IBC - Tempered glass requirement

nanjFebruary 11, 2013

The International Building Code says, in part, if a window is less than 18 inches from the floor and has 9 square feet of glass, the glass must be tempered glass. If the window is a single hung or a double hung, is that 9 square feet in the single sash on the bottom? Or 9 square feet total, in both sashes?

Seeing the pricing upgrade for tempered glass, I am trying to be sure I understand exactly where it will be needed!

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millworkman

As I understand it, it is per sash. also next to or above a door, in a stairwell or above a tub.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 6:03PM
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kirkhall

My single hung had to have tempered in the bottom panes only. Now, a double hung, I am not sure, since officially the top panes can come "down"...

Also, my lower pane is not 9sq ft (it is about 8).

This post was edited by kirkhall on Mon, Feb 11, 13 at 18:54

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 6:04PM
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nanj

Per sash for a single hung would be good news. And 9 square feet of glass in a single sash is a pretty big window. I just measured the sash of the largest window in my current home and it is a little over 7 sq ft of glass.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 7:46PM
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lucy0214


This middle window lower part has to be tempered. It is 9 sq ft

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:46PM
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nanj

Thank you for the photo, Lucy. That is the design I want for the windows in our breakfast room/morning room - low to the floor so the dogs can look out and tall to let in lots of light and bring the views indoors.

I saw an a price list on the internet that was several years old and the tempered glass with Low E 270 coating was about $22 a square foot. Pricey!

What brand of window is that? Your transoms are nice and large, too. All round great design!

This post was edited by nanj on Mon, Feb 11, 13 at 22:08

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:05PM
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lucy0214

Thanks, we love natural light, have nice views, and a couple of pooches too. The windows are Wincore low e single hung. I'm not sure how much they were, our builder ordered them. They are 8ft total and we love them!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:21PM
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renovator8

The applicable code for a home would be the IRC but it has essentially the same requirement for safety glazing as the IBC.

An accurate restatement of the code requirement will answer your question:

  1. Glazing in an individual fixed or operable panel that meets all of the following conditions:

3.1. The exposed area of an individual pane is larger than 9 square feet; and

3.2. The bottom edge of the [exposed] glazing is less than 18 inches above the floor; and

3.3. The top edge of the [exposed] glazing is more than 36 inches above the floor; and

3.4. One or more walking surfaces are within 36 inches, measured horizontally and in a straight line, of the glazing.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 9:47AM
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nanj

Thank you for the details, Renovator8. The "individual pane" detail answers my question.

Is a notation that the glass is tempered required to be etched on the glass? I don't see that on the sliding doors in my current home.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 1:09PM
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kirkhall

Renovator,
While that is all correct for this OPs particular situation, my situation was not the same... I did not meet 3.1 or 3.2 and still had to put in tempered glass in a single hung window. It had to do with proximity to a french door (the non operable side, even).

(I think we had an over-zealous inspector, but still, there is another requirement set somewhere, as millworkman indicates). Can you post that too, for future searchers of the threads?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 1:42PM
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renovator8

The label on tempered glass is required to be acid etched, sandblasted, ceramic-fired, or embossed so that it cannot be removed without destroying the glass.

For other kinds of safety glass (laminated or heat-strengthened) the label may be omitted if the building official will accept a certificate, affidavit or other evidence.

This is all in the IRC Glazing section. If you are designing a building you need to own it or get access to it online.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 1:49PM
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millworkman

kirkhall, next to or above a door is required to be Tempered glass as well per code.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 4:11PM
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auroraborelis

Just because I seem to enjoy complaining about the ridiculous-ness of our local code let me add in our requirements!

We are in a "Wildland Urban interface" area where we are required to have our home constructed in ways that prevent damage due to wildfire. Good intentions, bizzare implementation, at least for me as we are the across the street from a regular 234 home subdivision. (We are county/unincorporated, the other side of the street is the city).

One of the requirements - we have to have ALL temperared windows.... There are so many things I would rather be spending my money on!

There has also never been a wildfire in our area that destroyed homes, and the one remaing farmer raises sheep that keeps all the hills clear of long grass that could catch fire!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 6:17PM
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nanj

Gosh, Laura12, I can feel your pain - so much money to meet a requirement like that! I work in the regulatory world and California does add to our job security....I'll leave it at that.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 6:37PM
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auroraborelis

If I didn't know better I would think that there was a conspiracy between the regulatory world, California and building world! :)

My rant about my foundation requirements was on the Jan Building Progress thread, it is also crazy.

