ICC-ES is a nonprofit, limited liability company that does technical evaluations of building products, components, methods, and materials. The evaluation process culminates with the issuance of technical reports that, because they directly address the issue of code compliance, are extremely useful to both regulatory agencies and building-product manufacturers. Agencies use evaluation reports to help determine code compliance and enforce building regulations; manufacturers use reports as evidence that their products (and this is especially important if the products are new and innovative) meet code requirements and warrant regulatory approval. ICC-ES evaluation reports are public documents, available free of charge on the worldwide Web, not only to building regulators and manufacturers, but also to contractors, specifiers, architects, engineers, and anyone else with an interest in the building industry. All of these people look to ICC-ES evaluation reports for evidence that products and systems are code-compliant.
ICC-ES also has growing programs for evaluation of plumbing, mechanical, and fuel gas products, and of “green” building products.
ICC-ES came into being on February 1, 2003, when America’s four building-product evaluation services officially combined their operations. The four “legacy” evaluation services that came together to form ICC-ES were the National Evaluation Service, Inc.; BOCAI Evaluation Services; ICBO Evaluation Service, Inc.; and SBCCI Public Service Testing and Evaluation Services, Inc. Through the legacy evaluation services, ICC-ES has a history that goes back more than eighty years.
ICC-ES employs highly experienced evaluation specialists, licensed architects, and professional engineers with expertise in such specialized fields as civil, structural, fire protection, and mechanical engineering. Collectively, the ICC-ES technical staff has literally centuries of experience in evaluating construction products and technology.
The report process begins when a company submits an application for an evaluation report. The application is normally submitted with supporting data such as product information and test reports, along with appropriate fees to cover the cost of the evaluation. Once the application is received, ICC-ES assigns a member of its technical staff to evaluate the data and work with the applicant to make sure compliance is proven, before a report is issued, with either the building code or an ICC-ES acceptance criteria. (The latter documents are approved by an ICC-ES Evaluation Committee that is made up of building officials from across the United States.) Once the applicant has satisfactorily answered all questions raised by ICC-ES staff, and has fulfilled other applicable requirements, an evaluation report is issued and posted on the ICC-ES website—where it may be referenced by thousands of building departments and other interested parties.
New reports are issued for one year, after which they may be renewed at one- or two-year intervals, depending on the applicant’s preference. Of course, report holders can apply at any time to have their reports revised.
- If you are a building regulator, ICC-ES can tell you about products, systems, materials and methods that are code-compliant.
- If you are a manufacturer, a report from ICC-ES will make it easier to market your building-related product, because you have solid evidence that your product meets code requirements. The report on your product is available for reference by thousands of building departments, as well as other construction-industry professionals, free of charge, through the worldwide Web. For a tiny unit cost, you reach huge numbers of regulators and end users.
- If you are a specifier, designer, architect or contractor, and you want evidence for the local building official that you are using code-complying materials—look for an ICC-ES report!
- If you are a member of the general public, you, too, benefit from the work of ICC-ES—because ICC-ES actively promotes public safety in the built environment. Additionally, you can use evaluation reports to help in selection of building products for your own home or other property.
To better serve our clients and the public, ICC-ES maintains three regional offices. Click for contact information.