Because of significant issues affecting our industry in the 2024 code cycle many of our members have answered the call to join myself at the ICC Public Comment Hearing to be held this week, September 14 – 18, in Louisville, KY. We will have a contingent of seven SMA members that will stand at the microphone to testify in support of the SMA position on nine issues. We encourage you to tune in to the ICC’s Webcast of the hearing: https://www.iccsafe.org/events/conference/webcast-ac22/.
This is a list of the issues the SMA will address:
IBC Structural – S102
IRC Residential Building – RB7, RB24, RB25, RB44, RB79, RB100, RB118, and RB173
If you can view the webcast* here are the major issues to tune into:
S102 will be heard with the IBC Structural Issues and is the first of our issues on the hearing agenda. This issue is extremely critical to our members that do cable rail installations as it will require a load to be applied to measure the spread of the infill opening limitation. The SMA position is to oppose the proposal and related public comments and recommend further study of the issue to promote consensus upon a proposed code change in the 2027 cycle of the code.
RB44 is a SMA proposal that excludes guards and handrails from the default deflection category of all other structural members. This is important because our testing at MSU has proven the requirement to be over-restrictive. If enforced it would be extreme and potentially eliminate many guard and handrail systems that comply with the load requirements of the code. The all other default value is related to joist deflection and cracking ceiling finishes. It has no basis for guards and handrails.
RB118 simply adds a sentence to the opening limitation code requiring measurements to be determined with no force applied to the sphere.
RB173 is perhaps the most significant issue as it affects every guard installation by providing a prescriptive code for the hardening of the floor system to support the loads applied to the top of the guard. This will assure us that we have a solid floor structure to attach our guard systems whether top or side mounted. Reinforcing I-joists and trusses that have not been engineered will no longer be necessary.
*Note: The hearings are scheduled from 8am to 7pm unless extended. Issues are generally heard in order by number but can be moved back (heard later) in the agenda. The issue being heard and the next issue to be heard is posted on the screen. S102 will likely occur Thursday PM or Friday AM. The IRC (RB issues) will begin no sooner than 8am Friday.