October 1st, 2013
Your Future; This Week
As this hits your inbox, I’m likely in route to Atlantic City, New Jersey to represent, support and defend the decking industry. This week, your future will be decided in the 2015 International Residential Code. On my last day to prepare before leaving Colorado, I’m nervous, but excited. Most of all, I’m proud. I’m proud because we’ve achieved one of the most important aspects of code development…recognition. The code development process is complicated, cumbersome, and difficult just at published face value, but there is also a professional, dare I say social, aspect to it. Recognition, respect and trust are vital to this work. Here is where I feel NADRA has succeeded, and this will be the foundation for all code development work now and into the future. Every year this process occurs for different codes, and every three years for the IRC.
There’s a lot at stake this year in code development. Will you be installing hold-downs on every guard post, or will you be free from installing them on every ledger? Will all decks be outright prohibited from within 5 feet of property lines? Will there finally be joist, beam and post sizing provisions available to ease design validation?
What won’t be at stake this year is NADRA. We have demonstrated our commitment to our vision and mission statement for code development, and we have been appreciated for it.
Vision: Safe decks with well-thought-out engineering and a common sense practical approach to code requirements.
Code Mission Statement: To advance and protect industry interests in the code development arena and to promote member involvement; to promote governmental and agency reliance on NADRA as a voice for the industry; to create and maintain relationships with key government agencies and code officials; to be a forum for the discussion, study, and investigation of proposed and existing model code development, federal and state legislation and programs, and to report such findings to the Board of Directors and the Membership.
We have contributed heavily to an informal discussion group regarding deck codes and during the committee hearings in May. We have worked with other professionals and organizations on shared proposals, and we have provided assistance to proposals of others. We have made it clear that we are here, ready and willing to be a part of any discussion, work, or progress regarding the standards of the decking and railing industry. We expect to be a part of it.
While we may not exactly know the course the decking industry is sailing, we are in the pilot’s cabin. However the votes go on Thursday and Friday of this week, we know that we we’re heard and respected. We ARE the voice of the decking industry, and we have been and will continue to speak. However, we are also the ears of the industry, as we cannot speak for it without first listening the to all segments. With no cards up our sleeves and no hidden agendas, we have opened ourselves up to listen and respond honestly to all that are willing to share their opinions, ideas, concerns and experiences. We have asked for compromise and mutual understanding. We have encouraged learning from each other and finding common ground. We have respected the segments of the industry, all of which deserve such, and regardless of our agreement or not.
This has been a good year for NADRA in code development, and I am proud to have been at the heart of it. Thank you, NADRA members and the industry at large, for your support of my work, our work. Thank you for trusting me with this job.
I’ll do my best to keep you informed on hearings live through my Facebook and Twitter accounts, but you can certainly expect a full recap after the hearings…after a long nap.
Glenn Mathewson, MCP
NADRA Technical Advisor