Roofing manufacturers often provide product information and roof system installation instructions to instruct applicators of the specific manufacturers' intended installation methods. Also, installation according to manufacturers' instructions is a specific requirement for compliance with most building codes.
In 2016, NRCA established its Installation Instructions Review Task Force to review manufacturers' installation instructions and provide manufacturers with input and suggestions for improvement. A specific objective of the task force is to make manufacturers' installation instructions more useful to field personnel.
Chapter 15 of the International Building Code,® 2018 Edition (IBC® 2018) states: " Roof coverings shall be applied in accordance with this chapter and the manufacturer's installation instructions. Installation of roof coverings shall comply with the applicable provisions of Section 1507."
The International Residential Code,® 2018 Edition (IRC® 2018) contains similar provisions, as well as previous editions of IBC and IRC.
Building codes are written for a broad audience of users (regulators and code officials; building owners; designers; material, product and system manufacturers; and contractors) to define the minimum legal requirements for building construction. Building codes generally are not written as how-to instructions for field personnel to achieve building code compliance.
The building codes' requirements for roofing product and roof system applications to be installed according to manufacturers' installation instructions are intended, in part, to bridge the gap between the building code and specific how-to instructions for field personnel. For example, instructions should include manufacturer-specific installation methods required by any code-required testing or certifications, such as fire resistance or wind-uplift resistance.
Since its formation, NRCA's Installation Instructions Review Task Force has reviewed a limited number of manufacturers' installation instructions for seam-fastened, mechanically attached TPO membrane roof systems; adhered EPDM membrane roof systems; and specific cover boards. Following are some of the task force's general observations:
NRCA's task force has met with a number of manufacturers to discuss its observations. Individual meetings with Carlisle Construction Materials, Carlisle, Pa., and Firestone Building Products Co. LLC, Nashville, Tenn., have been particularly constructive. Additional manufacturer meetings will take place during NRCA's Fall Committee Meetings Nov. 13-16 in Chicago.
NRCA's review of manufacturers' installation instructions is intended to be an ongoing, long-term undertaking addressing all common roofing products and systems. NRCA looks forward to working with manufacturers in this effort.
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