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?"
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?"
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
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.