Three Reasons to Achieve ICC-ES Compliance

ThinkstockPhotos 534757281By Gary L. Seider

Whether you’re a specifier, designer, architect or contractor, you know that the materials used in construction can mean the difference between a high-quality project and a disaster waiting to happen. While many people may trust their own judgment and expertise in choosing the proper materials, there’s an easier way to go about getting the right materials for a job: selecting products that are ICC-ES compliant. ICC Evaluation Service is a nonprofit limited liability company whose stated mission is to perform “technical evaluations of building products, components, methods and materials.”

Although adherence to ICC-ES is not required by law, manufacturers use these evaluation reports as evidence that their products comply with local and national building code requirements. This ensures the quality of materials and streamlines the approval process.

Regardless of the jurisdiction, the local building official will still review all the data to approve or deny the selected products when contractors submit construction plans for permit approval. Using materials with this seal of approval provides peace of mind to everyone involved.

Why ICC-ES Compliance Can Benefit You

By selecting compliant products, you aren’t just saving money and time — you’re also reducing the risk of product failure. Therefore, by meeting the certification, products receive a baseline for quality. Here are three major values of the ICC-ES certification process:

1. It fosters trust – ICC-ES is a neutral assessing body and has been a trusted source of independent, third-party validation for 80 years. This compliance ensures that your building materials meet the International Building Code’s minimum requirement, and it instills confidence that your specified materials are compliant with codes and standards nationwide. The reports assist in streamlining the design and building approval process, which quickens the pace of a building’s development and ultimately saves time.

2. It’s educational – Distributors are well-versed in the products and techniques available in the industry. However, with tight deadlines and vast product lines, quick education is often needed at the beginning of each project to identify the correct solution. Therefore, the ICC-ES stamp of approval on individual products can flatten the learning curve on each project.

3. It establishes credibility – Getting an evaluation report from ICC-ES is far from simple. A lot of time and expense goes into each product evaluation. To apply, a manufacturer must include supporting data, such as product information and test reports, in addition to the corresponding submission fees. A technical staff member with ICC-ES evaluates the submissions and works with the applicant to ensure compliance is achieved with either the building code or acceptance criteria.

Therefore, not just any manufacturer can go out and get a certification of compliance — doing so requires significant resources and dedication. By choosing compliant products, you can be assured that the companies behind these products are reputable and will stand the test of time. ICC-ES compliance is the perfect way to ensure the quality of your building materials, instill confidence in your clients and satisfy building officials.

GarySeider.HubbellGary L. Seider, P.E., is the engineering manager for Hubbell Power Systems Inc. Civil and Utility Helical Products. Hubbell Power Systems manufactures a wide array of transmission, distribution, substation, OEM and telecommunication products used by utilities.

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