The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has updated and released a document specifying test methods, specifications, and field checks used to evaluate the structural adequacy of wall systems and their ability to resist water penetration and air leakage. Other optional tests also are included. AAMA 501-15 is intended to be referenced in current laboratory and field-testing methods for exterior wall systems comprised of curtainwalls, storefronts and sloped glazing. It was previously updated in 2005.
According to José Colon (Architectural Testing), chair of the AAMA 501 Update Task Group, the standard recently was updated to make sure all labs and product manufacturers are on the same page as far as procedures and also pass/fail criteria for certain parts of the standard. These document updates also take into consideration the new technologies for equipment being used for testing.
“Historically, AAMA 501 has been the base standard for project specific test requirements,” says Colon. “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, says Colon.
“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 says. “The building code requires AAMA 501 on curtainwall and storefront systems. Plus, we have other manufacturers or glazing contractors that will need similar testing per AAMA 501, or greater, for a specific project.”