Intertek, a global leader in testing, inspection and certification, along with the International Code Council Evaluation Service, Inc. (ICC-ES®), a leading provider of evaluation services for Building Products, announces that the building industry is seeing dividends from the recently signed cooperative arrangement between Intertek and ICC Evaluation Service® (ICC-ES®). The first two building-product evaluation reports to be produced under the arrangement, both issued by ICC-ES to the Finnish company Lemminkainen Katto Oy, were ready for publication within a few weeks of the time Intertek, acting on behalf of Lemminkainen, submitted a complete package of technical data to ICC-ES. This rapid evaluation time, and the quick dissemination of published reports to U.S. regulatory agencies and the construction industry generally, bodes very well for building-product manufacturers and for the future of the Intertek–ICC-ES working relationship.
Intertek, a worldwide leader in product testing, inspection, and certification, signed an agreement in July 2009 with ICC-ES, the United States’ leading organization devoted to evaluating building products for code compliance. Under the agreement, manufacturers of building products work with ICC-ES through Intertek, which prepares evaluation-report applications, puts together packages of technical information for study by ICC-ES engineers, and otherwise handles all the steps that otherwise would be the responsibility of the product manufacturer.
Intertek understands what is needed for the issuance of an ICC-ES evaluation report on code compliance, and ICC-ES is able to work with experienced and knowledgeable Intertek personnel who act on behalf of companies, like Lemminkainen Katto Oy, seeking ICC-ES evaluation reports. The reports, once issued, are posted on the ICC-ES web site (www.icc-es.org), where they are accessible to the entire building industry and provide evidence for U.S. code officials that the products covered in the report meet all requirements of the applicable building codes.
The two reports issued to Lemminkainen Katto Oy, the first issued in conjunction with the Intertek–ICC-ES cooperative arrangement, deal with the U.S. code compliance of roof underlayments manufactured in Finland and China. Michael Merrigan, the ICC-ES Senior Engineer who evaluated the underlayments, says that he was able to process the two reports concurrently, because Intertek very efficiently provided him with all the data he needed for the evaluation, including information on quality control at the manufacturing facilities.
“It took just a fraction of the normal time from the start of the review to final approval of the two evaluation reports,” said Merrigan. “Considering that it often takes many months just to get the first data package for an evaluation, this was a remarkably successful effort on the part of everybody involved.”
Deg Priest, Senior Director of Operations in the Intertek Commercial and Electrical Products Division believes that the working agreement between Intertek and ICC-ES may be “the greatest advance in building product certification in decades.” Priest justifies this statement by observing that “manufacturers can now get their products tested and obtain key certifications—and thus begin selling those products successfully—faster than ever before.” If code compliance can be proved now in just a matter of weeks, through an intensive cooperative effort, then ICC-ES and Intertek have taken a major step forward for the manufacturers of building products.
Mark Johnson, president of ICC-ES, agrees with Deg Priest that the working agreement between Intertek and ICC-ES is a considerable achievement, and one that should benefit everybody with an interest in the building industry. “Manufacturers get valuable assistance with testing and inspection, and with preparation of all the data needed to prove the code compliance of their products,” says Johnson. As a result, ICC-ES is able to facilitate the report issuance because the experts at Intertek have taken the time to familiarize themselves with what is required by the ICC-ES technical staff. Code officials get timely access to ICC-ES reports that show code compliance for new and innovative building products. Architects, engineers, and specifiers, who are also interested in code-complying products, have easy access, through the ICC-ES web site, to those same evaluation reports. The Intertek–ICC-ES arrangement really is a win-win situation for everybody in the building industry.”