The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) on Wednesday welcomed a six-person delegation from the Shanghai Research Institute of Building Sciences in China (SRIBS) for a tour of IAPMO’s testing facilities and an introductory dialogue on potential future joint endeavors.
Founded in 1958 and designated as a state-run enterprise in 2001, SRIBS performs building technology research and inspections, and provides product testing and evaluation services to the Chinese building industry.
“SRIBS and IAPMO are very similar in the scope of services provided, but with different core strengths, so there is a great opportunity to learn from each other.” said Dave Viola, director of Special Services for IAPMO, who led the discussion.
SRIBS was awarded a Chinese government contract to design and construct the “Tomorrow House,” a residential project to serve as a model of sustainable building and construction at the 2010 World Exposition in Shanghai. The multi-layered eco-residence will incorporate several cornerstones of the “green” building movement, including natural ventilation, day lighting, solar energy, 3-R materials, a changeable building envelope and indoor gardens.
Yang Yong, SRIBS chief engineer, said he sees great potential for cooperation between the two organizations.
“We do similar work to IAPMO in China,” he said. “In some areas we are not as advanced as the U.S., but the market is very lively, so things must be standardized more and more. We feel we can learn from IAPMO to do things better.”
By 2015, the World Bank estimates half of all new building construction worldwide will take place in China. Yong said he feels SRIBS is positioned strongly in the building materials market, but sees room for improvement with regard to water quality and efficiency.
“We have a situation where quality control is of the utmost importance,” he said. “In the U.S., water can be consumed directly from the pipe or hose. This is not so in China. We must do more filtration before drinking. Improving that quality is most important to our moving forward.”
Work begins in earnest on the “Tomorrow House” in January. IAPMO welcomes the opportunity to assist SRIBS in this very exciting project, according to Viola.
“It seems like a natural fit as they’re pursuing a greater understanding of water quality and the plumbing side of building construction,” he said. “And we look forward to sharing our knowledge of safe and sustainable plumbing, while benefiting from SRIBS’ expertise in building sciences and energy efficiency.”
IAPMO operates an inspections office in Beijing, China, and hopes to open a research and testing lab in the country soon. The permit could be approved as soon as January.