The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) plays a vital role in ensuring the safety and quality of industrialized housing and industrialized buildings in Texas. As part of their commitment to public safety, the TDLR has established a certification inspection program that focuses on verifying compliance with state regulations and industry standards for companies that manufacture industrial buildings and modules that will operate in Texas.

Armoda manufactures technical buildings and office modules that are used in the state of Texas. Because of this, our manufacturing facilities have undergone the certification inspection program for industrialized housing and buildings. In this article, we will break down the purpose of the TDLR's certification inspection program for industrialized housing and buildings and how a manufacturer obtains certification.

Purpose: Ensuring Compliance and Safety in Industrialized Housing and Buildings

Industrialized housing and buildings refer to structures that are partially or entirely manufactured off-site and assembled on-site. Examples include modular homes, portable classrooms, and prefabricated commercial structures (like Armoda's technical buildings and office modules). The TDLR's certification inspection program is designed to assess these structures for compliance with the Texas Industrialized Building Code (IBC), ensuring they meet strict safety and quality standards.

The program includes inspections of the manufacturing facilities, as well as on-site inspections during and after the installation process. Inspectors assess various aspects, including structural integrity, electrical systems, plumbing, HVAC systems, fire safety, and energy efficiency. This comprehensive evaluation helps identify deficiencies or deviations from the prescribed standards, ensuring the structures are safe for occupancy.

Benefits of the Certification Inspection Program:

  1. Safety: The primary objective of the TDLR's certification inspection program is the safety of the people who will be occupying the structures. By enforcing compliance with the IBC, the program helps identify potential hazards and ensures that industrialized housing and buildings meet stringent safety standards. This focus on safety minimizes the risk of accidents, structural failures, and other potential dangers.
  2. Quality Control: The certification inspection program promotes high-quality construction practices. By conducting inspections throughout the manufacturing and installation process, the TDLR ensures that all components and systems are installed correctly, meeting the required standards. This quality control step helps eliminate potential defects and enhances the overall quality of the structures.
  3. Protection: The TDLR's certification inspection program provides a layer of protection for consumers. When purchasing or renting industrialized housing or buildings, individuals can have confidence in the structures' compliance with safety and quality standards. In addition, this program helps prevent substandard or unsafe structures from entering the market.

Obtaining TDLR Certification

Manufacturers like Armoda must complete the Industrialized Housing and Buildings Certification Inspection Program to show that their facilities can meet the requirements to build structures that meet TDLR's regulations. The Certification Inspection Program serves two primary purposes:

  1. To verify that the manufacturer can produce modules or modular components that comply with the law and the rules, mandatory building codes, and approved design package.
  2. To verify that the manufacturer's approved compliance control program will ensure compliance now and in the future.

These requirements are reviewed by a certification team that represents the interests of the Department and the Texas Industrialized Building Code Council and can include members from the Department of eligible third-party inspectors. The team typically comprises two members, a team leader, and a qualified inspector. There are restrictions on who can be selected, ensuring a qualified and impartial certification team. An example of a restriction on team selection is that the team leader cannot be an employee of the third-party inspection agency responsible for regular in-plant inspections or the design review agency responsible for reviewing the manufacturer's design package. The team leader must also meet specific criteria, including at least five years of experience inspecting compliance control programs in the industrialized building industry.

To begin the process, the manufacturer will submit a written request at least two weeks in advance, specifying their preferred start date. However, the actual start date depends on the availability of qualified team members and other scheduled inspections. Along with this request, the manufacturer will provide a design package for a project to be constructed during the certification inspection.

Before the certification inspection, a pre-certification review of the approved design package is conducted to identify deviations that do not comply with the law, rules, mandatory building codes, or other applicable laws. These deviations must be cleared before the manufacturer can be certified.
During the inspection, the certification team spends time in the manufacturing facility, ensuring compliance with approved procedures and conducting inspections at various stages of construction. They review the design package, inspect all units in production for Texas, and witness system testing. Deviations and corrective actions are documented, and all deviations must be cleared before certification.

The inspection process is recorded using various inspection forms, including those for summarizing units inspected, documenting deviations, summarizing energy inspections, and monitoring system testing.

After the in-plant phase of the inspection, the team leader evaluates the progress and provides a written evaluation to the Department and the manufacturer. Return trips to the facility may be scheduled as necessary to fully assess the facility. Once the manufacturer has met all the requirements for certification and paid the necessary fees, a certification report is issued.  

Overall, the Industrialized Housing and Buildings Certification Inspection Program ensures manufacturers comply with regulations and have effective compliance control programs, leading to safe and compliant industrialized housing and buildings in Texas. If you need technical buildings or office modules that require TDLR certification, contact Armoda today! Our facilities are TDLR-certified and ready to help get your next project started.