Those of you who live in states with very little oversight of the building codes (or expensive permitting fees) I am very very jeaslous of you!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 7:15PM
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nanj

Gosh, Laura12, I can feel your pain - so much money to meet a requirement like that! I work in the regulatory world and California does add to our job security....I'll leave it at that.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 7:40PM
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Mistman

We had issues with the secondary fire zone due to our zoning, tempered windows was one of the requirements we couldn't get away from. We have over 1600 ft of decking which is all concrete in order to get away from the 'no open decking' requirement. Residential sprinkler system, double sheetrock exterior walls, 1 hour fire doors and a few other crazy things because a local timber co. wouldn't allow us to maintain the secondary fire zone on their land which extends 130 around the new home. And that zone is arbitrary, between 100 and 200 ft depending on how the county is feeling that day.... Basically so that if our home catches fire is won't burn the forest down (which was clear cut 4 years ago). Oregon Rocks!!!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 10:44PM
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renovator8

kirkhall, if the IRC applied to your project without revision, your inspector was not over-zelous, he simply "misremembered" the glazing provisions. The code specifically exempts "Glazing that is adjacent to the fixed panel of patio doors" (item 2, last exception).

Safety glazing is required by the IRC in "hazardous locations" which are defined as follows:

R308.4 Hazardous locations.
The following shall be considered specific hazardous locations for the purposes of glazing:

1. Glazing in all fixed and operable panels of swinging, sliding and bifold doors.
Exceptions:
- Glazed openings of a size through which a 3-inch diameter (76 mm) sphere is unable to pass.
- Decorative glazing.

2. Glazing in an individual fixed or operable panel adjacent to a door where the nearest vertical edge is within a 24-inch (610 mm) arc of the door in a closed position and whose bottom edge is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) above the floor or walking surface.
Exceptions:
- Decorative glazing.
- When there is an intervening wall or other permanent barrier between the door and the glazing.
- Glazing in walls on the latch side of and perpendicular to the plane of the door in a closed position.
- Glazing adjacent to a door where access through the door is to a closet or storage area 3 feet (914 mm) or less in depth
- Glazing that is adjacent to the fixed panel of patio doors.

3. Glazing in an individual fixed or operable panel that meets all of the following conditions:
3.1. The exposed area of an individual pane is larger than 9 square feet (0.836 m2); and
3.2. The bottom edge of the glazing is less than 18 inches (457 mm) above the floor; and
3.3. The top edge of the glazing is more than 36 inches (914 mm) above the floor; and
3.4. One or more walking surfaces are within 36 inches (914 mm), measured horizontally and in a straight line, of the glazing.
Exceptions:
- Decorative glazing.
- When a horizontal rail is installed on the accessible side(s) of the glazing 34 to 38 inches (864 to 965) above the walking surface. The rail shall be capable of withstanding a horizontal load of 50 pounds per linear foot (730 N/m) without contacting the glass and be a minimum of 11/2 inches (38 mm) in cross sectional height.
- Outboard panes in insulating glass units and other multiple glazed panels when the bottom edge of the glass is 25 feet (7620 mm) or more above grade, a roof, walking surfaces or other horizontal [within 45 degrees (0.79 rad) of horizontal] surface adjacent to the glass exterior.

4. All glazing in railings regardless of area or height above a walking surface. Included are structural baluster panels and nonstructural infill panels.

5. Glazing in enclosures for or walls facing hot tubs, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, bathtubs and showers where the bottom exposed edge of the glazing is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) measured vertically above any standing or walking surface.
Exception: Glazing that is more than 60 inches (1524 mm), measured horizontally and in a straight line, from the waters edge of a hot tub, whirlpool or bathtub.

6. Glazing in walls and fences adjacent to indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs and spas where the bottom edge of the glazing is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) above a walking surface and within 60 inches (1524 mm), measured horizontally and in a straight line, of the water's edge. This shall apply to single glazing and all panes in multiple glazing.

7. Glazing adjacent to stairways, landings and ramps within 36 inches (914 mm) horizontally of a walking surface when the exposed surface of the glazing is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) above the plane of the adjacent walking surface.
Exceptions:
- When a rail is installed on the accessible side(s) of the glazing 34 to 38 inches (864 to 965 mm) above the walking surface. The rail shall be capable of withstanding a horizontal load of 50 pounds per linear foot (730 N/m) without contacting the glass and be a minimum of 11/2 inches (38 mm) in cross sectional height.
- The side of the stairway has a guardrail or handrail, including balusters or in-fill panels, complying with Sections R311.7.7 and R312 and the plane of the glazing is more than 18 inches (457 mm) from the railing; or
- When a solid wall or panel extends from the plane of the adjacent walking surface to 34 inches (863 mm) to 36 inches (914 mm) above the walking surface and the construction at the top of that wall or panel is capable of withstanding the same horizontal load as a guard.

8. Glazing adjacent to stairways within 60 inches (1524 mm) horizontally of the bottom tread of a stairway in any
direction when the exposed surface of the glazing is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) above the nose of the tread.
Exceptions:
- The side of the stairway has a guardrail or handrail, including balusters or in-fill panels, complying with Sections R311.7.7 and R312 and the plane of the glass is more than 18 inches (457 mm) from the railing; or
- When a solid wall or panel extends from the plane of the adjacent walking surface to 34 inches (864 mm) to 36 inches (914 mm) above the walking surface and the construction at the top of that wall or panel is capable of withstanding the same horizontal load as a guard.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:18AM
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