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American Wood Council

Where can I find more information on changes to Section 2303.2.2 on FRTW appearing in the 2018 IBC?


In the ICC code change cycle for the 2018 edition of the International Building Code (IBC), a clarification was approved for Section 2303.2.2. The intent of the code change is explained below by showing the change as originally proposed (S262-16) and the final approved change as modified by the committee.

Summary of Change to 2303.2.2 in 2018 Edition of IBC per S262-16

Change as originally proposed:

2303.2.2 Other means during manufacture. For wood products impregnated with chemicals by other means during manufacture, the treatment shall be an integral part of the manufacturing process of the wood product. The treatment shall provide permanent protection to all surfaces of the wood product. The use of paints, coatings, stains or other surface treatments shall not be permitted.

Final approved change as modified by the committee:

2303.2.2 Other means during manufacture. For wood products impregnated with chemicals by other means during manufacture, the treatment shall be an integral part of the manufacturing process of the wood product. The treatment shall provide permanent protection to all surfaces of the wood product. The use of paints, coatings, stains or other surface treatment are not an approved method of protection as required in this section.

Full committee reason in support of the final approved change as modified by the committee:

"This code change adds a necessary clarification to the use of surface treatments for wood. The modification makes the use of such materials possible as an alternate method."

(S262-16 was approved as modified by the committee. For the ICC full documentation, see http://media.iccsafe.org/codes/2015-2017/GroupB/PCH/IBC-S.pdf and http://media.iccsafe.org/codes/2015-2017/GroupB/CAH/2016-Report-CAH.pdf.)

The approved modifications to 2303.2.2 clarify that the "other means during manufacture" subsection is not intended to permit surface-protected products as outright replacements for fire retardant treated wood (FRTW), given the requirement for chemical impregnation into the wood . The committee reason states: "This code change adds a necessary clarification to the use of surface treatments for wood."

Importantly, though, the code development committee's modifications to the original proposed change also preclude interpreting 2303.2.2 as an outright ban or prohibition on surface-coated products. The committee reason further states: "The modification makes the use of such materials possible as an alternate method."

As has been the case for some time, wood products protected by surface treatments can be evaluated and approved by using the provisions of IBC 104.11 (see here).


 
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