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Wood is a better insulator than other structural materials.  It will keep your home's interior cooler on hot summer days.

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Wood is the only renewable resource for building.  It is the best building material for maintaining a healthy world, providing a sustainable resource for future generations while reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.


Engineered Wood Systems are stronger and straighter than ever before.  Wood is treated to approved standard which assure a safe and protected framework for the life of your home.  Hawaii's high humidity has no negative effect over time on a home framed in wood.    


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RE:  ANSI/TPI – 1995 & UBC 1997 - Applicable to Hawaii Building Code


Hawaii’s applicable building codes include the ANSI / TPI -1995 Standard.  All Contractors may not be aware of this code, and therefore, some contractors building homes on Military Installations under RCI and Privatization may not be meeting this building code.  Disregarding any building code standard could be a serious safety issue, especially during a hurricane, and would constitute an impossible legal position against any action concerning contract or negligence.


The Hawaii Building Code recognizes the 1997 UBC ANSI / TPI -1995 (with its amendments) regarding compliance by Truss Manufacturers.  I would like to first start with Chapter 35 of the 1997 UBC which states the following:




Section 3501 – UBC STANDARDS

The Uniform Building Code standards referred to in various parts of this code, which are also listed in Part II of this chapter, are hereby declared to be part of this code and are referred to in this code as a “UBC standard.”



The standards referred to in various parts of the code, which are listed in Part III of this chapter, are hereby declared to be part of this code.



The standard of duty established for the recognized standards listed in Part IV of this chapter is that the design, construction and quality of materials of buildings and structures be reasonably safe for life, limb, health, property and public welfare.



The standards listed in Part IV of this chapter are recognized standards.  Compliance with these recognized standards shall be prima facie evidence of compliance with the standard of duty set forth in Section 3503.


According to the Hawaii Building Code, the contractor must meet the 1997 UBC because it has the contractual duty to build in a manner that creates a “prima facie” level of compliance with the UBC’s Standard of Duty (Chapter 35, Section 3503- see above).  Disregarding a recognized standard then means that the contractor does not create a “prima facie” level of compliance (Chapter, 35 Section 3504 – see above).  Prima Facie means “at first instance”.  Naturally, compliance with Sections’ 3501 and 3502 UBC and Adopted Standards in and of itself creates a prima facie level of compliance.   Similarly, Sections 3503 and 3504 simply extend this presumption to Recognized Standards eliminating risk of liability from the contractors.  Section 3503 is the UBC’s standard of duty applicable for Recognized Standards.  Section 3504 states that the UBC’s level of compliance is presumed met where the builder complies with Section 3504.  By complying with Section 3504 and 3503 the contractor under the UBC mitigates his exposure to risk by following completely all parts, including the Adopted and Recognized Standards. 


We see no substantive difference between “UBC Standards” and “Adopted Standards” and violating an adopted standard will violate the Code.  Likewise, we see no substantive difference between “UBC Standards,” “Adopted Standards,” and “Recognized Standards.”  A Code is enacted primarily to set precedents of compliance resulting in a prima facie case against liability for services rendered.  Depriving a customer of this level of expectation should prove fatal to any contractor.   Any Company not following any of these standards leaves its customer unreasonably vulnerable to litigation and damages otherwise.


A Recognized Standard is first set forth and then specifically incorporated by reference.  It is part of the UBC.  For example, the UBC 1997 clearly and concisely references the ANSI/TPI – 1995 multiple times.  These Reference(s) from the 1997 UBC are as follows:



 5.            Design standards

5.2          ANSI/TPI National Design Standard for Metal Plate Connected Wood Truss Construction

5.3          ANSI/TPI 2 Standard for Testing Performance for Metal Plate Connected Wood Trusses



 These are UBC provisions that clearly define ANSI/TPI as UBC requisite truss design.  Accordingly, no other Design standard is given or reference.




2305.1       General.  The following design requirements apply.

2305.7       Metal-plate connected wood trusses SHALL conform to provisions of Division V.


The word “Shall” does not  mean “may”, “could,” “should,” or “ought to.”  The language is very clear that “shall” means “must.” 


