ANSI Standard Governing Facade Assessment Equipment Suspended

June 12, 2012
ANSI Standard Governing Facade Assessment Equipment Suspended
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recently suspended both the International Window Cleaning Association I-14 Committee and the I-14 Standard, Window Cleaning Safety, due to the severity of issues identified by a special audit investigating an objection filed by WJE regarding the Committee's failure to appropriately eliminate the Standard's load test limits for facade access equipment. WJE first called attention to load testing and other structural concerns with the Standard in 2006, and, given that our attempts to help address the problems were repeatedly rejected, we are pleased with the ANSI decision. The decision eliminates a significant source of load testing provisions that promoted inappropriate certifications of facade access structural equipment.

The I-14 Standard prohibited load testing of facade access equipment beyond half of the minimum required strength, effectively eliminating the use of load testing to properly verify adequate strength and safety. This was problematic for building owners for two reasons. First, properly verifying structural capacity by means other than a true proof load test can be very costly. Much of the information needed for an assessment can be buried within a roofing system, making it difficult to obtain because it requires at times local destruction of roofing and/or roof deck. Second, engineers following the Standard might merely test equipment to only half the required capacity, which would leave substantial deficiencies undetected. The ANSI suspension of certification of the IWCA standard should discourage engineers from applying its technically flawed provisions.

If you have questions, please contact WJE's Howard Hill, Richard Dethlefs, Gary Searer, Brian Kehoe, and Terry Paret.

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