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Approved testing Labs

Discussion in 'Commercial Building Codes' started by mtopping, May 2, 2019.

  1. mtopping

    mtopping Member

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    Looking to see if anyone has seen or heard of PEI as far as a testing lab? We received a document showing the testing of a core board shaft liner detail approved by them. Curious is anyone has accepted reports from them.
     
  2. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    I will suggest that it is a rare building official that has the ability to evaluate the capability of a testing laboratory.

    A testing report showing compliance is an engineering report and thus must be prepared under the supervision of and stamped and sealed by a registered professional engineer. Contrary to what the IBC may say the building code or the building official does not have the authority to regulate the practice of engineering and thus the building official does not have the authority to limit the ability of a professional engineer to prepare a testing report.

    The building official can reject a testing report only if there is some evidence of a flaw in the report or noncompliance with the regulations.
     
  3. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    Love your responses MK, you are quite a database.
     
  4. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    The State of Florida recognizes any lab listed under the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) that is vetted by OSHA. This is the link that we use for electrical equipment. I am not sure if there is another list specific to building products not covered under the NRTL.

    https://www.osha.gov/dts/otpca/nrtl/nrtllist.html
     
  5. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

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    Be sure to verify if the NRTL is approved for the standard that applies to your situation. The “more” button takes you there.

    PEI is not on the OSHA approved list.
     
    #6 ICE, May 2, 2019
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
  6. mtopping

    mtopping Member

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  7. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Did not read the whole thing


    But did they do required tests?

    Also, appears icc recognized them

    Are they accredited by someone
     
  8. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    Unless their is regulatory criteria defining the qualifications of the testing laboratory there is no regulatory basis for evaluating them. Without a regulatory basis, certifications by NRTL or ICC have no standing.

    "...what makes them legit?" or what is the basis for not accepting the report?
     
  9. jpranch

    jpranch Platinum Member

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    For what its worth I also look to see what they are accredited for and who the accreditation body is. That's just a part of what to look for of course.
     
  10. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    Jpranch

    We are dealing with a fundamental question. What would give you the right to reject the report.

    Accreditation may make you feel more comfortable but unless required by relevant laws I suggest that from a regulatory perspective this is not relevant.
     
  11. jpranch

    jpranch Platinum Member

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    I think its very relevant. New technologies / meeting the intent of the code / Alternative Methods and Materials / Modifications / Submittal Documents. I have disapproved reports for just that reason alone. Just because it has an engineers or architects seal on it does not give anybody a free pass. Chapter 1 of the IBC and other codes give that authority. But... you have to be very, very careful of course. I was just adding this as one piece of the puzzle to make a determination.
     
  12. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    It was not stated in the original question that this is an alternate method or material. Alternate methods and material are a discretionary approval but they were also intended to apply to unusual one off conditions. If you make use of 104.11 for products that are regularly used in construction have you not in effect modified the code?

    If the building official can unilaterally modify the building code I suggest that we have problems with due process. In such a case the building official has exceeded his authority.

    When there is a conflict between provisions in the building code which is adopted by an agency or a city, and statutes that are adopted directly by the legislature then the provisions of the building code are not enforceable. There are constraints on the home rule that any city can claim. The provisions of the adopted building code cannot take precedence over actions of the legislature.

    My understanding is that only the entity adopting the building code can modify it. I will agree that the existing system takes too long to incorporate new methods and materials but we have to live with the system or we need to change the system legally. Supposedly we are a country of laws which means that we need to comply with the laws. If it hurts enough find a way to legally change the system.

    I believe that I have heard of one state that has a state level process for approving new products prior to the adoption of the new version of the code.

    I said nothing about giving an engineer or an architect a free pass but you can only object if they have violated the laws.
     
  13. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    Without limits all we have are autocrats and dictators.
     
  14. jpranch

    jpranch Platinum Member

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    Mark K, for the purposes of this discussion the City is the adopting authority and along with my supervisor we wrote the adoption language that was approved by the Mayor and City Council. The state here adopts a very limited amount of codes. For example they only adopt Chapters 1 through 10 of the IBC. So we as home rule cannot lessen the code but the rest of the chapters we can do what we want. The state dose not adopt any of the IRC and again it's fair game for the for the individual jurisdictions. We do our very best to make it as consistent across the state as possible. Hope this helps.
     
  15. tmurray

    tmurray Sawhorse

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    The question ultimately becomes should a diligent person, who has not heard of a testing institute before, investigate to determine if the testing institute is qualified to perform the evaluation. The secondary question, posed by Mark K, is if the building inspector has the authority to review the report issued by the engineer.

    Here, the courts have been relatively clear that where a building officials encounters unfamiliar entities, it would be expected that they evaluate the capabilities and accreditations of those entities. This makes logical sense, as we can only be expected to rely on test reports from credible sources. On the question of reviewing an engineer's report, we already know we can do this. We do this everyday when reviewing plans and specifications that are stamped by engineers. In speaking with our local engineering society on the issue of questioning an engineer on their design, they indicated that we should always do this. If the engineer is unable to defend their report, it is not firmly rooted in acceptable engineering practice.

    So to answer the question "what gives the building official the right to reject a report"
    1. if the testing has been completed by an unaccredited testing laboratory
    2. if the testing is outside of the testing laboratory's accreditation
    3. if the report makes assumptions that do not align with the testing requirements

    I have seen all of these. I have rejected their reports.
     
    jpranch likes this.
  16. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

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    NRTLs are for profit companies. The NRTL and a manufacturer have the same goal which is to get a product approved for use. NRTLs and manufacturers are joined at the hip. The job of a building inspector is to question damned near everything. I have found flaws with products, Listings and Standards. Be careful with field evaluations as well.
     
    #17 ICE, May 7, 2019
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
    jpranch likes this.

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