ICC-ES versus ISO

ICC-ES versus ISO

As more and more of you are starting to bid and perform commercial projects, some of you are starting to see in the specifications that the helical pile manufacturer must be ISO certified. An ISO is a quality control system that a manufacturer has in place that has been independently verified so their products remain consistent. We are currently working on getting our ISO certification. However because of our Evaluation Service Report (ESR), the ISO requirement in the specifications shouldn’t prevent you from bidding on a project. Most engineers prefer an ESR report as opposed to an ISO certificate.

Attached is an article “Why Should I Care About ICC-ES Evaluation Reports?” that will help explain the differences between an ISO certificate and an ESR. Below is a summary of some of the differences.

  • An ESR report includes the load capacity of the product that has been independently verified by an accredited testing laboratory.
  • The report verifies the product is compliant with the model building code (IBC).
  • Conditions of use which highlights aspects of use or compliance of the product with the building code are also reported.
  • The Manufacturer also has to demonstrate that a quality control system is in place that will ensure that their products remain consistent. The ICC-ES also require the Manufacturer to have quarterly inspections by an independent accredited inspection agency to verify compliance with the ESR and quality control system in order for their ESR to remain valid.

The Acceptance Criteria for Helical Foundation Systems (AC358) was approved by ICC in June 2007. Ram Jack was the first helical manufacturer to meet all the requirements and receive their ESR. It took 3 1/2-years for Ram Jack to receive their ESR. It is a very long and through process. Several of our competitors that have ISO certification still have not received their ESR by proving the capacity of their system and code compliance after almost 5-years of effort.

An ISO certificate is good to have and we are working on obtaining ours. However, the main difference between an ISO certificate and an ESR report is that an ESR report is an ISO certificate on steroids. When you see in the specifications that an ISO certification is required, simply inform the engineer of record that Ram Jack is an ESR report holder and they will normally waive the requirement for you.

By: Darin Willis

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