Roofing Acronyms & Abbreviations

There are hundreds of terms that are typically used in the roofing industry. In order to become familiar with basic terms and understand your roofer’s explanations, we have compiled a list the most common roofing acronyms & abbreviations used throughout this industry.


AAMA: American Architectural Manufacturers Association
ACI: American Concrete Institute
ACIL: American Council of Independent Laboratories

AFA: American Fiberboard Association
AGC: Associated General Contractors of America
AHA: American Hardboard Association
AIA: American Institute of Architects
ANSI: American National Standards Institute

APA: American Plywood Association
APP: See Atactic Polypropylene.
ARMA: Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association
ASA: American Subcontractors Association
ASC: Associated Specialty Contractors

ASHI: American Society of Home Inspectors
ASHRAE: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.
ASTM: American Society for Testing and Materials
AWPA: American Wood Preservatives Association

AWS: American Welding Society


BOCA: Building Officials and Code Administrators, International, Inc.
BOMA: Building Owners & Managers Association, International
BUR: An acronym for Built-Up Roof. See Built-Up Roof.
BTU: An acronym for British Thermal Unit. The heat energy necessary to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit, a joule.


CABO: Council of American Building Officials
CCF: 100 cubic feet.
CERL: Construction Engineering Research Laboratory

CG&E: See Chopped Glass and Emulsion.
CPA: Copolymer Alloy.
CPE: Chlorinated Polyethylene.
CRREL: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory

CSI: Construction Specifications Institute
CSM: ASTM designation for Chlorosulfonated polyethylene. (See CSPE.)
CSPE: Chlorosulfonated polyethylene.


ECH: Polyepichlorohydrin. See also Epichlorohydrin.
EPDM: Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer.
EVT: Equiviscous Temperature


FM: Short for Factory Mutual Research Corporation.


G-90: A coating weight for galvanized sheet metal, 0.90 ounces of zinc per sq. ft., measured on both sides of the sheet.


HVAC: Acronym for Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning.


ICBO: International Conference of Building Officials, responsible for The Uniform Building Code.
IRWC: Institute of Roofing and Waterproofing Consultants
ISANTA: International Staple, Nail & Tool Association


MBMA: Metal Building Manufacturers Association
MCA: Metal Construction Association
MIMA: Mineral Insulation Manufacturers Association
MRCA: Midwest Roofing Contractors Association


NAHB: National Association of Home Builders
NICA: National Insulation Contractors Association
NIST: National Institute of Standards and Technology
NRCA: National Roofing Contractors Association.
NTRMA: National Tile Roofing Manufacturers Association


ORNL: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
OSB: Oriented Strand Board – Often used as roof sheathing in place of plywood.


pH: A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution, numerically equal to 7 for neutral solutions, increasing with increasing alkalinity and decreasing with increasing acidity. The pH scale commonly in use ranges from 0 to 14.
PIMA: Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association
PMR: See Protected Membrane Roof.
PVC: Polyvinyl Chloride.


R-Value: The measure of a material’s resistance to heat flow. The higher a material’s R-value, the more it insulates. For more information on R-Value, click on the term.
RCI: Roof Consultants Institute
RCMA: Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association

RDCA: Roof Deck Contractors Association
RIEI: Roofing Industry Educational Institute
RMA: Rubber Manufacturers Association


SBCCI: Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc.
SBS: Styrene Butadiene Styrene.
SDI: Steel Deck Institute
SI: The international system of weights and measures (metric system). Système International [d’Unités]

SMACNA: Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association
SPF: Sprayed Polyurethane Foam.
SPF Compounds: Refers to the Isocyanate and resin components used to make polyurethane foam.
SPI: The Society of the Plastics Industry
SPI/SPFD: The Society of the Plastics Industry/Sprayed Polyurethane Foam Division

SPRI: Single Ply Roofing Institute
SWRI: Sealant, Waterproofing and Restoration Institute


TIMA: Thermal Insulation Manufacturers Association
TPA: Tri-Polymer Alloy.


U-Value: The overall coefficient of heat transfer of an assembly measured in BTUs per square foot, per degrees Fahrenheit difference in temperature per hour.
UBC: Uniform Building Code.
UL: Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.
UL Label: A label that has been stamped on certain materials by authority of Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. indicating that the material has met certain performance criteria.


Z Bar or Z Section: A piece of steel formed in the shape of a “Z.”

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