GREEN TECHNICAL COMMITTEE MAKES SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS AT MOST RECENT MEETING
Meeting at the Doubletree Hotel Ontario Airport, near The IAPMO Group world headquarters, April 16-17, the IAPMO Green Technical Committee moved closer to finalizing language for the Green Plumbing and Mechanical Supplement, remaining on target for its completion in February 2010.
Comprised of a diverse group of 25 experts in the Green plumbing and mechanical fields, and chaired by IAPMO Board Member Bill Erickson of CJ Erickson Plumbing, the Green TC was established January 2008 with two main objectives: development of the Green Supplement and the identification of opportunities to make the Uniform Codes more sustainable. (Through the formation of the Green TC and the Committee for the Awareness and Understanding of a Sustainable Environment (C.A.U.S.E.), IAPMO has signaled a continued commitment to the reduction of energy and water consumption in its codes and practices.)
The Green TC has assembled eight task groups, enlisting the assistance of 85 plumbers, contractors, engineers, inspectors and energy and water conservation authorities, to help develop the code language 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 health and safety.
Not a greener version of the UPC or UMC, it is instead a standalone document that can work with any plumbing and mechanical code in use today. “At the outset of this Green movement toward sustainable building practices, IAPMO recognized there were no Green building standards nor rating systems that focus solely on plumbing and mechanical systems,” said Dave Viola, IAPMO director of Special Services and a Green TC member. “There is nothing available that covers all aspects of sustainable construction for residential and commercial systems. The Green Supplement will fill that void.”
To date, these task groups have logged approximately 60 phone hours during roughly 30 conference calls to hash out the provisions that will be published in the Green Supplement. As a result of these conversations, the technical committee has identified a number of key areas where sustainable practices can be recommended to work in conjunction with existing plumbing and mechanical codes:
WATER EFFICIENCY AND CONSERVATION
• high efficiency plumbing fittings, fixtures and appliances
• water softening equipment
• occupancy specific provisions in restaurants and medical facilities
• use of submeters
• cooling towers and evaporative coolers
• boiler makeup water
• condensate reuse
ALTERNATE WATER SOURCES
• rainwater harvesting
• gray water
• recycled/reclaimed water
• on-site water treatment systems
HVAC ENERGY EFFICIENCY
• energy efficiency provisions based on ASHRAE 90.1-2007 and ASHRAE 90.2-2007
WATER HEATING DESIGN, EQUIPMENT AND INSTALLATION
• equipment efficiency
• system design
• system controls
• further reduce the quantity of air contaminants that are odorous, irritating and/or harmful to the comfort and well-being of a building’s installers, occupants and neighbors
COMMISSIONING / INSTALLER AND THIRD PARTY QUALIFICATIONS
• helpful information to ensure systems are installed and maintained so that they are safe and sustainable for the life of the system
At the April meeting, the technical committee looked at specific code language proposals pertaining to these issues to accept/reject, modify and/or refine the sections that will ultimately make up the Green Supplement.
The process can range from friendly to difficult to downright testy, but Viola said it’s all because the committee members want the best code language the group can create. “There’s a lot of passion being shown during this process,” he said. “We may not all agree on the best way to get there, but everybody is committed to the same goal and believes very strongly in it.”
The Green Technical Committee will meet once more this year during the week of Nov. 16 in Chicago. The Green Supplement was sent out for a 45-day peer review following the August meeting and the committee plans to put the finishing touches on the document in November.
For more information on the Green Technical Committee and the Green Plumbing and Mechanical Supplement, visit the IAPMO Green Web page at www.iapmogreen.org