MPI Unveils Online Specifying Tool


MPI has rolled out a new web-based tool that allows paint buyers and specifiers to navigate hundreds of paint and coating types to determine the best product for a chosen application.

The architectural paint standards organization calls its new Architectural Painting Decision Tree "a powerful, easy-to-use decision engine" for selecting the most suitable paints and coatings for building applications.

MPI (Master Painters Institute) developed the engine over a number of years in conjunction with the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC).

NAVFAC had asked MPI "to develop a specifying tool that would yield recommended paint systems for NAVFAC or federal design-build projects in 'normal' conditions, which covers an estimated 80% of their applications," MPI said in a recent announcement.

2 Editions

A free version of the tool is available as part of the Whole Building Design Guide, a program of the National Institute of Building Sciences. NIBS is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that brings together various public and private stakeholders to promote safe, affordable residential, commercial and industrial structures throughout the United States.

The complimentary edition of the Decision Tree can be accessed here.

The full version of the Decision Tree is available as part of MPI’s complete online Architectural Painting Specification Manual, which is available by subscription for $110 per year.

The full version of the tool offers systems for normal and aggressive conditions as well as systems for special-purpose environments and applications. The manual also includes MPI’s guide specifications for painting, wallcovering, and architectural abrasive blasting, as well as related painting standards.

How it Works

The tool's opening includes a button to begin using the Decision Tree; a downloadable pdf demo with instructions; and a letter from NAVFAC with its requirements and guidelines. There is also a provision for other federal agencies to add a unique pdf with specific agency directions.

Whole Building Design Guide

The Whole Building Design Guide is a free, open-access portal that offers  information on building-related guidance, criteria, and technology.

Using a “decision tree” format, the system asks a series of questions about the user’s project, including:

  • Whether the work is interior or exterior;
  • Substrate (for example, wood, steel, concrete or drywall);
  • Exposure conditions; and
  • Desired performance level (for example, moderate, high or green).

The decision tree then offers an MPI system with specific types of coatings for primer, intermediate and topcoat. The information includes corresponding MPI product standard numbers and notes which paint suppliers’ products meet those standards and may be candidates for use.

Free Building Portal

The National Institute of Building Sciences offers the Whole Building Design Guide to the federal and government building community. This free, open-access portal offers government and private-sector practitioners one-stop access to up-to-date information on a wide range of building-related guidance, criteria, and technology from a "whole buildings" perspective.

More than 500,000 users download five million documents from the site each month.


Tagged categories: Architectural coatings; Certifications and standards; Coating performance; Coatings Technology; Master Painters Institute (MPI); MPI Approved Product; Residential Construction; Specifiers

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