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AAMA outlines potential changes to product certification program

Post Time:Nov 12,2013Classify:Industry NewsView:40

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association of Schaumburg, Ill., is working to expand its product certification program, increasing options for commercial and architectural product manufacturers. Members were updated on those efforts, as well as AAMA’s new blast certification program at its fall meeting Oct. 15-18 in Las Vegas. Updating AAMA’s product certification program has been a big focus of strategic planning activity in recent months, said Rich Walker, AAMA executive vice president, at the opening session. The overall goals are to refine the program and make it easier to promote, and develop electronic upgrades that will differentiate it from competing certification programs in the marketplace, he said. Another change on the cards is to make fees service-based rather than label-based, and the elimination of requirements for participating manufacturers to label products even when that label might not be required by the buyer or code jurisdiction, Walker said. More options Dave Moyer, vice president of Architectural Testing Inc. of York, Pa., who serves on the certification program committee, reported that the working plan now is to incorporate rating and listing flexibility that allows participants to include other product information that may not be part of AAMA’s certification program. “The goal is to use AAMA’s certification program as a clearinghouse for all the information related to their products,” Moyer said. And to create a program that could satisfy all jurisdictions. AAMA has been developing stand-alone programs for manufacturers to demonstrate quality assurance in their processes and for registered test reports, he said. Designed primarily to meet the needs of commercial and architectural product manufacturers, these are now being considered as optional components of the new certification program. Moyer emphasized that while the new program may have more options and levels, AAMA is working to keep its current or “legacy” program the same. Rich Biscoe, vice president, ATI, followed up with a brief discussion of the “fenestration information portal” AAMA is looking to create on the Web. The portal would be a place where all interested parties, ranging from code officials to consumers, could easily extract both AAMA and non-AAMA information. Manufacturers also could use the site, he continued, to produce a temporary label that would incorporate all the legally required information required for a specific product. In addition to air, water and structural information covered by AAMA, the label might incorporate the NFRC label, impact-resistance data and certifications or any other information necessary for a particular application. Development and implementation of such a site would probably take at least 18 months, Biscoe noted. As far as an overall timeline, Walker said that the AAMA board plans to create a final plan and vote on it by next summer. Security and storms This summer, AAMA introduced a new rating and certification program for blast-resistant products, being administered now by ATI. As part of the security hazard mitigation for fenestration products task group meeting, Moyer updated attendees on the new program’s progress. One applicant is currently going through the certification and rating process with its products, he said. The program also offers the option to provide ratings and certification for a specific project. The blast mitigation program also is receiving good reviews from potential customers, most notably the government, Moyer reported. Raj Goyal, vice president and general manager of the Blast Mitigation Division, Graham Architectural Products, York, Pa., urged manufacturers targeting the blast-resistant window business to participate in the program so it can gain momentum. The group also discussed preliminary efforts to start development of a similar rating program for resistance to ballistic attack. AAMA’s Southeast Region group will address an issue that has emerged with the wave of hurricanes that hit Florida over the past years. While impact-resistant products are doing the job to mitigate damage from windborne debris, home and building owners also are expecting these windows and doors to resist water penetration under actual hurricane conditions. Manufacturers note they are not designed to resist water penetration. To address this situation, AAMA is looking to develop a test to measure a product’s ability to resist the strong combination of water and wind that comes with these storms. Such a test could help manufacturers better understand how their products are designed to perform under hurricane conditions and develop products for customers seeking greater water-resistance capabilities. “We build them, but I don’t know whether anyone will want to pay for them,” one attendee said. Striving for sustainability Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore, environmental consultant, was a featured speaker at the AAMA meeting. He stressed the importance of sustainability to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and curb global warming. One of the best materials for green building includes aluminum, said Patrick Franc, current chairman of the Aluminum Association Inc. of Arlington, Va., who also spoke at the meeting. One of the strongest stories for aluminum is the fact that two-thirds of the metal ever smelted is still in use, he said. The energy required to recycle aluminum is only 5 percent of that required to produce it from ore, and that fact has enabled the industry to establish a strong infrastructure for recycling. “It is the most recycled material,” he said. That fact, combined with its durability and aesthetic options, is enabling aluminum to fit well within the green building movement, Franc said. He pointed not just to curtain-wall applications, but the use of aluminum in sun shades, as well as new modular home packages. AAMA’s next event is scheduled for Feb. 11-14, 2007. The group will celebrate its 70th annual meeting in Marco Island, Fla. More information is available at www.aamanet.org.Share this article:

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