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Winners of PHCC National Plumbing Apprentice Contest announced

October 30th, 2014

WASHINGTON — Three top plumbing apprentices received awards in the annual Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors–National Association (PHCC) Educational Foundation’s Plumbing Apprentice Contest, held October 9 in New Orleans, La.

The foundation’s Plumbing Apprentice and Journeyman Training Committee members were on hand to set up and judge the contest, which was a highlight of the PHCC–National Association’s CONNECT 2014 Product & Technology Showcase.

This year’s awards went to:

• 1st Place – Tyler Arndt, Arndt & Son Plumbing, Brooklyn, Wis.
• 2nd Place – Nathan Boggs, S. D. Boggs Co., Inc., Virginia Beach, Va.
• 3rd Place – Alexa Serafinn, UA Local 99, Bloomington, Ill.

Foundation volunteers operating this year’s event included: J. Daniel Crigler, III, L & D Associates, Inc., Aroda, Va.; Laurie Crigler, L & D Associates, Inc., Aroda, Va.; Tom Gent, France Mechanical Corp., Edwardsville, Ill.; Victor Hatcher, Tyler Pipe & Coupling, Tyler, Texas; Rich Kerzetski, Universal Plumbing & Heating Co., Las Vegas, Nev.; Harold Moret, Copper Development Association, Sarasota, Fla.; Vic Poma, Universal Plumbing & Heating Co., Las Vegas, Nev.; Dale Powell, Copper Development Assn., Gettysburg, Pa.; Jim Steinle, Atomic Plumbing, Virginia Beach, Va.; James Walls, Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute, Garland, Texas; and Luke Westman, Westman Plumbing, Inc., Aitkin, Minn.

The event was made possible by the following generous industry sponsors:

• Headline Sponsors: A. O. Smith Water Products Co.; Channellock; Coburn Supply Co.; Copper Development Association, Inc.; Delta Faucet Company; Uponor; and Viega, LLC.
• Contestant Sponsors: AB&I Foundry; A. O. Smith Water Products Co.; BrassCraft Manufacturing Co.; Cengage Learning; Channellock; Coburn Supply Co.; Copper Development Association, Inc.; Delta Faucet Co.; KOHLER Company; Legend Valve; Milwaukee Electric Tool Co.; NIBCO, Inc.; Reed Manufacturing Co.; RIDGID; Sioux Chief Manufacturing Co.; State Water Heaters; Tyler Pipe & Coupling; Uponor; and Viega, LLC.

Additional prize and materials sponsors included: AB&I Foundry; Atomic Plumbing; Bemis Manufacturing Co.; BrassCraft Manufacturing Co.; Caddy; Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute; Channellock; Charlotte Pipe & Foundry; Coburn Supply Co.; Copper Development Association, Inc.; Delta Faucet Company; Holdrite; KOHLER Company; Legend Valve; Milwaukee Electric Tool Co.; Mission Rubber Co.; NIBCO, Inc.; Oatey; Reed Manufacturing Co.; RIDGID; Rothenberger USA; Sioux Chief Manufacturing Co.; Techsource Tools; Tyler Pipe; and Viega, LLC.


RPA, IGSHPA enter Memorandum of Understanding

October 29th, 2014

MOKENA, Ill. — The Radiant Professionals Alliance (RPA) and the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) have signed a memorandum of understanding to cross promote the application of ground source heat pump technology where it overlaps with radiant heating and cooling systems.

Ground source heat pumps represent a significant increase in energy efficiency when coupled with the known comfort and efficiency associated with hydronic-based radiant heating and cooling systems.

IAPMO Group CEO GP Russ Chaney and IGSHPA Director Robert Ingersol signed the MOU.

“Our organizations are both in the energy efficiency and comfort business,” said RPA Executive Director Mark Eatherton. “This new relationship makes all the sense in the world. The IGSHPA has one of the most efficient heating and cooling systems, and we have the most efficient delivery methods — radiant. Their contractors need education as it pertains to the delivery side of the systems, and our members need training on the source side of the systems.”

Eatherton recently attended the IGSHPA’s annual conference in Baltimore, Md., presenting a class on the application of radiant floors, walls, and ceilings in heating and cooling applications.

