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President/CEO Member Briefing Release

Attention: ECC Members:

Further to my prior President’s briefings, I want to take this opportunity to update you on a number of important ECC initiatives underway in the last few months of 2013. I will focus on the more significant topics with a quick summary. If you need additional information on any item, please contact me personally.

 ECC EIFS Practice Manual

In 2013, we witnessed the release of the ECC EIFS Practice Manual (ECC EPM), our much anticipated educational and technical tool, which represents the most comprehensive and up-to-date user resource for EIFS–industry professionals currently available in the EIFS marketplace. Based upon the professional feedback received thus far, the ECC EPM clearly established a new benchmark as far as building industry publications are concerned. Since its release, the ECC EPM has been downloaded by EIFS users and practitioners of every stripe from around the world and has quickly become the industry go-to resource. If you haven’t had the opportunity to obtain a copy as yet, please visit our website and register for your electronic version. In support of the educational and promotional opportunities available for the ECC EPM, we are in the process of transposing a detailed, presentation for use across the EIFS user spectrum. It should be available shortly for members to obtain and utilize.

EIFS and the 2015 National Building Code

After three years of meetings and efforts, the Canadian Code Centre Joint Task Group on EIFS has declared its work complete and has put forward code changes that will see, for the first time, all three parts of the EIFS ULC S716 family of standards adopted and referenced in the National Building Code. The ECC was a pivotal force on this initiative, both technically and financially, and was well represented on the Task Group itself. The ECC was instrumental in advocating the positions and desired outcomes of the industry and has brought about a code language for EIFS that will better its adoption in terms of use (that is, where, when, and how it will be used) and characterization (that is, what will be expected). The new changes affect projects under the scope of Parts 5 and 9, with ULC S716.1 (Materials) adopted as the underpinning standard that will govern use and application, and are referenced in both parts of the code. ULC S716.2 (Installation) and ULC S716.3 (Design) are referenced in Part 9 of the code and will become a prescriptive requirement for all projects falling under its scope. ULC S716.2 and ULC S716.3 will also be referenced in the Appendices section of Part 5 of the NBC. Release of the new version of the NBC is scheduled for January 2015 with all provinces expected to adopt the new NBC code at their next provincial update.

EIFS and the 2012 Ontario Building Code Addition

As a result of determined and precise ECC advocacy efforts, the Ontario Building Code, in a seldom if not entirely unprecedented move, has adopted EIFS’ standards in advance of the National Building Code changes being implemented. The ECC was instrumental in orchestrating timely adoption and nuanced changes for the 2012 Ontario Code amendments and ensured the effective date was set within a time frame that will allow the industry to be properly positioned to fully comply. The effective date for EIFS–related enforcement is set for 2015. This timing not only allows manufacturers to secure required ULC S716 conformity assessments, but also facilitates the opportunity for the industry to mount a well-delivered awareness campaign with all authorities having jurisdiction in the province. The significance and benefit of this achievement for EIFS in Canada should be clearly understood and celebrated by all those involved in this industry.

 EIFS Quality Assurance Program

The last few months of 2013 witnessed the continued roll-out of the EQI across the country with QAP projects tendered in Ontario and Western Canada. Several of these projects have been awarded and are to commence in the first quarter of 2014. We expect to release further promotional information on these and other new projects as they progress.

With respect to certification and licensing, we have updated all of our EQI exams to reflect our new code requirements and EIFS standards, as well as the ECC EPM. The EQI exams will be offered to potential candidates across Canada on a reserved basis through a network of exam centres within easy reach of every potential candidate in the country.

ECC & CCMC Cooperation Agreement

During the last quarter of 2013, the ECC engaged in critical and time-sensitive discussions and negotiations with the Canadian Construction Materials Centre (CCMC) that resulted in a historic and unprecedented cooperation agreement being reached between the two organizations at a meeting in early December. The CCMC, which operates within the National Research Council of Canada, offers a national evaluation service for all types of innovative building construction materials, products, systems, and services.

The December meeting, organized and chaired by the ECC President/CEO, was also an industry first in that principals and/or senior management from all nine ECC EIFS manufacturers active in Canada were present in a meeting at the same time with CCMC. The nine ECC manufacturer members have unanimously agreed to support this ECC/CCMC cooperation agreement, which will be finalized and signed by February. The agreement also provides for the creation of a working task group, which will be made up of technical personnel from the ECC members as well as the CCMC, to work on the various objectives and components of the agreement’s scope. This historic agreement between the ECC and CCMC should facilitate a smoother harmonization and transition period for the CCMC Evaluation Reports, Technical Guide, and EIFS S716 Standards, regarding conformance and compliance with the new national and provincial building code requirements.

ECC Research, Educational, Promotional Initiatives

As the EIFS industry continues to mature and capture greater share of the wall-cladding space, it is more important than ever that stakeholders from designers to mechanics are up-to-date on the latest generation of EIFS technical materials. The ECC has invested in the development of several learning and quality awareness tools, not the least of which are the standards themselves. As these standards become codified and entrenched in the marketplace, they will be game changers for everyone involved in the industry. ECC is currently driving and funding two major EIFS research projects that are due for completion in January 2014. These efforts are certain to provide significant benefits to the acceptance and advancement of EIFS in Canada and beyond. One project is focused on a comprehensive EIFS Performance Review and the second is known as The BC Thermal Performance Guide. I will not go into detail at this stage as each of these projects will have a significant impact.

Presentations have also been prepared and delivered across Canada to other key stakeholder users, outlining the EIFS value proposition relative to the new Energy Code requirements. In fact, last week an excellent presentation was made to the Ontario Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, which saw its highest attendance ever for a learning session.

 ECC GDDC Research & Testing Project (EIFS 3)

As I have reported in previous updates, the ECC has been engaged in a groundbreaking project during the past two years with IRC/NRC/CCMC (also referred to as EIFS 3) that involves the development of a brand new test methodology for assessing the thermal performance of EIFS with geometrically defined drainage cavities (GDDC). A second significant objective of this project is to develop an innovative tool/equation that, when combined with a series of cavity flow characterization tests, would provide a quick and cost-efficient method to evaluate the effect of various construction details on the effective thermal resistance and seasonal energy efficiency of EIFS walls. This project is entering its final phase this year and will provide important research and test data to add further support to the excellent thermal performance features of EIFS as it relates to the energy and building codes. The ECC has provided significant funding to this project as the client and is acting as the manager and coordinator of industry participation.

ECC Membership Expansion

Our ECC membership base has continued to advance during the 2013 fiscal period with a nice uptick this fall from the Distributor, Contractor, and Building Science/Testing categories across the country. As previously reported, the ECC continues to represent 100% of the EIFS manufacturers in Canada that are certified to market EIFS. We have developed a membership broadcast bulletin that will be released three times a year to the construction marketplace to recognize and promote our ECC members. It is also rewarding to witness the growing number of architects specifying ECC contractor membership as a base requirement in their specifications for contractors bidding on their non-EQI EIFS projects. We also encourage ECC members to support their fellow supplier and services members when it comes to purchasing industry-related products and services, as this is an important value proposition with any successful industry association, and the ECC is no exception.

Contact: John M. Garbin
President/CEO EIFS Council of Canada & EIFS Quality Assurance Program Inc,  jgarbin@eifscouncil.org, 70 Leek Crescent, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 1H1, Direct Line: 416 847-9155, Office: 416-499-4000 ext. 121, Fax: 416-499-8752,
Email: jgarbin@eifscouncil.org