by Michael Tierney, BHMA Standards Coordinator
When choosing the appropriate hardware for commercial buildings, going with certified hardware from the start can save property owners and contractors a problem in the future, not to mention an added expense over time. ANSI/BHMA certified hardware goes through independent verification and validation for performance. Products are tested at qualified independent, recognized labs and separate itself from other hardware that bases its claims on manufacturers’ internal testing.
“If you’re looking for a lifecycle investment and ROI, you want to make sure that whatever hardware you choose to secure the building can perform over time at the high level you’d expect from a certified product,” said Don Kirby, product and marketing manager for DORMA and marketing chair for the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association. “You have to know what your performance expectations are and buy accordingly. While your first choice may be to buy an inexpensive product that is non-certified, it can ultimately cost you more down the line to have it replaced.”
According to Kirby, you have to look at choosing hardware as an investment. And while there may be a slight cost difference between certified and non-certified hardware, there is a significant impact on the durability and overall performance of the building. When going with ANSI/BHMA certified hardware, even if it is something as small as the type of locks that are used, it could prove to be beneficial in the long run.
“With the incremental cost difference, it’s almost a bad decision not to use a certified product,” Kirby said.
And just because there is a certification process behind the hardware, it doesn’t cut down on the choices.
“There are enough manufacturers in the certified worlds to make it competitive,” Kirby said. “A non-certified product, you might save a few dollars and you may or may not recognize the brand name. If you look at the list of certified products, those are well recognized, well established brand names that have been in the market and have made the investment to make sure that the product they deliver will perform.”
Paul Dauphin, the vice president of Marketing & Business Development for ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions, points out the importance of having third party testing behind the product:
“There is an awful lot of noise in the marketplace,” Dauphin said. “If you’re somebody who is going to own a building for a long time, you’re biggest purchase criteria will be durability and the only way to really understand if a product is durable is to have it BHMA certified. It’s important to have it tested by a third party and not just pick a product that has a label making claims.”
BHMA is the only U.S. organization accredited by the American National Standards Institute to develop and maintain performance standards for builders’ hardware. Currently, there are 34 ANSI/BHMA standards with more in development.
To purchase or learn more about ANSI/BHMA standards, please visit the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association website at: www.buildershardware.com/2010.html.
The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association is an industry leader in building safety and security. BHMA is the only organization accredited by the American National Standards Institute to develop and maintain performance standards for locks, closers, exit devices and other builders hardware. The widely known ANSI/BHMA A156 series of standards describes and establishes the features and criteria for specific types of hardware products. In addition, BHMA sponsors third-party certification of hardware products, which is a requirement for a product to bear the “BHMA Certified” mark — insuring that the product meets the ANSI/BHMA standard. For more information on BHMA, please write to BHMA, 355 Lexington Avenue, 15th Floor, New York, NY, 10017 or visit the website at www.buildershardware.com. RB