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?
Both. Convenience of building officials + way for big manufacturers to
stretch the building code for their benefit. Anything passes.
Disclaimers near the end of the reports makes them almost useless.
These are not part of the building codes unless adopted by ordinance.
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?
"Alternative Materials, Alternate Design,...." section of the code
allows BO to approve alternative products (in theory!)
Suresh Acharya, S.E.
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