Sheet metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association


The Best of 2017: SMACNA Highlights and Accomplishments

Feb 27, 2018

SMACNA National works for you, our members, by providing highly valued products and services that give you a competitive advantage.

This special year-in-review edition features the world-class offerings SMACNA has provided for your benefit throughout 2017, including the ideas, strategies, and resources to sharpen your competitive edge.

2017 Highlights

New Strategic Plan Developed
Arrows 225x105In 2017, SMACNA National adopted a new strategic plan to position SMACNA and its members for future success. Moving forward, we will build on what we’ve accomplished and focus additional efforts on attracting more quality people, both craft and non-craft, into our companies and local unions. We plan to communicate more effectively to our stakeholders and improve the relevance and effectiveness of our partnership with our chapters and labor partners.

Chapters and contractor members can use some of the strategic findings in their own plans. In fact, chapters could consider integrating elements of the national plan locally for an industry-wide effort to achieve our important objectives.

It is a well-known fact that a focused organization is more meaningful to its members and a focused organization energizes the leadership on all levels.

Technical Services and Research

SMACNA Technical University
SMACNA technical staff conducted the popular SMACNA Technical University at multiple SMACNA chapters throughout the year in Albany, Chicago, and San Francisco.

The course curriculum covers the use and application of SMACNA’s “HVAC Duct Construction Manual,” “Fire, Smoke and Radiation Damper Installation Guide for HVAC Systems,” “HVAC Air Duct Leakage Test Manual,” and both the Round and Rectangular Industrial Duct Construction Standards manuals. Contact your chapter executive to bring this valuable course to your area this year. Locate your chapter executive on SMACNA’s Find a Chapter webpage.

“Thermoset FRP Duct Construction Manual”
Thermoset FRP Duct Construction Manual 143x178As the marketplace expands for fiberglass reinforced pipe, SMACNA’s updated and completely revised the ANSI accredited “Thermoset FRP Duct Construction Manual,” 2nd edition, 2016. It incorporates significant updates on materials and underground construction. 

Round _146x178“Round Industrial Duct Construction Standards Manual”
SMACNA just released the updated ANSI-accredited “Round Industrial Duct Construction Standards Manual,” 3rd edition, 2013, which now includes elevated temperature tables, and aluminum and aluminized steel tables along with general revisions to the manual.

Architectural Sheet Metal Wind Test Report
SMACNA just released the revised “Architectural Fascia and Coping Wind Test Report” for copings/fascia to show compliance with the current edition of SPRI ES-1, as required by the 2009, 2012, 2015, and 2018 International Building Code.

SMACNA Ductwork 148x114HVAC Duct Construction Standards, 4th edition
SMACNA has completed the public review process for the 4th edition of SMACNA’s “HVAC Duct Construction Standards, Metal and Flexible,” and has begun the process to receive ANSI accreditation prior to publication and release.

Downspout Gutter 148X124Architectural Downspout/Gutter Sizing Calculator App
The latest app for architectural sheet metal members calculates proper rainfall sizing of downspouts and gutters and is now available on SMACNA's Technical Resources section on the Tools, CAD, and Apps webpage. The sizes offered in the app are based on the SMACNA “Architectural Sheet Metal Manual” and the model plumbing codes.

Market Sector Councils

Market Sector Forums
SMACNA developed four informative Market Sector Council forums (sessions) at SMACNA’s 74th Annual Convention, each focused on the architectural, HVAC, industrial, and residential markets. Topics included virtual design in architectural work, what general contractors look for when collaborating with HVAC trade contractors, industrial training and resources, and profit strategies for residential contractors. These forums are held each year on the newest topics to give members an industry advantage.

Joint Architectural Committee Meeting with SMART International
SMACNA’s Architectural Sheet Metal Council Steering Committee held a productive joint meeting with SMART International’s Architectural Metals Committee. The committees discussed architectural metals training and recruitment, market opportunities, technical applications, and promoting SMART and SMACNA talent to the industry.

New “Residential Customer Service Strategy Program”
The Residential Contractors Council Steering Committee developed a “Residential Customer Service Strategy Program” for residential and light commercial contractors. This new program features the steps and procedures necessary to develop, implement, and maintain a customer service strategy for residential and light commercial firms. Find “Residential Customer Service Strategy Program” on the SMACNA’s Residential market sector webpage.

vdc-white-paper-x200x253pxNew Virtual Design White Paper in Architectural Metals
SMACNA’s Architectural Sheet Metal Contractors Council Steering Committee developed a new white paper on virtual design that educates members on the advantages of collaborative engagement in virtual design and construction (VDC). The white paper, Virtual Design and Construction Practice—Benefits, Challenges, and Proven Strategies for AEC Team, was developed with the assistance of the A. Zahner Company and featured Zahner projects applying virtual design and construction practices. Download the new virtual design white paper on SMACNA’s Architectural webpage.

