Volume 48, Issue 2 - March/April 2009

AMD Headlines
In the news
by Rosalie Leone, AMD chief executive officer. Ms. Leone's opinions are soley her own and do not necessarily reflect those of this magazine.

Opening New Doors
AMD Becomes a Certification Provider

The Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD), representing the largest segment of exterior side-hinged door component manufacturers, pre-hangers and distributors in the United States, will now offer certification and labeling services to the millwork industry through the AMD Certification Program. AMD will work together with the National Accreditation & Management Institute, Inc. (NAMI) to offer numerous certifications currently demanded by the door industry. This exciting direction will offer a variety of benefits for both AMD members and industry professionals alike. New certification programs will be offered as they continue to be required. 

AMD has been involved with codes and standards since 2003 when pressure had been applied to the continental United States exterior side-hinged door industry for testing, certifying and labeling of its products to certain standards. At that time, AMD focused on the proposed standard, S141 as we know it today, and the translation of what it would actually mean for its members and the millwork industry. It’s no wonder, that at that time, AMD had identified standards, codes and certification as a meaningful issue in its ongoing strategic plan. 

During the 2005 International Code Council (ICC) Hearings following AMD representation testimony addressing its issues with a similar proposed code amendment for the same exterior side-hinged door standard, it was the decision of the International Code Council that these regulatory requirements be tabled. Since that time, AMD has been involved with other code and standard organization task groups and committees and supported co-funding efforts for additional testing to support proposed standard criteria in developing an industry standard that would be mutually acceptable to all parties for future adoption into the national model codes.

Finding Common Ground
While AMD and other industry representatives continued with research and conferencing to find a common ground, an author of the original standard proposed another code amendment (S141) for approval in 2008 by the ICC code development hearing committees for the 2009 codes. Once again AMD advocacy efforts presented its position with expert analysis from academics, insurance experts and homebuilders. Concurrently, AMD members also voiced their opposition through a letter-writing campaign. Further testimony provided from AMD members focused on the lack of necessity for the amendment. The overwhelming efforts allowed AMD to receive unanimous decisions from both the commercial and residential groups at the ICC code amendment hearings and the final action hearings. 

Today, AMD continues monitoring codes and standards and remains an advocate on behalf of the millwork industry, but still it is not enough. Testing, certifying and labeling are not going to go away. On the contrary, it’s inevitable that standard criteria, substantiated or not, may be allowed into the building codes and AMD members would have to comply. 

Decades of Help
Although AMD continues working with other code and standard organizations, AMD does not have voting privileges on the final decisions of the modification to industry standard and compliance criteria. Bottom line, AMD’s voice is limited with other standard organizations; leaving our members in a vulnerable position to fend for themselves when regulations may come into effect. The AMD leadership has determined it a priority for the association to steer its own course. 

The AMD Certification Program offers a premier service of its kind for the millwork industry and its members; it’s founded on professionalism, a solid infrastructure and customer service-oriented beliefs by AMD and NAMI for more than four decades. 

AMD director of codes and standards Jeff Burton is thrilled with the association’s new direction. Burton says, “When discussing certification and labeling services with industry professionals, one name kept coming to the forefront, NAMI. They are consistently seen as the ‘go-to’ provider for their knowledge, customer service and professional demeanor. AMD and NAMI partnering together will be a large asset to the industry and AMD members.”

“This year, AMD is developing a web-based technology-driven learning management system providing the user with the ultimate experience in millwork education. An added value to members and non-member participants will include certification education opportunities and related courses,” adds Miguel Rivera-Sanchez, AMD director of education. 

“The association’s goal is to provide the most affordable and professional solutions for future requirements to members and non-members alike in its certification services,” Johnson says. “We see this as a great move for AMD opening the door to added value in the AMD Certification Program which will offer a wide array of services in the blink of an eye.”

At press time, AMD anticipated its certification program would launch mid-March 2009. For more information regarding the new AMD certification and labeling program contact Jeff Burton at jburton@amdweb.com or at 727/372-3665.

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