The University of California, Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center released a study, “Testing, Adjusting and Balancing HVAC Systems: An Overview of Certification Agencies,” favorably positioning the Testing, Adjusting and Balancing Bureau (TABB) as a certifying agency for testing, adjusting and balancing (TAB).
TABB, which was compared to two of the other main certifying agencies — Associated Air Balance Council (AABC) and National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB) — was determined to be the only certifying agency accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 17024, an internationally recognized standard for personnel certification bodies.
The study, written by Fredrick Meyers and Theresa Pistochini, states: “Competence in the subject matter is demonstrated through the ANSI-accredited certification process.”
The study also shares, in regards to training workers to take certification exams, TABB has more than 150 training centers, whereas AABC has zero and NEBB has one nationwide. TABB uses its affiliate Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) facilities as written exam locations, while AABC has access to third-party testing sites and NEBB offers 12 hands-on outsource testing sites.
“TABB is unique in that the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA) is a parent organization,” says John Hamilton, COO of TABB. “SMACNA is a standards-writing organization and a leader in the HVAC industry. The relationship provides resources for continual upgrades for training and certification exams, subject matter experts, and access to technical publications. The knowledge and technical expertise we obtain from the SMACNA staff has proven to be invaluable for our technicians, supervisors, contractors and customers.”
Conducting proper TAB as part of the commissioning process benefits the building owner and occupants by ensuring standards meet what is specified in the building design.
Beyond comfort, a balanced HVAC system will use less energy and provide better indoor air quality and enhanced ventilation rates, particularly important in helping to keep occupants healthy and productive in today’s COVID-19 environment.
According to the study, TAB certifications are expected to play an even more crucial role in HVAC systems as building control systems become more complex and energy-efficiency becomes standard.
The study recommends, “Building managers can stay ahead of the curve by making sure their TAB contractors are well qualified.”