Architectural Sheet Metal Newsletter
The latest edition of Architectural Sheet Metal highlights the outstanding architectural work of SMACNA contractors including a curved façade on the new Minnesota Vikings stadium, a dramatic steel lattice that brought an ordinary building to life, and a sleek new entry design for a global internet company. Read the latest Architectural Sheet Metal Newsletter here.

HVAC Expertise 150HVAC Systems Expertise Newsletter
The current HVAC newsletter features articles on:

  • A SMACNA contractor did some "sweet" metal contracting for the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.
  • How work in a sheet metal shop should flow.
  • Latest lean construction methods.
  • How one SMACNA contractor tapped into Mother Earth to help schools heat and cool their classrooms.

Read the latest issue of HVAC Systems Expertise.

Industrial_150Industrial Insights Newsletter
SMACNA’s Industrial Insights includes articles on adding food processing to a contractor’s capabilities list, new technical resources including the revised “Round Industrial Duct Construction Standards” and the updated “Thermoset FRP Duct Construction Manual” from SMACNA’s Technical Resources Department, an industrial marketing tool available through members’ SMART local or contractors’ offices, a new transportation hub project in British Columbia, and energy efficiency program case studies.

Residential Report Newsletter
The recent Residential Report newsletter featured articles on the secrets to hiring and retaining good employees, sales apps and mobile devices, SMACNA’s downspout and gutter sizing app, refrigerant phase-out, a new white paper on customer service, PACE residential programs, and how to respond to customer complaints.

Safety and Health Services

Safety Sessions Cover Emerging Trends and Health at Annual Convention
SMACNA’s 74th Annual Convention featured two sessions on occupational safety and health. “Emerging Trends in Occupational Safety and Health” provided information on welding, fall protection, safety cultures, and more. “The Challenging ‘Health’ Side of Safety and Health” provided specific information on common occupational illnesses affecting the sheet metal industry such as chemical overexposure and hearing loss. The new OSHA rule on silica exposure prevention was discussed at both sessions. Read about the new OSHA rule on Silica in Construction on SMACNA’s Safety webpage.

Updated Model Programs on Personal Protective Equipment
Since cuts and eye injuries are two of the most common injuries in the sheet metal industry, SMACNA’s Safety Committee emphasizes the need for contractors to pay close attention to personal protective equipment (PPE) issues. SMACNA’s Safety Department recently revised and updated the model program information on PPE while also addressing general industry PPE hazards and developed a new model program for construction hazards. These programs can be edited and customized to meet contractors’ specific needs and are available free to members on the SMACNA Safety webpage.

SMACNA's 2017 Safety Excellence Awards Program
While at SMACNA’s 2017 Annual Convention, the Safety Excellence Awards Program recognized SMACNA members’ outstanding safety programs in seven different man-hour categories. The program provides SMACNA with valuable information about members’ safety and health initiatives and gives valuable safety feedback to contractors. In addition, SMACNA conducted the second year of the Canadian Safety Excellence Awards Program to recognize safety excellence on the part of SMACNA’s Canadian members. You can find out more about both safety programs and read the latest “2017 Safety Statistics Profile” on SMACNA’s Safety Survey webpage.

Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention
SMACNA continues to inform and educate our members on the issues surrounding suicide and suicide prevention in the construction industry. SMACNA joined and participated in the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a group of key industry organizations committed to promoting the safety and well-being of construction’s most important asset—its people. Visit the Alliance website for resources to help create a culture of awareness and ways to help your employees. 

Business Management and Educational Services

Business Management University
One of SMACNA’s flagship programs, Business Management University was held in February 2017 in Tempe, Ariz., where industry leaders shared the practical business practices of running a successful sheet metal company. Topics covered financial management, strategic planning, contractor survival skills, negotiation, surety and bonding, leadership, and productivity. Learn more about the 2018 Business Management University, which is scheduled for Feb. 25-March 1 in Tempe, Ariz.

Supervisor Training Academy
SMACNA’s Supervisor Training Academy was held in March 2017. This dynamic program aims to turn both new and experienced supervisors into high-performing supervisors. Participants study leadership, productivity, time management, industry trends, and communications through interactive, team-building exercises. SMACNA has scheduled the 2018 Supervisor Training Academy for March 19-21 in St. Louis, Mo. Click here for more information on SMACNA’s National Education webpage.

