TEXT IN RED is a LINK. u Home Accessibility Remodeling Guides u Survey Results u Building Official List u Professional Conduct u Frequently Asked Questions u Student-built homes u What’s New on the Web u Customer Service Survey
Students in construction trades in both high school and technical college programs are learning that today’s pre-fabricated homes have evolved well beyond the trailer homes designed years ago.
See page 5


Home Accessibility Remodeling Guides

Home Accessibility Remodeling Guides are now available on MHFA’s Web Site Two guides that can assist households in need of home accessibility features are now posted on the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) Web site: • The 10-part Home Accessibility Remodeling Design Series provides technical details and illustrations on how to make a range of modifications in a home’s layout, hardware and fixtures, including accessibility modifications such as handrails, grab bars, ramps, wheelchair accessibility, controls and lifting equipment. It also contains an extensive bibliography on these subjects; and • The Home Accessibility Remodeling Funding Resources profiles federal, state and local financing options, their basic eligibility requirements, and explains how to get more information about them or apply for them. These guides are available at accessibility. They are part of MHFA’s efforts to promote independent living by seniors and persons with a disability, and to assist their families, caregivers, service providers and contractors. We request your assistance in circulating information about these publications through your internal and external communications channels. For more information on the guides contact: Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Diane Sprague 651-296-2257 TTY: 651-296-2361 For more information on accessibility code requirements contact: Building Codes & Standards Division Curt Wiehle, 651-296-4633 TTY: 651-627-3529 ask for 296-9929

408 METRO SQUARE BUILDING 121 7TH PLACE EAST • ST. PAUL MN 55101 651.296.4639 • FAX: 651.297.1973 • TTY: 651-627-3529


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State Fair 2004


Whether we receive compliments or constructive criticism — we appreciate all comments we receive on customer surveys. Below are just a few of the comments we received the last quarter of our fiscal year. “Curt is great to work with. Very helpful and always returns calls in a timely manner.” Marc T. “Your office is always helpful in getting information we have asked about.” Greg F. “You guys are great! Thank you for all of your help”
Stephen W.

Customer Service Survey... How Are We Doing?
Thank you to the 186 participants who took time during the Spring Seminar, the Manufactured Homes Seminar, or the Limited Class to fill out a customer service survey. The volume of responses was wonderful. Furthermore, a number of individuals went above and beyond and added constructive comments. We value both the quantity and quality of these results for a number of reasons. With a larger response rate we can better evaluate ways to improve our customer service. The person you spoke with was Courteous 98% Knowledgeable 97% Understandable 92% Helpful 92% Timely 78% Phone Response Because our staff answers many questions, we to continue to seek ways to improve our response time. However, a phone call is still often the fastest way for us to respond to a question so be sure to give us your name and phone number. E-mail usage E-mail is a very popular way to contact us. Staff email addresses are listed on the website under Division Structure and Organiztion - Complete Staff Directory. Email Addresses Thank you to the 295 seminar participants who provided us with their current email addresses. This brings our current email distribution count to 1948. A special thanks to the many individuals who have taken the extra effort of notifying us when they have changed their email addresses. By providing us with phone numbers we are able to contact customers when we are having difficulty with an email address. At the beginning of the last year many municipalities were changing their email addresses . World Wide Web The web provides an excellent 24/7 resource of information. We encourage customers to become familiar with information available through our website and, As more basic questions are answered through a quick search on the web, staff time will be freed up to respond to calls requiring special attention. One of the best ways for us to improve the information we provide on the website is by providing us feedback. What questions are you asked most often? The development of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of the newsletter will in turn become a new FAQ section on the website that customers can first visit 24/7. According to the survey, code administration staff had twice the number of customer contacts as any other unit. Plan review received the next volume with education, office staff, accessibility, and website staff all about the same. No one was excluded (including the director’s office). We strive to respect your time by keeping the survey short. As a result we are all the more pleased when respondents take the time to provide additional comments and suggestions. Each suggestion is considered and each compliment shared with the recipient. We appreciate receiving ALL of your comments! We need your perspective and feedback to improve how we provide customer service. The willingness of responders to provide their names adds volumes of creditability to the results.
We always include the survey form at the end of this newsletter to allow our customers to provide feedback at any time. Thank you for taking the time to fill one out and returning it. (address and fax info is on page 1)

“Very helpful. The staff at BCSD has always been very helpful and pleasant to work with. Keep up the good work!” John B. “The continuing education requirement need to be clearer and simplified.”
Marc T.

“Sometimes it takes a couple of days to get a phone call back.” Cindy S.

Our goal is to answer all calls in a timely manner and our e-mail messages should inform callers when someone will be gone for an extended period. “Can the sites for the classes/seminars accommodate more people or add more classes?”
No name.

Yes. For example, an additional location was added for the Fall Seminar.



Formerly called Q&A, is now called FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) to match a search feature that will be available on our future website.

