11 Jun 2013

Increased competition in the code evaluations market is good news for manufacturers, but can it actually lead to safer products for consumers as well?

The connection between increased competitiveness in the code evaluations market and a safer public may not be immediately clear, but the path is much more direct than you might think. First, let's review the purpose of code evaluation reports.

Code reports, or research reports, are needed when new products are introduced into the market and they are either (a) made from an alternative material that is not currently covered in the International Building Code (IBC), or (b) are part of a system that encompasses multiple requirements in the code. The codes address minimum requirements for structural and fire performance (i.e. to help keep us safer). In order to show a product's or system's compliance, manufacturers can provide a research report from an accredited, independent, and objective third party.

Recent changes in the market give manufacturers more organizations to choose from and partner with for these reports.

With more organizations stepping up to provide code evaluations, manufacturers are given more choices. More choices mean competition, which leads to better service at lower prices. Better service at lower cost leads more manufacturers to seek evaluation for their products, a choice they may not have made in the past. This assurance of product performance and safety can now allow end-users to feel more confident in the products and materials that surround them every day.

As these accredited and qualified third party providers enter the code evaluation market, they are striving to meet the same high standards Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) are used to, and as required by IBC Section 1703.

Additionally, as market competition increases, the power returns to the manufacturers who now have more opportunities to bring products to market more cost-effectively, more quickly, and with the partner of their choice.

How do you feel about increased competition in the code evaluation market? Do you believe it will have an impact on your company's quality and safety processes?

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