Two Project Managers Institutes Offered
The popular Project Managers Institute (PMI) helps participants build their project management skills with a focus on communication, planning, leadership, and business management. For more information and to sign up for the 2018 Project Managers Institute, April 22-25 in Raleigh, N.C., visit the National Education webpage.

Financial Boot Camp
The 2018 Financial Boot Camp is scheduled for May 7-9, 2018 in Tempe, Ariz. This program includes real-world exercises to examine in-depth financial management issues. Topics covered include interpreting financial statements, calculating financial ratios, working with credit, developing cash-flow projections, understanding equipment acquisition and leasing, and how to best use financial information for strategic and business planning.

Bringing Educational Initiatives to Chapters

Chapter Education Programs
SMACNA_BMP_x200SMACNA continues to provide the highest quality speakers and programs to local chapters. This year SMACNA offered a selection of 14 Chapter Education Programs along with adding six new programs, Including: 

  • Change Order Management 

  • How to Successfully Manage Conflict  

  • Making Decisions About Market Opportunities (NHF) 

  • Perform Like the Boss-Developing the Next Generation 

  • Start and Build a Profitable Service and Replacement Department 

  • Transform Your Organization for the Future 

Supervisory Training Programs
SMACNA offered nine Supervisory Training Programs for local chapters to present to their members. Three new Supervisory Training Programs were added in 2017, including: 

  • A Foreman’s Field Guide to Developing Your Workforce – Step II
  • Growing and Developing Supervisors
  • Managing Critical Project Resources and Customer Relationships

To learn more about how to bring SMACNA speakers and programs to your local chapter, contact Bridgette Bienacker, SMACNA director of business management and membership at

Contractor Operations Manual
SMACNA’s Contractor Operations Manual Task Force oversaw the development and publication of four new documents and a white paper in SMACNA’s Contractor Operations Manual in 2017. They included:

  • Materials and Inventory Management
  • Principles of Job Costing
  • Personnel Policies and Procedures
  • Management Succession
  • Construction Contracts—Alternative Delivery Methods (white paper)

New manuals coming up in 2018 include:

  • Establishing Shop Burden in Manufacturing Environments
  • Recruit to Retire
  • Preconstruction Planning
  • Strategies and Tools for Effective Procurement
  • Maximizing Bonding Capacity

Chapter Executive Institute
SMACNA’s Chapter Executive Institute was held in January 2017 in Maui. Designed for chapter executives to advance chapter management, professionalism, and information exchange with their fellow chapter executives, this program featured 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. 28-30, 2018 in San Diego.


Associate Member Program Continues to Grow
SMACNA’s Associate Member Program continued to grow with 42 associate members in 2017. SMACNA offers four levels of associate membership, each with valuable benefits: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

Working with SMACNA Premier Partners
SMACNA continued to work closely with its five Premier Partners-Daikin Applied, Federated Insurance, Mestek, Titus, and Milwaukee Tool. SMACNA Premier Partners have the opportunity to present their brands, products, and services to SMACNA members year-round through events, publications, and digital platforms, including the Annual Convention and Product Show.

Women in Construction Leadership Council Builds Momentum
SMACNA’s Women in Construction Leadership Council (WCLC) Steering Committee held several conference calls in 2017 and the Women in Construction listserv saw increased participation. The Council began planning for their first WCLC Steering Committee meeting in Boston, to take place June 9, 2018, where a trained facilitator will lead discussions to plan the WCLC’s strategic goals. The Council also sponsored the annual women’s session on how to attract the attention of influential sponsors, led by Jo Miller, at the 2917 Annual Convention in Maui.

The Women in Construction Leadership Council is dedicated to the advancement of women who aspire to take on leadership positions in member companies and chapters, and who are interested in becoming involved in SMACNA both locally and nationally.

Meeting and Convention Services

GWR_Exterior_9Annual Convention takes place in Maui, Hawaii
SMACNA’s 74th Annual Convention was held in Maui, Hawaii, Oct. 22-25, and exceeded all expectations, offering four exciting days of robust educational sessions, business meetings, networking, award ceremonies, the Product Show, and high-energy entertainment. Four members were elected to serve on the Board of Directors and SMACNA 2017 President Joseph Lansdell passed the gavel and transferred the responsibilities of the SMACNA presidency to Jack Knox who will serve until Oct. 17, 2018.A39A6219 200x133

SMACNA’s annual Product Show included 46 exhibitor booths in 2017. The Product Show, which takes place during SMACNA’s Annual Convention, offered six New Technology Sessions, covering the latest innovations in industry technology for member contractors.

