Starter List in Evaluating Your Building Component For Product Approvals & TER’s

Designers and manufacturers create building products based on how they think people will use them and conditions they…


Master Plan Sheet – Product Evaluation – TER Explained

WHAT IS A MASTER PLAN SHEET / PRODUCT EVALUATION / TER? Think of a master plan sheet product…


What are alteration levels in construction and how do they relate to delegate engineers?

  Alteration - Level 1 (Existing Building Code Section 503): Removal and replacement, or covering of existing materials,…


Designing Interior Glass? Here are some engineering code items to consider

There's more to consider when designing interior glass than just how it looks.  Turns out there are quite…


ASTM, SEI, ISO Fastener Material Properties and Specifications

Here is a list of fastener markings for various grades of anchors.   Information is reprinted courtesy of…


Can a Building Inspector or Plan Reviewer Deny The Use of a TER or Master Plan Sheet?

YES OR NO? While plan reviewers, inspectors, and other building officials have the authority to question any document…


When is a Miami Dade NOA or FL Product Approval required, and how do TER’s & Master Plans Fit In?

FIRST, A WORD ABOUT FLORIDA & THE IBC Florida is one of few states leading the Product Evaluation…


What do I do if a TER or Master Plan isn’t enough for a permit?

THE BUILDING DEPARTMENT WON'T ACCEPT MY TECHNICAL EVALUATION REPORT (TER)? Sometimes, municipalities or contract documents require more information…


How do I get a Certified TER or Master Plan Sheet?

FIRST, WHAT'S A CERTIFIED TER & Master Plan Sheet? TER's or Technical Evaluation Reports and Master Plan Sheets…


What doesn’t a TER or Master Plan Sheet do?

FIRST, WHAT IS A TER? TER's or Technical Evaluation Reports are evaluation of a product's performance.  They are…


What is a TER and how is it used for permitting?

A TER or Technical Evaluation Report, is an engineering evaluation based on testing and/or rational analysis for the…


Can an engineer design alternate anchorage for a Florida product approval or other product evaluation?

According to Section 1710.8.4 of the Florida Building Code Fifth Edition (2014), “Opening protection components, fasteners, and other…


How do I calculate the effective opening area on window or door products? – What opening area should be used for wind pressure determination on a multi-panel product?

The Building Codes in the US reference ASCE-7 for the design of the components and cladding of buildings…


ASCE Risk Categories Explained

Background Building codes require that buildings be classified by their level of importance in determining the risk taken…


ASCE Wind Speed Risk Category To Use with Signs & Building Components On-Off Buildings

In terms of determining the risk category to a building component mounted to a building, the component 'inherits'…


ExpressPass Help Page & FAQ

VIP clients that are members of the ExpressPass system enjoy instant project ordering, tracking, communication, & file access…


Florida Statewide Approvals (FSA) – Quality Assurance and Validator Requirements

It is often asked of us to explain the validator and quality assurance requirements of the Florida Statewide…


Perforated Design Method vs. Segmented Design Methods for Shear Walls

Perforated Design Method vs. Segmented Design Methods for Shear Walls   The International Building Code (2018) defines a…


Is A Top Rail Required For A Glass Railing?

Aesthetically pleasing, clean and one of the biggest architectural trends, the glass railing is fast gaining popularity as…


About Lag Bolts-Screws In Wood – Size – Pullout – Shear

The term lag bolt implies a large diameter fastener with a bolt head square or hexagonal head, and…


CAD Drafting Guidelines for Engineering Express Plan Submissions

Engineering Express Drafting Shop Drawings – Tips & Tricks   We at Engineering Express pride ourselves with the…


Whats The Difference Between a Digitally Sealed Plan and a Scanned Digital Copy of a Plan?

HISTORY Back in the day, kings used wax to seal an envelope to prove its authenticity. That seal…


Flood Engineering Glossary

FLOOD GLOSSARY The following is provided as a curated summary of terms taken from the referenced standards that…


Flood Resistant Design & Floodproofing of Buildings

An engineer's walk through of the design requirements for flood resistant design of building components With Engineering Express's…


Is Steel or Reinforcing or Fibermesh Required in Posts & Footings of Building Components?

INTRODUCTION The main purpose foundations serve is to distribute and resist the forces or loads experienced by the…


What is the HVHZ – High Velocity Hurricane Zone – in Florida?

