If you remember it was reported back at the end of 2012 that there was a significant code change passed to be implemented in the 2015 issuance of the IBC. That must have seemed like years away back then, but here we are! Three years later and we are on the precipice of the implementation of this change. I can’t tell you how many architects are still unaware of this impending change and the shock of higher costs associated with handrails will be something bound to be a surprise for both architects, developers and general contractors who haven’t paid attention.
The code change calls for the laminated glass to be constructed of either single-fully tempered glass, laminated fully tempered glass or laminated heat-strengthened glass and to comply with Category II of CPSC 16 CFR Part 1201 or Class A of ANSI Z97.1. The proposal noted that the glazing used in railing in-fill panels must be of an approved safety glazing material that conforms to the provisions of Section 2406.1.1. For all glazing types, the minimum nominal thickness must be 1/4 inch (6.4 mm). Fully tempered glass and laminated glass must comply with Category II of CPSC 16 CFR Part 1201 or Class A of ANSI Z97.1. An exception is provided for single fully tempered glass complying with Category II of CPSC 16 CFR Part 1201 or Class A of ANSI Z97.1 used in handrails and guardrails if there is no walking surface below or the walking surface is permanently protected from the risk of falling glass.
This is a critical time to educate the industry, so let’s get to it.