SMACNA Issues First Industry Standard on Food Grade Ductwork

New standard provides contractors with must-have guidelines for ductwork fabrication, installation 

Chantilly, Va. (June 24, 2021) — The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA), the leader in promoting quality and excellence in the sheet metal and air conditioning industry, today announced the first edition of its Food Grade Ductwork and Sheet Metal Guidelines is now available. The newest standard is one of many resources provided by SMACNA to equip contractors, code officials, designers and engineers with recommendations on adapting to industry best practices.

This first edition standard is a 112-page guide that is intended to provide basic food grade ductwork and sheet metal fabrication/installation guidelines to the industry. The guidelines in this standard cover:

  • Fabrication and installation of HVAC ductwork in food and beverage production areas
  • Details of the exhaust used in food and beverage processing
  • Product conveying sanitary tubing/pneumatic conveying (spouting and blow line) utilized in food and beverage processing

“We receive a lot of questions about duct work and systems from both our members and the broader HVAC industry. This publication provides guidelines for the standardization of food grade ductwork and sheet metal fabrication for food and beverage processing plants in the United States,” said Eli Howard, SMACNA’s Executive Director of Technical Services and Research.

Mr. Howard added, “the four primary purposes for the development of the Food Grade Ductwork and Sheet Metal Guidelines were to create reference guidance for the fabrication/installation of food grade ductwork; establish best practices for contractors, designers, food/beverage production plant managers and plant engineers; create a comprehensive specification resource for the food and beverage production industry; and provide contractor guidance for sheet metal in the food grade ductwork industry.”

The technical standards and manuals developed by SMACNA have worldwide acceptance by the construction and code community, as well as local and national government agencies. SMACNA standards and manuals address all facets of the sheet metal and HVAC industry – including duct construction, fabrication, and installation, indoor air quality, energy recovery, roofing and architectural sheet metal, system and air duct leakage testing, and HVAC duct design. These publications, including the Food Grade Ductwork and Sheet Metal Guidelines, are available to order in both hard-copy book format or as a searchable and downloadable PDF at the SMACNA Bookstore.

For more information on SMACNA’s industry-leading standards, visit


SMACNA is an international trade association representing 3,500 contributing contractor firms and is a leader in promoting quality and excellence in the sheet metal and air conditioning industry. SMACNA members are responsible for effectively delivering the clean air Americans breathe in offices, homes, and hospitals; for many of the attractive facades you see on today’s stadiums and office buildings; and for the comfortable, healthy, and safe living environments in which our citizens live out their daily lives. SMACNA has national offices in Chantilly, Va., outside of Washington, D.C., and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Meagan Dominick
Vault Communications