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Re: ICC / ICBO Reports

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Actually ICC evaluation reports are items that meet the Alternative
Materials provisions in the IBC (and IRC or UBC) code.  Take look at
sections 104.11 and 104.11.1 in the 2000 IBC (or similar sections of the
UBC or IRC).  These sections lead to the "third party" evaluation that
a code official can then use to determine if the alternative material that
is not covered by the code meets the "intent" of the code.

Thus, ICC evaluation reports are not necessarily for "lay people", but for
any one that wants to use some material that is not in the code nor can be
realistically consider to be covered by some aspect of the code.

And it is important to realize that ICC-ES reports are NOT code reports.
That is that having an ICC-ES report does not by default mean that they
are "approved" for use.  It is strictly an evaluation report that then a
code official can use to determine if s/he will approve the use of that
product.  Now, from a practical point of view, if a product has an ICC-ES
report, then the majority of code officials will approve the use of that
product.  So, an ICC-ES evaluation report can be considered to some
degree to be a de facto "code approval" in most cases.

You do raise an interest situation thought with ICFs.  One could certainly
argue that an ICF is just a forming system (as you state) and that the
design of an ICF wall would just be done by using standard R/C provisions,
especially if it is an ICF system with a solid wall in the middle (as
opposed to the "grid" or "beam and post" style ICFs) of the ICF form.
Yet, the "system" still requires ICFs to have ICC-ES reports...even
considering that the IRC has ICF tables in them.  Go figure.

Regards,

Scott
Adrian, MI

On Fri, 22 Jun 2007, Charles R. Ashley Jr. wrote:

> I am looking for some clarification on ICC (formerly ICBO) reports.
>
>
>
> I will start by stating my understanding:  These reports are provided as
> evidence that an item whose manufacturer says is worth X is actually worth
> X.  This permits the EOR to use said item without providing calculations
> justifying its use.  In fact, they permit the layperson to use the
> accompanying tables and charts to use in the design of their own projects.
> Is this not their purpose?
>
>
>
> Therefore, ICC reports are NOT required in order to use a product or
> material on a project.  Just helpful.
>
>
>
> So why does it seem it is getting harder and harder to get bldg. depts. to
> look at new products without ICC approval even though they have engineering
> calculations to back it up?  And why should an ICC report limit my use of
> particular product in a manner that I have determined (using engineering
> principles and lots of common sense) is acceptable just because it doesn't
> meet the exact conditions listed in the report?
>
>
>
> Why am I forced to use a factor of safety of 4, when I would be comfortable
> with 3 in certain situations?  Who decides these factors of safety anyway?
> It seems ICC is choosing to do that through the reports: is that
> appropriate?  Why then aren't these factors of safety mandated in the codes?
>
>
>
> Here's where I think the system has failed: it's the "one size fits all"
> mentality.  As mentioned earlier, the ICC reports were intended (as I
> understand it) to permit the layperson to use an engineered product under
> very specific conditions and with significant limitations.  By dumbing it
> down to fit that denominator, and then applying those same restrictions to
> engineers, is flawed thinking.
>
>
>
> Here's a great example: Most insulated concrete forms (ICF) are approved
> only for residential use, and only up to 8ft or so.  So I recently had to
> argue passionately convince a plan checker that this did not preclude me
> from using it on a commercial project with much taller walls.  It's just a
> forming system!!
>
>
>
> Does giving that an ICC # really mean I can't engineer something without ICC
> blessing?  I know that is not the intent, but it sure seems that is where we
> are headed.  I mean, ICC already gave me a number (PE# 63103 in CA) so
> shouldn't that mean something?!
>
>
>
> Now, to switch hats, I obviously see the value in having a central
> organization to review products on our behalf.  I am not arguing the merits
> of the system.  I am just asking if it is being used appropriately.  And, we
> all have run across engineers who need someone else to think for them.
> Again, the system has its place.
>
>
>
> I am looking for other thoughts on the subject.
>
>
>
> Charles R. Ashley Jr., P.E.
>
> ICC-Approved Professional Engineer
>
>
>
>

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