Language for WOCDs and Flashing Approved During Code Hearings

October 29th, 2019 by Tara Taffera

Photo courtesy of AAMA.

International Code Council (ICC) Public Comment Hearings continue in Las Vegas and among proposals approved impacting windows are one in regards to height of window opening control devices (WOCD) and the other to flashing.

RB 90-19 to the International Residential Code (IRC) was approved as submitted. The change was regarding WOCD’s as it relates to egress.

“Emergency escape and rescue openings shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys, tools or special knowledge. Window opening control devices on windows serving as a required emergency escape and rescue opening shall be not more than 70″ above the finished floor and shall comply with ASTM F2090, according to the proposal.”

The reason submitted to the ICC was “The 70” is the sum of the dimensions in the attached example of a single hung egress window having a maximum 44” sill height with a 24” operable leaf. Added to this is 2” to reach the latch to unlock the window which is set at 70.”

Jeff Inks, representing the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), submitted a public comment requesting disapproval and spoke in opposition to requirement. “In particular, because it establishes a requirement for the maximum height of WOCD’s when they are required, but provides no direction for where on the device the measurement is to be taken,” he said. “If a maximum height requirement for required WOCD’s is thought to be necessary, more clarity is needed for how it is to be applied. Given that clarity is not provided by this proposal and the need for the requirement is somewhat questionable, we believe it should be disapproved.”

RB 238-19 was also approved as modified and is in regards to R703.4 related to flashing. New language states that “Air sealing shall be installed around all window and door openings on the interior side of the rough opening gap.” Committee reasoning stated that “the modification makes the proposal product-neutral, and clarifies that the intent is to allow for water to drain out …”

WDMA also spoke in opposition to the new provision.  “While air sealing is consistent with the IRC energy requirements, we believe the language ‘on the interior side of the rough opening gap’ is unclear for code purposes and could conflict with manufacturers installation instructions,” said Inks.

The code hearings continue through Wednesday and the results will be balloted by ICC later in November for final approval by ICC’s governmental code official members.

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