New ASCE/SEI 7-10 Bulletin Available

September 5, 2011

A new technical bulletin relating ASCE/SEI 7-10 design wind loads to fenestration product ratings has been jointly endorsed by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, the Window and Door Manufacturers Association, the Fenestration Manufacturers Association and the Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association.

The technical bulletin, available free for download, summarizes information about current standards and codes related to the design of buildings and use of fenestration assemblies. Released on August 30, it is intended to inform building specifiers and other interested users that the 2010 version of ASCE/SEI 7 cannot be intermixed with earlier versions and that it is not necessary to test exterior fenestration products (i.e., windows, doors and skylights) differently as a result of the updated 2010 version of this technical bulletin, officials explain.

Additionally, the bulletin highlights how design loads from the 2010 edition of ASCE/SEI 7, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, relate to exterior fenestration (windows, doors and skylights) product ratings and performance grades.

“The bulletin explains how ASCE/SEI 7-10 revised the method utilized for establishing basic wind speed, and as a result, could alter the mechanics of the calculations used to incorporate building design considerations,” says Ken Brenden, AAMA's technical services manager and staff liaison of the joint study group. “By applying a factor of 0.6, we will now be able to calculate a conversion from strength design to allowable stress design, which is pivotal in balancing the appropriate design load to fenestration product ratings.”

According to the bulletin, different editions of the ASCE/SEI 7 standards cannot be intermixed, as doing so could result in excessively high or inappropriately low load predictions for windows, doors and skylights. Examples are included to showcase potential differences between the 2005 and 2010 versions.

“AAMA members recognized a need to explain the impact of provisions in ASCE/SEI 7-10 and initiated the study group," Brenden notes. "All four industry organizations contributed to the technical bulletin in order to summarize information about current standards and codes related to the design of buildings and use of fenestration assemblies.”

However, the bulletin is not intended to highlight all of the changes between the 2005 and 2010 versions of ASCE/SEI 7, such as those related to where opening protection in windborne debris regions is required.