ASA's codes and standards voice is getting stronger
The ASA Codes & Standards division is committed to ensuring that the voice of our members is becoming louder and more proactive in the development and maintenance of codes and standards impacting the products we produce, sell and, ultimately, the customers we serve. The following are examples in 2017 where ASA was represented and actively participated in codes and standards activities:
> 90.1, Energy Standard for Building Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings Committee
> 189.1 Standard for the Design of High-Efficiency Green Buildings
American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME)
> Boiler Vessel and Pressure Code Week
> B 31.1 Power Piping Committee
American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE) – Product Standards Committee
International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials (IAPMO)
> Uniform Plumbing and Mechanical Code committees
> Uniform Solar Energy & Hydronics Code Technical Committee
International Code Council (ICC)
> Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Code Action Committee
> Sustainability, Energy and High-Performance Building Code Action Committee
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) – NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code Committee
As a result of ASA continuing to increase its presence and influence in standards and codes impacting our markets we were able to have a key role in accomplishing the following:
Water Efficiency – ASA has been a strong opponent to the inclusion of water efficiency requirements for plumbing fixtures, now located in “green codes,” into the minimum requirements of model plumbing codes or other model codes not directly related to plumbing. ASA was present to express this opposition at ASHRAE and ICC meetings where inclusion of water-efficiency standards into minimum standards and codes was under consideration. In addition, ASA took a position in support of a proposed International Organization for Standardization (ISO) project to develop a global standard for water efficient products.
Flex-Duct Systems – ASA joined with other organizations to oppose a proposal to change the Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC) that would limit the use of flex-duct systems to a maximum of 5 ft. in residential applications. The proposal was rejected through the available appeal process and the next version of the UMC will continue to allow the use of flex-duct systems in residential applications with no length limitations.
International Plumbing Code (IPC) and International Mechanical Code (IMC) Proposed Revisions – the ASA Codes and Standards Committee worked diligently to prepare IPC and IMC code-change proposals which will be submitted by Jan. 7, 2018. These proposed ASA code-change proposals will be considered for possible inclusion into the next publication of the IPC and IMC in 2021. The code-change proposals are available for review on the ASA website.
2017 was a good year but we have even more great initiatives planned for 2018. As an example, we plan to increase our presence in codes and standards activities impacting our membership. In addition to the presence created in 2017 that will be continued in 2018, we will be getting more engaged in standards organizations such as NSF International and ASTM International. In addition, we have become a member of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS)(www.nibs.org/). NIBS is “a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that successfully brings together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests, and regulatory agencies to focus on the identification and resolution of problems and potential problems that hamper the construction of safe, affordable structures for housing, commerce and industry throughout the United States.”
Other exciting initiatives planned for 2018 include:
Formation of Plumbing and Mechanical Working Groups – in order to gain increased focus and also to provide greater opportunity for member engagement, ASA is in the process of soliciting interest from ASA members to serve on two new codes and standards working groups covering plumbing issues and the other mechanical issues. Codes, standards and regulations impact all ASA members. They have a significant impact on the product design and performance which is critical in both the production and selling of the products. These two new working groups provide a great opportunity for ASA membership in the distribution channels to gain increased knowledge of the products they sell and also to provide valuable input into the process. Additional information is available on the ASA website.
One-Stop Source – Look forward to having the ability to come to the ASA website to find out what standards or model codes are out for public review. A goal for 2018 is to develop a process for the collection of public review notices for all standards and model codes impacting ASA membership and having those notices available in one location on the ASA website. What does this mean to ASA members? It means that you will now be able respond to proposed changes to standards and model codes and have a direct impact on the outcome! In addition, we will be investigating the partnering with a vendor to provide our members with timely information on state and local legislative and regulatory initiatives that may have an impact on your business, while providing the opportunity for ASA and its membership to have a stronger voice at the local level.
Code & Standards Help – all ASA members are encouraged to take advantage of extensive experience our Director of Codes & Standards, Jim Kendzel, and contact him at any time with code or standard questions. Jim is more than happy to assist you and will do everything possible to make sure your questions are answered or your issue resolved.
The more ASA is “at the table” and actively participating in the codes, standards and regulations that impact our businesses, the more we can play a proactive role in leading the way on initiatives that are both positive for our business and benefit our customers through cost-efficient, sound standards protecting public health and the environment. If you are not already, get engaged in ASA activities!