How code reports help propel innovation and ensure safety
From plan approval to final inspection, code reports summarize specific standards and requirements
In counties and municipalities across the U.S., building officials, inspectors and other code professionals are responsible for ensuring that buildings are structurally sound and that all required life safety features — such as fire-rated wall systems, fire alarms, sprinkler systems and adequate means of egress — are in place and functioning correctly.
To complete these evaluations, code authorities often rely on certified evaluation reports — also called code reports — to provide confirmation that a new or alternative material, product, design or method of construction complies with the intent of the building codes.
“Innovations in construction can take years before they are universally adopted in the field,” said Sam Halverson, construction services manager for National Gypsum Company. “Code reports demonstrate code compliance to building inspectors who may be unfamiliar with newer products and systems, providing another layer of clarification for how the products are used.”
As an example, documenting the testing of a new product often results in multiple reports and dozens of pages, which collectively detail and demonstrate that this new product meets code requirements. However, on a job site, the local code official doesn’t have the time to review such a large stack of reports.
As a solution, National Gypsum Company works directly with two organizations, UL Solutions and ICC-ES Evaluation Service, to condense testing results and other technical information into a concise 2-5 page code report document. These code reports give code officials a summary of the required evaluations and applicable code standards, which can often mean the difference between passing or failing an inspection.
“Code reports are valuable resources for architects and the code enforcement officials who approve their designs. Further into the project, if a builder gets questioned on a screw pattern, for example, then they might pull the code report to show the inspector.”
Sam HalversonConstruction Services ManagerNational Gypsum Company
What are evaluation code reports?
Evaluation code reports provide information about the safety, quality and performance of a product, system or service based on third-party testing according to specific standards or requirements.
These reports provide additional technical information relied upon by code authorities — along with architects, engineers and contractors — to provide safe, code-compliant use of products where:
- The building code prescriptively identifies the product or system
- The building code specifies performance-based requirements for the product or system
- The building code has multiple requirements for the product not covered by a single standard
“Code reports consolidate testing data from numerous reports into a single concise document,” noted Halverson. “These reports provide information about how to identify the product, what code requirements were used to evaluate the product, how the product should be installed to meet the requirements and other critical details needed to ensure code compliance is met.”
What information is included in a code report?
A code report summarizes the results of an evaluation of a product or system’s ability to meet the criteria set forth in the building code or other code referenced standards. The report typically includes information about the product’s intended use, installation requirements, and other technical data that support the product’s compliance with the building code.
An evaluation code report typically includes information such as:
- A product or system’s name and model number
- A description of its features and capabilities
- Standards or requirements it was tested against
- Which codes and versions of those codes to which the product has been evaluated
“Code reports are valuable resources for architects and the code enforcement officials who approve their designs,” said Halverson. “Further into the project, if a builder gets questioned on a screw pattern, for example, then they might pull the code report to show the inspector.”
What code reports exist for products provided by National Gypsum?
National Gypsum Company currently provides a dozen code reports in the Design & Resource Center on nationalgypsum.com, part of our Excellence Across the Board® program, which provides industry-leading technical support and customer service. National Gypsum uses these reports to demonstrate compliance with industry regulations and standards.
- Gold Bond® Shaftwall Assemblies evaluation report ER3501-02
- Gold Bond® Area Separation Wall evaluation report ER R3501-01
- GridMarX®, MaX 12® and MaX 16® evaluation report ER R3501-03
- Gold Bond® eXP® Interior Extreme® and eXP® Tile Backer evaluation report ESR-3234
- Gold Bond® eXP® Sheathing evaluation report ESR-2743
- Gold Bond® High Strength LITE® and Ceiling Board evaluation reports ESR-1366
- Gypsum Association Wall and Ceiling Assemblies evaluation report ESR-1338
- Miami-Dade County DEXcell® Roof Boards Notice of Acceptance No. 20-0212.01
- PermaBASE® Cement Board evaluation report ER22158-01
- PermaBASE CI® Insulated Cement Board evaluation report ER22158-02
- Weyerhaeuser I-joist evaluation report ESR-1153
- Boise Cascade I-joist evaluation report ESR-1144
For assistance with code regulations, along with product specifications, product usage or installation, and more, call 1-800-NATIONAL® or email National Gypsum’s technical experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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