The High Velocity Hurricane Zone (or HVHZ) in Florida encompasses only Miami-Dade And Broward Counties.  It is a…


PRODUCT APPROVALS ARE NOT ALWAYS REQUIRED! HERE’S WHY:

HERE'S 3 MYTHS ABOUT PRODUCT APPROVALS:   Background: Product evaluations (sometimes called “product approvals”, “ICC reports”, NOA’s or…


How to Find Wind Speed Using the Applied Technology Council Hazards by Location Website

The Applied Technology Council (ATC) offers site-specific information that is used in our calculators to determine the wind…


Types of At-Grade Footings Explained

Here's a description and illustrations we've created for footing types we frequently reference in our work for sunrooms,…


What’s the difference between aluminum T5 and T6 temper (like 6063-T5 vs 6063-T6 alloy)?

Heat treatment is done by raising the alloy temperature to about 980 degrees F and holding it there…


Wind Speed vs. Wind Pressure Explained

Many who don’t understand how wind works will state a product is rated to a specific wind velocity…


ASCE 7 Main Wind Force vs. Components & Cladding Explained (MWFRS vs. C&C)

ASCE 7 separates wind loading into three types: Main Wind Force Resisting System (MWFRS), Components and Cladding (C&C),…


Is a large missile impact window or door automatically approved for small missile impact?

If a product is rated for Large Missile Impact (LMI) and has laminated glass as an infill, then…


2006/2012 IRC RAILING GUIDELINES

 The 2006/2012 International Residential Code (IRC) contains railing guidelines similar to those found in the Florida Building Code…


What is the Minimum Roof Slope for Metal Panels and other Roof Types?

The minimum roof slope requirement for metal panels varies depending on panel connection conditions.  The required roof slope…


What Seismic area is my location?

Here are some useful sites to check the seismic criteria for a location: https://www.fema.gov/earthquake-hazard-maps https://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazards/designmaps/


Miami Dade NOA Revision vs Renewal & Fees Explained

As of January, 2018, here is an explanation from Miami Dade County's Product Approval System (Product Control) on…


TEK Sheet Metal Screws (SMS) – About – Sizes – Gauges

About TEK Screws The following information is complied compliments of All Points Fasteners, Totally Nuts And Bolts, and…


Typical Information Needed For Engineering Design of a Patio-Pergola Roof

Here's a chart illustrating some of the many dimensions and components we need to design an open patio…


When is an Engineer Seal Required, Why Do We Write ‘Draft’ on Unsealed Work, And About Digital Seals

In Florida (as well as many states): If an engineer produces a drawing that is not a final…


Phantom Screens: Is a Florida Product Approval Required?

Product Approvals for building components are the general rule in Florida.  Building officials, architects, insurance companies, even homeowners…


Where To Buy Extrusions & Parts

We're frequently asked by our clients where they can purchase many of the products specified in our plans.…


Job Submittal Checklist For Screened Enclosures, Open, & Enclosed Patios

Engineering Express provides signed & sealed design plans for various types of screened enclosures, sun rooms, & open…


How To Submit A Ground Mounted Sign Template

Engineering Express provides structural certifications for GROUND MOUNTED signs. We certify the stability of the pole in the…


When is a Fence or Railing 75% Open?

The Scenario The question comes up from time to time regarding requirements for a fence or railing to…


Frost Protection For Concrete Footings On Grade – Heave

Section 1809.5 of the Florida Building Code (2017) and 2012, 2015 & 2018 International Building Code describe the…


How To Submit A Wall Mounted Sign Template

Engineering Express provides structural certifications for WALL MOUNTED signs attached to a main structure. This tutorial explains how…


Introducing Our Engineer VIP Program

Explanation In the event of a high wind event, it is the concern of building codes ASCE-7 and…


About The UL 325 Safety Standard

The UL 325 is a safety standard for door, drapery, gate, louver, and window operators and systems. The…


Ordering Certified Calculators

Engineering Express is a revolution in the consulting engineering business model.  For a growing list of repeatable calculations…


ASCE 7 Basic Wind Speed

Per definition by ASCE 7-10, Section 26.2 is defined as:   BASIC WIND SPEED (V): Three-second gust speed at 33ft…


