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RE: ICBO Approvals - was why can't we get al

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I do a lot of work in all formerly held BOCA and SBC territories as well as
UBC country.  With the new world order of IBC and barbarian hoards of NFPA
on the horizon, we need to prepare.  There are many good things that have
evolved from each of the model code organizations, and in each of their
various territories.  

When they see a problem, they address it.  In the land of the moving earth,
the ICBO ES reports focus on earthquake resistant components.  The City of
LA has its own research reports.  But in LA, if you submit your product
reports and pay a big fee, you can get your product in the "approved for LA"
book.  You can pay a lessor fee and get a one time approval in LA for a
particular product.  In the land of the stiff breeze there is the SBCCI
reports on various components.  There is also the Metropolitan Dade County
approvals.  New York City has its own approvals.  UL does some structural
testing, as does Factory Mutual and ASTM.  FM probably does one of the best
jobs of approval.  They don't just wade through papers, they supervise and
conduct a lot of the testing.  They have a vested interest.  If it fails,
they pay since they write the insurance.  If I design a roof in a high wind
area, I require FM approval.

ICBO (aka UBC) does no real testing for the ES reports.  Manufacturers
provide testing from "independent" testing labs to ICBO for evaluation.
ICBO attempts to provide uniform acceptance criteria for the various
manufacturers' products and develops a very valuable research report.  I
still have a lot of heart burn in how testing is conducted.  Results can be
skewed, but healthy safety factors let me sleep through the night.

The ICBO ES report is a valuable service especially in regard to structural
properties when there is no uniform testing and acceptance criteria.  UL
still pretty much has a lock on fire testing a particular product.  In the
land previously occupied by BOCA and SBC, the engineers would require
independent testing lab reports and either use their own safety factors or
use the ones "suggested" by the manufacturers.  

This is an interesting thread.  I have seen several roofs designed using
ICBO approvals that were out of date, and the manufacturers that submitted
for the original tests are no longer in business.  I have seen this for FM
products as well.  No matter who the manufacturer is, you have to verify the
tests relative to the testing lab and the manufacturer.  The ICBO ES
approvals help in this regard, but they are not fool proof.

Harold O. Sprague

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Roger Turk [SMTP:73527.1356(--nospam--at)]
> Sent:	Thursday, June 26, 2003 9:02 AM
> To:	seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject:	ICBO Approvals - was why can't we get al
> Gail,
> What do engineers east of the Mississippi do to evaluate proprietary 
> structural products and "alternate materials and methods?"
> A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
> Tucson, Arizona
> Gail Kelley wrote:
> . > Out of curiousity,  how many jurisdictions besides Calfornia require
> . > approvals and on what materials?
> . > I have not yet really figured out the worth of some of the ICBO ES 
> . > reports. For example, there are ICBO ES reports for monostrand 
> . > post-tensioning anchorages from three different manufacturers. Despite
> . > the fact the widgets are identical 5x2-1/4 cast iron plates, they all 
> . > specify different spacing requirements and required stressing
> strengths. 
> . > One lists a spacing requirement (distance to the slab edge) that is 
> . > guaranteed to fail the anchorage.  Another lists the wrong materials
> for 
> . > the wedges.
> . > Which leads me to question the value of the testing, as well as the 
> . > credibilty of the IBCO ES system.

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