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What is AC472 Accreditation Program?

The AC472 Accreditation Program is the most comprehensive quality assurance accreditation program of its kind. A unique characteristic of the AC472 Accreditation Program is that it audits the integrity of design engineering and manufacturing processes. It focuses on several key areas:

  • Audit of order documents providing the customer with clear information on what he/she has ordered.
  • Audit of the design/detailing process to assure adherence to requested codes and to confirm that the project requirements are met in a rational engineering manner. This audit not only covers the building-code applications but also the proper use of design standards such as AISC, AISI, etc.
  • Audit of raw material usages including proper ASTM standards, ordering practices, tracking of mill certifications, product traceability, etc.
  • Audits assure comprehensive traceability of materials and workmanship.
  • Audit of manufacturing practices including machinery calibrations, measuring tools, weld certifications, etc.
  • Audits to ensure the metal building manufacturer has a well-managed quality assurance system and a qualified staff. This includes verification of licensed professional engineers who design and detail the metal building system, and certified weld inspectors.

This is all verified annually through two on-site inspections of the firm’s design and manufacturing facilities and of representative projects to confirm that the appropriate standards are in place and being applied.

This assures owners that their manufacturer has comprehensive quality assurance processes in place that provide high-quality, reliable buildings.

Why require an accredited manufacturer?

Requiring an AC472-accredited manufacturer provides an extra level of assurance that your building supplier’s engineering/order/design/ fabrication processes all conform to high-quality standards and are evaluated by a respected independent third party.

Other advantages, which expedite the building approval process, include: building officials can deem AC472-accredited manufacturers as approved fabricators as defined in Chapter 17 of the International Building Code; elimination of additional inspections; cost savings to verify code compliance of metal building fabrication; and assurance the metal building manufacturer’s staff has a well-qualified quality system in place.

Benefits to the Building Owner

Owners purchasing building products from non-IAS AC472-accredited metal building manufacturers may be taking a risk, buying products which may not necessarily meet their long-term best interest. Building owners have found that purchasing a building from an accredited manufacturer has provided the following:

  • Compliance with special inspection requirements in Chapter 17 of the International Building Code®.
  • Expedited acceptance of plans by code officials.
  • Better protection for occupants and contents.
  • Lower insurance rates.
  • Lower maintenance costs.
  • Lower utility costs.
  • Better resale value.

How will you be sure you are buying a building from an AC472·accredited manufacturer?

Only accept bids from IAS AC472-accredited manufacturers. Make sure the contractor tells you the brand of building he is supplying. Also, check the complete list of accredited companies and facilities (http://www.iasonline.org/Metal_Building_ Systems/MB.html). If your building brand is not listed on that website, you should ask why the manufacturer has not been accredited.

And last!

Do not be confused by other certification programs such as ISO or the AISC Fabricators Program. These programs are valuable for some forms of construction, but only the IAS AC472 Accreditation Program addresses all aspects of a metal building system manufacturer’s operation, including design engineering.

Q / A ABOUT INTERNATIONAL ACCREDITATION SERVICE, INC (IAS)

The International Accreditation Service (IAS) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the International Code Council, which evaluates and accredits building departments, special inspection agencies, testing and calibration laboratories, fabricator inspection programs, and oversees the AC472 Accreditation Program for Metal Building Systems Manufacturers.

IAS measures a manufacturer’s ability to conform to documents and standards referenced in building codes through onsite assessment and periodic monitoring by IAS-accredited third-party inspection agencies. It also scrutinizes a manufacturer’s quality assurance program.

As industry products and design programs advanced, metal building systems became very successful in entering new markets involving larger buildings with high human occupancy. Thus, the members of the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA), who developed this expanding technology, felt a responsibility to work with IAS to develop an accreditation program to critically evaluate the sales, engineering and manufacturing functions in the metal building systems industry and to comply with the special inspection requirements in Chapter 17 of the International Building Code®.

Since the design, detailing and manufacturing is done by the same company, these processes are mutually dependent and need to be evaluated together.

The specialized engineering and manufacturing technology of the industry involves tapered beams, rigid frames, cold-formed secondary components, and roll- formed sheeting materials. You cannot segregate the design and manufacturing processes.

