Egress Emergency Escape Requirements for Windows

The International building code 2015/2018, Florida Building Code 2017,2020, and corresponding Residential Codes list the following in regards to egress as an emergency escape in regards to windows & doors leading out of a dwelling.  Please note that these may be paraphrased and are for general purposes only.  Consult the actual code for specific requirements. …

About AAMA 2100 and Sunroom Categories

Sunrooms across the US are categorized into 5 categories.  AAMA published these in their AAMA/NPEA/NSA 2100-12 publication which made its way into the Florida & International Building Codes.  FBC (17, 20) lists this in Chapter 20 section 2002.6 directly siting the AAMA/NPEA/NSA 2100 spec. IBC References AAMA 2100 in  IRC Chapter 44 Please refer to…

ASCE Risk Categories Explained

Background Building codes require that buildings be classified by their level of importance in determining the risk taken with safety factors against their failure under critical design loads. Calculations for the structure’s overall stability, flexure, and fatigue are all based on the assumption of a given risk category design level.  ASCE 7 references risk category…

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 similar) for building components are the general rule in the International Building Code.  Building officials, architects, insurance companies, third party reviewers, even homeowners ask for them all the time, frequently refusing permits, insurance discounts, and product installations.…

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, equipment, fixtures using new materials that serve the same purpose. Alteration –Level 1 does not include reconfiguration of space. Commentary:  Typically the component (delegate) engineer (such as Engineering Express® who are Building Component Design Engineers) serves as…

Is a large missile impact window or door automatically approved for small missile impact? (updated for 2020)

Overview (Update): Changes to the 2020 Florida Building Code for Porous Impact Protection Devices Porous Impact Protective Systems: ASTM E1996-12A brought a significant change to Porous Impact Protective Systems (PIPS). A Porous Impact Protective System is defined as “An assembly whose aggregate open area exceeds 10% of its projected surface area”. Prior to ASTM E1996-12A,…

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 ask for them all the time, frequently refusing permits, insurance discounts, and product installations. So what is the legal ruling on when and if product approvals are required for this product? The Florida Building Code requires only…

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 parts evaluated by an approved product evaluation entity, certification agency, testing laboratory, architect, or engineer and approved by the holder of the product approval may be interchangeable in opening protection assemblies provided that the opening protection component(s)…

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 not limited to hospitals, other health care facilities having emergency treatment facilities, jails and detention facilities, fire, rescue and police stations, and emergency vehicle garages, designated emergency shelters, communications centers and other facilities required for emergency response,…

What wind speed should I use for my project?

The answer to that question varies with location and type of building, but feel free to download the attachment listed below which is an exhaustive list of the wind speeds used in the general Florida locale and another general map for the country. Please be sure to verify with your local Building Department as these…

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 out. Among the notable changes in ASCE 7-10, the wind speed map and the importance factor for wind loads have been replaced with three wind load maps based on difference and newly defined return periods and for…