North American Deck and Railing Association
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Vision: Safe decks with well-thought-out engineering and a common sense practical approach to code requirements.
Code Mission Statement: To advance and protect industry interests in the code development arena and to promote member involvement; to promote governmental and agency reliance on NADRA as a voice for the industry; to create and maintain relationships with key government agencies and code officials; to be a forum for the discussion, study, and investigation of proposed and existing model code development, federal and state legislation and programs, and to report such findings to the Board of Directors and the Membership.This section of NADRA's website is dedicated to building code requirements and best building practices related to outdoor living structures.
Here you will find references to help you interpret code topics, links to jurisdiction websites for licensing and code requirements, and much more.
NADRA is always looking to add to the information provided in this section of the website, so please feel free to suggest a link by clicking here.
Please note that these documents are still “under construction”, and further revisions and improvements to wording should be included. However, the DCC has offered to share this preliminary information with NADRA members in an effort to build broader agreement and unity in how we are working to improve the code we all work under.
If you have specific questions, comments or concerns let us know by filling out a form found HERE
October 2013 Update
September 2013 Update
August 2013 Update
July 2013 Update
July 2013 Update
June 2013 Update
MAY 2013 Update
April 11, 2013 Update
Here is the link to read the all proposed changes from the ICC Building Committee
CODE SURVEY - Give Your FEEDBACK
MARCH 2013 Update
NADRA is looking for your input, please click here to contact us.
Update NADRA Codes and Standards Committee:
You decide, NADRA. What are your opinions about this?
NADRA is looking for your input, please click here to contact us.
Letter from NADRA Codes and Standards Committee Chair:
Dear Members and Industry:
The week of October 24th, I attended the International Code Council (ICC) Conference on NADRA's behalf.
Special thanks to board member Mick Feduniec (Deckscapes, Inc.) and his family for putting me up (and putting up with me) at their beautiful home in Charlotte for the duration of my stay.
While at the Conference, I participated in a meeting of the ICC Evaluation Service Advisory Committee (ESAC). ESAC is charged with improving service to manufacturers seeking Evaluation Service Reports (ESR). Please see http://www.icc-es.org/Help/esac.shtml for a more in-depth discussion of the purpose of ESAC.
The committee is open to participation from members of industry and manufacturers. What struck me as most important was an earnest effort on the part of all participants to move toward resolution and improvement. I was able to meet several vice presidents of ICC-ES as well as manufacturer and industry representatives.
A highlight of the meeting is the effort to create an appeal system for addressing ICC-ES committee decisions that the applicant seeking an ESR disagrees with. We contributed to this discussion by providing a description of the appeal system that is used today in the courts. While ICC-ES currently has an internal procedure for working through complaints, they are moving toward the possibility of a separate, formal, appeal process for ESR applicants. For example, in the case where an applicant is denied an ESR, and feels that the Acceptance Criteria (AC) was improperly applied to the data supplied, they could appeal the committee decision. If the Applicant’s arguments are found to have merit, then the appeal panel will refer it back to the ES committee to re-apply the data to the AC as directed by the appeal panel.
The work of the ESAC has resulted in some beneficial changes for ESR applicants. One of these is working toward the goals of more efficient hearings, and of speeding up the process for gaining an ESR, the following is now in place: the period of time prior to an ES hearing has been lengthened to provide staff with more time to prepare; ES is encouraging independent groups to work together before a hearing, ES is working with the applicant prior to the hearing to vet out questions. They’ve also designated staff with specific knowledge to work with applicants.
Next, I attended the Feedback Session on Code Development, a session put on by the ICC Code Development Review Ad Hoc Committee (CDRAC), designed to hear ideas regarding greater participation and strengthening rules related to code hearings. The CDRAC was appointed in 2010 to review all aspects of the code development process. Some of the material considered by this committee comes from comments solicited from ICC membership on improvement to the system.
