Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association


SMACNews Special Edition — 2016 Year in Review

Jan 5, 2017

SMACNA’s best-of-the best for you

SMACNA produced a multitude of great products and services for our members in 2016. We’ve selected the best-of-the best so you can select what’s right for you. Follow the links below to the best-in-class education, technical manuals, labor relations services, safety products, advocacy on Capitol Hill, and much more. SMACNA is dedicated to giving you the competitive advantage.

Technical Services and Research

Residential Comfort_203“Residential Comfort Systems Installation Standard Manual”

The eighth edition of the SMACNA “Residential Comfort Systems Installation Standard Manual” received ANSI accreditation and includes significant updates covering commissioning, maintenance, zoning, multi-story residential, and energy efficiency measures for residential applications.

“Thermoset FRP Duct Construction Manual”

SMACNA’s completely revised “Thermoset FRP Duct Construction Manual,” has commenced  the ANSI accreditation process. The new standard will provide members with opportunities in the expanding marketplace for fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP).

SMACNA Downspout and Gutter Sizing App

The latest app for architectural members to calculate proper rainfall sizing of gutters and downspouts as outlined in SMACNA’s “Architectural Sheet Metal Manual” and the model plumbing codes was completed.

ASHRAE Summer Meetings

Working with SMACNA, the ASHRAE Technical Committee 7.2 Design Build facilitated a workshop on the Successful Execution of BIM for MEP Work, which included a presentation by SMACNA 2016 President Guy Gast of The Waldinger Corporation.

SMACNA Technical University

SMACNA technical staff conducted the well-received SMACNA Technical University educational program for multiple SMACNA chapters. They also offered SMACNA’s first Technical University devoted solely to industrial duct applications.

SMACNA Testing and Research Institute

The Institute is currently conducting architectural coping/fascia testing for compliance with the 2018 International Building Code and ANSI/SPRI ES-1. Additionally, testing for upper attachment connections used for duct hanging will begin in 2017.

Publications Services

Introduced cloud-based Technical eLibrary Subscriptions

SMACNA put its entire 37-title technical library and CADD drawings online in a cloud-based annual subscription service. As a benefit of SMACNA membership, every SMACNA member received one seat to the entire library at no charge. Non-members can purchase individual titles, bundles of your most frequently referenced standards, or the entire eLibrary at discounted prices. The dynamic search tools allow you to search through all the manuals in a few seconds. Helpful filters enable you to narrow a search by type, keyword, and title. Cross-referenced text and links take you to referenced sections and tables.

Market Sector Councils

Market Sector Forums

Four timely, informative Market Sector Council forums in the architectural, HVAC, industrial, and residential markets were developed for SMACNA’s 2016 Annual Convention. Topics included using value-stream mapping for process improvement, building envelope commissioning, the power of selling in the residential market, and industrial ventilation design.

HVAC BannerUpdated SMACNA’s “HVAC Systems: Understanding the Basics

The second edition of this comprehensive, non-technical manual provides an overview of HVAC Systems used in residential, commercial, and institutional buildings. With added chapter questions and answers, this manual can be used for self-study, group training, or reference.

Revised SMACNA’s “HVAC Bid Specifications Reference Manual

This revised document assists the HVAC contractor in preparing bids, the designer in preparing construction documents including plans and specifications, and the owner in preparing bid and contract documents. The 2016 2nd edition is organized and based on the 2016 revisions to the Construction Specifications Institute’s (CSI) MasterFormat.TM

New Residential Retrofit and Service Operations Management Program

This new manual features the latest methods in starting a successful, profitable residential and light commercial HVAC service and replacement department. It is also useful to residential HVAC contractors looking to improve their existing operations. The program looks at financial considerations, sales and operations, marketing methods, and personnel requirements.

Business Case BIMPublished The Business Case for BIM” White Paper

This new white paper helps SMACNA contractors justify the cost of investing in building information modeling (BIM) capabilities. New research demonstrates that the benefits of BIM can be substantial, including increasing profitability, bidding opportunities, and manufacturing efficiency and volume. Available to members only, the document includes how BIM expertise can bring new opportunities and provides details on the basic requirements for acquiring BIM capability. A sample budget of the annual expenses involved in implementing BIM is included.