The 75th Annual Convention is scheduled for Oct. 14-17, 2018, in San Diego, Calif., at the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina.

Labor Relations Services

Consultation Services for Members
000005595939_150x100SMACNA’s Labor Relations Department responds to an average of 325 to 350 inquiries from SMACNA chapter executives and members each month. These inquiries involve discussions about 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, to name a few. In addition, SMACNA’s Labor Relations staff and a SMART International representative travel to local areas to help SMACNA chapters and SMART local unions improve local labor relations.

Workforce Development Projects to Expand Market Share
threedimensional_line_charts 175x175For the last 18 months, SMART and SMACNA consultant Michael Gaffney have been working with several management/labor pilot groups in Washington, D.C., Houston, and Atlanta to address their specific needs to maintain and expand market share. Each of these regions have now successfully developed a market recovery plan. In addition to working with these pilot programs, SMACNA and SMART are expanding their efforts to more regions around the country, gathering important market solutions and ideas to share with the industry. Mr. Gaffney will present the results of these market recovery programs at the upcoming 2018 Partners in Progress Conference. To attend and hear the results first-hand, visit the Partners in Progress Conference website.

“Guide to SMACNA National Labor Relations Services, Practices, and Objectives” Now Available to Members
This comprehensive guide provides an overview of the objectives of SMACNA National’s Labor Relations Policy in serving our members. It also provides detailed information on programs and services to assist chapters and members in achieving peaceful and productive labor-management relations. The guide can be found on SMACNA’s Labor Relations webpage.

Wage Equalization Discussions
SMACNA continued to represent contractor and chapter Interests in discussions with SMART regarding their proposal to implement crew cost methodology to determine wage equalization requirements. 

Provided LJAB Training
SMACNA Labor Relations staff provides in-person training to chapter executives and management representatives on local joint adjustment boards on how to conduct grievance hearings. Information covered included how to handle common procedural objections, maintain arbitration immunity, prepare for difficult and complex legal issues raised in grievances, create a good case record, and drafting binding decisions. This half-day seminar was held in December.  

Labor Arbitration and Guidance
Four contract dispute renewal cases and one grievance were successfully resolved with SMART in 2017. In addition to administering the National Joint Adjustment Board (NJAB), SMACNA’s Labor Relations Department provided guidance to chapter executives, members, and local bargaining and labor committees throughout the arbitration process.  

Collective Bargaining Orientation
This intensive bargaining session took place Feb. 23, 2017 in Dallas and provided bargainers with valuable information on 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.  

Produced Annual Labor Report
SMACNA’s Annual Labor Report featured the “State of the Industry Survey” results. The Annual Labor Report is published during the first quarter of the year and features survey data on man-hours, fringe benefits, prevailing wages, and labor-management relationships. The report provides chapters and contractors with a detailed analysis of the national state of the industry.  

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. These reports were created for more than 100 areas nationwide and contain historical trends that are useful in planning and evaluating industry performance.  For a copy, contact SMACNA’s Labor Relations Department at (703) 803-2981.  

Bargainers’ Conference Calls
International_communication_conceptMonthly Bargainers’ Conference Calls involving SMACNA’s Labor Relations Department staff, outside counsel, chapters, and members were conducted during the 2017 collective bargaining season. The calls were held 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 2018 Bargainers’ Conference call schedule is: March 6, April 10, May 8, and June 5. To participate, contact Jason Watson,

Trustee Advisor Blog
Trustee Advisor_200SMACNA’s Trustee Advisor Blog is regularly updated and is available to benefit fund trustees. Recent blog editions focused on issues such as selection of apprentices by the JATC, insurance coverage, and fund communications. Trustees can access the blog on the Trustee Resources section of SMACNA’s Labor Relations webpage. 

Legislative Affairs Services  

Multiemployer Pension Composite Plans Championed
capitol hillAt the annual National Issues Conference in May, SMACNA members helped breathe new life back into the effort to secure legislative action on composite plan design for multiemployer plans. Efforts in the 115th Congress had largely dragged, with Hill offices saying they did not expect action any time soon.  

