January 23, 2012 | Last month I had the opportunity to accompany Edward Peterson and Michiel Graswinckel of Element Materials Technology, to Whittier, CA, home of ICC-ES. At first, I felt intimidated and was not quite sure why Edward asked me to join him? Nonetheless, I was curious as to why a person like Mark Johnson, President of ICC-ES, and his senior staff members would be interested in what I had to say.

With this opportunity in front of me, I set out to discover, who is ICC-ES? Do they really care about deck builders such as our NADRA members? Did they know NADRA existed and what we stood for? ICC-ES appears to most of us as this untouchable force behind a curtain, making calls without consideration of the women and men who have their boots on the ground. I was excited to peek behind the curtain and see what really goes on at this place of mystery.

I was shocked to hear that the ICC-ES shares many of the same concerns as we NADRA Members do when it comes to costs and feasibility of code implementation. ICC-ES also shares safety concerns and understands the importance of building sound structures. It was enlightening to hear them speak of cost implications which NADRA members face when new codes are implemented and enforced. People at the ICC-ES office realize; you can have the very best codes in the world but if they are not feasible, nobody will follow them. It was refreshing to hear their perspective, as we sometimes scratch our heads and wonder, “Who thought this code was a good idea?”

With the help of the Edward and Michiel from Element, we had a very productive meeting. Areas of discussion were:
   • ICC-ES and Element working closely in the future to develop a streamlined and cost effective process for deck, rail, and accessory manufactures to acquire an ICC-ES-ESR number.
   • ICC-ES working closely with NADRA on its educational endeavors such as:
      – Kaplan training
      – Deck Expo
      – Certified Deck Builder Program

NADRA will keep you posted as these programs develop. These are exciting times for members of NADRA. The fine people at ICC-ES now understand that NADRA members are the voice for the Deck and Railing industry. ICC-ES is not something to be nervous about but rather our partner in building and growing the future.

Shawn Miller