Standards. Do you have them?
As an individual, do you hold yourself to some sort of touchstone—ethically or performance wise? Or just in general, do you measure things against a system you trust, holding merchandise and creations of all sorts to high benchmarks so that quality is nearly guaranteed?
If you do or you don’t—whether you think about standards all the time or if you’ve never considered them once in your life, it doesn’t matter. Standards are constantly influencing your life. They’re in the background, spurring on competition and raising the performance bar—catapulting some companies and people to the top, while dropping others like a bad habit. They’re part of the progression of the human race, and in this blog post’s case—the metal building industry.
We’re talking about the newest accreditation program called AC478. In 2013, the International Accreditation Service (IAS) started meeting with the Metal Building Contractors & Erectors Association (MBCEA) to develop an accreditation program for the erection of metal buildings. The goal was to create a set of criteria steel building erectors could follow to ensure aptitude, and to offer IAS-accreditation in return. And on February 9, 2015, the goal was achieved.
Now, AC478 accreditation is alive and zigzagging its way through the metal building world, and if you’re interested, just make sure you’re ready. According to IAS eNews, AC478 reviews things like experience, personnel, organization, management procedures, and adherence to International Building Code. It’s thorough, and passing inspection could point to company competency.
But not everyone is thrilled by AC478. According to Gary T. Smith, president of Thomas Phoenix International Inc. and the Metal Building Contractors and Erectors Association, there has been some AC478 criticism from workers, and Smith seems to be challenging that sentiment.
“Can someone please explain to me what is going on? When did my burly, steel-building erector compatriots turn into a bunch of scaredy cats? We develop a game changer of a program that will make us better and stronger; that will separate the good guys from the rascals; that is a confirmation of all the stuff we have been saying we do all along and still I hear bitching and moaning. “Ooh, too much paperwork.” “How come the union endorses it?” “Why so many inspections?” And lions and tigers and bears, oh my,” says Smith in an article from Metal Construction News.
There’s a lot to consider. And from Star’s perspective, we believe that just like anything in life, there are pros and cons to AC478. But instead of listing those, we want to know what you think—the boots on the ground—the real people affected by the reality of AC478. There’s actually a huge lack of chatter about this topic, so please shout out your opinion. Are you annoyed by AC478 or happily fist bumping it? Have you been accredited? Why or why not?
Let’s talk metal building standards and get one step closer to seeing what this new accreditation is doing for our industry.
Gary Smith. (2015, November 4). An Opportunity We Can’t Afford to Miss. [Blog].
IAS eNews. (2015, November 1). IAS launches new accreditation program for inspection practices of metal building assemblers. [Blog].