Published White Paper “Making RFIs More Effective”

SMACNA’s new white paper Making RFIs More Effective provides practical tools and ideas to help contractors improve the Request for Information (RFI) process and get the information they need to move the project forward. In order to fulfill their contractual obligations, contractors need timely, accurate, and complete information. Discover how to accomplish this somewhat daunting task while improving the RFI process in this timely document.

Market Sector Newsletters

Architectural Metal Newsletter

ArchitectPublished news articles highlighting the outstanding work of SMACNA contractors including restoring the historic Michigan State Capitol 100-year-old roof, creating a unique design for the Mayo Clinic Square façade in Minneapolis, the 30th Annual Metal Architecture Architects Survey, and restoration of the historic Basilica of St. Louis Cathedral. Read the latest Architectural Metal newsletter.

HVAC Systems Expertise Newsletter

HVACSMACNA’s HVAC newsletter featured timely articles on installing massive HVAC equipment for Samsung’s headquarters in Hayward, Calif., the benefits of lean design, how to tap into Integrated Project Delivery, how SMACNA contractors helped pass a Cleveland ordinance requiring certified fire life safety technicians, a design-assist HVAC project for GameWorks Denver, and SMACNA’s new manual “HVAC Systems: Understanding the Basics.” Read the latest issue of HVAC Systems Expertise.

Industrial Insights Newsletter

IndustrialSMACNA’s Industrial Insights newsletter featured articles on a huge solar turbine installation project in San Diego, supplying ventilation 27 stories underground for Lake Erie’s Easterly Tunnel Dewatering Pump Station, an innovative project that warms the Amazon campus through waste-heat recovery in Seattle, and the robust industrial market outlook. Read the latest issue of Industrial Insights.

Residential Report Newsletter

residentialPublished two editions of SMACNA’s Residential Report newsletter, including interesting articles on how software efficiencies are improving lead tracking, customized copper panels that tame reflections in the desert, and SMACNA’s new updated “Residential Comfort Systems Installation Standard,” 8th edition.

Safety and Health Services

Model Program for “First Aid/Bloodborne Pathogens”

This new model program provides guidance to firms with first aid responders who provide aid to fellow workers. The two-part program addresses OSHA’s basic first-aid requirements and compliance assistance on bloodborne pathogens regarding occupational exposure to bodily fluids. This program is located in the “SMACNA Guide to Safety Procedures, Policies, and Model Programs.”

Model Program for Decommissioning Laboratories, Industrial Facilities, and Old Buildings

SMACNA members working in laboratories, old buildings, health care, research, and industrial facilities may incur unique safety and health hazards. Decommissioning is the dismantling and removal of building components, systems, and equipment, including decontamination. The program emphasizes a management team approach and the need to seek outside consultation and expertise due to the hazardous materials and conditions that may be present.

SMACNA's Silica Exposure Prevention Model Program

This model program assists members to comply with a new OSHA standard for silica exposures on worksites, passed on March 26, 2016. The model program includes roles and responsibilities, exposure control methods, engineering and work practice controls, a fact sheet with major provisions, and a summary of OSHA respiratory compliance requirements.

Timely Safety Bulletins

SMACNA issued eight Safety Bulletins addressing the new rule requiring employers to submit OSHA injury and illness data electronically and ramifications that the rule presents for SMACNA members, a confined space in construction rule clarification, a reminder to conduct proper OSHA recordkeeping, and more.

SMACNA 2016 Safety Excellence Awards Program

HardhatSMACNA’s 2016 Safety Excellence Awards Program (SSEAP) recognized SMACNA members’ outstanding safety programs in seven different man-hour categories. The SSEAP allows SMACNA to obtain valuable information about members’ safety and health programs and provide vital safety feedback to contractors. In addition, SMACNA conducted the new Canadian Safety Excellence Awards Program to recognize safety excellence on the part of SMACNA’s Canadian members.