About ASCE 7’s Directionality Factor Kd

The directionality factor (Kd) used in the ASCE 7 wind load provisions for components and cladding is a…


ASCE 7 Wall and Roof Zones Explained

Per ASCE 7-10, buildings are composed of 5 different zones, depending on the wind loading they are subjected to.…


ASCE 7 Least Horizontal Dimension

The Least Horizontal Dimension can be taken as the shortest possible distance that can be taken between two parallel…


Mean Roof Height (ASCE 7)

Per ASCE 7, the Mean Roof Height (h) is defined as the average of the roof eave height and…


Procedure For Calculating Aluminum Box Beams For Bending

Per the Aluminum Design Manual (ADM) 2010, the allowable bending stress of round tubes shall be determined for…


How to Avoid Contact With Aluminum & Dissimilar Metals

This is provided to inform clients of the requirements of the 2010 Aluminum Design Manual, Chapter M - Section…


What’s the minimum penetration for lag screws into wood?

Per the National Design Specification for Wood Construction (NDS) 2012, Section 11.1.4.6 the minimum penetration (not including the…


Loss of Capacity Due To Welded Aluminum In Railings – Signs – Structures

Regarding any aluminum railing project, it is imperative to understand the life-safety issue that arises when welding an…


Steel Bolt Edge Distance Requirements

Per AISC-ANSI-360-10, the minimum edge distance for bolts is to follow the below table J3.4     https://www.scribd.com/doc/115942657/Minimum-Edge-Distance-Table-AISC-ANSI-360-10-Specifications-for-Structural-Steel-Buildings…


Metal Fasteners UNC vs Spaced Thread

Metal fastening is designed per the requirements of the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC): Specification for Structural…


What’s the dimensional difference between a pipe and a tube?

There is often confusion as to which size product a client actually needs – Pipe Size or OD Tubing…


What is a canopy awning & which wind forces should I use to design?

Note:  Updated March 2018 in response to 3 negative user feedback comments for more information.  Please thumb this…


How do I tell if my building is considered “enclosed”?

A building is considered "enclosed” if it does not comply with the requirements for open or partially enclosed…


How do I tell if my building is considered an “open building”?

A building is considered open if each wall is at least 80 percent open (ASCE 7-10, Section 26.2,…


How do I tell if my building/enclosure is considered “partially enclosed”?

A building is considered "Partially Enclosed” if it complies with both of the following conditions (ASCE 7-10, Section…


What wind information is required for construction documents?

From the 5th Edition of the Florida Building Code (2014) section 1603.1.4 and from section 1603.1.4. of the…


ASTM E1996 Missile Levels and Definition

Missile Level E 6.2.1.1 Enhanced Protection (Essential Facilities): Buildings and other structures designated as essential facilities, including but…


What are the requirements for using missile level E in Florida?

In the 5th Edition Florida Building Code (2014), missile level E is valid in and outside of the HVHZ…


The Recently Updated Saffir-Simpson Scale

First, it needs to be said that there is a complicated formula that converts wind velocity to wind pressure. …


The One-Third (1/3) Stress Increase: Where Is It Now?

The one-third stress increase has a long history of use in Allowable Stress Design (ASD). It is most…


Florida Engineers Do Not Have To File A Notice To Owner To Lien A Property

What is a Notice To Owner (NTO)? This notice alerts a homeowner in Florida that someone has or…


What is a window or door buck and why are they used?

Masonry openings in buildings are frequently not exact and are referred to as rough openings for that reason.…


Why are spacing, edge distance, and embedment important for concrete anchors?

When an anchor is installed into concrete, there is an area surrounding the anchor called a cone of…


ASCE 7 EXPOSURE CATEGORIES AND HOW EXPOSURE ‘D’ WORKS

About Exposure D Exposure 'D' is a multiplier when converting wind velocity to wind pressure that represents coastal…


Did the loading requirements change for rooftop structures for ASCE 7-10 and the 2014 Florida Building Code?

YES. The loading requirement of "Rooftop Structures" has been revised in ASCE 7-10.   Essentially, buildings less than…


Should a professional utilize the ASD (“Allowable Stress Design”) method or the LRFD (“Load Resistance Factored Design”) method when calculating the required wind pressure for use with tested / approved systems?

Most all products are evaluated using the ASD method (unless noted otherwise). ASD method in, then ASD method…