help! code says tempered glass windows. any options for wui?

juniorkMarch 1, 2011

We are building a new house in a Wildland Urban Interface area. Apparently, noone (including myself) saw on the plans that ALL our windows need to be tempered on the exterior side for fire reasons, even though we do have a fire sprinkler system (another WUI requirement). I have Milgard Ultra double paned argon windows, 4 lites/window and about 17 of them are not tempered. I called Milgard, and they don't fire rate their windows (they can alternatively be fire rated to 20 min.).

What to do? I was brainstorming, and thought about 'storm windows' from my childhood in the deep South. Could anyone give an opinion as to whether it would be cheaper to install storm windows vs take apart my 4-lite SDL windows, replace the exterior one with tempered glass, fill with argon, then replace?

Any and all advice humbly appreciated!

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from my experience about your only real option is all new glass or sash.Taking apart the glass you have now and appling a piece of tempered and resealing the IG unit is not much of an option as far as I know.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 7:08PM
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Sigh. So as a wildly uneducated guess, I'm thinking that putting on a storm window with tempered glass will satisfy the requirements, and it sounds less expensive than buying a new replacement sash, right? Thanks for your advice!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 7:25PM
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I have no idea if a storm unit will pass, did they tell you it would?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 8:33PM
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No, I think we're all afraid to ask the inspector, or even bring it up to the building office, since it's a small town! I just pulled up the code that talked about this, and that's all the requirements mentioned:

704A.3.2.2 Exterior glazing and windowwalls. Exterior
windows, window walls, glazed doors, and glazed openings
within exterior doors shall be insulating-glass units
with a minimum of one tempered pane, or glass block
units, or have a fire-resistance rating of not less than 20
minutes, when tested according to ASTM E 2010, or conform
to the performance requirements ofSFM12-7A-2.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 11:49PM
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I have the same situation! just installed allnew windows plus an addition. now i cant move aheads until I fiw my milgard windows. I would think the salesman would have advised me that these windows are nolonger legal.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 11:07AM
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Juniork- For the WUI issue you can temper either piece of glass, I would get new insulated units and have them installed with the correct glass but the storm window option is interesting. I'm guessing they would deny it because it's not permanent and could be removed.
Val- It's tough for a salesman to get it right unless he was working off a set of plans that had it marked on them. If you gave him a window schedule that you made up then he probably wouldn't know. One block could be WUI but across the street it's not required.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 3:10PM
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Ok, I am a builder and I get the need for improving the way we build. But...this code is freekin ridiculous!!! Really, temPered glass for fire safety?? What if the damn window is OPEN?? What'd next, tempered screens? Or maybe we should be required to weld the freekin window shut! Or better yet, start a new building enforcement department that goes around and fines people for oPening their own damn windows during fire season.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 1:19AM
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