Business Management and Educational Services

SMACNA_BMP_x200Business Management University

Business Management University was held Feb. 21 to 25 in Tempe, Ariz., where industry leaders presented many of the practical business practices in running a successful sheet metal company. Topics covered: financial management, strategic planning, contractor survival skills, negotiation, surety and bonding, leadership, and productivity. The 2017 Business Management University is scheduled for Feb. 26-March 2 in Tempe, Ariz.

Supervisor Training Academy

SMACNA’s Supervisor Training Academy was held March 17 to 19 in Kansas City, Mo. This dynamic program turned both new and experienced supervisors into high-performing supervisors. Participants studied leadership, productivity, time management, industry trends, communications, and industry trends through interactive, team-building exercises. The 2017 Supervisor Training Academy is scheduled for March 20-22 in St. Louis, Mo.

Project Managers Institute

Two sessions of the Project Managers Institute (PMI) were held in April and September in 2016. Participants can build upon their existing project management skills to strengthen their proficiency. Topics include increasing project managers’ skills in communication, planning, leadership, and business. Two Project Managers Institutes are scheduled in 2017, on April 23-26, 2017 in Raleigh, N.C. and Sept. 24-27, 2017 in Seattle.

Financial Boot Camp

Boot CampSMACNA’s Financial Boot Camp was held May 16 to 18 in Tempe, Ariz. This program included real-world exercises to examine in-depth financial management issues. Topics covered interpreting financial statements, calculating financial ratios, working with credit, developing cash-flow projections, understanding equipment acquisition and leasing, and how to use financial information for strategic and business planning. The 2017 program is scheduled for May 22-24 in Tempe, Ariz.

Chapter Education Programs

SMACNA continues to provide the highest quality speakers and programs to local chapters. 2016 included a selection of 13 Chapter Education Programs. In addition, plans are underway to add four new programs in 2017.

Supervisory Training Programs

SMACNA offered 10 Supervisory Training Programs for local chapters to present to their members. Three new Supervisory Training Programs will be added in 2017.

Contractor Operations Manual

SMACNA’s Contractor Operations Manual Task Force oversaw the development of four new books in SMACNA’s Contractor Operations Manual. They include:

  • The Guideline to Information Technology
  • Materials and Inventory Management
  • Principles of Job Costing
  • Personnel Policies and Procedures

Additional manuals will be updated and developed in 2017.

Chapter Executive Institute

SMACNA’s Chapter Executive Institute was held in January 2016 in Phoenix. Designed for chapter executives to advance chapter management, professionalism, and information exchange with their fellow chapter executives, this program features presentations, discussions, local chapter reports, and updates on SMACNA projects and events, as well as a convention overview. The next program is planned for Jan. 29 to Feb. 1, 2017.


Associate Member Program

SMACNA’s Associate Member Program continues to grow with 41 associate members in 2016. SMACNA offers four levels of associate membership, each with valuable benefits: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. 

Premier PartSMACNA-Premier-Partnersners

SMACNA welcomed Milwaukee Tool as a new Premier Partner in 2016. Other Premier Partners include Mestek, Federated Insurance, Daikin Applied, and Titus.

DSC_4959Product Show

SMACNA’s annual Product Show continued to increase with 66 exhibitor booths in 2016. The Product Show, which takes place during SMACNA’s Annual Convention, offered 12 New Technology Sessions, covering the latest innovations in industry technology for member contractors.

Product Show Auction

A first this year, a silent and live auction was held during the Product Show, offering the latest equipment, software, and technology, with proceeds to raise funds for SMAC PAC's Administrative Fund, which was set up to help raise personal money from SMACNA members for SMACNA's political action committee.

Labor Relations Services

Wage Equalization Assistance

SMACNA’s Labor Committee and Labor Relations staff conducted several meetings with SMART leadership to advocate contractor concerns and recommendations related to SMART’s proposed changes to wage equalization methodology. They likewise continued discussions with SMART regarding the elimination or relaxation of wage equalization requirements for spiral pipe and fittings. The Labor Relations Department also provided guidance to SMACNA chapters who had wage equalization grievances raised in their local area or for a contractor who was traveling. Assistance ranged from contacting SMART personnel to facilitate a resolution of the grievance based on amounts actually paid and providing advice on strategies for potential resolution or means of challenges.

