Florida Building Commission Approves 6th Edition
By Jessica Ferris, WMA Director of Codes and Standards September 8, 2016
September, 2016 – The Florida Building Commission’s code development cycle for the 6th Edition of the Florida Building Code concluded last month at the commission’s well-attended meeting held in Ft. Lauderdale on August 16th. Though the 6th Edition is based on the 2015 International Codes (I-Codes), over 500 Florida-specific amendments were submitted for consideration this year, and reviewed by the various Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) responsible for making initial determinations before amendments were brought forth for the Commission’s final determination. When all was said and done, more than 400 of these amendments were approved. The 6th edition is projected to take effect December 31, 2017.
World Millwork Alliance (WMA) Participation:
WMA’s Industry Standards and Certification Committee (ISCC) as well as Codes and Standards Strategy Committee (CSSC) conference called several times this year to address specific amendments proposed to the Florida Building Code. The ISCC worked on several door-related issues and came up with a strategy for which direction to take.
A synopsis of action items and outcomes are as follows:
- WMA submitted a proposed amendment to the Florida residential base code to reference the revised edition of the WMA 100, Standard Method of Determining Structural Performance Ratings of Side-hinged Exterior Door System and Procedures for Component Substitution. The amendment was approved by the Structural TAC in July and affirmed by the Commission at the August meeting.
- There were also several proposed door-related amendments submitted by other proponents that WMA actively supported or opposed.
- WMA worked with industry stakeholders, such as FHBA, FMA, AAMA, and IBHS, to revise a group of Florida-specific amendments that had been in previous iterations of the building and residential codes; these revised amendments were approved.
- Specifically, an amendment in the residential code regarding door component substitution requirements that had referenced the Steel Door Institute’s A250.13, Testing and Rating of Severe Windstorm Resistant Components for Swinging Door Assemblies for Protection of Building Envelopes was revised to reference the WMA 100 instead.
- Another amendment that had been in both the residential and commercial code for many years, which allowed “custom one-of-a-kind” doors to demonstrate wind resistance by either testing or engineering analysis, was revised to tighten the code language further by addressing a potential loophole whereby doors that are not mass produced, but not necessarily one-of-a-kind, may have been avoiding testing requirements by claiming performance compliance through an unspecified engineering analysis.
In summary, WMA managed to obtain good outcomes by strengthening and clarifying the Florida Building Code while balancing the needs of the door industry. The WMA 100 standard will be referenced in the state’s residential building code allowing door pre-hangers and manufacturers to use the WMA standard for structural performance requirements, as well as component substitution protocols; and a potential loophole has been tightened by setting more definitive engineering analysis requirements in place while maintaining the continued easing of testing requirements for truly one-of-a-kind doors.
We are proud to have been a part of this code development process, and are dedicated to continuing our advocacy efforts in the state on behalf of the WMA membership.
For comments or questions on codes and standards and certification, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article submitted by Jessica Ferris, WMA Director of Codes and Standards [+]
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