AMRL—accreditation, expanded. clarified.By Greenfield Belser, a Finn Partners Company
April 10, 2017
The AASHTO Materials Reference Laboratory (AMRL) accredits laboratories nationwide (and internationally) that test construction materials like soils, aggregates, cement and paint. But AMRL is not a laboratory itself, and that is only the beginning of the market confusion. Its historical connection to a quasi-government agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, amplified the confusion. AASHTO took over the accreditation program in 1988 to provide formal recognition for materials testing laboratories. Hugely successful and dominant in its market, AMRL now faces threats from less expensive, less rigorous accreditation organizations that are gaining traction as a result of tight state budgets.
The rebranding is dramatic, beginning with the name—changed to reflect AMRL’s role as an industry resource but also to give a tip of the hat to its study of source construction materials.