Associations begin dialogue regarding conflicting bath-enclosure standards or codes
Representatives from the Americas Glass Association of Placerville, Calif., and the Bath Enclosure Manufacturers Association of Topeka, Kan., participated June 28 in their first joint conference call to address proposed standards or building codes for glass bath enclosures.
The initial dialogue comes after AGA officials filed proposed amendments to the International Building Code and proposed test standards for hardware to ASTM International of West Conshohocken, Pa., last spring.
BEMA members began development of a standard in 2005.
Chris Birch, BEMA executive director, says the conference call demonstrated fundamental differences between AGA and BEMA’s proposals: BEMA members would like to develop a standard, while the AGA proposal amends building codes.
However, the dialogue also showed similarities between the proposals, Birch says. “They [the AGA members] seemed to agree that some of the things we were saying made sense, and we agreed we would continue to move further with talks,” he says. “We are all working for the same good.”
Birch scheduled a second conference call for July 26.
In the meantime, AGA’s proposal continues to advance at the International Code Council of Falls Church, Va. Alan Carr, ICC senior staff engineer, confirmed receipt of the proposal and says the Structural Committee will review AGA’s proposed amendments either Sept. 20 or 21.
ICC committees will review proposals during the 2006 ICC Annual Conference, Expo and Code Development Hearings that runs Sept. 17-30 in Orlando, Fla.
If the proposal passes through the committee, it will move on to a public hearing period, Carr says, allowing opponents to speak out.
“This public-comment period is for anybody who takes issue with committee decisions,” Carr says. “It also allows people to offer modifications to proposals.”
Birch says BEMA will continue to pursue collaboration with AGA members and officials, despite the fact that they advance the building code proposal.
“Ideally, I would like to see AGA withdraw its code proposal and work with BEMA to develop an industry consensus standard,” Birch says. “Our efforts would be better off spent working together rather than opposing these proposals.”
AGA representatives could not be reached for comment. However, AGA President Donn Harter said in a July Glass magazine article that “partnership is important. [But] we’re not in favor of withdrawing our amendment to the IBC.”