A good tool in the hands of an experienced craftsman can help safely finish the job with efficiency, bringing a design concept to reality. Before any building product is approved for installation though, there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. A major gate in the overall product approval process is independent product evaluation.

As a non-profit subsidiary of the International Code Council (ICC), ICC Evaluation Service, LLC (ICC-ES) performs evaluations for building products, as well as plumbing, mechanical and gas (PMG) products.

ICC-ES is ISO/IEC17065 accredited as a conformity assessment body and conducts independent evaluations of products for compliance with code requirements in the US and Canada. Created in 2003, ICC-ES is an extension of the code official’s staff and serves as a valuable resource to building departments across the U.S.

Evaluation reports for innovative products are necessary for such products to be approved for installation in accordance with the International Building Code (IBC). These reports serve as a powerful tool to builders, product manufacturers, specifiers, and code officials. An online directory of ICC-ES evaluation reports is available at www.icc-es.org. ICC-ES currently maintains hundreds of active product evaluation reports and listings in its centralized directory, with more being issued every month. Product categories cover numerous applications such as concrete and masonry anchors, reinforcing fibers for concrete, wood I-joists, photovoltaic rack and mount systems, and suspended ceiling systems. Recent innovative developments include structural building materials from shipping containers, magnetic fasteners, and alternative seismic design of precast concrete diaphragms and qualification of precast concrete diaphragm connectors.

ICC-ES evaluation reports for building products are organized according to Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) guidelines. Directory search options are by CSI specification division and section number, manufacturer or product name, evaluation report number, product name, or code editions. Downloads of the evaluation reports, building product listings and PMG product listing documents are free. ICC-ES also maintains over 270 active acceptance criteria used in product evaluations, with more being developed each year.

For product manufacturers, online application forms are available to start the ICC-ES evaluation process. To access the evaluation report and listing directory, visit www.icc-es.org.