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Code references for awning professionals

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The Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA) has developed the Fabric Awning and Canopy Building Code Reference Guide for its members, which provides information on individual state codes, a general overview of the International Building Code (IBC) regulations that apply to fabric awnings and canopies and a short listing of qualified engineers with knowledge of fabric structures.

A PAMA code task force keeps members informed about code-related issues, and a permitting guide for members explains how to apply for a permit, provides sample permitting forms and gives scenarios of what code-related issues might arise with local code officials.

“Some counties and municipalities have stringent building codes. While they may decide to adopt the IBC, they may also elect to create their own requirements,” says PAMA division manager Michelle Sahlin. “For example, awnings may need to meet local sign regulations or get approved by a historic district council. On commercial buildings, a permit is required along with a drawing signed and stamped by an engineer. In some municipalities it’s a complex process to maneuver through the building code system.”

Barb Ernster is a freelance writer based in Fridley, Minn.

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