“With growing interest in radiant heating and cooling systems, this partnership will help bring high quality training and education to the membership of both organizations,” said IGSHPA Training Program Manager Roshan Revankar. “We look forward to a strong working partnership with the RPA.”


DOE updates National Reference Standard for Commercial Buildings to 90.1-2013

October 28th, 2014

ATLANTA – Following preliminary analysis that ASHRAE/IES’s 2013 energy efficiency standard contains energy savings over the 2010 standard – 8.5 percent source energy savings and 7.6 site energy savings – the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a ruling that establishes the 2013 standard as the commercial building reference standard for state building energy codes.

In an announcement in the September 26 Edition of “The Federal Register,” DOE attributes the greater energy savings to improvements in ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, related to several areas, including better lighting, fans, commercial refrigeration, boilers.

The determination means that states are required to update their codes to meet or exceed the 2013 standard within two years. Currently, states must meet or exceed the 2010 standard, which serves as the commercial building reference standard for state building energy codes under the federal Energy Conservation and Production Act.

“ASHRAE is pleased with this ruling from the DOE, recognizing the energy savings measures in the standard,” said Tom Phoenix, president of ASHRAE. “Standard 90.1 was an original cornerstone in our efforts to improve building performance, and we continue to strive to increase its efficiency in the future.”

Among the eight addenda that are identified as having a major positive impact on energy efficiency. It was noted that three are attributed to lighting changes, according to Rita Harrold, director of technology for IES. These address control requirements for lighting alterations, additional controls for more spaces with a shortened time to lighting reduction or shutoff, and a decrease in lighting power density in most building types to reflect changes in revisions to illuminance recommendations in the IES Lighting Handbook, 10th edition.

The DOE noted that the 2013 standard contains 52 positive impacts on energy efficiency that were incorporated into the analysis. These impacts included changes made through the public review process in which users of the standard comment and offer guidance on proposed requirements. Specifically the major positive impacts include:

• Control requirements for lighting alternations
• New requirements for individual fans
• Reduction of energy usage for large boilers
• Reduction of fan energy usage
• New efficiency requirements for commercial refrigeration
• More controls in more spaces; reduction of time to reduction or shut off of the controls
• Reduction of lighting power density in most building types


GEO working to reinstate Federal Bonus Depreciation for Geothermal Heat Pumps

October 24th, 2014

WASHINGTON — Through its D.C.-activist team at Bracewell & Giuliani, LLP, the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) is actively supporting “tax extenders bills” that are now under consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate. The bills would reinstate and extend several tax incentives that expired last year.

GEO President Doug Dougherty said, “Section 179 for expensing and bonus depreciation for ‘qualified property,’ which includes geothermal heat pump installations, both expired on December 31, 2013. Both of these tax benefits are extremely significant for the commercial geothermal heat pump (GHP) market.”

Dougherty continued, “A business could expense up to $500,000 the year the GHP was installed. Under the bonus depreciation provision, a business could deduct 50 percent of the cost of a GHP in the first year of installation.”

In July, the House passed HR 4718 to make permanent an extension of 50 percent additional first-year depreciation (bonus depreciation) for a variety of “qualified property,” including GHPs. Last April, the Senate Finance Committee passed by voice vote the “Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act,” which would extend a number of energy related tax breaks, including an extension of expired Section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation incentives through 2015. Tax extenders will not be considered by the Senate until after mid-term elections next month.

GEO successfully ensured that the following provisions that impact tax deductions for GHP installations were included in the Senate legislation:

Bonus Depreciation
Taxpayers are allowed an additional first-year depreciation deduction of 50 percent (bonus depreciation) of commercial GHP equipment that is placed into service after December 31, 2013 but before January 1, 2016.

Business-Related Expensing
A taxpayer may deduct up to $500,000 per year—indexed for inflation—for GHP equipment and other property used in a trade or business during calendar years 2014 and 2015.

Energy Efficient Homes
A contractor may take a credit for each new energy-efficient home used as a residence in calendar years 2014 and 2015. Homes must meet a reduction in annual heating and cooling energy consumption compared to a comparable residence constructed in accordance with standards of the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code. The credit is $1,000 for new homes that meet a 30 percent reduction in annual heating and cooling energy consumption, and $2,000 for new homes that meet a 50 percent reduction in annual heating and cooling energy consumption.

Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings
The energy efficient commercial building deduction (section 179D) is extended for calendar years 2014 and 2015. A building owner will be allowed a deduction for equipment installed in 2014 and 2015 as part of a plan to reduce total annual energy and power costs of a building with respect to interior lighting systems; heating, cooling, ventilation; and hot water systems by 50 percent or more compared to a building that meets the minimum requirements for energy-efficient commercial building expenditures under American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)/Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) Standards 90.1-2001 in 2014 and 90.1-2007 in 2015. The deduction is $1.80 per square foot of property for which the expenditures were made. The deduction is allowed in the year the property is placed into service. Tribal governments and non-profit organizations can allocate the deduction to the person primarily responsible for designing a property.

As noted, tax extenders will not be considered by the Senate until the lame duck session after mid-term elections in November. It is likely that the Senate will pass a two-year extension through the end of 2015 (retroactive to the expiration date of the incentives at the end of 2013). In early September, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) exclaimed that allowing lapsed tax incentives (including Section 179 provisions for bonus depreciation) “is not an option,” vowing to bring them to the Senate floor for a vote by the end of 2014.


Kohler and NIBCO recognized by PHCC Educational Foundation

October 23rd, 2014

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – The PHCC Educational Foundation recognized the continued commitment of two corporate supporters – Kohler Company and NIBCO INC. – with its Chairman’s Awards. Presented in New Orleans at PHCC’s CONNECT 2014, Educational Foundation Chairman Roger Peugeot commended these manufacturers for their continued contributions toward “allowing the foundation to make a difference to our industry each and every day.”

Kohler Company has been supporting the PHCC Educational Foundation since its pledge to the foundation’s Endowment Fund in 1989. Through the years, the company also has been instrumental in bringing business management training to contractors and their employees by supporting the Foundation’s webinar and seminar series.

“That adds up to more than 550 education programs reaching almost 24,000 industry professionals,” Peugeot said.

Kohler is passionate about supporting the next generation of skilled workers, sponsoring and donating materials to both the SkillsUSA plumbing contest and PHCC Educational Foundation’s own Plumbing Apprentice Contest, held each year at PHCC’s CONNECT event.

Likewise, NIBCO INC., a leading provider of valves, fittings, and piping products, was a key visionary behind the formation of the foundation more than 25 years ago, providing crucial funding to get the foundation started and holding one of the original seats on the Board of Governors. Not only has the manufacturer been a long-time supporter of PHCC’s Plumbing Apprentice Contest, but it also was the first to step up as a sponsor for the Foundation’s HVAC Apprentice Contest, which debuted at CONNECT last year. Additionally, NIBCO provides matching contributions to the Foundation’s annual Invest in Your Future Campaign.

At the CONNECT event, Peugeot praised NIBCO Chief Executive Officer Rex Martin as “a leader in our foundation since day one.”

As the manufacturer representative on the foundation’s Board of Directors, Martin is consistently in front of industry issues, serving, for example, as the driving force behind the Foundation’s formation of the Get the Lead Out Plumbing Consortium, which was instrumental in preparing the industry for the new lead-free laws that went into effect last January.

“We’re stronger because of the support of Kohler, NIBCO, and all our industry partners,” Peugeot said. “With that, I’m proud to present this Chairman’s Award to two manufacturers that have been with us from the beginning and continue to be strong supporters of the Foundation’s mission.”



WaterSense announces 2014 Partners of the Year

October 22nd, 2014

WASHINGTON — On October 9, the 2014 WaterSense Sustained Excellence Award winner, Partners of the Year, and Excellence Award winners were announced at the WaterSense and Alliance for Water Efficiency Awards Luncheon. The luncheon was held at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition Exit EPA Disclaimer.

Since the program’s inception in 2006, WaterSense labeled products have helped Americans save 757 billion gallons of water and $14.2 billion in water and energy bills. In 2013 alone, WaterSense labeled products saved 271 billion gallons of water, a 35 percent increase from the amount saved last year! Working collaboratively, WaterSense partners continue to build strong communities and help consumers save water, energy, and money.

