“Just the Facts, Ma’am”
“All We Want
are the Facts”
by Jessica Ferris
If you’re one of the silent generation or even perhaps a baby boomer,
you may recall the television series, Dragnet, and its infamous star,
Sgt. Joe Friday. Sgt. Friday is often remembered and parodied for saying,
“Just the facts, ma’am.” In true fact, what Friday actually said in one
of the first episodes is “All we want are the facts.”
Here are the facts that every pre-hanger and component manufacturer needs
to know about the Association of Millwork Distributors’ (AMD) newly published
ANSI/AMD 100-2013, Structural Performance Ratings of Side-Hinged Exterior
Doors and Procedures for Component Substitution (SHEDS).
Two Different Animals
Fact: The door industry and distribution chain are built as differently
from the window industry as are the uses of the end products themselves.
Fact: Unlike windows, doors are meant to be used daily, dozens
of times a day.
Fact: The door industry utilizes components from many different
manufacturers domestically and globally, versus the window industry where
window manufacturers build the entire window assembly.
Building Code Compliance
Fact: For a number of years the International Residential Code
(IRC) has presented two options that enable side-hinged exterior doors
(SHEDs) to prove their ability to provide assurance of structural integrity.
Those options were to (1) show compliance by certifying and labeling to
the AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440 or to (2) prove performance by testing
to the ASTM E 330.
Fact: This E 330 methodology tests the structural integrity of
SHEDs by static air pressure. This means that in the case of a “wind event”
a door unit must show that it will not have a failure, such as having
one or more components of the door unit break in a manner that would allow
for a structure to “over-pressurize.” This “over-pressurization” is generally
deemed to be a contributing cause of the catastrophic failure of a building
envelope in high wind events, such as may be had in the course of a hurricane.
Fact: In April, 2013, the ANSI/AMD 100 received code recognition
during the International Code Council (ICC) hearings, as a comparable
alternative standard for SHEDs to use for certification and labeling.
Both the ANSI/AMD 100 and the AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440 standards use
this same E330 test methodology. That’s a good thing because we can all
discuss the performance characteristics with the same base line information.
Fact: Over the years, attempts have been made to make the AAMA/WDMA/CSA
101/I.S.2/A440 the exclusive reference for structural compliance for fenestration
products in the model building codes. AMD has, on numerous occasions,
represented the millwork pre-hanging industry at ICC hearings in opposition
to the exclusive use of the AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440 standard for
SHEDs, presenting a valid case that has been supported unanimously by
Fact: In order to comply with the AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440,
it is required that every door configuration be tested. Every time a consumer
makes a choice beyond what has already been tested, another full set of
tests are required. This includes inswing, outswing, single doors, double
doors, triples, quads, doors with transoms, etc. Changes from one component
to another perhaps untested one would require more tests, and of course,
more labels for compliance. Testing to the AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440
can range anywhere from $1,700 to $5,000 per configuration.
In 2008, AMD took a proactive approach and developed its own structural
standard for the industry with the goal of obtaining ANSI accreditation
recognition by the ICC.
Fact: The AMD 100 is now fully ANSI-approved as an American National
Standard, which means it has been vetted within the industry and shown
to reach agreement by a consensus of industry members.
Fact: The AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S. 2/A440 is not an ANSI approved
Fact: The ANSI/AMD-100 is designed to address one set of performance
requirements specific to one section of the IRC. The AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440,
on the other hand, has 12 other sets of test requirements that SHEDs must
meet in addition to testing to the ASTM E330, despite the fact that the
IRC expressly requires testing and labeling for structural integrity only.
Air infiltration is also required but referenced in another section of
the code. (Reference the AMD comparison table to the right.)
Fact: Building codes exist to ensure the construction of safe,
sustainable and resilient homes.
Other optional performance criteria, such as water penetration, forced
entry, load deflection, cycle performance, vertical loading, impact resistance,
latching hardware performance, force-to-latch deadbolt, force-to-latch
lock, and component material requirements are more effective when discussed
in terms of the installation methods than they are in terms of any mandatory
test standard criteria.
Fact: One set of performance requirements is more cost-effective
and efficient than 12.
Fact: The ANSI/AMD 100 sets forth specific procedures for component
substitution or interchangeability. The AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440 does
Fact: The AMD standard begins with a fully tested door assembly
and permits interchangeability of components based on that proposed component’s
performance characteristics. These characteristics are known as a result
of other tested units, similar in nature, with similar components, and
a critical eye to the interaction of the related components. The AMD 100
never sums the structural performance ratings of individual components
to extrapolate the performance of the complete door assembly. In fact,
the standard has limitations on the nature of the substitutions allowed
before a unit must be retested to prove its ability to withstand the static
loads in the test chamber. The door industry has evolved to make use of
a variety of components from a variety of manufacturers, some national
and some regional. Door slab manufacturers generally are charged with
handling and paying for the testing. There are some component companies
that do as well but, in general, it becomes the responsibility of the
door manufacturer. It makes good sense to provide for as much flexibility,
and account for as much of the market, as possible by working with other
component manufacturers to build the units; and to share results once
the testing is done. This is accomplished through ANSI/AMD 100.
Fact: The ANSI/AMD 100 requires that a door system be tested and
rated as a unit per ASTM E330, and allows for the substitution of components
that have themselves been tested in systems. The component’s maximum tested
pressure must be equal to or greater than that of the originally rated
system. The governing rating is that of the originally rated system.
Fact: A design pressure rating is a full system rating. Components
themselves cannot be rated; they can be tested and evaluated, but not
Fact: A technical review of the ANSI/AMD 100, as well as validation
testing of the standard, was completed successfully by a third-party independent
testing laboratory in December 2012.
As I mentioned in the beginning, “all we want are the facts,” and now
you have “just the facts!”
For more information about the Association of Millwork Distributors or
to obtain the ANSI/AMD 100-2013, Structural Performance Ratings of Side-Hinged
Exterior Door Systems and Procedures for Component Substitution, visit
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