- Below is a DRAFT VERSION of the “Protection of openings” section of the 9th Edition Building Code. This DRAFT VERSION can be found on the BBRS website for public view (address listed below).
- There have been no public hearings yet on the promulgation of the 9th Ed code.
- There has been some disagreement within the industry on the new wind speed & WBD interpretation.
This is all still quite preliminary and there is still much debate to be had, but the current direction is definitely looking like a potential departure from the prior Code with regard to windborne debris requirements. When it is finally approved and becomes effective, there will not be a concurrency period with the 8th edition code requirements.
As stated below the ninth edition will become effective sometime before mid-2016, if adopted with current draft code this is one of the ‘Key Changes’ highlighted in press release from BBRS:*DRAFT LANGUAGE*
R301.2.1.2 Protection of openings. For high wind locations (typically the southeast shore of MA, the Cape and the Islands) the Residential code requires protection against windborne debris for building openings such as doors and windows. This requirement can be satisfied by using windows with impact resistant glazing or providing a special shutter system. Although recent data, research and modeling indicate slightly less wind speeds than historically predicted, the IRC 2015 has increased the geographical area requiring windborne debris protection. Further detailed investigation by staff indicates the new wind speeds in this extended windborne area are less than the wind speed that triggered windborne debris requirements in the 2009 IRC. With that consideration, and not finding any historical evidence indicating windborne debris has been the primary cause of major structural damage after much investigation, the windborne debris requirement has been eliminated. This simplifies design and construction and significantly reduces cost.
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