[Washington, DC] - The Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) secured final approval of its key proposed amendments to the 2015 editions of the International Residential Code (IRC), International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), and International Existing Building Code (IEBC) during seven days of final code hearings conducted by the International Code Council (ICC) that concluded this week in Atlantic City, N.J.
In particular, four major achievements by WDMA will greatly benefit manufacturers and their customers. Two of these victories are new provisions that remove costly impediments to replacing windows and allow manufacturers to use WDMA comparative analysis standards as an alternative to other structural requirements. The other two key wins were the defeat of proposed amendments that would have required triple pane windows in much of the country and the defeat of provisions that would have again discriminated against non-metal windows, which WDMA successfully removed during the last cycle.
Below are some other improvements to the building codes that resulted from WDMA's amendments:
- Clarifying requirements for window opening control devices and applicability of emergency escape and rescue requirements for replacement windows in the IEBC and in both the appendix and main body of the IRC.
- The use of skylights to meet natural ventilation requirements.
- New provisions allowing skylights to use the same structural compliance methods as windows and doors.
- Closing a loophole in the IECC that arbitrarily applied more stringent requirements to all non-metal fenestration products in buildings with higher window to wall ratios.
In addition, other proposals WDMA actively supported to gain final approval, include new provisions covering the use of dynamic glazing in residential construction and new provisions for fenestration flashing materials.
"Collectively these amendments provide greater flexibility for builders, remodelers and for fenestration manufacturers. They are also better for homeowners, so we are very pleased with the final approval of these changes by ICC code officials," said Jeff Inks, WDMA vice president of code and regulatory affairs.
Equally important was the disapproval of many proposed amendments opposed by WDMA. Below are those amendments that WDMA successfully killed, which were not mentioned above:
- Unjustifiable increases in the stringency of fenestration requirements for residential construction.
- Overly broad provisions exempting replacement fenestration from the minimum efficiency requirements of the IECC.
Said Inks, "All of these proposals would have resulted in unnecessary cost increases, bias against non-metal fenestration products, and unnecessary exemptions from applicable efficiency requirements, so the code officials' disapproval of them was appropriate."