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The Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association is an association of Stair Industry professionals. The Architect, Builder, Code Official, and Homeowner benefit from SMA publications, knowledge base, education, certification and industry networking programs.

Stair Codes

SMA Visual Interpretations of the  Stairbuilding Codes



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Welcome to Stairways - The Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association (SMA) 

The Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association (SMA) is respected throughout all segments of the building industry as an association of professionals who are dedicated to development and consistent interpretation of the latest stairbuilding codes and regulations. Our organization strives to be a leading resource for design professionals, building officials, builders, homeowners, and the general public, offering guidance on stair requirements to maintain safety, accessibility, and freedom of design.

 

Exclusive benefits, like information sessions, workshops, conferences, training and certification courses, and more offer our members advantageous opportunities to excel. In addition, our esteemed publications, like our Visual Interpretations of the IRC Stair Codes, and Stairbuilding and Handrailing - Technical Guides, have distinguished our association as an industry authority for handrail design and basic stair code requirements related to  measuring riser height (rise) and tread depth (run),  stairway and landing width requirements, headroom, walkline and many other stairway design standards.

 

In addition to the many resources and educational opportunities that we offer our members, our organization also exists to establish a network of vocational professionals that can work together to become industry leaders. Our conferences and workshops attract stairbuilders and manufacturers across the nation and from around the globe to exchange ideas and further their professional development. The SMA stairways also recognizes outstanding members within our association through our revered awards and recognitions.

 

Who Are We?

 

Formed in 1988, the SMA has always been a proactive leader in code reform and standard development. Our expertise and pioneering participation in the development of stairbuilding standards earned us acceptance as a member of  the American National Standards Institute’s A117 accredited standard committee on Accessibility in 2002. Since then, we have continued to push for more inclusive stair design standards, funding a research study in 2009 on how different handrail shapes on stairs and ramps are used by persons with disabilities.

 

Our esteemed board of directors, SMA staff, and association committees have continued to uphold the SMA’s mission and strategic plan, building our organization into the greatest network of resources and tools necessary for the success of our members and the stairway industry.

 

Our association is open to all industry professionals in the fields of stair building and manufacturing, including designers, architects, engineers, builders, code officials, and others. We welcome anyone who is passionate about securing stair safety and design standards to improve public awareness and accessibility. We have members not only across the United States, but also in other parts of the globe, allowing for worldwide networking. Further, our association’s many governance opportunities and committee positions offer excellent ways to build your professional credentials.

 

SMA Publications

 

The SMA is proud to have published some of the leading educational materials and reference guides for the industry. Our Illustrated Stair Codes provide visual interpretations of important stairbuilding standards, like the height of handrails on stairs, the height of steps for building code, riser and tread dimensions, stair components diagram, and other stair construction standards.

 

We have also published several Stair Building and Handrail technical guides to promote safe and comfortable stair constructions. Our technical guides have been recommended as important study materials for any professional looking to join the industry.

 

Our members also have exclusive access to our annual Surveys of Stair Industry Practices. These surveys are used to collect data on industry professional expertise and interests and will be taken into consideration during the development of the new American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standard for Architectural Woodwork, recently announced by the AWI.

 

As an Approved Provider of the American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System (AIA CES) we teach courses to the design community covering, such topics as; the design and construction of stair, handrail, and guard systems; stairway safety; code compliant design; specification of resilient stair systems and components; among others.  Each learning session offers valued Health-Safety-Welfare learning units.

 

Attend Our Events

 

Browse our Event Calendar to see what upcoming events we are hosting near you. We are proud to offer regional workshops across the United States as part of our SMA National Workshop Tour. We also host an annual SMA conference that draws attendees from across the globe to listen to our celebrated guest speakers, participate in our information secessions, learn about our research and reports, and network with other industry leaders.

 

Members Benefits at SMA Stairways

 

As the leading stair industry association in the world, we are proud to offer only the best resources and benefits to our members. By joining the SMA stairways, you can take advantage of the following:

 

Business Support

 

Our SMA members have exclusive access to professional business support that can help further their vocational success. Our code consultations, for example, are performed by full-time industry professionals and can offer insight on your company’s design and safety interpretations/compliance, and offer technical solutions to perfect your trade practices.

 

We also make it easy for our members to promote their business and network. When you join, you will have full access to manage your stairways member page where you can add photos, links, and contact information for your business—making it easy for other professionals and customers to find your website. Our valuable SMA office inquiries and referrals can also direct you to the closest member in your area.

 

Lastly, our SMA member saving program gives you exclusive savings opportunities for some of the top-rated business, construction, and manufacturing retailers, including Lowes, Sherwin Williams, MSC-Industrial Supply Company, FEDEX, ADP Payroll, OfficeMax, Staples, and much more.

