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September  2004

WDMA Opens Up

Architectural Wood Flush Door 
Standard Set for Release
by Alan J. Campbell

An international specification for architectural wood flush doors is in its final stages of a major overhaul and should be finalized soon. I.S. 1A, the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) specification for Architectural Wood Flush Doors, will then proceed to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for recertification as an American National Standard. 

I.S. 1A provides a much-needed guideline for architects and specifiers who determine the nature of wood flush doors in commercial settings. The standard was in its second association ballot in mid-summer with final balloting and revisions slated to be complete in early fall 2004. Following its approval by the general membership, it will be submitted to ANSI for accreditation, and then will evolve into a new classification program under WDMA’s Hallmark Certification Program.

Performance is Job One
Key to the revision is the move, overall, to make the specification a performance-based standard. As such, I.S. 1A includes many new sections that more accurately reflect the fenestration market and how its products are used within the commercial environment. WDMA’s I.S. 1A task force, and many others, helped bring this major shift to fruition. It represents the continuation of a movement by WDMA, and the fenestration industry, away from prescriptive design specifications to performance-based standards that accurately reflect the application in which the product will be installed. 

Highlights include: 
Performance Duty Levels– Performance duty levels and values are now part of specifying an architectural or commercial wood flush door with I.S. 1A. Previous industry standards had dealt with aesthetic grades (premium or custom) while the new standard now adds three performance duty levels (standard, heavy duty and extra heavy duty). Eight performance attributes classify a door and its construction into the various duty levels. The attributes are adhesive bond, cycle slam, hinge loading, door finishes, screwholding, telegraphing, warp tolerance and squareness. Aesthetics focus on appearance of faces and edges and performance, on functionality. With both aesthetic and performance duty level requirements, a specifier can identify both the appearance of the door and a minimum performance level based on the type of building and the severity of use. 

Extra heavy duty involves doors that are used in industrial and institutional facilities. The duty level requires the highest minimum performance standards. Heavy duty typically involves doors used in office buildings, hotels, churches and retail. The duty level requires intermediate minimum performance standards. Standard duty involves doors used in smaller facilities where frequency of use is low. This duty level requires the lowest minimum performance standards.

New Face Veneer Charts–The Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association (HPVA) has created new face veneer charts that apply specifically to architectural and commercial wood flush doors. WDMA has adopted these charts for use in I.S. 1A with permission from HPVA.

Positive Pressure Fire Doors– New identifiers have been added to construction descriptors to indicate positive pressure door requirements. Positive pressure fire door test criteria continue to be adopted by states and municipalities across the U.S.

Factory Finishing–The new I.S. 1A has been updated to further explain the advantages and choices of current finishing systems available, focusing on the types of systems most often used for architectural and commercial wood doors. Each year, more doors are pre-finished at the factory as opposed to the construction jobsite. 

Specification Checklist–Certain aspects of designing with wood flush doors must be addressed to ensure they meet the requirements of the specifier and the building owner. I.S. 1A includes a specification checklist. In addition, the I.S. 1A task force has been working with the Architectural Woodwork Institute to include input and align the specification with its door documentation. 

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