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Note: In this article, the process used to produce our masonry design code and specification in the United States is reviewed, with emphasis on how that process affects mason contractors. Mason contractors are encouraged to participate in that process. In contrast to many other countries, the United States has no national design codes, largely because the U.
Constitution does not specifically give the federal government the power to develop such a code. As a consequence, our U. As it applies to our masonry code and specification, this process is summarized in Figure 1, and is discussed in the rest of this article.
From the viewpoint of a designer or a contractor involved in the design and construction of a particular hypothetical building, the process shown in Figure 1 is applied from the bottom, up. If the building is in Austin, Texas, for instance, the designer is required to follow the legally adopted building code, which will soon be the version of the International Building Code IBC Because it is referenced by the legally adopted building code, the MSJC Code becomes the law for designers.
The construction documents include general terms and conditions, plans, and specifications. They must include a quality assurance program at least as rigorous as that required by the MSJC Code and Specification. They become a civil contract between the contractor and the owner. The MSJC is made up of individuals, and has no assigned membership slots for particular elements of the masonry industry. At the same time, the leadership of the MSJC makes an effort to include a wide range of backgrounds and interests.
As shown in Figure 2, the MSJC has about 40 members, of whom about one-third are designers, one-third are researchers, and one-third are material suppliers, contractors or building officials.
Information about membership is available on the TMS website. The next edition will be published in , and is now undergoing public comment.
The next step in the masonry code-development process is the referencing of the MSJC Code and Specification by model codes. Although the IBC is the dominant model code in the United States at the present time, another model code has been developed by the National Fire Protection Association, and is used in a few jurisdictions in the U.
It is composed primarily of building officials, although designers, contractors, product suppliers, code developers, and end-users also can be members. Decisions about referencing technical documents such as the MSJC Code and Specification possibly with amendments are made at a series of nationwide hearings, scheduled during the development of each new edition of the IBC.
In each local jurisdiction, the legally established authority usually a city council or county board of supervisors is responsible for adopting a model code. For most jurisdictions, the choice is which edition of the IBC to adopt. A model code is sometimes adopted with amendments. Although the federal government is not empowered by the U. Constitution to develop a national building code, it does provide input to the model-code process, particularly in the area of seismic design.
Mason contractors are encouraged to participate in each step of the code-development process outlined above. Richard Klingner is a L.
Skip to content. Our Masonry Code and Specification: Where do they come from? September By Richard E. Klingner Note: In this article, the process used to produce our masonry design code and specification in the United States is reviewed, with emphasis on how that process affects mason contractors. Figure 1: How the U. Those operating rules include the following: Balance of interests producer, user and general interest ; Written balloting of proposed provisions, with defined requirements for a successful ballot; Resolution of negative votes.
Negative votes must be discussed and found non-persuasive before a ballot item can pass. A single negative vote, if found persuasive, can prevent an item from passing; Public comment. After being approved within the technical specialty organization, the mandatory-language provisions must be published for review and comment by the general public.
All comments are responded to, but do not necessarily result in further modification. The Final Step — Adoption of Model Code by the Local Jurisdiction In each local jurisdiction, the legally established authority usually a city council or county board of supervisors is responsible for adopting a model code. How Mason Contractors Can Participate in the Code Process Mason contractors are encouraged to participate in each step of the code-development process outlined above.
In the first step the MSJC , mason contractors can communicate with the lead sponsor the Masonry Society ; they can attend MSJC meetings, and, in particular, the meetings of the Construction Requirements Subcommittee, which is primarily responsible for the MSJC Specification; and they can communicate their interests and concerns to MSJC members, particularly mason contractor members; In the second step model codes , Mason contractorm can visit the websites of model-code organizations such as the International Code Council; they can attend or view model code hearings live on line; and they can phone or email the members of model-code committees; In the third step local jurisdiction , mason contractors can work with local elected officials for the adoption of modern codes and specifications for masonry design and construction.
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Our Masonry Code and Specification: Where do they come from?