Now, a composite plan bill is expected to be introduced shortly after the beginning of the year by bi-partisan co-sponsors. A high-profile conference is expected when the bill is introduced, and later a House hearing on the bill should take place. Then there will be the final push for the bill to be included in the must-pass omnibus spending bill. SMACNA is actively working with other construction employer groups to move this bill forward, and is also participating in a coalition at the highest levels with the National Coordinating Committee on Multiemployer Plans and the Building Trades.  

planes 200Airport Infrastructure Bond Financing and Funding Endorsed
With SMACNA’s vocal support, the Senate Finance Committee included a Private Activity Bond (PABs) provision used for airport construction in H.R. 1, the newly enacted tax bill. In addition, SMACNA endorsed the Transportation Committee effort to boost funding for the FAA, S. 1404. The bill is one SMACNA has supported to increase the allowable passenger facility charge (PFC) to go as high as $8.50 and added funds for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). Senate Transportation Committee reported to the Senate S. 1655, which allows local airports the authority to increase the PFC up to $8.50. While there is less support in the House to date, SMACNA is working to boost support from allies in the House for an increased airport development fund. H.R. 1265, The Investing in America: Rebuilding America's Airport Infrastructure Act, is sponsored by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-4th-Ore.) and Thomas Massie (R-4th-Ky.).  

Change Order Reform Advances
SMACNA expressed support for H.R. 2594, The Small Business Payment for Performance Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-8th-Pa.) and co-sponsored by Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-7th-Fla.), Stephen Knight (R-25th-Calif.), and others. SMACNA strongly endorses this legislation that would allow contractors to submit a request for equitable adjustment (REA), or project contract fee adjustment, to an agency that had approved a change order to a project’s original design or scope.

2017 CEA National Issues Conference
CEA_x250SMACNA was a prominent co-sponsor of another news-making event during the CEA National Issues Conference in Washington, D.C. in May 2017 to enhance public support for multi-employer composite plans, procurement revisions, infrastructure, tax reforms, and energy efficiency policy. The 2017 Construction Employers of America (CEA) National Issues Conference included presentations by key Congressional and labor leaders, noted policy experts, and Capitol Hill staff. SMACNA members then brought their concerns to their lawmakers in approximately 200 visits on Capitol Hill.

Supporting Tax Reductions: Incentives to Stimulate HVAC, Construction Markets
SMACNA alone, and in conjunction with numerous coalitions and industry allies in the HVAC industry, worked to advance both H.R. 1, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act comprehensive tax reductions bill and the tax extenders legislation through the 115th Congress. The newly enacted tax legislation also contains SMACNA advocated provisions for expensing 179 equipment such as roofing, heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment; private activity development bonds, historic preservation/rehab credits, lower C corporation rates, lower pass through S corporation rates, increased threshold for estate taxes, elimination of the corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT), and many others.  

Supporting Tax Extenders: Energy Efficiency, Nuclear Power Production Tax Incentives
The tax extenders legislation would expand IRS Section 179D to include more generous tax incentives and would boost HVAC retrofits of commercial buildings. SMACNA is making the case for lower tax rates while retaining targeted retrofit, rehab, and construction project investment financing incentives vital to construction markets and building activity. The tax extenders package also includes extensions of the tax incentives for solar, geothermal, efficient homes, and combined heat and power as well as nuclear power financing.  

Advancing National Energy Efficiency
After nearly a decade battling gridlock, SMACNA continues working 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 of 2017 (H.R. 1443 / S. 385), passed from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, awaits Senate passage with House passage probable during this Congress. The legislation represents significant advances long supported by SMACNA and energy efficiency leaders.  

Contacting Your Legislators—Simplified
SMACNA’s Capitol Hill office further simplified the issue advocacy program and advocacy webpage so all SMACNA members can locate their legislators and contact them both in Washington, D.C. and in their home districts. The easy-to-use system promotes user-friendly, electronically delivered “Legislative Action Alerts” to SMACNA members at critical times in the legislative process. Learn more and contact your legislators at

Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) / Davis-Bacon Act
In the 115th Congress, attacks on both PLAs and Davis Bacon were turned back by significant margins with approximately 60 votes coming from GOP allies in the U.S House of Representatives on prevailing wage battles. PLAs saw a more modest but growing margin of support in 2017 with many members changing opposition votes to become PLA supporters.  

Support for CHP/WHP Projects
SMACNA has been taking a leading role in the national Alliance for Industrial Efficiency (AIE) coalition to build House and Senate support for combined heat and power (CHP) and waste heat to power (WHP) in the tax extender tax package as well as for the bipartisan bill H.R. 1090, The Technologies for Energy Security Act of 2017. The proposed legislation 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.

 Top-Level Tax Expert Shares Tax Incentive Tips for Contractors

The special educational session at the annual convention, “Reap the Reward: Federal Laws That Can Boost Your Bottom Line” featured a nationally recognized expert who guided members in applying for dozens of tax provisions, including the research tax credit, bonus depreciation, enhanced Code Sec. 179 expensing, and other tax credits.