Latest Articles in Codes & Standards

  • “This is going to be a big one,” the retired fire official from New Jersey said. “This thing is huge, and the states it’s going to hit aren’t used to being hit by this kind of storm.” He pointed to an image of the Hurricane Sandy weather system on his laptop screen, dubbed “Frankenstorm” due to the combination of storms that had spawned it and its... more »
  • The R-5 window may be back as the Environmental Protection Agency has released its draft criteria for Most Efficient designation for windows under the Energy Star windows, doors and skylights program.  In addition to other requirements, including NAFS certification, the newest high-performance criteria sets a minimum U-factor of 0.20 for all regions of the country. Many in the industry have... more »
  • Many years ago, the Building Officials & Code Administrators organization hosted a group of Eastern European code officials who were interested in learning about code administration in the U.S. After a month of observing code enforcement American style, they were asked their opinion of it. “Too democratic” was their response. There are many freedoms we who have lived in the U.S.... more »
  • One of the reasons working with the construction codes has held my interest for decades now is that there always seems to be a new challenge. Just about the time we start to figure something out–whether it be compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, three second gust or ultimate strength design wind speeds, terrorist resistant buildings, impact resistant windows or energy... more »
  • Anti-vinyl bias is again surfacing in the context of the ongoing evolution of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system—expressed in draft versions of LEED 2012, now known as LEED v4, the successor to LEED 2009. The USGBC was slated to vote on LEED 2012 on June 1, 2012, but after 22,000 responses poured in during the... more »
  • We knew the day was coming—the Environmental Protection Agency recently released its draft proposal for the future of the Energy Star program for windows, doors and skylights last week. With a plan that calls for changes to take effect in January 2014, the draft includes U-factor requirements that may  lessen the need for manufacturers to pursue triple-glazed products to carry the... more »
  • Those of us who have been involved in code development for an extended period of time have a saying–“The code is written in the hallways.” The saying reflects the more historic action of simply stopping one’s colleague in a hallway to have a discussion. It reflects the importance of seeking out, and obtaining, feedback on what one plans to present before it’s ever... more »
  • Once again the United States Green Building Council is attacking the vinyl window industry as it proposes changes to its LEED rating system. In November 2011, USGBC proposed changes for 2012 (currently on revision 4) that added a new Disclosure and Avoidance point category that refers to a list of "Chemicals of Concern," which include many common materials in building products, such as... more »
  • The International Code Council Group A hearings concluded this week, with the organization making plans to allow remote voting in coming code change cycles. The hearings also saw votes on a number of American Architectural Manufacturers Association proposals covering such matters as threshold heights, wind load provisions and flashing. The ICC has established a goal of fully implementing remote... more »
  • The International Code Council begins its first set of code development hearings for the 2015 editions of its codes this month in Dallas. The ICC Group A codes to be covered include the International Building Code.  Group B codes, including the International Residential Code, the International Energy Conservation Code and the International Green Construction Code will be addressed later. IBC... more »