By William Gould
Building codes and referenced standards are constantly evolving. A three-year or longer cycle for development of codes and standards may present challenges to manufacturers’ product development plans. Through the provisions in the International Building Code® (IBC) Section 104.11 Alternative materials, design and methods of construc- tion and equipment, however, ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) keeps pace with innovative product development through a continuous cycle of new Acceptance Criteria (AC) being proposed and revised every year. In 2015, ICC-ES collaborated with the Deutsches Institut für Bautech- nik (DIBt) to develop a new Acceptance Criteria for Load-Bearing Thermal Break Assemblies (LBTBAs) Installed Between Concrete Balconies and Concrete Floors (AC464; https://icc-es.org/acceptance- criteria/ac464/). ICC-ES AC464 was partially based on a new Euro- pean Assessment Document (EAD) for LBTBAs which form a thermal break between concrete balconies and internal concrete floors. Struc- tural load tests, fire resistive assembly tests and engineering analysis were used as the basis for AC464, and allowed for a parallel evaluation to the EAD. The first ICC-ES evaluation report under AC464 was issued to HAL- FEN GmbH in ESR-3799 (https://icc-es.org/report-listing/esr-3799/). The HALFEN technical team, led by Dr.-Ing. Thorsten Heidolf, imple- mented a very proactive approach including structural and fire testing done as part of their European Technical Assessment (ETA). A review of the HALFEN test data and analysis confirmed compliance with ICC- ES AC464 requirements, and qualifying inspections of the HALFEN manufacturing facilities in Europe and the U.S. were successfully com- pleted prior to publication of ESR-3799. The HALFEN Insulated Con- nection (HIT) is a load bearing connection used as a structural thermal break for concrete to concrete connections such as reinforced concrete floor with reinforced concrete balconies. The HALFEN HIT system is a novel load-bearing connection assembly that utilizes steel reinforcing bars and innovative compression shear bearing units to transmits shear forces, bending moments or a combination of both shear and bend- ing moments. Mineral wool is utilized as both an insulating and a fire protection material providing a minimum 2-hour fire rating. Strut and tie models are used to analyze and design the HALFEN HIT structural connections in regards to the concrete failure modes. The technical solution to the complex connection behavior was facilitated by open and frequent communication between HALFEN, ICC-ES, and DIBt throughout the review process. “The combination of ICC-ES’s and DIBt’s technical expertise and communication skills made the development of AC464 and the ESR 3799 approval process very easy and straight forward”, said Dr.-Ing. Thorsten Heidolf, Team Manager of Structural Physical Products and Reinforcement Systems at HALFEN. “As a product manufacturer, we appreciate ICC-ES’s cooperation and quick turn-around as ICC-ES reports are a critical component of our marketing and design strategy.
HALFEN HIT System – Balcony to Main Slab Connection
During all phases of the process we felt that all parties were work- ing together as a team to accomplish a goal. The advantage for our customers is that the area of application, the design concept and other rules are checked and clearly described by experts.” In 2017, HALFEN’s HIT Insulated Connection received the first ICC-ES Evaluation Report (ESR 3799) for a structural thermal break system from ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES). HIT allows insulation to run continuously through the balcony increasing the effective R- value of the overall wall system by almost two times compared to an un-thermally broken balcony. ICC-ES and DIBt collaborated to develop AC464 under a Memoran- dum of Understanding (MOU) between the two product evaluation agencies. The MOU underscores the trust that the agencies have in each other’s technical and quality management processes. Other collaboration projects between ICC-ES and DIBt are currently in the works for different types of building products. "Global markets call for global product assessment solutions. We are happy to cooperate with ICC-ES to provide high quality product evaluations to our industry partners. Aligning American and European technical specifications is a key factor in reducing evaluation costs and times-to-market for our customers," said DIBt Vice President, Dr.-Ing. Karsten Kathage. “ICC-ES’ cooperation with DIBt was shaped to solve global manu- facturers’ conformity assessment challenges,” said William Gould, ICC-ES VP of External Relations & Client Services. “This partnership works because the two organizations have the same mission, and that is to streamline the global conformity assessment process while helping save lives in the built environment.” Subsequent revisions to ICC-ES AC464 were approved by the Evalua- tion Committee in June 2017 in order to address expanded polystyrene (EPS) as a different LBTBA insulating material, in addition to the mineral wool insulation previously approved in 2015. EPS insulating blocks used as part of an LBTBA under ICC-ES AC464 must also comply with the testing and manufacturing quality requirements in ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria for Foam Plastic Insulation (AC12).
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