ICC to pilot remote voting with 2015 International Green Construction Code

More from the ICC Group A Code Development Hearings
By Julie Ruth, American Architectural Manufacturers Association
July 8, 2012

The International Code Council aims to fully implement remote voting for the 2018 International Codes and will conduct a pilot program in 2014 for the development of the 2015 International Green Construction Code.

Remote voting will permit active code officials to vote on code change proposals without having to attend the hearings where they are being considered. A number of questions remain as to just how the program will work.

In response to concerns raised during a recent presentation on the program, Wally Bailey, chair of the ICC Code Development Process Access Project Committee and past ICC president, said, “The ICC process has been an evolving process since its inception.  We should not shy away from further changes that will allow our members to more fully participate.”

Bailey gave his presentation at the ICC Group A Code Development Hearings, held April 29 to May 7, in Dallas. The Group A codes include the International Building Code covering all buildings other than low-rise residential.

Additional notable hearing results

  • Higher patio door thresholds will be permitted in multifamily units. An AAMA proposal to permit the threshold of doors to decks, balconies and patios that serve Type B dwelling units to be up to 4 ¾ inches higher than the exterior floor or landing was approved at the recent ICC Group A Code Development Hearings. Currently, the threshold of these doors is limited to ½ inch in height above the adjacent floor for swinging doors or ¾ inch for sliding doors. Although the ½- or ¾-inch limit is intended to be applied to the interior floor, in some cases, code officials apply it to the exterior floor. These types of exterior floors are permitted to be up to 4 inches lower than the interior floor.

    The approved proposal permits a higher threshold at these doors, as can be accommodated between the lower floor and the higher floor. The threshold will still be limited to no more than ½ inch or ¾ inch above the interior floor, depending upon whether the door is swinging or sliding. A slope of two units horizontal versus one unit vertical also will still be required if the change in height between the threshold and the adjacent floor is greater than ¼ inch.
  • WOCDs are now required for certain replacement windows.
    A proposal to require Window Opening Control Devices for certain replacement windows in existing one- and two-family and multifamily dwelling units was approved. The WOCDs are only required if the entire unit (glass, sash and frame) is being replaced, and the opening is such that WOCDs would be required in new construction. Specifically, this occurs when the opening is within 36 inches of the floor, more than 72 inches above the exterior grade below, opens more than 4 inches and is not equipped with window guards.
  •  Coordinating changes to ASCE 7-10 were approved.
    AAMA proposals to coordinate the 2015 IBC with recent changes to the wind load provisions of ASCE 7-10 were approved. One proposal clarifies that allowable stress design wind load is to be used in the application of AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440, ASTM E330 and ANSI/DASMA 108 in the IBC. The second one modifies the glass design load equations of Chapter 24 for consistency with the allowable stress equations of Chapter 16. At the present time, states that are adopting the 2012 IBC―such as Florida―need to add these coordinating changes via amendment to that document. With these changes occurring in the 2015 IBC, local jurisdictions will not need to make them via amendment to the code when they adopt it.
  • Tubular Daylighting Devices to be fully addressed.
    An AAMA proposal to recognize TDDs as a type of skylight and sloped glazing―and to establish the structural load requirements for them―also was approved. TDDs will be required to be tested and labeled in accordance with AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440, as are unit skylights, exterior windows and sliding doors. 


Disapproved proposals
Some proposals that AAMA submitted or supported were disapproved during the ICC Group A Code Development Hearings as well. Among them was a proposal that would have limited the current deflection exemption of the IBC, a proposal that would have expanded the comparative analysis provisions of the IBC for fenestration, and a proposal to add a reference to AAMA 711 and AAMA 714 to the IBC.

The first disapproved proposal would have limited the application of the current deflection exemption to fenestration products in buildings of Risk Category I or II, with design pressures that did not exceed 60 PSF, or that were fully glazed with tempered or laminated glass. Currently, the IBC requires engineering analysis when framing supporting glass deflects more than 1/175 of the length of the glass edge supported. An exemption is provided, however, for products tested and labeled in accordance with AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440.

In previous cycles, the Glass Association of North America’s Glazing Industry Code Committee, as well as the Aluminum Extruders Council, sought removal of the exemption. AAMA and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association effectively argued that maintaining the exemption was consistent with the International Residential Code, which does not limit the deflection of framing supporting glass. Buildings built under the IRC have shown a significant reduction in failure rates when subjected to extreme wind events in comparison to other, earlier residential building codes.

AAMA’s proposal was a compromise between the GICC and AEC’s desire to remove the exemption completely and the WDMA’s assertion that no limits should be placed on the exemption.

The second disapproved proposal would have expanded current provisions to allow windows larger than those already rated in accordance with AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440 to be rated to a lower design pressure using engineering analysis only, without requiring additional testing of the larger unit. Use of engineering analysis would have been based upon all components of the larger unit being identical to those of the unit that was rated.

Lastly―and unfortunately for the sealant and flashing industries― a proposal to add a reference to AAMA 711 and AAMA 714 to the IBC was also disapproved at the hearings in Dallas. Representatives of the EIFS Industry Manufacturers Association spoke against the proposal at the hearings, questioning the status of AAMA’s standards development process as being an open and consensus process. EIMA representatives claimed that “no EIFS manufacturer” had participated in the development of AAMA 711 and AAMA 714, when in actuality, seven EIMA members are also members of AAMA, and five of those members participated in the balloting of AAMA 711 and AAMA 714.

AAMA will consider its responses to the actions taken during the Group A Code Development Hearings during its summer meeting in Oak Brook, Ill., June 10-13, 2012. Public comments on the Group A proposals are due August 1, 2012.

Julie Ruth is a code consultant for the American Architectural Manufacturers Association. She can be contacted through AAMA at 847/303-5664 or via e-mail at julruth@aol.com. Ruth is also owner of JRuth Code Consulting, www.jruthcodeconsulting.com.