Division 1. PLAN OF OPERATION
The Texas Department of Insurance proposes amendments to §5.4008, concerning building code specifications in the plan of operation of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (Association or TWIA). The purpose of the Association is to provide windstorm and hail insurance coverage to residents in designated catastrophe areas who are unable to obtain such coverage in the voluntary market. The Association's plan of operation specifies in §5.4008 the applicable building code standards to qualify for coverage from the Association for structures located in designated catastrophe areas which were constructed, repaired, or to which additions are made on and after September 1, 1998, the effective date of the Building Code for Windstorm Resistant Construction (the code). The proposed amendments are necessary to make editorial and clarifying changes that make the code more user-friendly and easier to use.
The proposed amendments are a result of recommendations by the Building Code Advisory Committee on Specifications and Maintenance to expand the available use of the code in the designated catastrophe areas. The advisory committee´s recommended changes were submitted to the Commissioner on January 23, 2002 and those recommended changes were accepted by the Commissioner and are to be considered at a rulemaking hearing.
The proposed amendments to the code are as follows:
Section 300, Prescriptive Requirements, Area Inland of Established Dividing Line and Section 400, Area Seaward of Established Dividing Line.
1. 301 and 401, Foundations. A new paragraph is proposed for addition to the introductory information in subsections 301 and 401 to clarify that the foundation requirements specified in the code are minimum requirements for the wind resistance of the structure. The proposed new paragraph further specifies that other design conditions such as soil conditions and surface drainage are not within the scope of the building code and not addressed by the code requirements. Additionally, in paragraphs 301.3 and 401.3 entitled "Pier and Beam Foundation" language is proposed for addition to the text to generalize the beam anchorage methodology to allow the builders more options. The proposal includes a modification to the text in Figure 301.3A to clarify that the bolt connection shown is only one method of anchorage. Also, new Figure 301.3C is proposed for addition to Appendix J to provide guidance for anchoring the beams to the piers to resist uplift loading.
2. 303 and 403, Wood Stud Wall Framing. New clauses 303.1.2.3 and 403.1.2.3, entitled "Gable Endwall Offset (Platform or Balloon Framing) are proposed for addition to subsections 303 and 403 to provide a prescriptive method for construction of an offset at gable endwalls. New provisions are proposed for addition to Appendix I, the Fastening Schedule, to specify the type and spacing of the fasteners that are to be used with the proposed new wall framing options. Additionally, new Figure 303.1.2.3 is proposed for addition to Appendix J to provide an illustration of the framing details of the gable endwall offset. A typographical error in the footnote of Tables 303.3.2.1B and 403.3.2.1B is proposed to be corrected to reflect the proper combination symbol for the glued laminated beam. A typographical error in subpart 403.4.3.1 entitled "Shearwall Segment" that references a table on minimum shearwall segment widths is proposed to be corrected.
3. 305 and 405, Ceiling Framing. New subparagraphs 305.1.1 and 405.1.1 entitled "Strongbacks and Ceiling Joists Supporting Rafter Bracing" are proposed for addition in the Ceiling Joists provisions (305.1 and 405.1) to permit rafter braces to be supported by ceiling joists. The proposal includes tables for the maximum allowable span for ceiling joists supporting rafter braces. New Figure 305.1.1 is proposed for addition to Appendix J to illustrate the construction of the rafter bracing that is supported by the strongback and ceiling joist system.
4. 306 and 406, Roof Framing. An amendment to subparagraph 306.1.2 entitled "Rafter Braces and Splices" is proposed to provide an option in the rafter bracing section to address the construction of rafter braces supported by ceiling joists. An amendment to paragraph 406.4 entitled "Roof Deck" is proposed that would allow roof decks in seaward locations to be constructed with minimum " thick wood structural sheathing instead of the " thick wood structural sheathing currently required.
5. 307 and 407, Roof Coverings. A typographical error in the text of subparagraphs 307.1.1 and 407.1.1 entitled "Underlayment" concerning the application of composition shingles to roofs with low roof slopes is proposed to be corrected.
6. 308 and 408, Exterior Openings. New language is proposed to paragraphs 308.1 and 408.1 entitled "Exterior Doors" and to paragraphs 308.3 and 408.3 entitled "Exterior Windows" to provide guidance for the attachment of a wood nailer to a masonry door opening or a masonry window opening that would provide options for the attachment of door and window products to masonry construction including options on types of anchors for attachment to the masonry. An amendment is proposed to clause 408.5.1.1 entitled "Windborne Debris Protection Using Wood Structural Panels" to provide clarification and guidance for the proper attachment of wood structural panels when used as removable shutters on wood-framed structures that have either a wood structural panel siding exterior wall covering in compliance with paragraph 409.1 or for conditions where the perimeter of exterior openings are sheathed with wood structural panels. Modification to Figure 408.5.1.1 in Appendix J is also proposed to further clarify the proper attachment and installation of the wood structural panel shutters to wood-framed structures.
