• Welcome to the new and improved Building Code Forum. We appreciate you being here and hope that you are getting the information that you need concerning all codes of the building trades. This is a free forum to the public due to the generosity of the Sawhorses, Corporate Supporters and Supporters who have upgraded their accounts. If you would like to have improved access to the forum please upgrade to Sawhorse by first logging in then clicking here: Upgrades

Dr. J Evaluation services?

tmurray

Registered User
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
2,134
Location
NB, Canada
I have not seen one.

The report is referring to char rates. We have accepted char rating on wood as an inherent rating. The structural design must take the material lost to char into account. We typically see the actual calculations related to char and the sourcing material (typically coming from the National research Council here).

So, possible? Yes. Based on what they have submitted? No. They still need to provide a lot of background documentation before I would accept it.
 

cda

Sawhorse 123
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
20,904
Location
Basement
Would be interesting to see another one of their reports

For this one did you catch::;


Subject to renewal April 1, 2014
 

e hilton

Bronze Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
1,772
Location
Virginia
This sure sounds official.

Teco certified rim board is qualified to the teco rim board product standard and must be composed of wood.
 

cda

Sawhorse 123
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
20,904
Location
Basement
UL is not the only player in town,,,,

So when you are presented with a different approval group, you need to decide if you will approve that group and,,,

Will approve what they say about the product or method,,,,

If not be able to articulate why you will not approve them or what they have submitted.
 

Mark K

Platinum Member
Joined
May 12, 2010
Messages
1,924
Acceptances of evaluation reports should be based on the content of the report and the validity of the recommendations not on who produced the report. ICC-ES reports have had problems although they have kept such problems quiet. So it is the quality of the report not the producer.

The full reports should be made available to the building department so that they can perform a meaningful review. Current practice by ICC-ES is to make available a summary but claim that the backup to the conclusions are proprietary. Remember they are working for and paid by the manufacturer of the product and as such are legally representing the product manufacturer not the building department.

My sense is that in many cases the manufacturers engineers know more than the engineers at ICC-ES which makes one wonder whether the ICC-ES Engineers can perform a meaning full review. Further ICC-ES does not perform independent tests but relies on the information provided by the manufacturer. So they see only what the manufacturer wants them to see.

Consider your reaction if the engineer of record for a building refused to provide calculations justifying the building, claiming that the information was proprietary.

If the building department does not have individuals qualified to review the report maybe they should hire consultants.

If you give an automatic approval for evaluation reports produced by a specific entity are you not effectively giving that entity the ability to modify the building code? I do not believe this is legally possible even if there was language in the building code attempting to justify such a practice.
 

e hilton

Bronze Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
1,772
Location
Virginia
Acceptances of evaluation reports should be based on the content of the report and the validity of the recommendations not on who produced the report.
Agreed. A test needs to be repeatable and get consistent results, and the testing procedures need to be based on generally acceptable scientific processes. Smoke & mirrors and information withheld doesnt cut it.
 

Paul Sweet

Sawhorse
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
1,725
Location
Richmond, VA
I have seen them for engineering judgements on NFPA 285 testing - whether products by different manufacturers would be likely to perform as well as the specific manufacturer tested. Some of them convinced our state code officials, some didn't. They were more likely to be accepted if only one product was by a different manufacturer and that product was part of an assembly that had passed a NFPA 285 test.

They should be treated like a recommendation by the design professional or a Fire Protection engineer. In any case, the final judgement is up to the building official.
 

jpranch

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
1,976
Location
Gillette Wyoming
One of the first questions or item(s) I look at in any evaluation report is exactly what the entity is accredited for. Just stating that they are ISO accredited is not enough. They may only be accredited for their management system plus nothing. Check to see that the reporting agency (no matter who they are) is accredited specifically for the building component or item contained in the report. If they are not, I will not approve it. On another note is was stated that ICC ES does not do any testing and relies on what the manufactures provide for information / justification / etc. This is incorrect. ES has for years used a code council rented facility called Innovation Research Laboratories. With the acquisition of NTA a couple / few years ago the code council opened a brand new, state of the art evaluation testing lab in Bryan Texas which is by no accident adjacent to Texas A&M University. In fact NTA has been providing product testing in their in house lab since 1976 and works / collaborates with ICC ES. The code councils most recent acquisition PEI also does product testing with their in-house labs and also collaborates / correlates with ES & NTA. Last but not least any claim that my engineers are smarter than yours (whoever) is like saying my dog is bigger than your dog. There’s plenty of talent out there folks that do great work for lots of companies.

https://www.icc-nta.org/ https://www.p-e-i.com/ https://icc-es.org/ https://www.skghoshassociates.com/
 

Mark K

Platinum Member
Joined
May 12, 2010
Messages
1,924
I am truly amazed to hear that ICC-ES has engineers who are knowledgeable about all the technical issues associated with the multiple products that ICC issues ISR’s for. This is especially true since the last time I checked, the number of engineers in ICC-ES appeared to be rather modest. But this great expertise did not prevent them from making a rather junior mistake in evaluating the appropriateness of the test configuration.

The idea behind accreditation of evaluation agencies is that if you formalize the process, you can prevent mistakes. And while these accreditations can be useful for the agency, they do not guaranty the technical validity of the reports produced. It is possible that you have followed all the procedural requirements but still have questionable results.

We should also look at the legal status of these accreditation agencies and the reports they produce. I would consider an ESR to be a technical report that when dealing with engineering issues should be signed and sealed by a professional engineer licensed in the state where the product is used. Since I do not see these professional engineers’ stamps, I suspect that there is a violation of the state licensing laws.

I understand the building code and the state laws assume that the building official, not an outside agency, will evaluate the product. My perspective is that jurisdictions do not perform these reviews but blindly defer to the opinion of ICC-ES. This effectively enables ICC-ES to modify the building code without review by the legislative body that adopted the building code. This is inconsistent with my understanding of how our laws must be adopted and modified.

Again, accreditation agencies can have no legal standing with respect to the building code, rather the focus should be on the engineering report stamped and sealed by a professional engineer.

I do not see anything in California statutes that gives bodies such as ICC-ES the authority to modify the building code. I would doubt that such permission does not exist in other states.

It should be noted that jurisdictions do not have access to the test data and calculations relied on by ICC-ES since they consider this information the manufacturers proprietary information. Remember ICC-ES is working for the manufacturer and not the building department. This makes it almost impossible for local jurisdictions to fulfill their legal obligation to review these products.

I have heard that ICC-ES will allow building departments to see this test data if they travel to the head office of ICC. And while the building department may theoretically be able to see the data the limitations placed on this access strongly discourages such access.

Think about these isues.
 

CodeWarrior

Registered User
Joined
May 18, 2016
Messages
83
Location
Hong Kong
ICC-ES reports often list their acceptance criteria as references for the technical data supplied. But if someone wants to review these acceptance criteria to gain a better understanding of what testing was conducted, an unfotunate barrier is created. These criteria are sold at upwards of $1000 each! And if you do purchase one, ICC prohibits you from sharing it with another entity. This seems to be an odd way of promoting use of these evaluation reports as it discoursges one from doing their research.

There are some ICC reports that are are not accredited. If you don't see an ANSI logo, ANSI has not accepted ICC for that work.
 
Top