As kickoffs go, this one was more of a squib than a soaring boot into the end zone, but development of the 2012 editions of the Uniform Plumbing Code® and Uniform Mechanical Code® is underway, nonetheless. Working from modest agendas, the UPC and UMC Technical Committees gathered at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark on May 4-5 to get that ball formally rolling.
Despite the relatively light workload, the meetings were well attended, a fact to which UMC committee Chairperson April Trafton attributes an unwavering dedication among the committee members and IAPMO membership. “The reason all of us come here is a commitment to making the code better and making health and safety better,” Trafton said. “I know that part of what I grew up with was that we really make a difference in how people live, stopping plagues and all of these things. I travel internationally quite a bit and I love international travel, but every time I do I’m always so happy to come back to the systems that we have here.”
The meetings passed without a single congratulatory mention of the March release of the 2009 UPC and UMC; something Trafton says has become a hallmark of IAPMO’s code development process. “There’s always a little bit of ‘It’s what we had, so why don’t we have it again?’ but I think we do less and less of that,” Trafton said. “Since we’ve merged with NFPA and become an American National Standard, I think there’s less protecting of what we were and more focus on where we’re going, which is a far better way.”
First up was the meeting of the UPC Technical Committee, chaired by Salt Lake City Senior Inspector Tim Collings. Collings kept things moving at a brisk pace as the committee was eager to get down to business. Three task groups were recommended and the committee voted affirmatively, taking volunteers to participate on them. The three tasks groups formed are:
- Harmonization Task Group for the harmonization of fuel gas provisions between the 2009 UPC (Chapters 5 and 12), 2009 UMC (Chapters 8 and 13) and other chapters that cover the same subject matter.
- Correlation Task Group to identify editorial and technical inconsistencies within the 2009 UPC.
- Correlation Standards Task Group to address issues on Table 14-1, such as updating standards, existing standards that have not been updated in years, correlating section numbers and applicable sections where none exist.
Following the formation of these task groups, IAPMO Director of Special Services gave a detailed progress report on the plumbing side provisions in the development of the Green Supplement, a comprehensive set of voluntary technically sound provisions that elevate sustainable construction practices while maintaining IAPMO’s high standards for protecting public health and safety. (For more on the work of the Green Technical Committee)
At the conclusion of Viola’s presentation, the committee reviewed and discussed some recent Tentative Interim Amendments. Though there was no vote, the discussion was lively and enlightening as many different perspectives were presented. After all the TIAs were reviewed, Collings adjourned the meeting.
The next morning, the UMC Technical Committee, chaired by Trafton, Donald F. Dickerson Associates president, started its work on the 2012 UMC. Following self introductions and approval of the minutes from the committee’s previous meeting last May in Denver, the committee voted on the formation of four task groups on the original agenda and a fifth concerning grease duct air velocity that was recommended by former IAPMO board member and frequent instructor Phil Ribbs.
The committee voted affirmatively to form all five task groups toward the further development of the UMC:
- Harmonization Task Group to address harmonization of fuel gas provisions between the 2009 UPC (Chapters 5 and 12), 2009 UMC (Chapters 8 and 13) and other chapters that cover the same subject matter.
- Correlation Task Group to relocate code sections and identify editorial and technical inconsistencies within the 2009 UMC.
- Ventilation Rate Task Group to modify UMC Chapter 4.
- Standards Task Group to address issues on Table 17-1, such as updating standards, existing standards that have not been updated in years, correlating section numbers and applicable sections where none exist.
- Grease Duct Air Velocity Task Group will investigate whether language concerning minimum and maximum air velocity through commercial cooking equipment ducts published in the 2000 UMC, but removed in 2003, should be submitted as a code proposal for reinsertion to the 2012 UMC or as a TIA to the 2009 version.
The UMC committee similarly reviewed and discussed recent TIAs before turning over the podium to Viola, who gave a detailed report on the mechanical aspects of the Green Plumbing and Mechanical Supplement. At the conclusion of Viola’s presentation, Trafton adjourned the meeting.
The technical committees will next meet in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in April 2010.