BCSD receives phone calls regarding a wide range of building code questions. Although each situation is different, some merit publication in this FAQ column. If you have a question, send it to Q: Is glass block exempt from the requirements for safety glazing? A: Before we respond, let’s define safety glazing.

to “safety glazing” (a comparatively recent terminological development) - “safety glazing” invariabley refers only to the glass or plastics infill panel. — Glass and Glazing Federation If you read through the International Residential Code (IRC) and International Building Code (IBC), along with the ACI document, it might appear that the code is not very clear on this subject. These codes seem to exempt glass block for no other reason than by specifically not referring to glass block in references to “hazardous locations.” According to the ICC Evaluation Service, the standards that glass block is manufactured under would exceed the impact requirements, thus it could be used in “hazardous locations.” In the International Residential Code glass block is listed under “Masonry Unit” in the code, conforming to the requirements specified in International Building Code section 2103 and 2101.2.5. The further reference is American Concrete Institute (ACI) 530, Chapter 7, “Glass Unit Masonry.” The scope of that provision is for “glass unit masonry...used as nonload bearing elements in interior and exterior walls, and in window openings.”

Glazing refers to the securing of glass or plastics in prepared openings in, for example, windows, door panels, screens, and partitions. “Safety glazing” is glass or ridgid sheet plastics material (e.g. acrylics, polycarbonate, etc.) which passes the impact test in the relevant national or international standard. In summary, “glazing” (in this technical context) is the action of securing glass or rigid sheet plastics into an opening. “Safety glazing” is the action of securing safety glass or safety plastics. “Safety glass” and “safety plastics are types of “safety glazing material”. In general, “glazing” is also often used to refer to the complete installation - i.e. frame(s) as well as infill panel. This traditional usage is not extended

Professional Conduct
Harvey Harvala, PE
The following article was published in The Communicator, 2004 Volume 9, Number 2. It is being reprinted here by permission of the author and the publisher.

During a recent meeting with the Arrowhead Building

Officials, I was somewhat surprised and enlightened by the spirited discussion that centered on the Board’s Statutes and Rules and the newly adopted Minnesota State Building Code (MSBC). Two core topics clearly emerged: The issue of a professional engineer’s certification of construction documents containing design or analysis outside of their tested discipline, and questions regarding the MSBC. First, professional engineers may practice outside of their tested discipline when that practice meets the criteria found in Minnesota Rules, chapter 1800.4200, which states, in pertinent part: A professional engineer may engage in practice in any branch of engineering; provided, however, that a professional engineer who certifies and signs plans, specifications, or other documents may be required to establish, to the satisfaction of the board, that the work was performed according to recognized and acceptable engineering standards and practice. [Minn. R. ch. 1800.4200, subp. 3(a).]

The Board’s Rules of Professional Conduct also state that “[a] licensee shall not falsify or misrepresent the extent of the licensee’s education, training, experience or qualifications to any person or to the public; nor misrepresent the extent of the licensee’s responsibility in connection with any prior employment.” (Minn. R. ch. 1805.0400.) A common sense solution satisfying a Building Official’s questions regarding a licensee’s competence and expertise became apparent to those participating in the discussion. The solution appears analogous to one that is routinely used by consultants who provide qualification submittals and project experience to clients in response to a Request for Qualifications. From my perspective, it is reasonable for a licensee to provide this type of information to a Building Official when requested. The adoption of the new MSBC and some of the specific challenges were also discussed. Of particular interest were questions relating to language interpretations, new design requirements and the “rational analysis” required- especially for structural engineers. It appears that some licensees and building suppliers even question if they can design under the “old code” (Uniform Building Code) in the non-code areas of Minnesota instead of the continued on page 4


Professional Conduct continued from page 3
newly adopted International Building Code, as amended, which is the newly adopted Minnesota State Building Code (MSBC). For example, the MSBC requires significant unbalanced snow loading on gable roof structures that is causing rigorous additional roof structural design and analysis of framing and support conditions, which in effect is complicating prior design processes. It is reasonable to assume that the standard of care in Minnesota will follow and track the recent adoption of the new code. Those that do not choose to follow the newly adopted building code may be assuming an unwanted risk, an increased liability, and the increased possibility of misrepresentation to the public that is likely to be in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. In summary, each (Architect) licensee is aware of the Rules of Professional Conduct - and has signed a document stating so. We should also be reminded that the Board statutes and rules clearly direct the charge of safeguarding life, health, and property, and promoting the public welfare, and that, as licensees, we are required to maintain public confidence and personal integrity with our clients and the public at all times. By performing professional services within our expertise and areas of competence to the standards set by applicable law, we as licensees, can adhere to the statutes and rules governing our licensure, and by promptly and professionally providing information regarding our qualifications, we will enhance the public’s confidence in the professions. Finally, Building Officials are to be commended for taking time to discuss the issues that relate to the statutes and rules within our mutual jurisdictions. Our licensed professionals and Building Officials are in a unique position to support each other with the enforcement of the new MN State Building Code and the Board’s statutes and rules.


