Building Stronger Coastal Communities through AAMA Donations and Expertise

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) is making every effort to support residents and building officials in the heavy-hit Gulf Coast through donations and code development participation, according to a press release from the organization.

"AAMA has contributed to the relief effort by donating $5,000 to the American Red Cross, and several AAMA member companies have contributed separately to the aid effort. In the coming months, AAMA will be involved heavily in the rebuilding process, working with code officials in storm-impacted Gulf Coast jurisdictions in the development of stronger building codes to protect against future high-wind events," according to Rich Walker, AAMA's executive vice president.

To continue to stay abreast of hurricane rebuilding efforts, the AAMA Southeast Region Spring Meeting has been scheduled for April 4-6, in Sandestin, located in the Florida Panhandle region. This location was selected in order to be close to the affected Gulf regions and facilitate participation from code officials in those areas. AAMA says it intends to pursue effective working relationships with these Gulf state code groups, much like those already established with jurisdictions in Florida and initiated with code officials in Georgia. The best practical solutions to structural strength needs of buildings can be developed with maintained open, two-way communication between manufacturers and code authorities, according to the release.

The AAMA Southeast Region Fall Meeting in St. Augustine, Florida, held September 8-9, is an example of the door and window industry working together with code bodies to foster this dialogue, evidenced by the highest participation of code officials ever recorded.

Herminio Gonzalez, director of code compliance for Miami-Dade, and Jamie Gascon, product control inspector for the Miami-Dade Code Compliance Office, moderated a question and answer session on the new agreement between Miami-Dade and AAMA addressing reciprocal acceptance of windborne debris test reports.

Florida Product Approval procedures were detailed by Ed Carson, chairman of product approval for the Florida Building Commission, while Dwight Wilkes, product approval coordinator for St. John's County, discussed code requirements and enforcement in his jurisdiction. Plus, Rick Dixon, manager of the Florida Department of Community Affairs, addressed the new Florida Building Code, "glitch cycles" and Rule 9B-72 changes.

Other speakers included Do Kim, Florida building commissioner and chairperson of the structural committee, who addressed a need to have the AAMA 1402 document covering aluminum siding, soffit and facia updated, and Gregori Anderson, immediate past president of the Building Officials Association of Georgia, who discussed new code developments in Georgia.

"The topics presented and ensuing discussion during our Fall Southeast Region Meeting are great examples of the dialog that needs to take place with code officials in the Gulf States. Massive reconstruction efforts in the coming years will dwarf those of Hurricane Andrew, and the scope of this building program is larger than any federal program ever undertaken. Its success requires the combined efforts of industry representatives and state and local authorities," said Walker.

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