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RE: CODES: Evaluation Reports

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I would be interested in hearing from engineers in states other than
California as to whether building officials typically require Evaluation
Reports on products? 

A co-worker in California recently told me that the Building Official
would not accept an alternate metal deck supplier because an Evaluation
Report was not available for that product, to compare diaphragm shear
values with. 

Outside of California, I have not found as much attention paid to
Evaluation Reports, although I do find them useful for general design
information and to compare products on an "apples to apples" basis.  But
outside of CA, it is generally up to me to determine if an alternate
product is an "equal" - not up to the Building Official. 

William C. Sherman, PE
(Bill Sherman)
CDM, Denver, CO
Phone: 303-298-1311
Fax: 303-293-8236
email: shermanwc(--nospam--at)


	From: bcainse(--nospam--at) [mailto:bcainse(--nospam--at)] 
	Sent: Monday, May 02, 2005 3:35 PM
	To: seaint(--nospam--at)
	Subject: Re: CODES: Evaluation Reports
	ERs are a way that a manufacturer can gain an approval that
there product meets the provisions of the Building Code in the view of
ICC.  A Building Official can, theoretically, refuse to accept an ER but
seldom will.  If a product doesn't have an ER, then it is up to the
design professional if s/he specifies it or the manufacturer for a
substitution (upon approval by the design professional) to demonstrate
to the satisfaction of the Building Official that the product meets the
intent of the code. If the design professional objects, it is my
experience that the Building Official will usually back the design
professional (unless, of course, the manufacturer is a large taxpayer in
the jurisdiction [LOL]).
	Bill Cain, S.E.
	Berkeley CA 

	-----Original Message-----
	From: Polhemus, Bill Bill.Polhemus(--nospam--at)
	To: seaint(--nospam--at)
	Sent: Mon, 02 May 2005 16:06:06 -0500
	Subject: CODES: Evaluation Reports

	Very elementary question: 
	When are Evaluation Reports required to exist for a product or
system before that product or system can be specified for a project
governed by the Building Code? That is, are ERs required for any such
usage regardless of the circumstances, or are they simply for the
convenience of the Building Official (or, looked at another way, for the
manufacturer) so that he doesn't have to spend a lot of time reviewing
products for compliance?
	If an ER doesn't exist, but as often happens the manufacturer
has supplied plenty of data such that one can feel comfortable in
specifying it for an application where the loads are known, etc., what
are you allowed to do? May you specify it and hope the BO just waves a
hand at it?
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