Metal Architecture Home

Industry News

Metal Building Assemblers Earn First IAS AC478 Accreditation

Leading metal building assembly companies Thomas Phoenix International Inc. in Eastampton, N.J., and Merit Builders, Inc. in Rocky Ridge, Md., have become the first to earn accreditation from the International Accreditation Service (IAS) Inspection Practices of Metal Building Assemblers Accreditation Program.

Developed in 2015 with the Metal Building Contractor and Erectors Association (MBCEA), this IAS accreditation establishes benchmarks for companies qualified to assemble and erect metal building systems. Based on accreditation criteria AC478, the IAS program relies on an internal inspection process to recognize competent companies that assemble and erect metal buildings for a variety of uses, including aviation, education, government, recreational, healthcare, offices, religious, auto dealers, agriculture, retail and manufacturing, and warehouse.

"We are proud to be one of the first to earn this accreditation," says Gary Smith, president of steel erector Thomas Phoenix International who is a member of the National Board of MBCEA as well as a founding leader of the Mid-Atlantic Division of the MBCEA. "We believe accreditation raises the bar for our organization and the industry."

David J. Gochenaur, president of Merit Builders Inc., an independent erector in business since 1987, agrees, saying, "The metal building and assembly industry has changed considerably in the last 30 years. We believe accreditation will help our industry deliver better quality in-place products-and that's good for everyone: the manufacturers, the erectors, customers and the public."

To achieve AC478 accreditation, companies must demonstrate that they have the personnel, organization, experience, management procedures and competence to assemble and erect metal building systems in accordance with specified requirements and in accordance with the International Building Code. IAS-accredited assemblers are required to operate under a documented management system that includes a safety and training program and periodic jobsite inspections to verify continued compliance with the criteria. The periodic jobsite inspections are conducted by IAS-accredited inspection agencies.

The new IAS accreditation program for Metal Building Assemblers (AC478) compliments an existing IAS accreditation program for Manufacturers of Metal Building Systems (AC472) that was developed with the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA) in 2008.

"Both the manufacturers and erectors have now come together with IAS accreditation programs that assure the highest quality standards for metal buildings," says IAS Program Manager Sandi McCracken. "Now, consumers can purchase a metal building from an IAS-accredited manufacturer and have it erected by an IAS-accredited assembler."

For more information about IAS AC 478 or AC472, visit or call (866) 427-4422.