SFS intec Structural Fasteners Meet Code Requirements

SFS intec Impax and Flex5 self-drilling structural fasteners have received an evaluation report (ESR-3870) from ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) , providing evidence that these carbon steel self-drilling structural fasteners meet code requirements. Specifically, the carbon steel Impax HWH, MAC, ZAC, cupped sealer, SD2 pancake clip and Flex5 products were included in the report.

Building officials, architects, contractors, specifiers, designers and others utilize ICC-ES Evaluation Reports to provide a basis for using or approving product in construction projects under the International Building Code and International Residential Code.

ICC-ES President Shahin Moinian explains why ICC-ES Evaluation Reports are so important. “SFS intec can now reference the evaluation report to ensure building officials and the building industry that the product meets I-Code requirements,” Moinian states. “Building departments have a long history of using evaluation reports, and ICC-ES operates as a technical resource with the highest quality of product review for the building department. Final approval of building products is always in the hands of the local regulatory agency.”

ICC-ES examined SFS intec’s product information, test reports, calculations, quality control methods and other factors to ensure the product is code-compliant. “We are very proud of the report,” says Andy Lee, product & key account manager, Roofing & Cladding. “It is a tool that will provide our customers confidence in obtaining code approvals.”

Tiny House Appendix Will Be Included In 2018 IRC

The International Code Council (ICC) reported that public comment RB168-16, the tiny house appendix, has passed the final round of voting, receiving the required 2/3 majority vote. As a result, a tiny house specific appendix will be part of the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC), allowing people to receive a Certificate of Occupancy (COO) for their tiny house when built to meet the provisions of the adopted code appendix. A lack of recognition of tiny houses in the IRC had been a hindrance to the creation of legal tiny houses in communities across the U.S.

The approval of RB168-16 is a culmination of the efforts of Andrew Morrison (www.TinyHouseBuild.com) and a team of architects, builders, designers, and educators. The team initially defended the proposed appendix at the ICC public comment hearings this fall at which time they received the first 2/3 majority vote necessary to place RB168-16 on the official ballot.

Tiny houses have gained popularity in the last few years as a result of historically high housing costs, flat lined wages, and a grassroots movement towards minimalism. A tiny house specific code helps not only those wanting to build tiny but also local building officials overwhelmed with applications for tiny house projects.

“RB168-16 brings much needed safety standards to tiny house construction,” says BA Norrgard, volunteer coordinator at Habitat for Humanity and founding member of the Tiny House Collaborative. “This is a breakthrough that holds potential for positive change in the housing sector, which is in crisis.”

The approval of RB168-16 is historic; however, each jurisdiction currently enforcing the IRC must now adopt the appendix for it to become law. That is the next step for the tiny house appendix and one that Morrison’s team intends to meet head on.

Morrison, a builder for over 20 years who leads tiny house workshops and has taught over 2,500 students to date says, “We have a group of enthusiastic people in the tiny house community and we will work together to continue the positive movement forward for the industry.”

McElroy Metal Roof Panels Receives Compliance Evaluation

McElroy Metal receives a Uniform Evaluation Service (UES) Evaluation Report declaring the company’s Mirage Panel, PBU Panel and U Panel have all been evaluated for use as metal roof panels in compliance with Section 1507.4 of the International Building Code and Section R905.10 of the International Residential Code.

The structural, weather resistance and fire performance properties of these metal roof panels are evaluated for compliance with the IBC and IRC, when installed to the manufacturer’s published installation guidelines.

“Our customers require that we have our products evaluated to make their submittal process go smoother,” says Tommy Johnson, director of engineering for McElroy Metal. “The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials Report (IAPMO) reports are trusted and depended upon by architects and building officials. They know when an IAPMO report has been issued on a product, that product has undergone the scrutiny of rigorous design and testing standards and is in compliance with the building code.”

The Evaluation Report is available on the McElroy Metal website at: http://www.mcelroymetal.com/news/uniform-evaluation-service-ues-report.html

Attic Ventilation in Accessory Structures

Construction Code Requirements for Proper Attic Ventilation Should Not Be Overlooked in Buildings That Don’t Contain Conditioned Space

The 2015 International Residential Code and International Building Code, published by the International Code Council, include requirements for attic ventilation to help manage temperature and moisture that could accumulate in attic spaces. Although the code requirements are understood to apply to habitable buildings, not everyone understands how the code addresses accessory structures, like workshops, storage buildings, detached garages and other buildings. What’s the answer? The code treats all attic spaces the same, whether the space below the attic is conditioned or not. (A conditioned space is a space that is heated and/or cooled.)

The 2015 International Residential Code and International Building Code include requirements for attic ventilation to help manage temperature and moisture that could accumulate in attic spaces. Although the code requirements are understood to apply to habitable buildings, not everyone understands the code also addresses accessory structures, like workshops, storage buildings, detached garages and other buildings.

The 2015 International Residential Code and International Building Code include requirements for attic ventilation to help manage temperature and moisture that could accumulate in attic spaces. Although the code requirements are understood to apply to habitable buildings, not everyone understands the code also addresses accessory structures, like workshops, storage buildings, detached garages and other buildings.


