Volume 7, Issue 8 - September 2006

AAMA Analysis

Certified Products Directory
The Right Product is Now Just a Click Away
by Dean Lewis

No matter how carefully architects or buyers specify a fenestration product, how do they know if it has been tested to meet all of the specifications of a project or application? After all, compliance with the recognized window standards–AAMA/NWWDA 101/I.S. 2-97, AAMA/WDMA 101/I.S. 2/NAFS-02, or the newest version, AAMA/WDMA/CSA101/I.S. 2/A440-05–is mandated by the I-codes. Specifically, the 2006 editions of the IRC and IBC reference the 2005 standard.

Third-Party Importance
Traditionally, third-party certifications–especially those with a labeling component–free the specifier from the time-consuming process of obtaining and reviewing test reports on individual products. In addition, on-site code inspections are shortened when certification labels indicate conformance with IBC and IRC mandates.

AAMA’s third-party certification program provides the means to verify product qualifications independently. Manufacturers label their certified products with the AAMA certification label, indicating the operator type, performance class, performance grade (design pressure), the maximum size tested and any optionally higher performance grade or performance class special features. The label also provides a manufacturer code that can be used to search the online CPD for contact information on the company. 

Additional tabs may be added to the label to indicate optional qualifications such as testing for higher negative (than positive) wind loads, National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) thermal performance ratings, impact resistance or acoustical properties.

Online or Print Availability
For some time, AAMA’s Certified Products Directory (CPD) has listed the products authorized for certification and their manufacturers. However, searching its many printed pages can itself be time-consuming. 

To make finding certified products easier, the CPD is also available in an online version which is updated frequently and offers a search option designed to help site visitors locate products for a variety of needs and download the relevant listings free of charge. This capability also features a recent expansion of the product listing to include additional qualifications for which the product has been tested for compliance with specifications, such as AAMA 450 (performance of mulled assemblies); AAMA 506 (impact resistance, including missile level, rating (in psf), size tested and wind zone); TAS 201and TAS 203 (Miami-Dade hurricane zone impact performance, including missile level, rating in psf and size tested); TAS 202 (Florida hurricane zone water penetration test pressure requirements) and negative design pressure ratings.

To access the online CPD, visit the AAMA web site at www.aamanet.org. Click on any of the audience categories (e.g., “architects and other professionals”), and then click on the menu “Standards and Certification” and choose “Certified Products Directory” from the drop-down menu. When the Certified Products Directory page appears, scroll down to the search engine menus.

Then, choose data from the drop-down menus to create the certified products search criteria. The search can be defined by manufacturer, operator type, performance class, performance grade, framing material or impact resistance rating (per Miami-Dade TAS 201, TAS 203 or AAMA 506). Several fields can be filled in to return fewer, more well-defined search results, or just one or two fields can be entered for a greater variety of results. 

If the manufacturer’s code that appears on every AAMA label is known, it can be selected from the drop-down menu to obtain the producer’s name and information.

Dean Lewis serves as certification manager for the American Architectural Manufacturers Association in Schaumburg, Ill. He may be reached at dlewis@aamanet.org

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