Code Hearings Continue with Approval of Proposal Related to Sunrooms: Others on Table Disapproved

April 25th, 2013 by DWM Magazine

The International Code Council’s (ICC) Committee Action Hearings continue this week in Dallas, and among the review of a number of fenestration-related proposals, one related to codes for sunrooms was approved.

RE68-13, proposed by Daniel Walker of Thomas Associates Inc., representing the National Sunroom Association, sought to revise section R402.3.5 of the International Residential Code (IRC). It proposed setting the U-factor requirements the same for all the climate zones where requirements exist, and “would correct [a] discontinuity in the code between the requirements in Climate Zones 2, 3 and 4.”

The proposed change noted that in “Climate Zones 2 through 8, the maximum fenestration U-factor shall be 0.45, and in Climate Zones 1 through 3 the maximum [solar heat gain coefficient] shall be 0.30.”

The proposal was approved unanimously with a modification that struck the SHGC portion of the proposal, according to Walker.

RE23-13, which proposed to make a change to a table in section R402.1.1 in the IRC, was put forth by Thomas Culp of Birch Point Consulting LLC, representing the Glazing Industry Code Committee (GICC).

“The purpose of this proposal is to account for the unique situation of hurricane impact-resistant fenestration in windborne debris regions,” wrote Culp in his reasoning behind the proposal. “The current U-factor requirements in zones 2 and 3 require double glazing, which is entirely appropriate for most situations. However, hurricane events pose a unique circumstance with both significant safety and cost issues. In double-glazed impact-resistant windows, only one lite is laminated.

“As a result, one lite is not laminated, and presents a safety issue by potentially creating flying glass debris during a hurricane event. If the un-laminated lite is located to the exterior, this adds to the debris and safety hazard during clean-up. And even worse, if the un-laminated lite is located to the interior, the flying glass debris also poses a potential risk to life safety for occupants inside the home or apartment,” he continued.

Based on this, he proposed that “monolithic laminated products [be allowed to be used] for the very limited circumstances of coastal windborne debris regions in warm climates (zones 1-3).”

The proposal was disapproved by the committee.

Culp also proposed RE69-13 on behalf of the GICC, and sought to add an exception to section R402.3.6 of the IRC, “Replacement fenestration.” The exception would have noted that in Climate Zones 1-3, replacement of up to 75 square feet of vertical fenestration should have a maximum SHGC of 0.35.

“The 2012 IECC significantly lowered the SHGC requirement down to 0.25 in zones 1-3,” wrote Culp in the proposal. “This necessitates the use of different low-E coatings, tinted glass, or both. As a result, windows meeting the 2012 IECC will have a different appearance than previous windows. This may not be an issue for new construction where all the windows use the same glazing product, but one concern for replacement windows is that the 0.25 SHGC requirement could inhibit homeowners from replacing older inefficient windows, because the new 0.25 SHGC requirement would result in a mismatched appearance between the new replacement windows/doors and the rest of the windows.”

He continued, “This is a limited exception that will allow the use of low-E coatings that better match existing windows and remove a barrier to window replacement, while still providing a low SHGC for energy-efficient solar control.”

The proposal was disapproved by the committee.

Stay tuned to dwmmag.com for more from the hearings, which continue through next Tuesday.

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