SMACNA Testing & Research Institute Educating and assuring that all sheet metal products are manufactured Educating and assuring that all sheet metal products are manufactured
Purpose and Procedures
Performance Based Procurement
Testing Program
Shop Standards

Purpose and Procedures

Business Plan


There are opportunities for the "Institute" to test products and components of the building envelope (siding and roofing) and HVAC systems. Those opportunities are a result of marketing needs, technological changes and improvements in products and systems, the impact of codes and code enforcement, and increasing engineering/design community reliance on industry standards, especially with the continuing trend toward the under funding of the design and engineering phase of projects.

In the marketing area, there is a continuing need for manufacturers to have products and systems recognized as conforming to acceptable standards. In addition, there is an increasing focus by the specified and owner community on the availability and use of testing certification and verification programs.

Furthermore, the growing competition between the spiral or longitudinal seamed rectangular, round and oval duct markets has established an environment where some type of attestation would add to the engineering and contractor communities' comfort level. Competition between manufactured and contractor fabricated products is another area where attestation would eliminate confusion about conformance to credible and accepted standards. Eventually, tests and research will have to take place to ease the concern and debate over allowable duct leakage.

There is also a growing demand for duct systems for use in special circumstances, as for example, PVC and FRP.

Beyond research and tests based on SMACNA standards, there is increasing potential for tests to establish and verify indoor air quality and duct cleaning protocols, standards, or guidelines.

There are a number of other areas in the sheet metal or HVAC industries which could benefit from standards, engineering analysis, and appropriate tests (i.e., kitchen equipment, custom roofing, sealants, adhesives, sound insulation). In some instances, tests are being conducted at the insistence of code organizations.

Overall tests, engineering analyses, and attestation of those analyses or tests as well as performance tests to verify claims represent a potential niche for the Institute.

There is also a need to begin and continue research and analysis on the development and effective use of performance standards as both the US and global communities seek alternatives to prescriptive standards.

  • Increased financial support for research and tests benefiting the industry.
  • Improved performance and constructibility for sheet metal applications and HVAC systems installation.
  • Enhanced recognition of SMACNA standards.
  • Capitalization on emerging technologies.
  • Practical application of new technologies.
  • Continuing commitment to quality construction.
  • Continued commitment to best value procurement methods.
  • Standardized and accepted performance test parameters.
  • Use of alternate funding mechanism (i.e., federal and/or state grants, research grants from major equipment or HVAC component manufacturers).
  • Increased applied rather than theoretical research and testing.

Access to and ownership of engineering data supporting HVAC and sheet metal standards and procedures.


The primary mission of the Institute is to educate and assure the public at large and building owners that HVAC and sheet metal products are manufactured and/or constructed to perform to a credible industry standard.


The mission would be accomplished by:

  • Conducting research, testing and engineering analysis on HVAC components and fabricated or manufactured sheet metal products,
  • Introducing and/or transferring new technology from the research phase to real world circumstances, and
  • Applying new technologies to existing standards to promote a continuing commitment to quality construction.
  • Partnering with organizations and institutions whose mission coincides with the Institute and where such a partnership adds significant value to Institute programs and products.
  • Conduct and publish the results of tests on at least three products or components.
  • Seek broad industry awareness of the Institute and its mission by the end of the second year of operation.
  • Obtain support of product manufacturers and establish a method(s) for support of the Institute's program by any interested parties.
  • Seek to or explore entering into a research contract on energy management or indoor air quality with a federal or state agency.
  • Explore the possibility of obtaining a test contract from ASHRAE for a project of mutual interest and benefit to SMACNA and ASHRAE.
  • On request(s), test or perform analysis on specific or custom HVAC design and construction to ensure compliance with SMACNA standards, other published standards or code requirements.
  • Establish formal partnering relationships with creditable institutions.
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