The Residential Building Code Development Committee approved the Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD)’s Side-Hinged Exterior Door Standard (SHEDS) in a 7-4 vote during the recent International Code Council hearings in Baltimore. The standard is titled “Testing and Rating of Static Pressure on Side Hinged Exterior Door Systems.”AMD says it has been developing the standard for more than a year as a small and lightweight alternative to other standards such as the North American Fenestration Standard. It addresses component interchange on a tested E330 (Standard Test Method for Structural Performance of Exterior Windows, Doors, Skylights and Curtain Walls by Uniform Static Air Pressure Difference) exterior side-hinged door system. The standard explains how to test and rate individual components using the E330 protocols and failure analysis and takes the E330 to the component level.

AMD has earned the ANSI accreditation as a national standards writer and the standard has been submitted into the ANSI process.

Though the standard did pass, it was not without opposition from industry groups such as the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA). According to AAMA code consultant Julie Ruth, who spoke on behalf of AAMA at the hearings, the association’s members feel that the SHED standard seeks to develop criteria for combining components of a door assembly (door slab, frame, hardware, glass, etc., that have been individually rated) into an assembly and then assigning a design pressure rating to that completed assembly though simple substitution of components and no actual system test to determine how the combination of components affects the overall design pressure rating.

“Testing conducted by AAMA over the course of the past two years indicates that component interchangeability in door systems is much more complex than the simple substitution method proposed by AMDS,” says Ruth. “Significant inconsistencies in overall design pressures result during door system testing using like panel, frame and glazing constructions.”

She added, “SHEDs is not the correct approach, and its use would result in erroneously rated systems.”

The door systems tested were provided by three different manufacturers and were produced with the following commonalities: overall size, type and gauge of skin material, stile material, insulating material, glass make-up, and identical lock/deadbolt. Some variables included hinges, frame/stop design, density of insulating material and IG sealants. The test results ranged from 2.5 psf to 45 psf as varying point(s) of failure.

The Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) also spoke in opposition to proposal out of the same concern that the draft standard will lack adequate measures for ensuring assembly performance and that it is not an appropriate testing alternative to ASTM E330. WDMA also believes the committee’s approval of the document was unjustified because it’s in initial draft form and has had very little vetting in the industry.

“In addition to our concern over the technical merits of the draft, we are particularly disturbed by the committee’s approval of a test standard that is still under development and one that has undergone very little stakeholder review, or even from the committee that approved it that we are aware of,” says Jeff Inks, WDMA vice president of codes and regulatory affairs. “This is not a judicious approach to approving test standards for reference by building codes.”

Inks also added that the ANSI accreditation process has only just begun and the standard, once completed, could be substantially different than the draft that was approved.

“It’s also uncertain whether AMD will be able to complete that process in time for the final action hearings in accordance with ICC code development procedures,” he adds. “Under ICC’s code development procedures, all new reference standards must be ‘completed and readily available prior to Final Action Consideration.'”

Despite the opposition to the passage of the standard, AMD chief executive officer Rosalie Leone says the Standard will be especially beneficial to millwork pre-hangers and component manufacturers.

“It is rewarding to see our efforts in this direction will make a positive difference in the millwork industry,” says Leone.

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