Door Testing in Florida: Setting the Record Straight

May 19th, 2015 by Editor

Industry associations are doing their part to let the industry know what is and is not part of the Florida Building Code (FBC) 5th Edition (2014) that takes effect June 30, 2015. Specifically, what is not part of the new requirement is that all doors must be tested according to NAFS (AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/IS2/A440).

Dwight Wilkes, AAMA southeast region code consultant, says rumors still persist among some side-hinged door manufacturers and jobbers that this is the case.VXID1R1JII

“This is a misconception that needs to be clarified once and for all,” says Wilkes.

He says one point of confusion in the context of the FBC 2014 edition was that in Section 17, Special Inspections and Tests, Subsection 1710, Preconstruction Load Tests, Paragraph 1710.5 covering Exterior Windows and Doors, the word “glass” was stricken from the text explaining testing requirements for doors, making it more in line with NAFS.

“Many side-hinged door manufacturers and jobbers immediately took this to mean that they would now be forced to test and label all their opaque wood or fiberglass products to NAFS – an artifact of the ongoing conundrum on how in-field substitution of door components to meet job-specific requirements can be accomplished and still end up with a door with appropriately certified performance,” says Wilkes.

He adds that the key to resolving this particular misunderstanding is to take a second look at the introductory sentences of Section 1710.5.

“It clearly gives the option of determining design pressure performance per section 1710.5.1, which references NAFS testing and labeling, or per section 1710.5.2 (found two pages later), which prescribes testing per ASTM E330 (or TAS202 for High Velocity Hurricane Zones) as has been the practice for some time.”

The World Millwork Alliance (WMA) is also working hard to inform its members that this is not the case. Jessica Ferris, WMA director of codes and standards, sent a communication to all members on March 16 to clear up that “The changes to the FBC were in relation to structural performance requirements. Specifically, language was changed in Section 1710.5.1 that made it unclear whether SHEDs were still allowed the option of testing to ASTM E330, Standard Test Method for Structural Performance of Exterior Windows, Doors, Skylights and Curtain Walls by Uniform Static Air Pressure Difference.  However, in the 5th edition of the FBC-Residential, Section R612, language that expressly allows SHEDs the option of testing to ASTM E330 was maintained,” she says.

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