Question of the Day - #3 Vapor Retarders

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Question of the Day - #3 Vapor Retarders

Postby RDavidson » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:42 am

It is April 2015 and a dwelling designer calls with a question about vapor retarders. You tell her that the requirement is found in amended section R702.7. She says that is the problem. She says that the code requires Class I or II vapor retarders in Climate Zones 6 and 7. She says she can’t find out where Climate Zones 6 and 7 are in Minnesota. She says she looked in the table of contents and the index and there is no reference to climate zones. She said she looked in Chapter 3 that has maps and tables on all things wind, seismic, termites, etc., but nothing on climate zones.

You look through your code book and find she is right. So you ask your permit tech where to find the climate zones for Minnesota. She tells you that the map is in Chapter 11. You tell her that 1309.0010, Subp. 2, only adopts chapters 2 thru 10 thereby deleting chapter 11. Your permit tech tells you that is your problem.

So you call the designer back and tell her that the map isn’t in her adopted Minnesota Residential Code but in the International Residential Code Chapter 11 which isn’t adopted. So she asks what portions of Minnesota are in Climate Zones 6 and 7. You tell her all of Minnesota is in either Climate Zone 6 or 7. She says, why don’t you just say that! You say get used to it. She says, how about if we don’t install a vapor retarder? What code section are you going to cite when you try to enforce this rule? She says that your reference to a chapter that is not adopted makes the entire question moot. You call your city attorney and pose the question. What do you think she will say?
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