Choice, choices … how can you be sure you made the right one? While nobody should be making decisions for you, Uniform ES reports can help you make an informed decision in one place where it really counts — your home.
A UES report simplifies the difficult task of verifying which products have been recommended for code approval. Only the local code official can actually approve anything, but IAPMO’s Uniform Evaluation Service is a trusted provider of independent third party product reviews.
As consumers, we expect everything we touch to be certified to a standard. From the cars we drive to the food we eat, everything is tested and retested and then marked as compliant before we can purchase it. The same mentality applies to the building of our homes, businesses and schools. Someone is looking out for our well being.
A typical house has more than 1,000 different types of building products in it. These products range from things as seemingly simple as wood, nails and metal framing connectors to electrical plugs, heating/air conditioning units and garage door openers. Just about every one of these components has a standard that has been agreed upon by industry and regulators that designates the size, composition, performance and how that one product has to work together within the system that is called a home, school or place of work.
Uniform Evaluation Reports alerts the person from your building and safety jurisdiction that the products being installed in your home have been tested and evaluated to the rules/laws that regulate building construction. If you ever walk down the aisles of a lumber yard or a home improvement retailer, you see these little symbols on the products or packaging that are similar to what you see on your appliances, but these marks cover the things that are embedded inside your walls. The typical consumer household appliances are only designed to last for a few years; the infrastructure hidden under/behind/within your floors, walls and roof are designed with a much longer lifespan in mind.
There is a misconception that the government keeps track of “certifying” building products. In reality, it is a collaboration of government, manufacturers and independent third-party evaluators that confirm that the correct questions have been asked and answered by the manufacturer. We as consumers assume the products meet the building product standards, but Uniform Evaluation Reports provide a detailed assessment of a product’s compliance.
Uniform Evaluation Reports provide uniformity in product listings. Homebuilders, tradespeople and building owners all want consistency in the products used in construction. You have heard that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link; the same applies to a building, as all the products must be uniformly constructed to work.
Uniform Evaluation Reports ask the right tough questions of manufacturers. It is a global marketplace, so whether the products are manufactured domestically or overseas all products must be tested and verified to meet the standards.
Uniform Evaluation Reports provide tools for the building inspector, so he can approve your construction with confidence. We work with the building professionals because what you don’t see is just as important at what you can see when it comes to building and system interaction.
You want experts evaluating the specific products used in the building to ask the manufacturer the right questions and make sure they have the right answers for compliance.
So does a UES Report automatically grant a recognized product acceptance by the local code official?
No, it can’t. Only the local code official can make a final determination of code acceptance. The UES report does, however, tabulate the evidence in support of approval and provides that information in a concise manner. A code official can then use the report as the basis for a decision for acceptance.
How do I know if a product has an UES report?
Our current UES reports are posted on our Evaluation Reports Directory. Click on Report Directory or click here to go directly to the directory. Outdated reports are removed from the Website, so if the report is not shown in the directory it is obsolete.
How can selecting products with a UES report save me money?
It saves you money by speeding new technologies to the market place. It also saves you money by shortening the approval process. On the flip side, suppose a non-recognized technology is purchased; how much time will you spend getting the local code official to accept it? Could you have rather used that time for productive pursuits?
Are Evaluation Reports a new development, and who makes them?
Codes were regionally
1990 to 2007
Three code groups merged
to form ICC
IAPMO’s Uniform ES
BOCA Building Officials and
– (Northern US)
|ICBO International Council of
Building Officials (Western US)
|NES National Evaluation Service
|SBCCI Southern Building Code
Does it cost me anything to use a UER?
What can I learn from a UER on a product we selected?
Lots. You can see which of the manufacturer’s products are specifically recognized and if there are any special installation requirements or specific areas of recognition. Lots of other great pertinent information is summarized in each report.