Below is Division V in the UBC 1997, in its entirety, referred to by the above Section 2305.7:



Based on ANSI/TPI 1-1995, National Design Standard for Metal Plate Connected

Wood Truss Construction, of the Truss Plate Institute





2321.1 Design and Fabrication.  The design and fabrication of metal plate connected wood trusses shall be in accordance with the ANSI/TPI 1 -1995.


Once again the word “Shall” is clearly in the code.


2321.2 Performance.  Full-scale load tests in accordance with ANSI/TPI2 (see Section 2303, Item 5) may be required at the option of the building official to provide a means of demonstrating that minimum adequate performance is obtainable from specific metal connector plates, various lumber types and grades, a particular truss design and a particular fabrication procedure.  ANSI/TPI 2 provides procedures for testing and evaluating wood trusses designed in accordance with ANSI/TPI 1.


2321. 3In- plant Inspection.  Each truss manufacturer shall retain an approved agency having no financial interest in the plant being inspected to make nonscheduled inspections of truss fabrications and delivery operations.  The inspections shall cover all phases of the truss operation, including lumber storage, handling, cutting, fixtures, presses or rollers, fabrication bundling and banding, handling, and delivery.


In this section the 1997 UBC calls out for 3rd Party inspection system and once again “Shall” is used making it mandatory.


2321.4 Marking.  Each truss shall be legibly branded, marked or otherwise have permanently affixed thereto the following information located within 2 feet (610mm) of the center of the span on the face of the bottom chord:

1)       Identity of the company manufacturing the truss


2)       The design load.


3)       The spacing of trusses.



This section of the Code, Division V, is completely dedicated to the design of trusses and that they SHALL be designed in “accordance with” the ANSI/TPI-1995.  In fact the UBC gave it its own page.  The wording cannot be clearer or more direct; to think that the ANSI/TPI does not apply and that any arbitrary standard may be used is clearly fatal.    For example, 1997 UBC Chapter 35, Section IV is five (5) pages long that list all its Recognized Standards.  These standards include everything from Fire Testing of Foamed Plastics, Shingles, ASTM Ratings of Metals, ASTM Ratings of Concrete Aggregates, Rebar, APA Certifications of Plywood, ratings on all types of woods, and on and on.  It would be unthinkable that these “Recognized Standards are not part of the code .  


It is logically instructive to notice what is not in the code – an alternative standard to the ANSI/TPI.  There is no other recognized standard.  ANSI/ TPI are referenced in all the model codes including project specifications by the Army Corps of Engineers (see attached).


Recognized Standards allow meaningful incorporation of products and services into the Uniform Building Code where appropriate in the absence of direct inspections by an official of the ICBO.  Obviously it is impractical for Building Inspectors to inspect all products from manufacturers on a project. The population of Inspectors cannot fully cover all industries concerning Concrete Plants, Wood Treatment Facilities, Wood Plant, Plywood Manufacturing Plants, Steel Rolling Plants, etc.; so, therefore, the criteria recognized by the UBC and incorporated by reference into the Code is necessary.  Recognized Standards in Chapter 35 of the 1997 UBC are clearly code.  All products and services which do not meet Chapter 35 criteria therefore do not meet the STANDARDS OF DUTY as listed in SECTION 3503 and cannot be considered reasonably safe “for life, limb, health, property and public welfare”.


In brief, it is simple to understand that if a Code writes provisions that specify standards, those provisions are thereby Code.  We can think of no other way requirements are codified than to state references, specifically define those references, and then assign them a UBC numerical listing and Code Section number.  I really can’t fathom any confusion otherwise.


Hawaii’s Contractors need to use Truss companies that meet all the requirements of 1997 UBC - including Division V.  Truss companies dedicated to Quality by complying with the ANSI/TPI in regards to the UBC 1997 and IBC 2002 Codes allows their clients the peace of mind knowing they are meeting the STANDARDS OF DUTY as stated in SECTION 3503.


Ee: 1997 Uniform Building Code: Chapter 23 Section 2303 “Standards of Quality”, Chapter 23, Division V “DESIGN STANDARDS FOR METAL PLATE CONNECTED WOOD TRUSS, Chapter 35 (complete Chapter),


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Last modified: 11/12/07