2015 International Building Code update
November 29, 2012
COMMERCIAL, RETAIL, FABRICATION : CODES & STANDARDS
The Final Action Hearings on ICC Group A proposals took place October 22, 2012, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. These hearings finalized the requirements of the ICC Group A codes, including the 2015 International Building Code.
In the November 2012 issue of Glass Magazine, I discussed several code-change proposals of interest to our industry that would be incorporated into the 2015 IBC (see Page 22). This article continues that discussion, reviewing additional final action taken in Portland:
- Several exceptions were added to the requirement for full-scale flammability testing of exterior walls that contain combustible water-resistive barriers, among them an exception for fenestration and the flashing of fenestration that was submitted by AAMA. The approved AAMA public comment also added the definition of fenestration that is currently in the 2012 International Residential Code and International Energy Conservation Code to the 2015 IBC.
- All attempts to replace natural ventilation with mechanical ventilation in low-rise residential buildings were disapproved (M38 & M39).
- Provisions for greenhouses (G199) that permitted glass installation in retail and business spaces that were previously only permitted in spaces not intended for public occupancy were disapproved.
- Provisions for replacement windows in emergency escape and rescue openings (G227) were approved.
- Provisions to require window opening control devices for replacement windows in locations where they would be required for new construction (G225) were approved.
- A proposed limitation of the L/175 exception that was proposed by the Glass Association of North America's Glazing Industry Code Committee was disapproved (S175).
- An AAMA proposal (S172) that added comparative analysis provisions for the design pressure rating of window units in sizes not tested to the IBC was disapproved.
- Provisions for sunlight delivery systems that did not address the portion of the system that passes through the exterior envelope (whether the roof or an exterior wall) to collect sunlight (S302) was disapproved.A proposal that would have permitted the installation of window film on existing single-pane glass to be exempt from the IECC (G209) was disapproved.
ICC proceeding to develop procedure for remote voting
Prior to the commencement of the ICC Group A Final Action Hearings, a report was given on ICC's movement toward remote voting. The ICC has designated this project "cdpAccess" to indicate "increased access to the code development process."
The goal of cdpAccess is to enable eligible ICC governmental member voting representatives to vote on the contents of the I-codes without being present at ICC hearings.
The ICC Board of Directors is currently considering a process that would establish three stages of voting during the revision of an International Code. The first stage would consist of the committee vote. The second stage would involve voting on public comments received in response to the committee action. The third stage would then consist of online governmental voting. This voting would occur over a two week-time period, following the completion of the public comment hearings.
Opponents of this plan are concerned that it might jeopardize the openness and transparency of the ICC process. An alternative approach places the online governmental vote after the committee hearings, but before the public comment hearings.
New procedures to qualify voters in Final Action Hearings
In response to concerns expressed during and after previous Final Action Hearings, the ICC has put into place a new voter designation process. The intent of the new process is to establish a greater level of scrutiny with regard to who is eligible to vote at ICC Final Action Hearings.
Now, only employees of ICC governmental members are permitted to vote at ICC Final Action Hearings. Previously, individuals who wished to be designated as a governmental member voting representatives had to submit their own applications at least 10 days prior to the commencement of the ICC Final Action Hearings.
The new GMVR designation process requires the primary representative of each governmental member agency to complete an online questionnaire for each individual they designate as a voting representative of their jurisdiction. The questionnaire must be completed at least 30 days prior to the commencement of the Final Action Hearings.
The ICC will then review all GMVR applications to verify the applicant's eligibility to vote at the ICC Annual Business Meeting and Final Action Hearings.
Further information on the new ICC governmental member voter designation process is available at www.iccsafe.org/Membership/Pages/VoterDesignationProcess.aspx.