SPRI Bulletin Addresses Code Evaluations for Roofing Products

Waltham, Mass.-based SPRI’s latest informational Bulletin (No. 1-15) updates building code officials, specifiers, building owners and others on code evaluations and product approval requirements for roofing products. The bulletin centers on the requirements of the international codes as they relate to membrane roof covering systems. SPRI represents sheet membrane and component suppliers to the commercial roofing industry.

The bulletin is designed to update building code officials and members of the International Code Council (ICC) on the various ways roofing manufacturers can provide evidence of code compliance. The bulletin considers products that are referenced in the code, as well as new and innovative roofing products and assemblies. The SPRI Bulletin zeroes in on some practical options available to the building official or Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).

In Bulletin No. 1-15, SPRI points out that Research Reports are not mandatory for single-ply roofing membranes that comply with standards referenced in the codes. Research Reports from approved sources are intended to assist in the approval of materials or assemblies not specifically provided for in the code. Therefore, the AHJ should not insist on a Research Report for a membrane roof system if the manufacturer has data available for the AHJ to review.

“Code officials are increasingly asking for a Research Report from single-ply roofing manufacturers to demonstrate code compliance,” says SPRI member Michael Beaton of Intertek, a global provider of product certification and performance-testing services. “While a research report should not be mandated since these products and systems are described in the code with specific requirements and referenced standards, a Research Report is an easy way for the manufacturer to provide the necessary information to the code official.

“SPRI’s ultimate goal in publishing Bulletin 1-15 is two-fold,” Beaton continues. “First, that code officials understand that a Research Report is a ‘convenience’ for single-ply roofing and should not be required if other relevant data is available. Second, that when the roofing manufacturer does choose to document compliance in a Research Report, code officials should be willing to accept a Research Report from an agency other than ICC Evaluation Service, provided the agency is accredited for this activity.”

SPRI Bulletin No. 1-15 is two-pages long and available for free viewing and download.

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