New ICC CEU: Treated Wood for Decks


A new ICC CEU is available on code compliant treated wood for residential deck construction.

Code Compliant Treated Wood for Residential Deck Construction” is a new ICC CEU course that educates building professionals on the use of code-compliant treated wood in residential deck structures. The course covers an overview of the Code Compliant Wood Preservatives, the American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) standards, and the AWPA’s Use Category System (UCS). (See details on the course at the end of this article.)

Recent updates to the 2016 AWPA Use Category System for treated wood, which include modifications to the section that outlines proper applications of Above Ground (UC3B) and Ground Contact (UC4A) treated wood, are causing some confusion in the industry.

The fact is, above ground treated wood remains International Building Code (IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC) compliant for most deck projects under Section R317.1 and Section 2303.1.9 respectively. Some retailers and wood treatment companies have misinterpreted the language to mean that only ground contact lumber meets the updated AWPA Use Category System standard for deck framing applications.

That is not the case.

To help reinforce the continued code compliance of above ground UC3B lumber for deck construction, preservative manufacturer, Viance, has recently reaffirmed their Lifetime Limited Warranty on above ground preservative treatment when used properly.

“The AWPA revisions created confusion in the marketplace. Now more than ever, above ground treated wood is a great choice for architects, deck-building contractors, and home owners looking to build a long-lasting elevated deck,” says Bill Fields, president of Viance.

“As code officials are inspecting deck projects, they should be guided by the latest, most accurate information available,” Fields says. “Knowledge is power, and we want them to know that above ground treated wood remains code compliant for most common decking applications.”

The preservative levels required to meet the AWPA UC4A ground contact standard not only increases the likelihood of higher project expense because the wood is more expensive, but also means higher amounts of chemicals are brought into the environment. Using above ground treated wood for most common decking applications is a greener choice, as it has less preservatives while ensuring performance.

Fields reminds building pros that not all treated wood is the same. The key differentiator for code officials, architects, contractors, and home owners is the end tag on tcodewatcher-viance-checkmarkhe lumber,” he explains. “That end tag should bear the distinctive CheckMark of Quality (pictured right) as proof of ANSI-accredited, consensus-based AWPA certification.

The Checkmark of Quality assures code officials, builders, and consumers that the preservative has been reviewed by the AWPA to meet stringent standards for superior deck life, performance, and environmental safety. The AWPA standards are directly referenced in the IBC and IRC model building codes.

“Not every preservative has earned the CheckMark of Quality,” Fields notes. “Code enforcement officials need to feel confident that the wood they’re inspecting is AWPA standardized. The CheckMark of Quality offers code officials the certainty they need at inspection time.”

Code officials seeking the latest information on the changes to the AWPA 2016 Book of Standards, the basis for IBC and IRC treated wood compliance, should visit Or you can email for more information.

Viance is an ICC Preferred Education Provider. Its CEU course “Code Compliant Treated Wood for Residential Deck Construction” is now online or available for live presentations at building code educational events.

ICC PP “Live Presentation” CEU Course #8943
ICC PP “On-Line” CEU Course #8986
Credit Hours: 0.1 Hour CEU

Photo from Designwood. See their products here.