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Green building, BIM and codes discussed during AAMA summer meeting

Post Time:Jun 08,2010Classify:Industry NewsView:120

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association Summer Conference 2010 kicked off June 6 in Oak Brook, Ill. About 200 industry representatives pre-registered for the event that runs through June 9. Greenbuilding, building information modeling and code changes were all topics of discussion during the first two days of the meeting. During the Green and Sustainability Committee meeting, June 7, members voted to make a recommendation to the AAMA board to disband the committee. The committee’s “goals have been subsumed by other task groups,” said Steve Fronek, vice president, Wausau Window and Wall Systems, Wausau, Wis., and committee co-chair. “There are eight green task groups in AAMA. … When the committee was created in 2007, only vinyl had a task group.” Eliminating the committee will reduce redundancies, while continuing to move forward in AAMA’s green activities, he said. The Green and Sustainability Specification Task Group meets June 8. The BIM task group continued discussions about developing industry standards for BIM. The standards would, in part, provide consistency across models for different product types, and for different manufacturers. This could provide a benefit to architects and contractors when comparing products. For manufacturers, the standards would provide information about how to build the models, or how to specify outside sources build the models. In creating the standards, the task group is addressing several factors, including: terminology, graphic drawing standards and data exchange information. “I believe it will be a highly used standard, once it’s created,” said Mike Turner, vice president of marketing, YKK-AP America , Austell, Ga., and task group chair. During the Architectural and Residential Codes Working Group, Julie Ruth, consultant for AAMA, provided a brief update on activities at the International Code Council. The ICC held the final action hearings for Group A in May (ICC split code change proposals into two groups: Group A, including changes to the International Building Code and International Residential Code; and Group B, including changes to the International Energy Conservation Code, IRC-Energy, and update to existing referenced standards of I-codes). “Overall, Dallas was pretty good,” Ruth said about the industry-related code activities during the hearings. On the skylight side, proposals to require guards on skylights that could resist an 800-foot-pound load were disapproved. Additional proposals about how skylights were tested and were also disapproved. Proposals regarding sunrooms, smoke vents and tubular daylighting devices, were disapproved. One disappointment included a minimum sill height discussion that will mostly affect high-rise apartments. At the 2009 meetings in Baltimore, the minimum sill height requirement of 36 inches—up from 24 inches—was passed. That decision was upheld in Dallas; however, the IRC still has a 24-inch minimum sill height. “That was our biggest disappointment, that we weren’t able to get that back down to 24 inches,” Ruth said. Final action hearings for Group B will take place at the end of October in Charlotte, N.C., with several proposals that could affect the industry. A couple of the proposals involve changes to the climate zones and their requirements, including one that would lower the U-factor requirements in zones 2 and 3. Another proposal would bring back an option to create a trade-off between mechanical equipment and the building envelope. The largest proposal to affect the industry is the lowered window to wall ratio—from 40 percent to 30 percent (the same reduction likely to appear in the new ASHRAE 90.1). Visit GlassMagazine.com for more coverage from the meeting.

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