ICC Approves Industry-Related Code Proposals as Hearings Kick Off

The International Code Council’s (ICC) Committee Action Hearings got underway yesterday in Dallas, and a number of industry-related code proposals have already been approved.

Among these, EB37-13, proposed by John Williams, chair of the ICC’s ad hoc committee on healthcare and Carl Baldassarra, chair of the ICC code technology committee, was approved as submitted. The proposal suggested that in section 805.5.2, nursing homes be added to the types of buildings in which the code requires that “all transoms in corridor walls in work areas shall either be glazed with 1/4-inch (6.4 mm) wired glass set in metal frames or other glazing assemblies having a fire protection rating as required for the door and permanently secured in the closed position or sealed with materials consistent with the corridor construction.”

“Hospitals and nursing homes are a unique environment which employ the defend-in-place strategy which is one for which the means of egress and relocation of individuals from one smoke compartment to another is of critical importance,” write the proponents in their reasoning for the change. “Where a Level 2 Alteration occurs, resulting in a reconfiguration of the work area, the corridors provide a critical passageway which needs to be held to the highest possible standard while at the same time acknowledging practical construction limitations. The current code acknowledges this for Groups I-1,R-1 and R-2 occupancies where the occupants may be sleeping. This code change provides the same level of protection for Group I-2.”

EB15-13, proposed by Jeff Inks of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), was approved with modifications. The proposal sought to adapt sections 702.4, “Window opening control devices,” and section 702.5, “Emergency escapes and rescue openings.”

The intent of this proposal is to ensure window replacements meet the requirements for new construction for window fall protection and emergency escape and rescue openings when practical and avoid discouraging or preventing the replacement of windows when it is not — provided there is no reduction in existing safety,” writes Inks. “With respect to the proposed provisions for window opening control devices on replacement windows, they are intended to ensure window fall protection is provided where required for new construction when windows, including sash and frame, are replaced.”

The proposal was based on Minnesota’s residential code, according to Inks.

“More specifically, the intent of this proposal is to ensure that the IRC does not discourage or prevent improvements in emergency escape and rescue openings, especially for fire safety, in older residential occupancies by requiring replacement windows to meet all of the provisions of Section 310 when doing so can only be accomplished by increasing the size of the rough opening or altering the interior wall,” he adds.

“Very briefly, the modification (which was mine as well) clarified when window opening control devices are required in IBC versus IRC occupancies,” Inks tells USGlass magazine.

EB9-13, a proposal that sought to specify that glazing in hazardous locations have the same requirements for replacement glazing as in new installations, modifying section 602.3 of the code, was disapproved. Additionally, the proposal, also put forth by Baldassarra, also would have adapted the text of section 702.4, “Window opening control devices,” and 702.5, “Emergency escape and rescue openings.”

“The purpose of this proposal is to coordinate the repair and alteration provisions of the IEBC with the changes approved to the IBC/IEBC in the 2012 Group A cycle,” wrote Baldassarra in his proposal. “Code changes G225-12 and G227-12 were approved as modified by public comment to revise Section 3407 of the IBC (IEBC Section 406). In addition, Code change G201-12 last cycle removed the existing building provisions from Chapter 34 of the IBC in favor of a reference to the IEBC.”

The code hearings started yesterday and run through next Tuesday. Stay tuned to usglassmag.com for more information throughout the week.

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