft document will be prepared for ballot which should happen around the April timeframe. Pending comments on this ballot it will go back to committee for revision or onward to approval,” says Schimmelpenningh. “The committee has been working to understand all the concerns of glass use in furniture and specifically tabletop type applications and has come to a point where the members realize that break-safe characteristics are critical for the applications outlined in the standard. Some of the hardest work by this committee was trying to understand the scenarios around the injuries and what was reported versus just casting a widespread blanket of reform. They were very conscious of the safety, cost and availability of products and the potential changes that such a voluntary standard could have on both the furniture and glazing industry.”

USG
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