The administrative provisions of the IRC that set the scope for the code are found in Chapter 1. Section R101.2 and read:

    The provisions of the International Residential Code for One- and Two-family Dwellings shall apply to the construction, alteration, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, removal and demolition of detached one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses not more than three stories above grade plane in height with a separate means of egress and their accessory structures not more than three stories above grade plane in height.

Let’s clear up any confusion about the code. The ventilated attic requirements in the 2015 IRC include the following language in Section R806.1:

    Enclosed attics and enclosed rafter spaces formed where ceilings are applied directly to the underside of roof rafters shall have cross ventilation for each separate space by ventilating openings protected against the entrance of rain or snow.

An accessory structure is actually defined in the IRC:

    ACCESSORY STRUCTURE. A structure that is accessory to and incidental to that of the dwelling(s) and that is located on the same lot.

The IBC also includes attic ventilation requirements that are essentially the same as the IRC. Section 101.2 of the 2015 IBC contains this text:

    The provisions of this code shall apply to the construction, alteration, relocation, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of every building or structure or any appurtenances connected or attached to such buildings or structures.

This requirement for ventilated at-tics in accessory structures in the IBC and IRC is mandatory unless the attic is part of the conditioned space and is sealed within the building envelope. Unvented, or sealed, attics allow any ducts located in the attic to be inside the conditioned space, which can have beneficial effects on energy efficiency. For accessory structures, which are typically unheated, that provision does not apply.

It’s important to note the codes do contain detailed requirements for the design and construction of sealed at-tics to reduce the chance of moisture accumulation in the attic. These requirements have been in the codes for a relatively short time and remain the subject of continued debate at ICC as advocates of sealed attics work to improve the code language in response to concerns about performance issues from the field.

Traditional construction methods for wood-framed buildings include ventilated attics (with insulation at the ceiling level) as a means of isolating the roof assembly from the heated and cooled space inside the building. Attic ventilation makes sense for a variety of reasons. Allowing outside air into the attic helps equalize the temperature of the attic with outdoor space. This equalization has several benefits, including lower roof deck and roof covering temperatures, which can extend the life of the deck and roof covering. However, it is not just temperature that can be equalized by a properly ventilated attic. Relative humidity differences can also be addressed by vented attics. Moisture from activity in dwelling units including single-family residences and other commercial occupancies can lead to humidity entering the attic space by diffusion or airflow. It is important to ensure moisture is removed or it can remain in the attic and lead to premature deterioration and decay of the structure and corrosion of metal components, including fasteners and connectors.

In northern climate zones, a ventilated attic can isolate heat flow escaping from the conditioned space and reduce the chance of uneven snow melt, ice dams, and icicle formation on the roof and eaves. Ice damming can lead to all kinds of moisture problems for roof assemblies; it is bad enough that roof assemblies have to deal with moisture coming from inside the attic, but ice damming can allow water to find its way into roof covering assemblies by interrupting the normal water-shedding process. For buildings with conditioned space, the attic can isolate the roof assembly from the heat source but only if there is sufficient ceiling insulation, properly installed over the top of the wall assemblies to form a continuous envelope. Failure to ensure continuity in the thermal envelope is a recipe for disaster in parts of the country where snow can accumulate on the roof.

Accessory buildings, like workshops, that occasionally may be heated with space heaters or other sources are less likely to have insulation to block heat flow to the roof, which can result in ice damming. Ventilating the attic can prevent this phenomenon.

Accessory buildings, like workshops, that occasionally may be heated with space heaters or other sources are less likely to have insulation to block heat flow to the roof, which can result in ice damming. Ventilating the attic can prevent this phenomenon.


For unheated buildings in the north, ice damming is less likely to occur, unless the structure is occasionally heated. Accessory buildings, like workshops, that might be heated from time to time with space heaters or other sources are less likely to have insulation to block heat flow to the roof. In these situations, a little heat can go a long way toward melting snow on the roof.

While the ice damming and related performance problems are a real concern even for accessory structures, it is the removal of humidity via convective airflow in the attic space that is the benefit of ventilated attics in accessory structures. We know that moisture will find its way into buildings. Providing a way for it to escape is a necessity, especially for enclosed areas like attics.

There are many types of accessory structures, and some will include conditioned space. Depending on the use of the structure, moisture accumulation within the building will vary. For residential dwelling units, building scientists understand the normal moisture drive arising from occupancy. Cooking, laundering and showering all contribute moisture to the interior environment.

The IRC and IBC include requirements for the net-free vent area of intake (lower) and exhaust (upper) vents and also require the vents be installed in accordance with the vent manufacturer’s installation instructions. The amount of required vent area is reduced when a balanced system is installed; most ventilation product manufacturers recommend a balance between intake and exhaust. The IRC recommends that balanced systems include intake vents with between 50 to 60 percent of the total vent area to reduce the chance of negative pressure in the attic system, which can draw conditioned air and moisture from conditioned space within the building. This is less of an issue for non-habitable spaces from an energy-efficiency perspective, but moisture accumulation is a concern in all structures.

PHOTOS: Lomanco Vents

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