Consultation Services

SMACNA’s Labor Relations Department responds to an average of 325 to 350 inquiries each month. They originate from SMACNA chapter executives and members and involve legal issues, local contract and SFUA interpretation, bargaining strategy, wage equalization, NJAB preparation, LJAB guidance, employment share data, local and national trust fund/ERISA issues, and local settlements.

Labor Arbitration

Four contract dispute renewal cases were successfully arbitrated with SMART in 2016. In addition to administering the National Joint Adjustment Board (NJAB), the Labor Relations Department provides guidance to chapter executives, members, and local bargaining and labor committees throughout the arbitration process.

Collective Bargaining Orientation

The one-day bargaining session provided bargainers with the legal framework for bargaining, how to prepare for bargaining, and how to avoid common pitfalls, as well as the latest trends and laws impacting collective bargaining agreements and fringe benefit funds. The next Collective Bargaining Orientation takes place Feb. 23, 2017 in Dallas.

Bargainers’ Conference Calls

phoneMonthly Bargainers’ Conference Calls involving Labor Relations staff, SMACNA’s outside counsel, chapters, and members were conducted during the 2016 collective bargaining season to assist chapters and contractors with bargaining strategies and legal issues. Participants shared proposals to enhance competitiveness and discussed industry bargaining trends, bargaining experiences, and issues that arose during negotiations. The 2017 Bargainers’ Conference call schedule is: March 14, April 4, May 9, and June 1.

Industry Fund Seminar

The biannual Industry Fund Seminar featured direction on the impact of federal labor and tax law on operation of local industry funds, permissible and impermissible fund uses, trustee responsibility and liability, review of documents related to industry funds, and the latest fund accounting and legal developments. It also provided valuable instruction on establishing and operating local industry promotion funds.

Employment Share Data

Each SMACNA chapter received a Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC) Employment Share Data report, that measures current employment situations for their area.  Employment share data reports were created for more than 85 areas nationwide. These historical trends are useful in evaluating industry performance and planning. For a copy, contact SMACNA’s Labor Relations Department at (703) 803-2981.

Trustee Conference Calls and Trustee Advisor Blog

Four very informative conference calls and six Trustee Advisor Blogs focused on health-care regulatory updates, court decisions impacting retirement plans, selection of apprentices by the JATC, and cost-saving strategies for health plans, and more.

Right-to-Work Developments

SMACNA provided strategic counsel and advice to SMACNA chapters regarding decisions to renegotiate collective bargaining agreements prior to state adoption of Right-to-Work laws that would eliminate union security provisions.

Guidance on New Union Label Program

Guidance and support was provided to SMACNA members on the SMART Union Label program, which allows employees on a jobsite to use a SMART app to scan bar codes on union labels on fabricated products to learn about the fabricating contractor and crew costs in the fabricating local union.

CBA Language Resources

The Labor Relations Department provide several valuable collective bargaining agreement resources for chapters and members, including local collective bargaining agreements, favorable contract language, and a contract language database.

  •  SMACNA maintains electronic copies of Local Collective Bargaining Agreements for review by SMACNA chapters and members. Contracts are categorized by state. Members may export the results into an Excel spreadsheet and save or print it.
  • SMACNA provides Examples of Favorable Local Contract Language from industry collective bargaining agreements that could prove useful in drafting contract proposals.
  • The Labor Relations Department’s Contract Language Database allows chapters to search approximately 80 different contract language topics within sheet metal building trade agreements.

Legislative Affairs Services

2016 QCA National Issues Conference and Policy Forum

CQC_x200SMACNA was a prominent co-sponsor of another news-making event to enhance public support for multiemployer composite plans, procurement revisions, and energy efficiency policy. The 2016 QCA National Issues Conference in Washington, D.C. Included presentations by key Congressional leaders and Capitol Hill staff. SMACNA members then brought their concerns to their lawmakers in more than 150 visits on Capitol Hill.

Creating Increased Tax Incentives to Stimulate HVAC Market Opportunities

SMACNA joined with allies in the HVAC industry to help pass a Tax Extenders Act through the 114th Congress. Expanding IRS Section 179D to include greater tax incentives would boost HVAC retrofits of commercial buildings. Advocating increased incentives for full building retrofits would represent a major modification to current tax incentives in the IRS Code.

