Friday, November 14, 2014

Selling SIP's in Pennsylvania - What's Changing??

by Corey Nigh

Like many states in the 1970’s, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania became aware of a ‘shortage of safe and sanitary housing’, so they took action and wrote the Industrialized Housing Act of May 11, 1972 P.L. 286, No. 70 Cl. 68.
This act regulated the sale, installation and use of “Industrialized Housing” (which is defined as “any structure designed primarily for residential occupancy which is wholly or in substantial part made, fabricated, formed or assembled in manufacturing facilities for installation, or assembly and installation on the building site”) by providing uniform State standards, as well as inspection and certification procedures. These procedures covered factory-built structures and components intended for residential use, and are still in place today. But, change is coming.  Pennsylvania has proposed amendments to its Industrialized Housing Act that will require commercial structures to follow the same regulations as residential structures. Many members of the construction industry will now be asking:

"How will this affect me?"

If you already build to meet Pennsylvania’s residential regulations, chances are you may not be affected much at all.  However, if you are a builder of commercial structures, or a manufacturer of components used in commercial structures, you will soon need to follow the same standards as a residential manufacturer. The standards also cover manufacturers of assemblies intended for use in industrialized structures that include ‘closed construction systems’. A closed construction system is defined as being ‘fabricated in a manufacturing facility to be separately transported to the building site and cannot be inspected at the site without disassembly.’ An example of this would be a structural insulated panel, as they are held together with adhesives and cannot be taken apart to be inspected. 

"How do I ensure my product meets Pennsylvania's guidelines?"

Pennsylvania requires all closed construction systems to be inspected by an approved Inspection Agency.  Once the product or structure has passed inspection, the manufacturer will receive an ‘Insignia of Certification’, which shows the component or structure has been certified to Pennsylvania’s standards.

NTA is an approved Inspection Agency for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and can provide you with the information you need to conform to the current code requirements, as well as keeping you compliant with revisions as they are adopted. Most component manufacturers will not need further testing, only inspections, making this a simple process. We’re here to help you now, so you don’t have to scramble later! For more information on Pennsylvania’s Industrialized Housing Act and how it will affect you, please contact NTA today.

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