A newly formed association, the Impact Window Affordability and Safety Association (IWASA), is fighting the implementation of part of the Florida Building Code that relates to doors and windows, citing severe impacts on businesses. The latest version of the code, which increases the energy requirements for impact doors and windows, went into effect on June 30.

The IWASA consists of seven door and window companies in Florida. They recently filed a motion with the Florida Building Commission to intervene in the declaratory statement proceedings. This is in response to a petition filed by Frank LaPete of the Responsible Energy Codes Alliance, who seeks a determination that all replacement fenestration in existing buildings must comply with U-factor and SHGC requirements consistent with the Florida Building Code. This includes renovations as well.

According to the motion, LaPete seeks a blanket declaration “that replacement fenestration products in existing structures must meet the U-factor and SHGC requirements set forth in the Florida Building Code, 5th Edition (2014), irrespective of whether the building is classified as a ‘renovated building’ under the code definition.” (A “renovated building” is defined as one where the estimated cost of alterations exceeds 30 percent of its assessed value.)

The companies filing the motion claim that because a significant portion of their work consists of replacing fenestration in existing buildings that are not being renovated (as defined under Florida Statute 553.902(6) and Section R202 of the Florida Building Code – Energy Conservation), they will be required to “incur substantial costs in connection with testing and retooling for new windows.”

The Florida Building Commission (FBC) held a hearing today, and the declaratory proceedings were briefly discussed. A motion was approved to continue this discussion at the October FBC meeting. One attendee asked for more information regarding declaratory statements. April Hammonds, a staff attorney with the Florida Building Commission, explained that it’s rare to get a motion to intervene, because of public-comment periods that are held as codes are crafted.

Turn to page 4 of the upcoming August-September issue of DWM for more on this story.

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