Increasing National Energy Efficiency

After nearly a decade battling gridlock, SMACNA worked to pass a major energy package in both the House and Senate with residential, commercial, industrial, and public energy efficiency provisions to stimulate construction activity. “The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act,” passed by the Senate represents significant advances long supported by SMACNA and energy efficiency leaders. Now the effort expands to move a compromise version from the House-Senate Conference to reconcile differing provisions into a single bill to send to the White House after clearing Congress.

Support for CHP/WHP Projects

SMACNA continued in a leading role in the national Alliance for Industrial Efficiency (AIE) coalition to build House and Senate support for the bipartisan bill “The POWER Act of 2015” (H.R. 2657/S. 1516). The proposed legislation, now with dozens of bipartisan co-sponsors, would be particularly helpful for thousands of contractors on existing and future large CHP/WHP projects, including those mechanical systems found on many large commercial, public, and industrial building sites.

Close Employee Misclassification Loophole/Payroll Fraud in Construction

capitol hillFor the first time, a Republican lawmaker was enlisted to introduce a bill to reform Section 530 of the Internal Revenue Code to address misclassification in the construction industry, “Clarify Workers Misclassification in the Construction Industry Act” (H.R. 5008). The federal government should reform existing tax law to identify bad actors so the government can recoup lost tax revenue and ensure all businesses compete under the same rules. SMACNA strongly supported this bill.

Working Directly with House Congressional Building Trades Caucus

SMACNA met with key staff representatives of the recently-established bipartisan Congressional Building Trades Caucus and discussed federal policy initiatives important to the specialty construction industry. The Caucus was launched to advance federal policies that support the 6.6 million Americans working in the construction industry. SMACNA was pleased to provide early input as the Caucus develops its agenda and plans to be a constructive participant in Caucus efforts.

Contacting Your Legislators Got Even Easier in 2016

SMACNA’s Capitol Hill office refined the recently developed advocacy program and webpage so all SMACNA members can find their legislators and contact them both in Washington, D.C. and in their home districts. You will find sample letters on important issues to help you write your message. The system is used to electronically deliver “Legislative Action Alerts” to SMACNA members at critical times in the legislative process. Learn more and contact your legislators.

Ramping Up Efforts by Construction Employers of America

static1.squarespace.comThe footprint of the union segment of the construction industry is growing thanks to SMACNA’s support of the Construction Employers of America. The CEA sent letters to Capitol Hill on priority issues such as apprenticeship and training programs, pension reform, and employee misclassification. They also sent letters to the Democratic and Republican Platform Committees and reached out to President-elect Trump’s transition team, and recently responded to an article in The Washington Post.

Multiemployer Pension Composite Plans Championed

SMACNA played a leading role in 2016 in trying to move alternative plan design toward final passage. SMACNA reviewed the final language; participated in a joint meeting for a coalition of construction employers with DOL, PBGC, and the Treasury to address the Administration’s concerns about Composite Plans. During the last week of the session SMACNA was asked to select coalition participants for a staff briefing to a Retirement Security Working Group on Composite Plans. The staff briefing will set the stage for continuing our efforts for 2017, if needed.

SMAC PAC Candidate Contributions (password protected))

SMAC PAC made over $353,000 in contributions for the 2015-2016 election cycle to 77 candidates in 27 states.

Educating Congress Wins Votes on Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) / Davis-Bacon Act

In the 114th Congress, attacks on both PLAs and Davis-Bacon were turned back by significant margins with more than 50 votes coming from GOP allies in the House of Representatives on prevailing wage battles. PLAs saw a more modest but growing margin of support in 2016 with many members changing opposition votes to become PLA supporters.

Top-Level Panel Shares Tips on Tax Incentives for Contractors

The special convention educational session entitled, “Reap the Reward:  Federal Laws That Can Boost Your Bottom Line” featured nationally recognized experts who guided members in applying for over 20 tax extender provisions, including the research tax credit, bonus depreciation, enhanced Code Sec. 179 expensing, and certain other tax credits. Energy efficiency laws and standards were also featured to emphasize how legislation, laws and contractor bottom lines are related.