Considers Changing Test Requirements from Four to Eight Years
June 8, 2009
Members of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association
(AAMA) offered differing opinions last week in an open forum held
during the association's summer meeting. The forum was held so members
could discuss a proposal to extend the life of air-water structural
test reports from the current requirement of four years to as long
as eight years for products that have had no changes.
This proposal was submitted to AAMA's Certification Policy Committee
(CPC) during the association's annual conference held in February.
The proposal included a stipulation that all plant inspections must
be successful for the extension to remain in effect.
At the February meeting the CPC voted in favor of this proposal
but the board decided to delay the implementation until an open
forum could be held at the summer meeting where members could voice
their opinions, and that they did.
Both manufacturers and other parties, including test lab representatives,
offered their views. Members pointed out that many other testing
bodies have eight years or longer between tests.
Rich Biscoe from Architectural Testing Inc (ATI) said that more
than 50 percent of failure rates come from products that are retested
that had no changes. For example, he said a hardware company could
have made a change without the manufacturers knowledge, which could
account for the failure.
"We will have more bad products out there if we make this
change," he said. "People say that I'm from a test lab
so of course I'll say this, but as an engineer this bothers me."
Randy Van Voorst from Quality Test Labs said the real impetus behind
the proposal is dollars and said AAMA shouldn't make the change
in order to maintain the continued credibility of the organization.
Ray Garries of Jeld-Wen said he is pleased this issue is finally
being discussed as it had been talked about for years. "The
proposal is really about deemphasizing testing and reemphasizing
inspecting-it's got to the future of this program."
He added that manufacturers need to ensure that their protocols
are correct in the plant and that we don't need more testing.
He also pointed out that manufacturers put their products through
other test methods as well.
"AAMA is not the only show in town," he said. "For
example, Dade County is the most stringent program out there and
they test every ten years. This will not have a big impact,"
Henry Taylor from ATI disagreed and said "AAMA has dumbed
down the program before and doesn't need to do so again."
CPC chair Rod Hershberger from PGT Industries said he doesn't believe
in the "if it ain't broke don' t fix it" mantra. "We
can make it better."
The day after the forum was held, the CPC decided that it would
not ask for board action at this time, according to Val Brushaber
from Hurd Windows and a member of the CPC. A task group was formed
to develop the process and procedure for the new testing format
with a deadline for completion of September 1, 2009. The task group
will present this proposal at the CPC meeting during the fall conference
"At that time we will vote on this and make a recommendation
to the board," says Brushaber. She says this will include the
date this would go into effect, and that the CPC is aiming for October
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