There have recently been a number of listing agencies, laboratories, and industry associations issuing technical reports on products alluding to compliance with the International Codes and/or ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria. There is no question that they are doing the best they can in producing these product reports. ICC-ES specializes in this work and with its legacy predecessors has been doing so with model codes for over 70 years. The years have been marked with process changes and improved technical expertise to respond to the needs of the regulatory agencies in the interest of public safety. The following are reasons why ICC-ES evaluation reports best serve the needs of you and your staff.
The code official is charged with approving products and has options available. ICC-ES provides the best option in discharging his or her duty in maintaining public safety in the built environment and providing the necessary support in meeting technical and legal challenges. Others will make similar claims when presenting reports on building products. For the reasons expressed previously, ICC-ES should be your choice. Being responsive to product manufacturer needs for timely recognition under the International Codes is also very important, but should not be done at the expense of independent, competent, and thorough technical review.
- ICC-ES policies are set by a Board of Directors composed of code officials and others representing entities enforcing building regulations.
- ICC-ES has an in-house technical staff of 30, the majority of whom are licensed as structural, civil, fire-protection, or mechanical engineers and architects. All are dedicated to product evaluation under the International Codes, with key staff members having over 20 years of experience in this work. No other organization has a staff of this magnitude and depth dedicated to this cause. Some organizations utilize outside consultants to do this work with limited internal expertise for oversight.
- ICC-ES has a public and open process in developing acceptance criteria to address innovative products under the International Codes. Because of its recognition and history in this effort, technical experts globally provide the most recent knowledge and their expertise in the development of these documents. Coupled with the ICC I-Code resources available to ICC-ES, who better than its technical staff can evaluate products to the International Codes? Others have issued reports and listings to these acceptance criteria that may not be totally applicable to the products addressed.
- The ICC-ES technical process is overseen by an evaluation committee composed of code officials or technical members of their staff. Their charge is to see that acceptance criteria and published product reports satisfy the needs of those enforcing building regulations.
- Virtually all domestic agencies issuing listings or technical reports on building products, including ICC-ES, are accredited by recognized accreditation agencies under ISO Guide 65, the international document addressing product certification agencies. The document sets forth the requirements and broad operating procedures for this type of work. It is weak in measuring the quality of the process and work product – the technical report itself.
President, ICC Evaluation Service