AAMA Updates Test Methods for Exterior Walls

August 4, 2015

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) recently released AAMA 501-15, a document updating test methods, specifications, and field checks for evaluating “the structural adequacy of wall systems and their ability to resist water penetration and air leakage.”

Previously updated in 2005, the revised document is to be referenced in current laboratory and field testing methods for exterior wall systems comprised of curtain walls, storefronts and sloped glazing.

According to José Colon, chair of the AAMA 501 Update Task Group, the revised standard is designed to make sure all labs and product manufacturers are on the same page as far as procedures and pass/fail criteria for certain parts of the standard. New technologies for testing equipment have also been taken into consideration in the revised standards.

“Historically, AAMA 501 has been the base standard for project specific test requirements,” Colon is quoted as saying on the AAMA website. “More and more specifications are being written that are actually even longer than what is called out in AAMA 501.” This is especially the case in places with more detailed codes, like Miami-Dade or the state of Florida in general, Colon said.

“A specific product or system company will ask us to test per AAMA 501 just to get their system testing so they can get certification from Miami-Dade or Florida,” he said. “The building code requires AAMA 501 on curtain wall and store front systems. Plus, we have other manufacturers or glazing contractors that will need similar testing per AAMA 501, or greater, for a specific project.”

For more information, contact Bruce Croak, Graham Architectural Products’ technical marketing manager, at 717-849-8100.