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Industry groups to streamline Green Building Tool Coordination, Development

August 27th, 2014

WASHINGTON — The International Code Council (ICC), ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the signing of a memorandum to collaborate on the development of Standard 189.1, the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) and the LEED green building program.

The cooperation aims to create a comprehensive framework for jurisdictions looking to implement and adopt green building regulations and codes and/or provide incentives for voluntary leadership programs such as LEED.

The agreement outlines the development, maintenance and implementation of new versions of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES/USGBC Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings and the IgCC, which will be combined into one regulatory tool. This agreement also endeavors to align the LEED program with the new code to ensure a streamlined, effective set of regulatory and above-code options for jurisdictions across the country.

“Architects have become the leaders in employing green building techniques, and the IgCC, a valuable regulatory tool, provides support leading to the creation of a sustainable, resilient built environment,” said AIA CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA. “This agreement, which underscores the AIA’s dedication to sustainable design and construction, should lead to more rapid adoption of responsible approaches by designers, builders, developers and a host of other building industry groups.”

“ASHRAE see this as a move forward in green building, reducing fragmentation of compliance documents for users who are pressing toward a more sustainable environment,” said ASHRAE President Tom Phoenix.

“Working collaboratively with our industry partners is producing real results that will help improve building performance, streamline regulation, reduce cost and allow us to focus our resources on goals we have in common” said Dominic Sims, CBO, ICC CEO. “This agreement continues the partnership we began in 2012 and assures that our Members and partners have a meaningful role in shaping the future of the built environment.”

“The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America is pleased to partner with the other organizations in this important collaborative effort in the development of a new standard and green code for the design and construction industry,” said Rita Harrold, director of Technology at IES. “IES members will benefit from this alignment of both regulatory and voluntary tools, and we look forward to participating in delivering technical provisions for code intended adoption.”

“This landmark agreement will leverage the unique strengths of each of the five partner organizations to deliver a coordinated, integrated suite of green building tools. An ANSI standard as the basis of a regulatory code to push the market and a rating system to pull the market higher” said Brendan Owens, vice president, LEED, and U.S. Green Building Council. “We are collectively dedicated to advancing green building practices and to advancing the broader industry’s understanding about the importance of green building goals and how to achieve them.”


Plumbing Engineer to host ‘TweetUp’ with ASPE

August 26th, 2014

NORTHBROOK, Ill. — In celebration of 50 years of advancing plumbing engineering, the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) is bringing the industry more! The society has promised that attendees to its convention and expo, to be held September 20-24, in Chicago, Ill., will have nearly a full day’s worth of continuing education opportunities at the convention and expo.

To highlight the educational opportunities, ASPE will do a question-and-answer (Q&A) session with Plumbing Engineer. The live event will take place September 3, from 12:00pm-1:00pm(CST).

The Q&A will be hosted on Twitter through what is known as a “TweetUp.” The TweetUp will occur between the handles @PlumbingEng and @ASPEorg. Users can visit those page handles to follow the conversation, or tune in by searching the hashtag #ASPE50 on Twitter.

During the TweetUp, ASPE will preview some of the top convention sessions in its “Technical Education Program.” The sessions are designed to help plumbing industry professionals, at all career levels, learn new skills or refresh their design repertoire. Each session offers 0.125 CEUs that can be used for license and certification continuing education requirements.

ASPE will also announce a “Who’s Who” of speakers, panelists and more who will be featured during the convention. ASPE will celebrate a milestone anniversary at this year’s convention. Join in the pre-party to the celebration through the TweetUp!


NY-GEO to represent Geothermal Heat Pump interests

August 25th, 2014

NEW YORK — In early August, geothermal heat pump (GHP) stakeholders put the finishing touches on a new trade association that promises to increase market penetration and sales across New York State—the New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO).

“Our intent is to play an active role in quality assurance for the industry while raising the profile of GHPs among consumers through fresh, new marketing efforts,” said NY-GEO President John Franceschina (PSEG Long Island Manager of Residential Efficiency Programs). NY-GEO is a New York State not-for-profit corporation, with 67 Founding Members.

