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RE: builders win big in first code hearing round

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Given that we’re talking about the prescriptive provisions of the IRC here, it is very important to define where certain conditions apply.  The IRC has very specific limits as to where the prescriptive provisions apply based on wind speeds, seismic categories, and number of stories in the dwelling, among other things.  There is a mandated table of design criteria in the code that a local jurisdiction is required to provide.  In addition to basic wind speeds, snow loads, and other quantifiable items, the table also provides for noting the presence of other location-specific hazards such as termite damage.


The IRC prescriptive provisions only apply where the basic wind speed is 100mph or less in hurricane-prone regions and 110mph elsewhere.  Adding the wind speed-up effect can easily bump a 90mph wind up past those limits and throw you into the WFCM, SSTD-10 or an engineered design.  Therefore, it’s appropriate that a clear prescriptive and a clear jurisdiction-specific limit be put on the topographic effects as well. 




Gary J. Ehrlich, PE

Program Manager, Structural Codes & Standards

National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

1201 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

ph: 202-266-8545  or 800-368-5242 x8545

fax: 202-266-8369