Volume 43, Issue 3 - March 2008

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Several ICC Code Changes 
to Impact the Glass Industry  

The International Code Council (ICC) approved several glass-related code change proposals during its hearings in February. Several proposals affecting the International Fire Code were approved.

According to code documents, FS120 will make the IFC text consistent with NFPA 80 (2006) provisions and, which specify the limitations on doorframes with transom and sidelites. This code revision brings the NFPA 80 clarification of the limitations on sidelite and transom doorframes into the ICC, where code enforcers and other code users can identify the limits, rather than having to refer to NFPA 80. FS135 was also approved. The change to 715.5.7.2 addresses 20-minute windows tested to NFPA 257, specified in table 715.5 for ½-hour fire partitions. According to the proposal, “since a ½-hour fire resistance-rated fire partition assembly is tested to ASTM E119 without the hose stream test, and fire doors tested for 20-minutes as required in Table 715.4 are not subject to the hose stream test, for consistency in the code, the fire window component of a ½-hour fire partition should be likewise exempt from the hose stream test under NFPA 257.”

FS136 also relates to interior fire window assemblies. To clarify the rating requirements of interior windows, the code change states “where ¾-hour fire protection window assemblies are permitted, fire-protection-rated glazing requiring 45-minute opening protection in accordance with Table 715.5 shall be limited to fire partitions designed in accordance with Section 708 and fire barriers utilized in the applications set forth in Sections 706.3.6 and 706.3.8 where the fire resistance rating does not exceed one hour.”

The Structural Code Committee unanimously approved a proposal that adds footnotes to International Building Code (IBC) tables. Footnote “h” of Table 1604.3 and footnote “c” of Table R301.7 both gained the following text language: “For continuous aluminum structural members supporting edge of glass, the total load deflection shall not exceed L/175 for each glass lite or L/60 for the entire length of the member, whichever is more stringent.”

Mike Fischer, code consultant for the Window and Door Manufacturers Association, spoke in favor of the addition. “We didn’t tell the code officials [in the original footnote] what the deflection limit should be,” he said.

The ICC’s Building and Energy Conservation Code Committee accepted a modified proposal, 10-1, that fenestration with a projection factor greater than or equal to 0.50 should not be required to meet the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) requirements in the International Residential Code (IRC) and the International Energy Conservation Code. “We believe that if a shading device is part of an architectural structure that credit should be given,” said proponent Vicki Lovell of InterCode Inc., representing the Association of Industrial Metallized Coaters and Laminators. 

The Building and Energy Conservation Code Committee also approved changes to section 402.6 on maximum fenestration U factor and SHGC. The change deletes the following language:“402.6 Maximum fenestration U-factor and SHGC. (Mandatory). The area weighted average maximum fenestration U-factor permitted using trade offs from Section 402.1.4 or Section 404 shall be 0.48 in zones 4 and 5 and 0.40 in zones 6 through 8 for vertical fenestration, and 0.75 in zones 4 through 8 for skylights. The area weighted average maximum fenestration SHGC permitted using tradeoffs from Section 404 in Zones 1 through 3 shall be 0.50.”Proponents joined in suggesting that lifting tradeoff caps would allow for greater design flexibility, including increased use of energy-neutral tradeoffs that neither increase nor decrease a home’s energy consumption. 

The ICC approved a proposal that addressed sections of 1008.1.1 of the IBC on means of egress, and IRC R311.2 on building and energy. E37, as proposed by Julie Ruth, representing the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, strikes language from R311.2 requiring dwelling egress doors to be “not less than 3 feet (914 mm) in width,” replacing this language with a requirement that these doors “shall provide a minimum clear width of 32 inches (813 mm) when measured between the face of the door and the stop, with the door open 90 degrees.” Ruth maintained that the previous language failed to address the actual opening size and should be modified to clarify.

Several opponents of the change suggested that a minimum height opening of 78 inches could present problems for taller individuals. Others said that an actual opening size of 78 inches may require a slab size greater than was currently allowed by the 80-inch requirement. A modification was suggested to maintain language requiring a minimum height opening of 80 inches and E37 was approved with the suggested modification.

For a complete list of glass industry-related code changes and disapproved code change proposals send an e-mail to codes@glass.com and receive the free USGlass code change compendium. 

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