NADRA previously submitted a comment relating to quorum requirements for voting at hearings. Upon review, CDRAC recommended that the ICC should focus on increasing participation at the hearing, rather than establishing a formal quorum requirement. A suggested goal, but not an exact requirement, is that there be at least 100 people present at a vote.
CDRAC is examining every aspect of the code development process including the length of cycle, length of hearing, ethics and sponsorships, single issue voting, the possibility of remote electronic voting, balanced committees, and more. They will have their work cut out for them in the years ahead.
We were approved for a table at the annual Crackerbarrel Luncheon; which is a box lunch affair where participants choose tables hosting topics of interest. There are three timed sessions during this luncheon. Mick Feduniec and I hosted a table directed to deck construction. (Beware any NADRA member I visit - you will likely get volunteered for something!). Interest in decks was high. A quick glance around the room showed our table to be possibly the most well attended table out of more than 40. During each of the three 20 minute sessions, there were not enough seats for our visitors. We were able to communicate with many building officials to talk about NADRA’s purpose, and the benefit of using professional NADRA builders, as well as, review major changes in deck code from the 2006 to 2009 IRC. Special thanks to Mark Guthrie of Fastenmaster who did a great job providing a technical perspective to these changes. We also had the ICC/NADRA co-branded book by Glenn Mathewson, “Deck Construction based on the 2009 International Residential Code” on hand for review, and used the inspection checklist at the back of the book as a handout.
NADRA is making headway into several areas that affect the building code and regulations that affect all of our members; from the professional deck builders who work with building code everyday in the field, up through the supplier chain to the manufacturers, and even consumers. Membership in NADRA helps us continue to work to better the industry as a whole and we appreciate each and every one of you for the sacrifice you make in this difficult economy.
Diana Hanson - Chairman - NADRA Codes & Standards Committee. 208.870.4702
Letter from NADRA Codes and Standards Committee:
Dear Members and Industry:
Having now had some time to regroup after the IRC and IBC code hearings held in Dallas, Texas in May, I am going to share with you some thoughts on code development
that affect each of us,
whether we are builders, suppliers, or manufacturers.
One of the core reasons for the formation of NADRA in 2005 was to provide a voice for our industry. Since that time we have worked diligently to learn the ropes of
the code development process, to participate in the making and changing of code for the benefit of our industry, and to form industry wide relationships and make
alliances where possible.
While the term ”code development” has the power to make anyone start thinking about taking a nap, it is crucial that the deck and railing industry not nod-off.
Instead, we must be thinking and planning for the future of our industry as relates to code.
Until 2003, the decks were given only cursory attention in the code. Largely due to the fact that decks are exterior structures and often separate from the house,
they were not considered to be within the purview of the code. That perspective has now changed, and there have been many changes that affect decks entered into
building code. Coverage of decks in building code is far from complete; however, there are already sections of code that are difficult to interpret and enforce on
the job site.
The code process is as political as any existing governmental process. Every few years a new version of building code is issued. Building code is developed in cycles
that provide a platform for anyone to submit changes to the code. In attendance at hearings are building officials, members of industry, engineers, university
professors, government officials, members of coalitions, and occasionally consumers. That’s a lot of people with a lot of different concerns and agendas—all pushing
for changes to the code.
NADRA was there a couple of years ago when the assembly voted in the sorely needed guard code. NADRA was a voting member of the Climbable Guards Study Group of the
CTC (ICC Code Technology Committee) during its development. In the last code cycle, NADRA successfully spearheaded an effort to keep a problematic provision from
becoming part of the IRC by bringing together several key players in the code arena to testify against it. We have also supported sister organizations within our
industry with testimony at code hearings.
Most recently NADRA tried to remove a section of code that should never have made it into the IRC in the first place. (I am refering to IRC Section 502.2.2.3 and
its related Figure, which insinuates that a seismic device should be used in all ledger attachments.) However, it is much easier to write code with a pen than with
an eraser, and we were unsuccessful. In the process we learned that there are many who agree with our position. If we cannot remove this section, at this point in
time, then we can at least provide insight to our members and the industry on how to work with code officials on proper interpretation of the section, and to work
with ICC to develop some guidance on its application in the field.
