The NAHB Research Center, which has been a long-time resource for standards and method-of-test development, has been officially recognized as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standards Development Organization. This new designation means that in addition to testing and certifying products based on the criteria of model code groups and other standard-setting groups, the Research Center can now initiate and process standards following their own accredited consensus procedures.
One of the Research Center’s goals stemming from this ANSI recognition will be to heighten the involvement and input of end users--consumers and builders--in developing standards for the residential building market. These groups of stakeholders, while often the most affected by new or revised standards, often hold only a minority status in the consensus standard development process. As there are more than 600 standards referenced in building codes across the country, the Research Center hopes to focus some attention on particular standards activities that would fulfill a specific need for the future benefit of residential builders, consumers and manufacturers.
One of the first activities the Research Center will undertake as a designated development organization will be to reexamine and possibly revise the ANSI Z765 standard, which covers methods of determining square footage of dwellings. This has been an area fraught with ambiguity throughout the home building industry for many years, and while the existing standard has helped to lessen the confusion that exists, there is still refinement that can be done. The Research Center will consider other standards related to residential construction in the future, as need dictates.
The NAHB Research Center is recognized as a test laboratory, quality assurance agency and certified product listing agency by many building and plumbing code agencies, and by national, state and local code enforcement authorities, including National Institute of Standards & Technology-National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP); National Evaluation Service, Inc.; ICBO Evaluation Services, Inc.; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Product Standards and Certification; International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPM0); City of Los Angeles, CA-Testing Agency License; Metropolitan Dade County, FL-Testing Laboratory License; and Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.