ACMA releases guidelines for composites use in architectural products

"Guidelines and Recommended Practices for Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Architectural Products" features recommendations for the use of composites in architectural designs.

The American Composites Manufacturers Assn. (ACMA, Arlington, VA, US) reports that it has released "Guidelines and Recommended Practices for Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Architectural Products." The guidelines are available online at and will be free for a limited time. They will also be distributed at ACMA’s Composites Pavilion at the upcoming AIA Convention in Philadelphia, PA, US, May 19-21.

This document includes a comprehensive set of guidelines and recommendations for the use of FRP in architectural products and designs. “As the worlds of manufacturing and architecture continue overlapping, 2016 is the year composites will go big in architecture,” says ACMA president Tom Dobbins. “Having codes and guidelines that govern the application of composites in architecture is not only a breakthrough, but a necessity.”

The document, says ACMA, features information useful for manufacturers, engineers and architects. Bill Kreysler, chair of ACMA’s Architectural Division and one of the foremost thought leaders on architectural composites, says 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 rules,” Kreysler says.

West Carolina University’s Dr. Robert Steffen calls the document the first of its type with any “real meat on the bones.” Steffen says in the past, 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.

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