WaterSense recognized nine WaterSense Partners of the Year for helping to promote WaterSense and water efficiency throughout 2013. The winners are:

  • Cobb County (Georgia) Water System
  • Colorado Springs Utilities (Colorado)
  • Delta Faucet Company
  • HydroPoint Data Systems
  • The Home Depot
  • KB Home
  • Energy Inspectors Corporation
  • The Irrigation Association
  • The Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership

Also, WaterSense honored partners who demonstrate both commitment and success in a specific area with Excellence Awards. In 2013, the following organizations excelled in the following areas.

Excellence in Excellence in Outreach and Education
Athens-Clarke County (Georgia) Public Utilities Department
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas

Excellence in Strategic Collaboration
Denver Walter

Excellence in Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products
Puget Sound Energy (Washington)

The 2014 Sustained Excellence Award Winner was Kohler Co. Kohler is WaterSense’s first two-time Sustained Excellence Award winner. Throughout 2013, the company continued to demonstrate its dedication to water efficiency by promoting WaterSense labeled products with new, innovative technologies and campaigns. For example, Kohler developed a dual-flush trip lever for tank-type toilets that makes selecting a smaller flush easier for those with dexterity challenges, as well as launched the “Trust the Flush” mobile marketing campaign. The cross-country bus tour, which showcased the performance of WaterSense labeled toilets at more than 185 events, also highlighted Kohler’s ability to strategically collaborate with multiple WaterSense partners to further elevate the success of the campaign.

The company did not stop there in its efforts to increase public awareness of WaterSense labeled products. Kohler provided WaterSense labeled products for the Green Builder Media’s VISION House in INNOVENTIONS at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center in Orlando, Fla., which was visited by more than 200,000 people. Kohler also donated WaterSense labeled products and design support to the California Institute of Technology’s entry for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge that funds projects addressing health and sanitation issues in developing countries. In addition to all of these initiatives, Kohler’s marketing and social media presence via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest contributed to millions of WaterSense labeled toilets, bathroom faucets, and showerheads being sold in 2013.

WaterSense’s 2014 Manufacturer Partner of the Year was Delta Faucet Company. A three-time Manufacturer Partner of the Year, Delta Faucet Company demonstrated its commitment to WaterSense through online and in-person promotions. The Delta brand online faucet video gallery featured 16 clips with WaterSense labeled faucet models, and its Brizio brand website had five videos highlighting WaterSense labeled products.

The company promoted WaterSense labeled products through its continued primary sponsorship of HGTV’s Dream Home Sweepstakes in 2013. In addition, the company’s Brizio brand continued its water-efficient support for the St. Jude Dream Home by donating WaterSense labeled products to 28 homes that have received more than 80,000 visitors.

In 2013, Delta continued to work with the Hospitality Sustainability Purchasing Consortium to ensure that the hospitality industry’s sustainability performance standards aligned with WaterSense specifications for applicable product categories. The consortium’s Web-based purchasing database researches, measures, and reports on the corporate social responsibility, environmental, and product sustainability performance of suppliers. Delta expanded this effort to other multifamily residential sectors in 2013 by promoting the benefits of WaterSense labeled bathroom faucets and showerheads to builders and developers.

Launched in 2008, the WaterSense Partners of the Year awards program recognizes WaterSense partners who:
• Help advance the overall mission of WaterSense
• Increase awareness of the WaterSense brand in a measurable way
• Increase the adoption of water-efficient practices among their constituents or community

Each year, WaterSense Partners of the Year contribute to the program’s success by enhancing the market for water–efficient products, practices, and services. Learn what previous WaterSense Partners of the Year have done to increase water efficiency and promote the WaterSense label within their respective partner categories.


Armstrong Fluid Technology unveils ADEPT Pump Selection app

October 21st, 2014

TORONTO — Armstrong Fluid Technology has enhanced its popular ADEPT Pump Selection Software with the release of a robust new app for iPad and other mobile devices. Designed to take mobile interface to a whole new level, the new ADEPT app allows engineers and end-users to quickly select a variety of intelligent HVAC product solutions from virtually anywhere in the world.

An innovative, intuitive screen design allows users to view line drawings, multi-curves, photos, voltage, motor size, seal operating limits, seal options, construction options and more than a dozen motor options. ADEPT then lists the pumps that meet users’ specific criteria, as well as the key characteristics of each selection, such as efficiency at average load, operating costs and motor size.

