Florida’s Major Code Overhaul May Have
Little Short-Term Impact
Florida glass professionals are watching to see how a big change
to their building code will affect glass installation when the updated
code goes into effect at the end of the year. This new Florida Building
Code (FBC) is based on the model code of the International Building Code
2012 edition, and is scheduled to be approved in June 2014, and takes
effect December 2014.
“Florida has always been notorious for having a lot of specific amendments,”
explains Dean Ruark, code compliance manager for PGT Industries, an impact-resistant
window manufacturer in Venice, Fla. “Usually all of the amendments that
were in the FBC before automatically made it through to the next code.
This year, they decided to start with a clean slate and adopt the International
Codes as a whole. They said, ‘All of the Florida-specific amendments sunset
and if you want them you have to propose them and make a sound argument
to get these special items for Florida back in.’ So a lot of these Florida-specific
items went away. It’s much closer to the I-codes now.”
Rick De La Guardia, president of DLG Engineering Inc. in Miami, offers
a potential explanation for this change. “More and more of the model codes
are beginning to adopt most of these amendments themselves, which makes
the necessary Florida amendments smaller each cycle,” De La Guardia says.
“The exception is the high velocity hurricane zone (HVHZ) requirements,
which are the strictest codes.”
Even the use of the HVHZ is being expanded in some areas (see
De La Guardia adds, “When a new code goes into effect, it usually adopts
the latest of all the typical material standards. With respect to glass
and glazing these would include the latest glass standard of ASTM E-1300
and windload standard ASCE 7.”
It’s true that the adoption of ASCE 7-10 redefines wind speeds and design
pressures for buildings and, as a result, the use of impact-resistant
products. However, this won’t pose much of a change for Florida.
“Florida was the first state to adopt [ASCE 7-10] the last code cycle,
so it’s status quo for us this code cycle. It is a huge change for the
rest of the country but it isn’t a big change for Florida,” Ruark says.
Since many changes can and do occur between a code’s proposed changes
and final approval, nothing is yet set in stone. “The code typically is
published with at least a six-month window so that all trades can become
familiar with the changes before they take effect,” De La Guardia says.
“At the June hearing, the Commission will look at these drafts in detail
and will ultimately vote on whether they approve or disapprove of the
drafted language,” explains Beth Frady, M.S., the deputy director of communications
for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation in
Tallahassee, Fla. Frady notes that it would be premature for the department
to provide more background regarding the proposed language in Chapter
24 as the decision to approve or disapprove the draft is still pending.
While Florida product manufacturers and glazing contractors may not face
much new following the upcoming code adoption, the potential for big changes
in the following cycle is about to increase. The change in ASCE 7-10 led
to a change in ASTM E1996, Standard Specification for Performance of Exterior
Windows, Curtain Walls, Doors, and Impact Protective Systems Impacted
by Windborne Debris in Hurricanes. David Rinehart, North America protective
glazing marketing manager for DuPont Glass Laminating Solutions in Wilmington,
Del., explains this is in the middle of the voting process now.
“Wind zone 4 in ASTM E1996 is being moved from the mandatory part of the
specifications to a non-mandatory appendix as an advisory position. What
it essentially is doing —and this is an interpretation—is saying Florida
is the only area recognized to have HVHZ requirements, so Florida is going
to have to take on the responsibility for providing the code language
for the HVHZ. It’s going to strengthen wind zone 3 in ASTM E1996, but
who knows how long it’s going to take to get that into the actual building
code,” Rinehart says. —Megan Headley
ASHRAE, NAHB, ICC to Develop Green Standard
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the American Society
of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and
the International Code Council (ICC), are jointly developing the 2015
edition of the ICC/ASHRAE 700 National Green Building Standard. This is
the third edition of the standard and the first time that ASHRAE has become
a partner in its development.
In 2007, NAHB and ICC convened a consensus committee of homebuilders,
code officials, product manufacturers, building science and energy-efficiency
specialists and governmental representatives to develop the standard.
It was approved in 2009 by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
as the first green standard for residential construction, development
Now known as the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard (NGBS), it was
updated in 2012 by a subsequent consensus committee and again approved
AAMA Accredited as ANSI Standards Developer
The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) is now an
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited standards developer.
This accreditation includes review and approval of AAMA’s document creation
and maintenance program.
“AAMA has been developing technical standards since its inception in 1936,”
says Andrea Rhodes, AAMA technical operations supervisor. “Since that
time, the association has maintained an open consensus process that takes
into account all views and aspects of the industry equally. Now, we have
the proof to back that up.”
In order to maintain ANSI accreditation, standards developers are required
to consistently adhere to a set of requirements or procedures known as
the ‘ANSI Essential Requirements.’”
According to ANSI, “Due process is the key to ensuring that American National
Standards (ANS) are developed in an environment that is equitable, accessible
and responsive to the requirements of various stakeholders. The open and
fair ANS process ensures that all interested and affected parties have
an opportunity to participate in a standard’s development. It also serves
and protects the public interest since standards developers accredited
by ANSI must meet the Institute’s requirements for openness, balance,
consensus and other due process safeguards.”
BHMA, SDI, Publish New and Revised ANSI Standards
The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) published a new
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard, BSR/BHMA A156.38-201x,
Low Energy Power Operated Sliding and Folding Doors. Requirements in this
standard apply to low energy power operated sliding and folding door systems
for pedestrian use, and some small vehicular use. The activation of all
doors described in this standard requires a knowing act. Included are
provisions intended to reduce the chance of user injury or entrapment.
Additional revisions and new standards from BHMA include BSR/BHMA A156.3-201x,
Exit Devices (revision of ANSI/BHMA A156.3-2008), BSR/BHMA A156.37-201x,
Multipoint Locks (new standard), BSR/BHMA A156.38-201x and Low Energy
Power Operated Sliding and Folding Doors (new standard).
In addition, ANSI revised a standard involving the Steel Door Institute
(SDI) (ASC A250). The standard is ANSI A250.13-2014, Testing & Rating
of Severe Windstorm Resistant Components for Swinging Door Assemblies
for Protection of Building Envelopes. It is not applicable for FEMA 320/361
of ICC-500 Shelters) (revision of ANSI A250.13-2008).
The standard provides procedure for testing and establishing load ratings
for components of exterior swinging door assemblies for purposes of protection
of openings in building envelopes during severe windstorm conditions,
such as a hurricane that produces sustained wind speeds or gusts in a
range of 110 to 15 mph as defined by ASCE 7.
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