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AAMA Certification Manager, Jason Seals, explained the Field Test Agency (FTA) accreditation program, which AAMA plans to launch later this summer.

Historically, in order to be accredited for field test methods such as AAMA 502, Voluntary Specification for Field Testing of Newly Installed Fenestration Products, the field test agency must first be accredited as a full-service air-water-structural laboratory. The new program allows for independent accreditation for field testing alone. It is open to all providers of field test services, including consultants and design firms.

To be an AAMA-accredited FTA, the organization must at a minimum demonstrate proficiency in implementing AAMA 502, ASTM E783, Standard Test Method for Field Measurement of Air Leakage through Installed Exterior Windows and Doors, and ASTM E1105, Standard Test Method for Field Determination of Water Penetration of Installed Exterior Windows, Skylights, Doors, and Curtain Walls by Uniform or Cyclic Static Air Pressure Difference. The AAMA Validator (ALI) determines by audit and inspection that FTA personnel are competent through training records, actual demonstrations of testing activities and verification that equipment used in testing is properly calibrated.

The organization must submit an application and their Quality Management System (QMS) manual. Once these are accepted, the Validator schedules an on-site inspection, which can be at the FTA’s place of business, on a jobsite or another mutually agreed-upon location.

Having more labs approved by AAMA to perform field testing will improve the industry by:

  • Better serving the growing nationwide demand for field testing
  • Promoting consistency in the administration of field test methods
  • Potentially reducing testing costs due to increased competition
  • Providing better geographic coverage (some states do not have any AAMA-accredited labs)

More information will be included in the AAMA e-News and Product Certification e-News once the program officially launches.