Above Ground Treated Wood
Is Code Compliant for Most Deck Projects
Recent updates to the 2016 American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) Use Category System for treated wood, which include modifications to the section that outlines proper applications of Above Ground (UC3B) and Ground Contact (UC4A) treated wood, are causing some confusion in the industry. One preservative manufacturer, Viance™ LLC, wants code officials to know that above ground treated wood remains International Building Code (IBC®) and International Residential Code (IRC®) compliant for most deck projects under Section R317.1 and Section 2303.1.9 respectively.
Unfortunately, some retailers and wood treatment companies have misinterpreted the language to mean that only ground contact lumber meets the updated AWPA Use Category System standard for deck framing applications. That is not the case.
To help reinforce the continued code compliance of above ground UC3B lumber for deck construction, Viance™ LLC recently reaffirmed their Lifetime Limited Warranty on above ground preservative treatment when used properly.
"The AWPA revisions created confusion in the marketplace. Now more than ever, above ground treated wood is a great choice for architects, deck-building contractors, and home owners looking to build a long-lasting elevated deck," explains Bill Fields, president of Viance.
"Knowledge Is Power"
Viance's renewed commitment to a Lifetime Limited Warranty on fungal decay and termite infestation signals to retailers, architects, contractors, home owners, and others in the industry that they stand behind the performance of their products when properly used in residential applications.
Fields says, "As code officials are inspecting deck projects, they should be guided by the latest, most accurate information available. Knowledge is power, and we want them to know that above ground treated wood remains IBC and IRC code compliant for most common decking applications under Section R317.1 and Section 2303.1.9 respectively."
More Project Value
The preservative levels required to meet the AWPA UC4A ground contact standard not only increases the likelihood of higher project expense through more expensive wood, but also multiplies environmental concerns.
Above ground treated wood remains code compliant for most common decking applications while using the appropriate amount of preservative to ensure performance.
CheckMark of Quality
Not all treated wood is the same. The key differentiator for code officials, architects, contractors, and home owners is the end tag on the lumber. That end tag should bear the distinctive CheckMark of Quality (pictured) as proof of ANSI-accredited, consensus-based AWPA certification.
The Checkmark of Quality assures code officials, builders, and consumers that the preservative has been reviewed by the AWPA to meet stringent standards for superior deck life, performance, and environmental safety. The AWPA standards are directly referenced in the IBC® and IRC® model building codes.
Inspection Peace of Mind
“Not every preservative has earned the CheckMark of Quality,” reminds Fields. “Code enforcement officials need to feel confident that the wood they’re inspecting is AWPA standardized. The CheckMark of Quality offers code officials the certainty they need at inspection time.”
Code officials seeking the latest information on the changes to the AWPA 2016 Book of Standards, the basis for IBC® and IRC® treated wood compliance (IBC Section R317.1, IRC Section 2303.1.9), should visit treatedwood.com/options.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the sponsor and do not necessarily reflect those of the International Code Council, or Hanley Wood.
PPP ID# 1531
ICC PP Course #8943
Credit Hours 0.1 Hour
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"Code Compliant Treated Wood for Residential Deck Construction"
Learn more about Code Compliant Wood Preservatives, the AWPA standards and the AWPA's Use Category System (UCS).
Treated Wood Use Reference Guide
The "Select the Right Preserved Wood for Your Project" infographic above has been collaboratively assembled by the Wood Treatment Industry, to aid code officials, retailers and consumers on the different preserved wood use categories and what they are best suited for.