7. 310 and 410, Mechanical Equipment. An amendment to subparagraph 310.1.3 entitled "Air Conditioning Units Resting Upon a Supported Platform" is proposed to correct a typographical error that occurred when a table was renumbered and the reference to the table in the text was not updated.
8. 311 and 411, Miscellaneous Construction. An amendment to subparagraphs 311.4.1 and 411.4.1 entitled "General" proposes to clarify that overhangs at the ends of supported roof overhangs and porches may not exceed 2 feet. Additionally, an amendment is proposed that would delete the footnote at the bottom of Tables 311.4.2 and 411.4.2 relating to the width of overhangs for uplift requirements as the footnote is unnecessary.
Copies of the proposed amendments to the TWIA Building Code for Windstorm Resistant Construction are available from the Office of the Chief Clerk, MC 113-2A, Texas Department of Insurance, P. O. Box 149104, Austin, Texas 78714-9104.
The department will consider the adoption of amendments to §5.4008 in a public hearing under Docket Number 2520, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on April 23, 2002 , in Room 100 of the William P. Hobby, Jr. State Office Building, 333 Guadalupe Street, Austin, Texas.
Alexis Dick, deputy commissioner for the inspections group, has determined that for each year of the first five years that the proposed amendments will be in effect, there will be no fiscal implications for state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the section. Ms. Dick has also determined that there will be no adverse effect on local employment or the local economy.
Ms. Dick has also determined that for each year of the first five years that the proposed amendments are in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of adopting this amended section will be the facilitation of compliance by coastal builders with the code by making changes that result in a code which is more user-friendly and easier for builders and inspectors to use. There is no anticipated adverse economic effect on large, small or micro-businesses who are required to comply with the proposed amendments because the amendments do not add any prescriptive requirements to the code that make the code more restrictive. Any small business or micro-business that is required to comply with the proposed amendments to §5.4008 will incur no costs in addition to those costs that would be incurred under the section as currently adopted.
To be considered, written comments on the proposed amendments must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on April 22, 2002 to Lynda H. Nesenholtz, General Counsel and Chief Clerk, MC 113-2A, Texas Department of Insurance, P. O. Box 149104, Austin, Texas 78714-9104. An additional copy of the comment should be simultaneously submitted to Alexis Dick, Deputy Commissioner, Inspections Group, MC 103-1A, Texas Department of Insurance, P. O. Box 149104, Austin, Texas 78714-9104.
The amendments are proposed pursuant to the Insurance Code Article 21.49 and §36.001. Article 21.49, §6A specifies building code requirements and approval or inspection procedures for windstorm and hail insurance through the Association. Article 21.49, §6C requires the Commissioner to appoint a Building Code Advisory Committee on Specifications and Maintenance to advise and make recommendations to the Commissioner on building specifications and maintenance in the Association's plan of operation for structures to be eligible for windstorm and hail insurance through the Association. Article 21.49, §5(c) provides that the Commissioner of Insurance by rule shall adopt the Association's plan of operation with the advice of the Association's board of directors. Insurance Code §36.001 authorizes the Commissioner of Insurance to adopt rules which must be for general and uniform application, for the conduct and execution of the duties and function of the Texas Department of Insurance only as authorized by statute.
The following statute is affected by this proposal: Insurance Code Article 21.49§5.4008. Applicable Building Code Standards in Designated Catastrophe Areas for Structures Constructed, Repaired or to Which Additions Are Made On and After September 1, 1998.
(a) Areas Seaward of the Intracoastal Canal. To be eligible for catastrophe property insurance, structures located in designated catastrophe areas which are seaward of the Intracoastal Canal and constructed, repaired, or to which additions are made on and after September 1, 1998, shall comply with the
Building Code for Windstorm Resistant Construction. The Texas Department of Insurance adopts by reference the
Building Code for Windstorm Resistant Construction, effective September 1, 1998. Amendments to the
for Windstorm Resistant Construction are adopted by reference to be effective
June 1, 2002 [
April 1, 2001].
(b) Areas Inland of the Intracoastal Canal and Within Approximately 25 Miles of the Texas Coastline and east of the Specified Boundary Line and Certain Areas in Harris County.
(1) To be eligible for catastrophe property insurance, structures located in designated catastrophe areas specified in paragraphs (2)(A) and (2)(B) of this subsection and constructed, repaired, or to which additions are made on and after September 1, 1998, shall comply with the
Building Code for Windstorm Resistant Construction which is adopted by reference in subsection (a) of this section and any applicable amendments adopted by reference to be effective
June 1, 2002 [
April 1, 2001].
(2) (No change.)
- (No change.)
(d) (No change.)