 

Learning Opportunities

 

Education is one of the core focuses of the Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association, which is why we offer numerous learning opportunities year-round. Every year we host a national workshop tour featuring regional workshops that are designed to bring celebrated speakers and industry experts to your area, so that you can network with other professionals close to you and acquire new skills to master your trade.

 

In addition, our SMA Annual Conference takes our commitment to education to a national sphere, attracting stairbuilding and manufacturing professionals from all across the United States and internationally to participate in our forum. These conferences are considered a top opportunity to network with other professionals and increase industry expertise, and our members can enjoy discounted prices on all of our conferences, seminars, workshops, forums, and SMA publications. 

 

In addition to our workshops and conferences, we also offer online certification curriculum access so that you can build you professional credentials and expertise. The SMA is an AIA Continuing Education System approved service provider.  SMA members can become certified presenters of our AIA CES courses and gain valuable access to the design community in their market offering valued learning units and their professional services.

 

Become an Industry Leader

 

One of the pillars of the Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association is to help promote industry leaders within our community of professionals. To do so, we offer a wide range of resources that are designed to keep all our associates informed and up to date on the latest changes to building regulations for stairs. Our members have access to our SMA code library, and our illustrated stair codes guide simplifies complex requirements to make it easy for our members to communicate consistent interpretation of the codes.

 

At the SMA stairways we recognize our members’ desires to stay ahead of the competition and embrace innovation, which is why we offer a wide range of resources that can keep you up to date on the latest industry practices, codes, and standards. Our frequent industry reports and surveys of industry practices can help guide your business with researched insights for optimizing stair safety, design, practicality, and efficiency. By incorporating these actionable insights you can distinguish your business on the cutting edge of the industry.

 

Further, for those interested in leadership positions, one can find outstanding opportunities by participating in one of our many committees. Our committees include code & research, education, governance, marketing, quality standards, and project task groups. By being an SMA committee member, not only do you get to participate in important decisions that can shape the future of the industry and gain valued experience working with other leaders of the stair industry, but you can also build your professional portfolio with leadership opportunities and credentials.

 

Recognition

 

The Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association is proud to recognize outstanding members of our association who push the boundaries of design, display mastery of their craft, and maintain full compliance with stair code regulations. For this reason, each year we host the SMA StairCraft Awards, a peer-judged competition that honors aesthetic value, quality workmanship, safe use, and technical challenge. These awards are highly respected within the industry and serve as a symbol of exemplary achievement.

 

In addition to our awards and honors, you can also get recognized, by simply displaying the prestigious SMA MEMBER logo as a certificate of membership. By being a part of our association, your business will receive recognition from consumers and other industry leaders for its professional dedication.

 

Join Today!

 

By joining the Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association, you join a network of industry professionals who are committed to quality workmanship, innovation, and industry expertise. Our members benefit from countless educational and networking opportunities that can further their professional development and reach new height with their business.

 

The SMA logo is synonymous with craftsmanship and reliability, as each of our members has access to the design and stair code training needed to produce only top quality constructions. Whether you are looking for a way to further your education, earn recognition, or network with other industry leaders, our association strives to connect you with the solutions that you need to succeed.

 

Our society consists of the very best in the industry and we look forward to adding you to our network!  Fill out our online application today to join our distinguished network of stair building and manufacturing professionals. 


The Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association (SMA) is a prestigious association that is dedicated to improving stairbuilding standards to preserve the safety and aesthetic of the craft. Our esteemed members include architects, builders, code officials, manufacturers, and other stair industry professionals who value the trade and are committed to raising the bar for industry standards.

 

Founded in 1988, our association has grown to be one of the most reputable organizations in the industry and one of its leading networking and educational resources. Professionals from small businesses and large corporations alike proudly display our SMA badge as an elite symbol of professionalism, innovation, and expertise. 

 

Through our research, publications, workshops, and industry networking programs, we strive to challenge experts nationwide to continue to innovate their practices and stay informed on the latest standards and codes. In addition, our members are privy to many benefits including business support, educational support (including AIA continuing education courses), and recognition opportunities through our various awards and certifications.

 

Our carefully selected committee and board of directors has allowed our association to place its emphasis on education and networking to benefit both our members and the industry. Our annual conference draws stair industry professionals from across the nation to build upon their expertise, hear from celebrated speakers, and participate in a wide range of fun activities. We also host a national workshop tour with many stops across the country in efforts to reach out to stairbuilders in a variety of states.

 

Apply to our association today to join our prominent network and take advantage of our many opportunities and resources for professional advancement and betterment.


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