New High Wind Testing Method for Asphalt Shingles Accepted by the International Building Code, Says Asphalt Roofing Manufactuers Association

Group applauds approval of wind uplift resistance standards, says code change will eliminate confusion for builders and regulators.

Washington, D.C. – After nearly 15 years of research and analysis leading to the development of new test methods for asphalt shingle performance in high wind situations, the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) announces that a new, unified ANSI/UL and ASTM testing methodology has been approved for inclusion in the 2004 Supplement to the 2003 edition of the International Building Code (IBC).

“This is a key ruling that provides the guidance currently lacking in code language as to how asphalt roof shingles should be classified and applied in specific situations,” says Russ Snyder, executive vice president of ARMA. “IBC has recognized that many jurisdictions are struggling to enforce code standards that, until now, were vague and indeterminate. This lack of code clarity threatened to eliminate, by default, a whole class of legitimate products from consideration by building owners, contractors and installers.”

The additions to the 2004 Supplement include: ANSI/UL2390-04 “Test Method for the Wind Resistance of Asphalt Shingles with Sealed Tabs,” and ASTM D6381 “Measurement of Asphalt Shingle Mechanical Uplift Resistance.” The test methodologies were developed with the support of ARMA over a 14-year period with input from code officials, wind engineers, the insurance industry, and allied organizations.

According to statements available on the ARMA Web site (, the new standards, along with anticipated changes to the code classification system for the application and use of asphalt roofing materials in specified Wind Zones, will enable designers and contractors to specify and install the proper shingle for a particular project. The new classification system will also aid building code plans reviewers and inspectors in enforcement of building code requirements.

A second ARMA proposal to the International Code Council, calling for a revision to current International Residential Code (IRC) language that will reflect the new standards, is now underway. This revision addresses the application of the new standards as they relate to shingles suitable for use in areas where wind speeds reach 90mph, (Class D wind zone), 120mph (Class G) and 150mph (Class H). When approved, the new text will be added to the existing Section R905.2.6 of the IRC code. Products that meet these new classifications are expected to be widely available, and are not anticipated to add to the current cost of shingles.

The new standards will be published in the 2005 edition of the International Residential Code. For now, architects, builders and local code officials seeking the proper shingle to meet performance requirements in high wind zones can find the answers they need in the 2004 Supplement.

“Although there is further work to be done to incorporate these standards into the IRC,” Snyder adds, “this approval of the new test standards by the IBC eliminates the possibility of local code-enforcement jurisdictions from outlawing shingles simply because of a lack of wind uplift resistance standards.”

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association is the North American trade association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of bituminous-base residential and commercial fiberglass and organic asphalt shingle roofing products, roll roofing, built-up [BUR] roofing systems, and modified bitumen roofing systems. For additional information concerning ARMA, its programming and activities, contact ARMA at: [202] 207-0917; fax: [202] 223-9741; or visit the ARMA web site at:

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