The 2016 edition of Guidelines and Recommended Practices for Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Architectural Products, published by ACMA, is the culmination of a major initiative by ACMA’s Architectural Division to update the original edition of guidelines released in 1997. These guidelines and recommendations address the application of composites in architecture and help architects better understand how, when, where and why to use composites. They also include the characteristics of FRP composites, fabrication processes, design consideration, tolerances, quality assurance, loading, delivery and installation.
According to Bill Kreysler, Chair of ACMA’s Architectural Division and one of the foremost thought leaders on architectural composites, having good, accurate and achievable design and specification guidelines is the most important tool for growing our industry.
“Selling products to architects, contractors and engineers without a design guide and specifications is like playing chess without a rules,” Kreysler says. “A clear reference, and guidelines that are acceptable to a wide cross section of fabricators and that is unbiased, is the only valid insurance to the buyer that what they are buying has enduring value.”
West Carolina University’s Dr. Robert Steffen, Ph.D., P.E., Technical Chairman of the guidelines committee who led the creation of the document and provided substantial content, notes that it also benefits architects and engineers. In the past, architects and engineers have heard through the grapevine that composite materials are very durable, but they’ve never had any “meat on the bones” or substantial documentation for design. Steffen says there’s been anecdotal information – stamp drawings on a one-by-one basis – but now engineers finally have a document with information for a specific application.
“If I’m sitting behind my engineering desk and someone like Bill Kreysler calls and says ‘I need a job stamped,’ what I do is I start looking for information to start answering questions. How can I calculate this connection strength? This document is the first step toward doing that,” Steffen says.
To purchase the guidelines from ACMA’s Education Hub, click here.