Thursday, June 15, 2017

Maryland Making It Easier for Modular Sprinkler Design Process

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What had become a pain in the neck when it came to modular factories and builders to get sprinklers added to homes heading for Maryland, it now appears that new regs and rules could make it a model other States could adopt. Yes, it really looks that good.

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CLICK HERE to read the MD Memo to the modular housing industry and watch the video included as it explains it quite well.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Coach,

Do not make this out to be better then what it is. MHBA was trying to get the manufacturer out of the sprinkler installation and giving our modular builders the same process that the site builders have been doing for years. All this does is delay when we have to submit the certified sprinkler design and it does not get the manufacturer out of the sprinkler system. This change was a way to get the MHBA off of the states back and the state of Maryland made it to suite their desires and kept the modular manufacturer responsible for third party site installed sprinkler systems which they have no part of. This is a joke.

Coach said...

It is a nice video though!

William aka "Little Bill" said...

The manufacturer still needs a copy of the sprinkler design and calculations and submit it to the third party before constructing the house.

Tom Hardiman said...

I love it when anonymous people make uninformed comments which they clearly know nothing about. MHBA had no ulterior motive other than to try to streamline the process for a modular home to get approved compared to a site built home. This change allows the home building process to start 2-3 weeks earlier. It's not ideal, but sprinkler systems in MD are not going away.

This continual BS of pitting the manufacturer against the builder and pointing fingers is why we are still at 3% market share. Your comments are an insult to those of us who are trying to make a difference. If you don't like how MHBA handles its government affairs, step out from behind the anonymous label and step up and help.

Ken Semler said...

As a builder in MD and part of the MHBA this effort gives us parity in time frame now with site builders. Obviously the best answer would be to not do sprinklers. There is a subtlety that is lost on most builders, and perhaps manufacturers, in this industry. We don't actually build modular homes to the IRC, we build them to the codes adopted by the Industrialized Housing oversight entity in the state the home is being delivered to. What ever code, or variation of that code, that is adopted by that entity is what we build to.

In MD, Industrialized Housing regulations did require modular buildings to have sprinklers before they required site built home to have them. We are past that now. What we wanted was to have parity of time frame with site builders for doing sprinkler design. We don't need to have the factory put the sprinkler system in the home now. And with this change, we don't actually have to have the design done until the house ships which means a building permit is in place and a design is needed for that. That is exactly when a site builder needs to have his design complete, when he applies for a building permit.

Will a factory build a home and then hope to get the sprinkler design? I would guess not. However, they can get the plan approval and schedule a home for production just as they do now when the builder is getting a building permit. The builder now has to have his sprinkler design done at that same time he is getting his building permit... just like a site builder.

As a builder in Maryland, that is what we wanted and in the world of Maryland where sprinklers are required, I count this as a win for the modular industry in gaining parity with site built construction. There may still be a piece or two of paper that has to be filed but we just knocked 2-4 weeks off the modular building process in MD!

Harris Woodward said...

Anonymous, please don't forget: MHBA has a tiny fraction of what NHBA has for lobbying money, and Ken and me and other builders volunteer our time for you and everybody else. Without pay. So please consider when you start whining. If your approach is cup-half-empty, keep it to yourself. I'd like to get above 3% market share and it won't happen with whiners at the helm.

"Little Bill" - actually the language carefully states that the manufacturer can build the modules normally. But they cannot affix insignia until they are sent the approved sprinkler design from their 3rd Party (PFS, NTA).

I agree that the manufacturers should not have to be held accountable for a scope of work entirely outside of their control. What the builder does is not their concern.

Unfortunately, this is a function of the set up between Annapolis legislation and how they enforce COMAR (building code) within MD Codes Admin. MD Codes regulates industrialized buildings. For us to try and alter this regulatory setup would be a herculean effort. We just don't have the means right now. Like Ken said: we'll take the 2-4 weeks (5 weeks on public water!) all day long.