CMs Fight Floor Truss Ban in Des Moines, IA

Originally published by: SBCRIApril 15, 2013

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Last Thursday, April 11, 2013, the City of Des Moines (IA) held a public hearing on adoption of the 2012 IBC/IRC building code.  One of the primary topics of conversation was Section R501.3, which requires the application of ½” gypsum to exposed floor joists with the exception of 2x10 solid sawn lumber. Rick Parrino (Plum Building Systems) attended the meeting, and with the help of SBCA staff he presented the component industry’s concerns regarding this code provision. 

In addition to the talking points (attached) which outline the industry’s concerns and provides background on the origins of R501.3, Parrino shared the test analysis in SBCRI’s Technical Evaluation Report (TER), Metal Plate Connected Wood Truss Floor Assemblies Demonstrating Equivalent Fire Performance per 2012 IRC Section R501.3. This TER establishes that open-web floor joists have equivalent fire performance to solid-sawn floor joists under the same load conditions.

While this was only the first of three meetings to be held before a final determination will be made on amendments to the 2012 IBC/IRC model code for Des Moines, Parrino indicated that at least three members of the board (a plumber, a builder and an HVAC professional) questioned the workability of section R501.3 overall, and responded positively to the industry’s argument that open-web floor joists were equivalent to solid-sawn lumber.

SBCA will continue to monitor this situation closely and will keep members abreast of further developments as they occur. All the documentation referred to in this story, as well as additional background information referenced in the TER, can all be found on the SBCRI website here: http://sbcri.info/ter130202.

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