Product Approval Program Deadlines Loom for Florida BC Inclusion

Glass, glazing and window manufacturers have until the end of the year to submit applications for product approvals under the 2020 Florida Building Code (FBC) to ensure their products will continue to be for sale in the state next year. To guide its members through the process, the Fenestration & Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA) hosted a webinar titled, “The Florida Product Approval Program – How FGIA Can Help.”

FGIA certification services manager Jason Seals explained that the new update complies with the 2020 FBC. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) began accepting applications in July 2020.

“All applications and product approvals currently approved under the 2017 FBC must now be updated under the 2020 FBC in order to continue being available for sale in 2021,” said Seals. “…The deadline for product approvals is January 1, 2021. If it’s not updated by then it will not be available for sale in Florida next year until it is updated. That means the number of applications is going to increase dramatically as we get closer to the deadline. Manufacturers should begin submitting their applications now.”

Another reason for manufacturers to submit their applications this year is that the DBPR will waive application fees for those submitted by December 31, 2020, according to Seals.

There are four methods for product approval in Florida:

• Certification mark of listing (Method 1a);
• Test report (Method 1b);
• A product-evaluation report from an approved evaluation entity (Method 1c); and
• A product-evaluation report from a Florida professional engineer (PE) or registered architect.

Seals said that Method 1a is intended for products certified under an accredited certification program (ACP). Products certified under AAMA’s air-water-structural certification program. The minimum required documentation is a certification agency certificate (APC) and installation details. A PE stamp of installation detail is not required if a manufacturer is only documenting the tested installation.

Seals said that more than 80% of fenestration products are approved using Method 1a. He explained that Methods 1b or 1d require that a manufacturer be added to the meeting agenda for the full Florida Building Commission, which meets every six to eight weeks. A product approval meeting will be held December 7.

Method 1d is used for products that aren’t eligible for certification or not practical for traditional certification programs. A professional engineer (PE) or architect must generate an evaluation report and installation instructions detailing the design pressure, sizes, limits of approval, etc. The evaluation report takes the place of the APC and the engineer or architect takes the place of the certification agency. Products undergoing Method 1d approval also must employ an approved quality assurance agency, such as FGIA, to verify the product is being made as it was approved on the Florida product approval system.

Changes to the 2020 FBC

If a manufacturer’s current product approval references a removed standard/specification they can retest to a referenced standard/specification or upload a letter of equivalency from a Florida-registered PE.

Standards and specifications added to the new 2020 FBC include: NAFS-17, AAMA 506-16, AAMA 711-16, AAMA 714-15, ASTEM E1996-17 and ASTM F2090-17.

Accredited Standards Committee Z97 Releases 2020 Version of ANSI Z97.1 Standard

The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) Z97 has announced the reaffirmation of ANSI Z97.1-2015, Safety Glazing Materials Used in Buildings – Safety Performance Specifications and Methods of Test.

This standard establishes the specifications and methods of test for the safety properties of safety glazing materials used for all building and architectural purposes. No technical content or methods of test were changed between the 2015 and 2020 versions.

“With the harmonization of ANSI Z97.1-2015 with CPSC 16 CFR 1201 and CAN/CGSB 12.1, the committee discussed any necessary changes, and voted unanimously to keep the content unchanged in the 2020 version,” says John Kent, ASC Z97 committee chair and president of AMS Inc. “Keeping ANSI Z97.1 consistent through this timeframe will allow the adoption and implementation of uniform requirements for safety glazing and thus allow the best opportunity to include safety glass in buildings for those interacting with glass during their life routines.”

Julia Schimmelpenningh, ASC Z97 secretary and global applications manager for Eastman Chemical Company, says, “It is the goal of the committee to ensure the standard addresses evolving industry issues and remains relevant. The committee is open to industry, general interest and user members of the standard to ensure applicability aspects of the standard are considered during each review cycle.”

The standard will be available for purchase at webstore.ansi.org.

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