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Tools for achieving code compliance: UL Certifications and UL Evaluation Reports

Determine code compliance using Product iQ database to source UL certified products.

Product iQ database
February 24, 2020

Authored by: Dwayne E. Sloan, Technical Director and John K. Taecker, Senior Regulatory Engineer

Most products used in building construction are required by the model building, fire, mechanical, electrical and energy conservation codes to be tested and/or certified by an approved third-party certifier in accordance with specific standards. Code compliance can be determined by using UL certified products as shown in UL’s Product iQTM certification database. “Installation Code Search” is one of the IQ Plus Search Tools in Product iQ under “Building Materials, Systems, and Installation Codes.” This search correlates specific model code section numbers with applicable UL certification information.

Product iQ Installation Code Search

However, some products are not addressed in the model codes; the model codes do not identify specific and clear requirements for certain products; or model codes have multiple requirements for a product not covered by a single standard. In these situations, additional technical evidence may be needed to determine if a new or alternative material, product, design or method of construction complies with the intent of the model codes. UL evaluation reports are intended to provide that technical evidence. UL evaluation reports provide guidance to code authorities, architects, designers, contractors and installers in determining code compliance of products to model codes when code requirements exceed the scope of individual UL product safety certifications. UL also provides evaluation reports to assist in determining code compliance of products to specific state codes when a state has defined additional requirements such as California and Florida. These evaluation reports do not address building commissioning or field inspections of buildings.

Requirements Used for Evaluation

The overall purpose of an evaluation report is to provide sufficient information so Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) can determine that a product or system is found to be at least equivalent to what is prescribed in the code in respect to quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety. UL evaluation reports are based on the requirements in the model installation codes, such as the International Building Code (IBC), International Mechanical Code (IMC), International Fire Code (IFC), International Residential Code (IRC), Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC), and National Electrical Code (NEC) and other standardized installation requirements.

When a product is not addressed in the model codes and/or the model installation codes do not identify specific and clear requirements for a product, the applicable International Code Council (ICC) Acceptance Criteria (AC) is used and identified in the UL evaluation report. If acceptance criteria do not exist, UL will review the codes and available product standards to determine applicable requirements.

When the model codes have clear, but multiple, requirements, i.e., not covered by a single standard, or the requirements are contained in various sections of the code, the appropriate codes and standards referenced in the model installation codes are used and identified in the UL evaluation report.

The test methods used are considered to meet the intent of the provisions of the model codes identified in an evaluation report. Wherever possible, the test methods are those specified in the model code or derived from a recognized test standard.

UL uses our vast testing experience, knowledge of products and test standards referenced within the model codes, and full involvement with the model code development processes in evaluating products. Throughout the lifetime of an evaluation report, UL regularly audits a manufacturer’s production facilities and products to determine continued compliance with the requirements.

Report contents

Each UL evaluation report contains the following information:

  • Report holder name and contact information
  • Scope of evaluation, including the model code(s) and the properties evaluated
  • Referenced documents, including a list of the codes, standards and acceptance criteria used to evaluate the product
  • Description of a product and how it is used
  • Performance characteristics covering a summary of the testing performed and the results of the tests
  • Information on how the product is to be installed and any limitations on its use
  • Supporting evidence which cross references product certifications and reports reviewed to determine compliance
  • A summary of product markings for identification of these products

The products described in each UL evaluation report are identified by a marking bearing the

manufacturer's name, the product type and the UL evaluation report number.

Reviewing UL Reports

UL evaluation reports can be found in UL’s Product iQ certification database. One of the IQ Plus Search Tools in UL’s Product iQ under “Building Materials, Systems, and Installation Codes” is for UL evaluation reports. General information is covered under the product category for UL Evaluation Reports (ULER).

Searching the Product iQ database

 

The individual categories for specific evaluation reports in the United States are:


Category Name

CSI MasterFormat®
Division Number

UL Product Category Code 

Scope

Concrete

03 00 00

ULEU

Cast-in-place concrete and cast decks and underlayment

Plastic Composites

06 00 00

ULEV

Wood/plastic or plastic lumber deck boards, guards, handrails and stair treads

Fire-retardant-treated Wood

06 05 00

ULET

Fire-retardant-treated lumber and plywood

Thermal Protection

07 20 00

ULEX

Thermal insulation, roof and deck insulation, and exterior insulation and finish systems

Weather Barriers

07 25 00

ULEY

Vapor retarders and air barriers

Steep-slope Roofing

07 30 00

ULEZ

Shingles and shakes, roof tiles, natural roof coverings, and building-integrated photovoltaic roof systems

Membrane Roofing

07 50 00

ULFB

Built-up and modified bituminous, elastomeric membrane, thermoplastic membrane, protected membrane, fluid-applied, coated foamed, and roll roofing

Roof and Wall Specialties and Accessories

07 70 00

ULFD

Roof specialties (such as copings, gutters and downspouts), roof accessories (such as ridge vents, roof hatches, and smoke vents), roof pavers, and wall specialties

Fire and Smoke Protection

07 80 00

ULFE

Applied fireproofing, board fireproofing, firestopping, smoke seals, and smoke-containment barriers

Plaster and Gypsum Board

09 20 00

ULFP

Plaster and gypsum board assemblies, supports for plaster and gypsum board, plastering (such as gypsum, cement, and veneer), plaster fabrications, backing boards and underlayments and gypsum board

HVAC Air Distribution

23 30 00

ULFR

HVAC ducts and casings, air plenums and chases, air duct accessories, and HVAC fans

Ventilation Hoods

23 38 00

ULFZ

Commercial kitchen hoods, grease ducts, and fume hoods

For more information on UL's evaluation service, please visit www.ul.com/evaluationreports

 

ULC Evaluation Reports for Canada 

ULC Evaluation Service is specifically geared to the requirements of the Canadian National Codes, to assist Regulatory Authorities in determining suitability and compliance of existing, new or innovative products, materials and systems for use in Canada. ULC’s Evaluation Reports help to bridge this gap by providing performance requirements for new and innovative construction materials and assemblies. These Evaluation Reports provide technical evidence that alternative material, product, design or method of construction comply with the intent of the building codes. ULC’s technical experts have full involvement in the code development process and complete knowledge of the product and test standards referenced within the codes.

ULC Evaluation Reports can be found in UL’s Product iQ. General information is covered under the product category for ULC Evaluation Reports (ULER7). 

The initial individual categories for specific ULC Evaluation Reports are:


Category Name

CSI MasterFormat®
Division Number

UL Product Category Code 

Scope

Thermal Protection

07 20 00

ULEX7

thermal insulation, roof and deck insulation, and exterior insulation and finish systems

Fire and Smoke Protection

07 80 00

ULFE7

applied fireproofing, board fireproofing, firestopping, smoke seals, and smoke-containment barriers

Plaster and Gypsum Board

09 20 00

ULFP7

plaster and gypsum board assemblies, supports for plaster and gypsum board, plastering (such as gypsum, cement, and veneer), plaster fabrications, backing boards and underlayments and gypsum board

For more information on ULC’s Evaluation Service, please visit https://canada.ul.com/ulcprograms/evaluationreports/

Most products used in building construction are required by to be tested and/or certified by an approved third-party certifier in accordance with specific standards. Code compliance can be determined by using UL certified products as shown in UL’s Product iQTM certification database.

Determine code compliance using Product iQTM database to source UL certified products.

For additional information about UL Evaluation Reports, please contact the Codes and Regulatory Services Team at [email protected].

Product iQ certification database

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Product iQTM is UL's free safety certification database, which requires a one-time user registration. 

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