If this happens, you can’t know with certainty that the supplier you chose has been subjected to the scrutiny of  two annual independent audits that assess design techniques, raw materials, ordering and handling, and manufacturing processes.

No. Any company that meets the AC472 Accreditation Program’s strict criteria can be accredited whether or not it is a member of the MBMA.

The members of the MBMA sponsor and conduct much of the research targeted on improving building systems technology. Accreditation reinforces the technical efforts of the MBMA in the marketplace and the quality level in the industry

No. There are a significant number of companies with multiple accredited facilities throughout the U.S. who can provide you with competitive choices. A list of accredited firms, along with certificates, can be seen on http://www.iasonline.org/Metal_Building_Systems/ MB.html.

No, their buildings could be properly designed and fabricated. However, their practices have not been subjected to the rigors of an outside audit

It’s possible. Insurers are always looking for ways to reduce their risks, and a building designed and manufactured by an accredited manufacturer could potentially reduce insurance risk.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS IAS AC472

Yes. The program is based on the requirements in Chapter 17 of the International Building Code. Therefore, code officials can accept IAS accreditation as sufficient evidence that manufacturers are in compliance with those requirements of the ICC code, eliminating the need for redundant in-shop inspections. AC472 does not eliminate the need for inspections at the construction site during assembly of the building.

When a conventional designer selects standard beam sizes from AISC tables or out of SJI manuals, those sections are then manufactured by a fabricator. In the case of metal building systems, the design and fabricating processes are customized and require ongoing communications between the engineering and fabricating teams. The only way to be assured that these functions are being properly integrated is to require that the supplier have AC472 accreditation.

Absolutely. The IAS AC472 accreditation criteria went through an open public hearing where it was subject to review, revision and final approval by code officials that make up the IAS Accreditation Committee. The criteria is also subject to continuous review and revision at periodic IAS accreditation committee meetings.

IAS is a subsidiary of the International Code Council. Requiring an AC472-accredited manufacturer provides an extra level of assurance that the building supplier’s engineering/order/design/ fabrication processes all conform to highquality standards and are evaluated by a respected independent third party.

Other advantages, which expedite the building approval process, include: building officials can deem AC472-accredited manufacturers as approved fabricators as defined in Chapter 17 of the International Building Code; elimination of additional inspections; cost savings to verify code compliance of metal building fabrication; and assurance the metal building manufacturer’s staff has a well-qualified management system in place.

To complement and supplement your program, we recommend that you also require approvals for manufacturers to be accredited to lAS AC472. This will help standardize assessments across jurisdictions around the country, which could result in new businesses coming to your community.

The lAS accreditation program has made a significant impact on fabricators’ bottom line due to the management system required for accreditation. For example, the accreditation criteria requires training and job qualifications for personnel, as well as formal policies and procedures for acquiring materials, calibrating equipment, welding, designing and inspecting jobs. All of these steps enable fabricators to improve production and lower costs by reducing time and materials required for reworking jobs due to errors.

Building departments that use the lAS 472 accreditation program save staff time and resources that would otherwise be required to manage the application process, assessments, maintenance and publication of an approved list of manufacturers that are qualified to design and fabricate metal building systems.

Yes, the lAS AC472 accreditation program, replaced the AlSC-MB certification in
2009. The AlSC and MBMA jointly decided to end AlSC’s sponsorship of the Metal Building Certification Program. MBMA and lAS collaborated to develop the metal building accreditation program over a nine-month time frame, from August
2007 through April 200B. The AC 472 program was developed through lAS’s open public hearing process under the auspices of code officials that comprise the lAS Accreditation Committee. The effort culminated in unanimous approval of AC472 on April 8, 2008.

Manufacturers are evaluated annually by lAS in addition through two unannounced on-site inspections of the firm’s design and manufacturing facilities to confirm that the appropriate standards are in place and being applied. This assures building officials that the manufacturer has continually implemented comprehensive quality assurance processes in place that provide high-quality, reliable buildings that are built to code.

No. The lAS accreditation program was developed to create a level playing field for manufacturers who have demonstrated competence to supply code compliant building systems. There are a significant number of companies with multiple accredited facilities throughout the U.S. who can provide you with competitive choices.

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