Volume 36, Issue 7, July 2001
ICC Committee Recommends Deletion of Wired Glass Exception
The International Code Council’s (ICC) structural committee has recommended approval of proposal S80a-01, which would remove an existing provision in the International Building Code that allows polished wired glass to comply with the ANSI Z97.1 impact standard instead of the Consumer Product Safety Commission standard 16 CFR 1201. According to a news release, wired glass does not meet impact requirements of the CPSC standard, and because of a need for the product in fire-rated applications and its relatively rare injury record, for the past 20 years has been granted an exemption in recognition.
In addition, ICC says approval of S80a would, as a practical matter, limit the availability of wired glass for use in applications requiring a 45-minute fire-rated glazing and compliance to CPSC impact requirements. Upon the proposal’s approval, the ultimate effect may be to reduce the amount of glass used in fire-resistance rated partitions.
The replacement market could also be affected by S80a’s approval. Since replacement glazing must comply with new construction requirements, if an existing lite of glass breaks, it will have to be replaced with a different glazing material and assembly.
The three model code organizations will vote on the S80a proposal at their annual meetings in September and October. While several appeals of the committee’s recommendation have been filed and are currently pending, final action on the proposal will not be known until the conclusion of the groups’ annual meetings and all challenges and appeals have been exhausted.
However, companies offering polished wired glass also have opinions on the matter. Arthur Berkowitz, president of J.E. Berkowitz L.P. of Westville, N.J., says if the law changes his company will comply, but is not in support of the change. “Polished wired glass is readily available, attractively priced and meets the 45-minute hose stream test, but it is not safety glazing material nor should it be used in those applications,” he said. “We can’t be responsible for the installer or contract glazier using it in an inappropriate application.” Berkowitz added that in some cases they are not told in what type of applications their products will be used. “We’re changing our labeling to indicate that polished wired glass can only be used in certain applications—under 9 square feet, less than 54 inches in diameter and not for safety glazing applications,” he said. “We’re concerned because if there is an accident, everyone [involved with the project] could be held liable.”
Texas and Utah Take Steps to Make Code Changes
The state of Texas has adopted its first statewide residential building code with Gov. Rick Perry signing a bill to adopt the International Residential Code as the municipal residential building code for the state. According to a news release, the bill will go into effect September 1, 2001, and will give cities until January 1, 2002 to begin enforcing the new code.
“I believe that the adoption of the International Residential Code will improve the homebuilding industry in Texas,” said Rep. Allan Ritter of Nederland, Texas, a member of the Texas Association of Builders who carried the bill through the House. “The use of a single code throughout the state will lead to consistent code enforcement, higher quality construction and less confusion in the construction process. I believe this bill will result in more affordable, safer homes,” he added.
In other codes news, the Utah Uniform Building Code Commission voted unanimously to advance a proposed administrative rule to adopt the 2000 International Building Code, the 2000 International Residential Code and the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code.
In the Financial Flash section of the April 2001 issue of USGlass (see page 28), the years were transposed in Apogee Enterprises’ segment analysis chart.
In the May 2001 issue the wrong photo was supplied to us inadvertently for the article “Back to the Shop” (see page 12). The photo shown was an installation completed by Pitman Glass and did not include ribbon windows.
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