Congratulations to the state’s recently designated municipal Building Officials:

• Bernard Schulte – Richmond • Brian R. Ellefson – Glyndon • Bob Baumann – Baxter • Steven Carson – Mountain Lake • Corey Block – LeCenter (Limited) • Bryan “Bud” Warmka – LeCenter (Limited) • Loren Kohnen – Becker (Certified) • David Graning – Becker (Certified) • Scott Dornfield – Delano

When you need general Minnesota Construction Code information, go to

Be sure to check the BCSD website at least once a week:
OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST: u BCSD Calendar (exams, seminars) u The Standard (current and past issues) u Pre-fabricated Building Packet for SCHOOLS u Minn. State Building Code in pdf format u Minnesota Licensed Manufacturer’s Foundation / Footing & Anchor Placement u Map with directions to BCSD u Counties that have adopted the code. Rules: u Contact Info u Advisory Committee Updates u Find the Building Official for your - 1311 Minnesota Code for Existing Buildings municipality. MOST RECENT POSTING: Manufactured Homes:


Pre-Fabricated Buildings Provide An Excellent Hands-On Learning Experience
Students usually do all of the building construction themselves with supervision provided by qualified instructors, and appropriate trade professionals including licensed contractors, plumbers, and electricians. Despite being a ‘school’ project, a home built at a school to be moved to another site is required to meet the Minnesota State Building Code the same as a ‘site built’ home. Inspections are provided under the state pre-fabricated structure law. Code requirements of a habitable structure include insulation, energy code, and safety requirements. Manufacturers installation requirements must be followed for all windows, doors, and siding products used. The inspectors will ask for these instructions during the rough-in inspections. If they are not followed, the faulty installation will have to be redone. Before a school can begin construction of a pre-fabricated building the following documents are required to be reviewed and forms must be processed. The following information and forms are posted on our website: Informational Printouts and Forms Manufactured Homes

Although many schools may offer industrial arts projects, construction of a pre-fabricated home provides the additional opportunity to incorporate instruction unique to building a habitable structure. Part of the valuable ‘real life’ construction experience provided by these school classes is compliance with the life safety requirements of the Minnesota State Building Codes.

School Pre-fabricated Building Packet: 1. 2004 - 2005 Requirements including a list of items changed or missed this past year. 2. Notice of Intent to Build Form 3. Request for Instructions 4. Roof Ventilation Work Sheet 5. School Approval Check List 6. Window and Door Schedule 7. Application for Seals and Certificates If you have any questions after reviewing these documents, please contact: Building Codes & Standards Division Manufactured Structures Section Representatives Duane DeLonais 651-296-4629, Jeff Murray 651-205-4861,


Request for Email Notification
Email is an efficient and effective method for distributing information and announcements. However, we respect your time and promise: - To keep emails very brief. - To limit the frequency of email distribution. - To not include attachments. Any documents referenced in emails are posted on our website unless otherwise noted. q Yes! I would like to receive a brief email notice from Building Codes and Standards. Topics I am interested in include: q Anything related to the Minnesota State Building Code q Educational Opportunities or Information: q For certification purposes. q For technical/informational purposes. My areas of interest include:
q Accessibility q Building Plan Preparation q Building Safety and Security q Code Administration and Reports q Construction Materials: _____________________ q Elevator Safety q Electricity* q Energy* q Fire Safety* q Industry Standards and Models* q Legal Issues:______________________________ q Manufactured Homes q IBC Modular/Prefabricated Structures q Mechanical Systems (ventilation) q Occupancy Codes q Plan Review q Professional Responsibility q Plumbing* q Problems: flooding, mold, ___________________ q Roof/Ceiling Design and Construction q Rulemaking q Structural Engineering ? samples instead q Windows and Doors* Other:_______________________________
Some training is provided with other agencies .

Check your most recent contact with us:
q q q q q q q q q Accessibility Staff Accounting Staff Certification Staff Code Administration Staff Director’s Office Education Staff Elevator Safety Staff Manufactured Structures Mechanical Bond Staff q q q q q q q q Office Staff Plan Review Staff Reception Staff Regional Services Staff Rules Staff Structural Engineering Staff Website Staff Other: ____________________ __________________________ __________________________

Was the person you spoke with . . . ...courteous? ...knowledgeable? ...understandable? ...helpful? Was the response time satisfactory?

Yes Somewhat No

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We appreciate your feedback! If you have comments or suggestions you would like to share, we would like to hear from you. Either use this form or you the Feedback form on our website. Emails we receive through the website Feedback form are processed through a remote server. We are not told who sent the email, unless you specifically include that information in your email. P.S. Be sure to include any feedback regarding our website:


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Direct: 651-296-4639 TTY: 800-627-3529

Building Codes and Standards Division

408 Metro Square Building, 121 East 7th Place, St. Paul, MN 55101-2181 Fax: 651-297-1973