Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association History.
In the Beginning.
The SMA was established in 1988 as the Stairway Manufacturers’ Association to ensure the growth and prosperity of the stairmaking industry and craft. The main focus of the charter members of the SMA was to defend against arbitrary changes to building codes and to promote essential funding for scientific research and testing in stairway safety. Because of the vision of these charter members, the SMA is used to fairly establish empirical changes in stair, handrail, and guard codes and set an example for valid code reform.
SMA Visual Interpretations.
The SMA Visual Interpretations of the Stair Building Codes have been published since 2001 as a tool for building officials, design professionals, contractors, and others in the industry. These graphic interpretations bring clarity to the written code and provide a well accepted, consistent understanding.
Education and Certification.
In 2003, the SMA gathered architects, builders, code officials, and stairbuilders for the first annual SMA Code Forum which focused on discussing regulatory issues and fostering better understanding across the industry. This national program includes accredited code interpretation seminars for associations of builders, building officials, and design professionals. Starting in 2007, the SMA turned its focus to education that has largely affected the direction of the association and its members. With education at the forefront, in 2008 the SMA began work on the Stairway Safety Program curriculum for use in elementary education. In 2009, the first SMA certification program was offered during the Fall Education Conference. The SMA is dedicated to raising public awareness of its professional status and encourages the continued growth of skilled, professional stairbuilders and stairbuilding companies in a culture that supports members and the industry.
Raising the Bar.
Since 2014, the SMA’s constituency has grown to include over 75% of professional stairbuilding companies, a range of professionals from one-man shops to some of the largest in the industry. The organization has helped prevent the decline of the craft of stairbuilding and save the stairway aesthetic. Because of our dedication to preserving the field, our members are credible voices in the industry who contribute to the consistent interpretation and enforcement of stairway building codes. In 2018 the SMA implemented the first course of practical stairbuilding education to enable others to learn the crafts and technology of our trade and provide new found understanding of the potential for success in our nice professions. The SMA continues to proactively contribute to the professional development of our members through education, quality standard development, and professional certification, which enables our members to leverage their expertise within the industry.
Become a Member.
Keep up to date with all of the latest code changes and design inspirations. No membership required.