A new model code for constructing and remodeling buildings is expected to make buildings more efficient, reduce waste and have a positive impact on health, safety and community welfare. The 2012 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) will increase the energy efficiency of structures, while providing direction and oversight of green design and construction, according to the International Code Council.
The code acts as an overlay to the existing set of International Codes, including provisions of the International Energy Conservation Code and ICC-700, the National Green Building Standard, and incorporates ASHRAE Standard 189.1 as an alternate path to compliance. The IgCC provides model code language that establishes a baseline for new and existing buildings related to energy conservation, water efficiency, site impacts, building waste, material resource efficiency and other sustainability measures.
Building Codes Are Changing – New Anchor Designs Now Required
Most states across the country have now adopted the 2009 International Building Code (IBC) and many jurisdictions within each state are now enforcing the new code. As a result, engineers and designers are increasingly being required to specify anchors designed and tested to meet the new requirements of the code. The 2009 IBC requires that Strength Design methodology be used when designing structural anchorages within buildings and other structures. This affects how and when post-installed concrete anchors are specified and what products will be suitable for use.
Simpson Strong-Tie was recently issued ICC-ES ESR-2705 for the Torq-Cut™ self-undercutting anchor for cracked and uncracked concrete. The anchor (photo above) was evaluated under ICC-ES AC193 (Acceptance Criteria for Mechanical Anchors in Concrete Elements) and ACI 355.2. The code report verifies compliance with the 2012, 2009, 2006 and 2003 International Building Code and International Residential Code.
The self-undercutting anchor is a heavy-duty, high-capacity anchor designed and tested for use in cracked and uncracked normal-weight and sand-lightweight concrete under static, wind and seismic loading conditions. The anchor's specially designed low-friction expansion cone minimizes binding and speeds installation.
For more information, visit www.strongtie.com/anchorsystems.
101 Housing Markets on Improving List in April
The list of housing markets showing measurable improvement expanded slightly to include 101 metropolitan areas in April, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI).
Thirty-five states (including the District of Columbia) now are represented by at least one market on the list. The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months.
The 101 markets on the April IMI represent a net gain of two from March, with 13 metros being added and 11 markets slipping from the list, while 88 markets retained their places on it. Among the new entrants, areas as diverse as Rome, Ga.; Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; Greenville, N.C.; Brownsville, Texas; St. George, Utah; and Huntington, W.Va., now are represented on the IMI.
The index measures three sets of independent monthly data to get a mark on the top improving Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The three indicators that are analyzed are employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, house price appreciation from Freddie Mac and single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau.
A complete list of all 101 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in April, are available at: www.nahb.org/imi.
Hurricane-Resistant Roof Design Competition Closed May 1
The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) and the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) challenged college seniors to design an affordable, sustainable, aesthetically pleasing, hurricane-resistant roof system. The winning design will be built at full scale and then tested against hurricane-strength winds and wind-driven rain at IBHS' unique, state-of-the-art Research Center in South Carolina. Participants were required to demonstrate a keen understanding of the following principles:
- Fundamentals involved in building, attaching and executing a roof to the structure below.
- Application of roofing techniques in a hurricane-prone environment – as laid out by the IBHS FORTIFIED construction standard, now in increasingly wide use along the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts.
- How materials, techniques and application of technology relate to roofing, from both sustainability and building safety perspectives.
- Affordable, effective use of new materials, forms and techniques as they relate to roofing.
Competing design teams were encouraged to employ sustainable design principles, while increasing awareness of the impact of damage, destruction and natural disasters on the built environment and on ecological awareness.
EPA Fines Violators of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced three enforcement actions for violations of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) and other lead rules. The RRP rule requires the use of lead-safe work practices to ensure that common renovation activities are conducted properly by trained and certified contractors or individuals. EPA finalized the RRP rule in 2008. It took effect on April 22, 2010.
On March 21, 2012, Colin Wentworth, a rental property owner who was responsible for building operation and maintenance, agreed to pay $10,000 to resolve violations of the RRP rule. The complaint alleged workers improperly used power equipment to remove paint from the exterior surface of an 1850s apartment building he owns, that the workers had not received training and that he had failed to apply for firm certification with the EPA.
On March 20, 2012, Valiant Home Remodelers, a New Jersey window and siding company, agreed to pay $1,500 to resolve violations from failing to follow the RRP rule during a window and siding replacement project at a home in Edison, N.J.
On February 21, 2012, Johnson Sash and Door, a home repair company located in Omaha, Neb., agreed to pay a $5,558 penalty for failing to provide the owners or occupants of housing built prior to 1978 with an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet or to obtain a written acknowledgement prior to commencement of renovation activities at five homes.
Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said, "By taking action to enforce lead rules, we are protecting people's health and ensuring that businesses that follow the rules have a level playing field."
More on the settlement: www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/tsca/tscaenfstatreq.html.
Award-Winning Philips LED Bulb is Dimmable and Energy Efficient
The Philips LED bulb is one answer to our energy future that's here today. Awarded the U.S. Department of Energy's L Prize as the most energy-efficient 60-watt incandescent replacement bulb, it delivers omnidirectional light on only 10 watts of power. It's also fully dimmable and emits virtually no UV/IR light in the beam.
The Philips LED bulb lasts 30 times longer than a standard 60-watt incandescent bulb, and provides instant-on light with no hum. The remote phosphor (yellow) disappears when energized to provide soft, even, white light and the bulb contains no mercury. Look for Philips LED bulbs at your local hardware store or home center, and learn more at www.usa.philips.com.
Source: Green Home Improvements – Special Edition Money Pit e-Newsletter