NADRA has made great strides since we first began. In 2009 we were invited by ICC to co-brand a book on the 2009 deck code. The book is entitled “Deck Construction
- Based on the 2009 International Residential Code” and is written by Glenn Mathewson, a former deck builder and code official out of Colorado. Not only is the
NADRA logo side by side with the ICC logo on the cover of this book, but included in the book is NADRA’s deck evaluation checklist. That NADRA, at its fairly
young age, had done enough to grab the attention of the ICC speaks volumes as to what we could achieve with more support from the industry we serve.
In order to continue climbing up this hill, NADRA needs involvement from every sector of the industry. From the single-crew builder to the lumberyard, supplier, to
the small widget maker, all the way to the giant manufacturer, if the industry believes in what NADRA is doing, then it must step up and support it with both
monetary and time resources. We have been doing this for over four years on an expenses-only budget. This means that volunteers have been attending code
meetings and doing the hours and hours of leg work required. Our industry needs and deserves more attention than can be reasonably provided for
on a volunteer basis.
While sectors of our industry are busy fighting each other for market share, the industry as a whole is losing ground to other forms of backyard living that are less
regulated and less expensive than deck installation. In the past, deck builders could make a nice living by just offering decks. Now, in order to be competitive and
make a sale, a deck builder had better be able to offer hardscape options as well. Concrete, pavers and rock are easy alternatives – more economical, and very
minimal code requirements.
NADRA has worked to create relationships with every sector of our industry so that we can come together on issues that affect our industry. The industry needs
NADRA to provide not only a builder perspective but also to provide an industry voice to the code development process. Each sector of the industry will always
have its own needs. However, the needs of the industry as a whole must also be addressed. That is NADRA’s job – to work for the growth and sustenance of the
industry, as a whole.
If we want to ride out the current economic state and continue to bring innovative and imaginative decking choices to the consumer, we better keep abreast of
code development and help shape it to benefit the deck and railing industry as a whole. If we sit back in our rocking chairs and let it happen, we will find
ourselves rocking away on patios.
I urge you to contact NADRA and do your part to ensure that the industry, in which you make your living in, continues to thrive and grow.
Note from Diana Hanson - Codes and Standards Committee Chairman:
The building code process is several steps involved. What happens at Baltimore is only the development portion. I will be testifying to a panel selected by the ICC. If they deny a proposal they have to give reason. This is information very valuable to us. Next comes the Public Comment period where anyone may write a comment for or against any panel decision. If no comment is made on a panel action then it stands. In May 2010 at the Final Action Hearings, all of the public comments are heard and the voting assembly makes a final decision to either uphold the panel decision or not.
There are hundreds of code change proposals in line right now. Fortunately for us only a small percentage of them are specific to decks. I invite you to visit http://www.iccsafe.org/cs/codes/2009-10cycle/ProposedChanges.html and download the monograph for the IRC and the structural and egress portions of the IBC if you want to know more of what this looks like. Simply search the documents for "deck" and you will find the proposals most affecting us. It is customary that this period of time prior to the actual hearings involves networking with other delegates to garner support for certain proposals. Like anything else, who you know becomes as important as what you know.
During the conference portion of the ICC event at Baltimore is what is known as the Crackerbarrel Luncheon - this is a box-lunch luncheon where 40 plus tables and table topics are available for attendees to visit. We obtained one to help promote NADRA as well as the co-branded book "Deck Construction" by Glenn Mathewson. I recently learned that because I will be testifying, I am not permitted to also host this table. Fortunately, Ray Steward of RWSDecks has stepped up to take it on. He will do a great job talking up NADRA and our programs to the many building inspectors as they take their turn at his table.
One Last Word