AAMA Introduces Rating System to Certify Products
for Blast Hazard Mitigation
The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has introduced
a testing and certification program, for windows, glass doors and
curtainwalls exposed to blast conditions. The program combines an
approved process for testing blast-resistant fenestration products
with a certification program that verifies the quality of ongoing
production and installation practices.
"The challenge of getting an installed blast-resistant fenestration
product that meets the required performance for protection has long
been a concern for designers, engineers, building owners and suppliers
and installers of the fenestration products," said Ed Conrath,
P.E. for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Protective Design Center,
who was actively involved in the Blast Mitigation Task Force. "AAMA,
through the development of its voluntary guide specification and
subsequent certification program, has established a method by which
products can be certified to be installed as intended. The speed
with which the certification program documents were implemented
is a testament to AAMA's comprehensive experience with fenestration
products used in commercial, institutional and government buildings,"
Rich Walker, executive director for AAMA said the need for blast-mitigation
performance standards became a reality after terrorist attacks in
the United State.
"Many government and private agencies began mandating that
structures be designed to mitigate the severity of the explosive
impact of a bomb or accidental blast--but few testing procedures
existed," he continued. "AAMA answered the need for a
certification program to verify continued compliance by licensing
the use of its AAMA 510-06 document (Voluntary Guide Specification
for Blast Hazard Mitigation for Fenestration Systems) to Architectural
The certification program allows for both product-specific and project-specific
certifications so that specifiers can be assured that products they
approve consistently meet the program requirements. According to
Walker, a typical manufactured door or window can be certified for
a period up to eight years, with ongoing quality control monitoring
similar to that used for the AAMA Gold Label Certification Program.
In the case of project-specific certification, verification is made
by the program administrator at the manufacturing plant and the
job site to validate the manufacturer's certification specific to
Architectural Testing Inc. (ATI), of York, PA., will serve as the
program administrator. "ATI is a quality assurance inspection
agency, accredited in accordance with ISO/IEC Standard 17020,"
said Walker. "As certification is completed, each window, door
and curtainwall product will be listed in a Certification Program
Directory that is maintained at the ATI website, www.archtest.com,"
AAMA 510-06, The Voluntary Guide Specification for Blast Hazard
Mitigation for Fenestration Systems, can be downloaded free from
website. Printed copies or a CD version are also available through