According to ADEPT Product Manager, Mohan Gulati, ADEPT is the most advanced selection software in the industry and offers features not available on other pump selection programs. ADEPT has been redesigned for each of the most popular browsers and mobile devices and features a native application for the iPad.

“ADEPT was created to interface with Armstrong’s innovative Design Envelope intelligent engineered fluid systems which help users design more energy-efficient buildings, significantly reduce their installation and operating costs, and gain a smaller footprint in the mechanical room,” Gulati said.

ADEPT complements Armstrong’s Design Envelope products, including commercial and residential pumps, Suction guides and Flo-Trex valves.


Sloan Valve names new VP Marketing

October 20th, 2014

FRANKLIN PARK, Ill. — Sloan Valve Company announced that Parthiv Amin has joined the organization as vice president of Marketing. The announcement was made by Kirk Allen, president and CEO of Sloan.

“Parthiv brings leadership skills and strategic thinking to our company,” Allen said. “His extensive experience in building marketing plans from the ground up will ensure that Sloan remains the global leader within our industry.”

Amin, who has over 20 years of global marketing and business development experience, will have responsibilities that include developing key strategies and formulating global marketing plans to ensure the continued success and profitability of the organization. Prior to joining Sloan, he worked at Enerpac as vice president of Global Marketing and Engineering where he built and implemented the company’s go-to-market strategic plan. Before Enerpac, Amin was at Northern Power Systems as President of the Distributed Wind power market. He also spent four years as President of the Americas to the Wind Drive Systems entity of the Siemen’s Corporation.

“I am excited to join Sloan, the premier brand in the industry,” Amin said. “I look forward to working with the team, customers and partners to develop business strategies to expand Sloan’s global leadership position.”

Amin graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago with a BSME in Mechanical Engineering and received an MBA from Loyola College in Maryland. He will be based in Franklin Park, Ill.


IAPMO participates in White House Green Infrastructure Leadership Roundtable

October 20th, 2014

WASHINGTON —The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) Government Relations Vice President Dain Hansen attended a pair of White House events surrounding green infrastructure.

At a morning leadership roundtable, Hansen spoke on IAPMO’s green initiatives and detailed the association’s commitment to the Green Infrastructure Collaborative, part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. Michael Boots, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and Gina McCarthy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, hosted the event at the White House during which leaders from private sector organizations committed to advancing implementation of green infrastructure joined senior Administration officials to highlight such efforts. Collaborative members worked to establish and develop plans to meet such goals as building climate resilience and more cost-effective stormwater run-off and rainwater harvesting.

Hansen also attended the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s GreenGov Dialogue on Green Infrastructure in the afternoon, another roundtable event highlighting the importance of green infrastructure and low-impact development, and providing a forum to share best practices, lessons learned, and results achieved from green infrastructure implementation in both the private and public sectors.

“With the White House taking the lead and hosting such a high-caliber event, it sends a strong message on the urgent needs our nation must address,” Hansen said. “The IAPMO Group is excited about the creation of such a collaborative, and with our experts and programs being second-to-none, we are committed in bringing these to the table to assist the federal government as they seek answers to highly complex problems.”

IAPMO has long championed conservation of natural resources and was a leader of the green movement before it had such a name. Its Green Plumbing and Mechanical Code Supplement is the first document of its kind to bring standardization to more efficient plumbing and mechanical systems.


ASPE to host webinar on health care gas systems

October 17th, 2014

ROSEMONT, Ill. — On October 29 at 2:00 p.m. EDT, The American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), will host a one-hour webinar on strategic design concepts found within NFPA 99-2012: Health Care Facilities Code. Participants will become familiar with the current terminology while understanding how to navigate the document.

The presenter will visit key differences between the NFPA 99 1999 and 2012 editions. New technologies, including the use of flameless axially swaged fittings, will be evaluated for their role within life support systems. This session will enable participants to implement new design concepts to reduce costs and minimize system disruption, avoid “hot work” where it is no longer effective, and better understand the latest requirements to begin updating medical gas system standards.

Participants from all levels and backgrounds are sure to walk away with a new appreciation for these critical systems. Tom Spremo presented this session during the 2014 ASPE Convention & Expo in Chicago. For those who couldn’t attend the conference, this is a chance to hear about this exciting topic.

Registration closes at 5:00 p.m. EDT on October 28.


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