Why Does MCA Offer Architects So Many Resources?

The Metal Construction Association (MCA) has been bringing together professionals from the metal construction industry for nearly 40 years. Our work advances our industry and benefits our membership, which are primarily companies that manufacture, distribute, rollform or fabricate metal products and accessories, or are contractors that work with metal.

From inspiration to technical advice, architects should know what MCA has available

By Jeff Henry, MBA, CAE

Henry Jeff

Given our focus, it might come as a surprise that we offer so many free resources to architects and other members of the design community.

Why do we offer so much support? Because showing architects and designers why they should be using metal in their building plans to help them achieve their visions is a great use of MCA members’ specialized knowledge.

Our resources provide them with a better understanding of the innovations that are possible through the use of metal in the building envelope, inspire them to incorporate metal into buildings in exciting ways, teach them to recognize quality installation practices during and after construction, and much more.

At the end of the day, when architects use our resources to incorporate metal into their projects, everyone wins: architects, building owners and residents, communities and the professionals (like our members) who specialize in metal in construction.

This is just one aspect of our market awareness program, designed to spread the word about metal’s value, versatility, beauty, sustainability and durability. Related efforts include social media campaigns, our awards program and more.

Here’s a high-level view of some of the free resources MCA offers.

Free, For-Credit Online Educational Courses

In addition to hosting white papers, guidelines and other crucial documents for anyone who works in the industry, MCA’s Metal University is a one-stop shop for MCA’s AIA-approved courses. Architects and designers learn more about metal in the building envelope from MCA while advancing their careers with learning units. Our recently launched Metal Architecture Academy eight-course series offers 2 AIA LU/HSW and 5 AIA LU/Elective.

To see all of MCA’s course options, go to

MCA Connects Designers with Quality Companies

Through MCA’s product locator, architects and designers can find dedicated businesses to partner with. Anyone using the locator can sort by product type, supplier role and material to quickly find the best supplier for their needs. Because MCA’s member companies are dedicated to advancing the use of metal in construction, they are happy to use their expertise to help designers choose the best materials and construction methods.

To use at the product locator, go to

MCA Boasts a Massive Digital Library of Resources

Our extensive digital library is called Metal University and lets industry professionals, architects, building owners and more quickly find the resources they need on topics related to metal in construction in the form of MCA-authored white papers, guides, environmental product declarations and more.

There is a resource for nearly every need and every professional. Architects, for instance, can learn how to reduce installation and maintenance costs, specify custom colors, boost sustainability, balance aesthetics with client needs, retrofit roofs, meet code requirements and much more.

MCA Provides Inspirational Case Studies and Photos

Through our website and social media platforms, MCA shares building photos and case studies that show off our members’ work and fuel creativity. No matter what your professional role is, these buildings can inspire you to deliver the best metal can offer.

  • hosts dozens of photos of completed projects, sortable by building type, metal used, product and location.
  • showcases nearly 200 case studies on metal construction. Filter by market, metal, product type, key benefits, location or project type to quickly get photos and details of buildings relevant to your current work and goals.
  • 2021 documents the construction projects judged the best of the best by panels of architects in MCA’s annual awards program. To get a regular serving of innovation and inspiration, follow and like MCA on social media:;;; and

MCA is the Go-To Source for Expert Advice

What seems straightforward in a white paper might raise questions during real-life application, and when you need answers, you need an expert. MCA’s expertise in metal construction is unrivaled. In addition to the metal construction professionals who lead MCA and comprise its membership, MCA staff is happy to answer questions or point you to the right expert for answers.

The design community and MCA members alike turn to MCA director of codes & standards Andy Williams, PE, and technical director Bob Zabcik, PE, LEED AP, when troubleshooting problems. Both are engineers who have focused on metal in construction for decades. Zabcik also is a go-to expert regarding metal’s sustainability. When you need answers, Williams and Zabcik often know exactly where you should look or who you should talk to for an expert solution.

Contact them through—staff.

MCA Advances the Industry and Builds the Market

These extensive free resources for the design community don’t signal a shift in MCA’s focus. We’ve always been guided by what’s best for the companies and professionals in the metal construction industry. But we also know that when metal is used in the building envelope, everyone wins. That’s why it’s important for MCA to spread the word about metal’s advantages and to help architects and designers incorporate metal more often and in innovative ways.

Architects who are looking to build their careers and legacies will find a powerful partner in MCA, and that’s a boon for our members and the industry at large. Experience the power of MCA for yourself at

Jeff Henry, MBA, CAE, is the executive director of the Metal Construction Association. He leads MCA’s staff in supporting industry members and elevating the use of metal in construction. For more information, go to