According to Franceschina, the association’s goals are to:

  • Provide its members with marketing tools to better convey the benefits of GHPs to potential customers, policy makers, and the public.
  • Develop standards and quality control that will advance the reputation of this revolutionary technology.
  • Advocate for enlightened policy and legislation that support the widespread adoption of GHPs in New York State as an integral part of the state’s transition to clean energy.

Helping stakeholders kick off the new organization is its Executive Director Bill Nowak.

“NY-GEO is extremely fortunate that Bill joined our team as Executive Director, to lead day-to-day operations with the perfect blend of demeanor, experience and passion,” Franceschina said.

Nowak proved his effectiveness as Director of Policy Research on the New York Senate Environmental Conservation Committee. His work resulted in Sen. Antoine M. Thompson being named “2010 Legislator of the Year” by Environmental Advocates of New York and “2010 Solar Legislative Champion” by the New York Solar Energy Industries Association. In 2011, Nowak received his IGSHPA Accredited Geothermal Heat Pump Installer Certification, adding to many certifications and education credentials on his resume since earning a BA degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Among other things, NY-GEO’s initiatives to date have included: Working with the New York State Public Service Commission on its Clean Energy Fund and Reforming the Energy Vision proceedings; Seeking out GHP “champions” in the state legislative arena; Commenting on the New York State Draft Energy Plan; Implementing Property Assessed Clean Energy programs for GHP financing; Ensuring that GHPs are on the Governor’s energy agenda; and Building a relationship with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Representing the nationwide interests of the GHP industry, Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) President and CEO Doug Dougherty lauded the new association.

“We are excited about the formation of NY-GEO and the advocacy of its members,” Dougherty said, pledging technical and financial support. “It is only with grassroots efforts of state-based associations like yours that the industry across the United States can thrive and grow, and New York State is paramount to the cause.”


WQA gets behind ‘Protect Your Groundwater Day’

August 22nd, 2014

LISLE, Ill. — Extended drought in California and Texas have put the spotlight on a critical resource of importance to every person–groundwater. The Water Quality Association (WQA) is urging the public to pitch in on “Protect Your Groundwater Day,” on September 9.

Groundwater makes up 99 percent of all available fresh water in the world and is connected from beneath to most surface water bodies. Groundwater is out of sight and out of mind for most people. Yet, groundwater is the source water supply for 13 million households on private water wells in America. It also supplies much of the water to the country’s more than 40,000 community water systems. Not only that, it supplies 53.5 billion gallons of water a day for agriculture and supports the environment.

Started by the National Ground Water Association, “Protect Your Groundwater Day” is a time for every household to act to protect this resource. The Protect Your Groundwater web page provides ways citizens can protect groundwater from overuse or contamination.  Tips include information on groundwater protection, lessons for using water wisely, and ways to decommission abandoned wells. There is also a webinar about groundwater protection.


ICC to discuss report on Americans lacking indoor plumbing

August 21st, 2014

WASHINGTON — The International Code Council (ICC) will host a teleconference at 1:00 p.m. (EST) on August 25 to discuss the lack of basic sanitation needs of the reported 1.6 million Americans in 630,000 households that do not have indoor plumbing. The data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that a high number of those without indoor plumbing reside on Native American tribal lands, and in Alabama, Alaska, Kentucky, South Dakota and West Virginia, but could be anywhere in the U.S. Barbara Higgens, CEO/Executive Director of the Plumbing Manufacturers International, will chair the panel.

“Household income and lack of infrastructure are among the primary reasons many Americans do not enjoy the health and sanitation benefits of indoor plumbing, including toilets and running water,” said ICC Board President Stephen D. Jones, CBO. “We cannot fix that challenge with one teleconference, but we can brainstorm ways to work toward solutions and let those without modern facilities know we are listening and trying to help.”

Teleconference panelists and participants will discuss the extent of the situation, examine the range of causes and offer solutions where possible. Defining the role of the plumbing industry—product manufacturers, plumbing engineers, installers, code officials, and codes and standards developers—will be a key to offering assistance.

A statement of findings will be issued with a call to action expected to address who can be helped and how.

To dial-in to the teleconference, call (800) 832-0736; the conference room number is 259 41 10#. Participation is limited to 150 people on a first-come, first-serve basis.

When the need arises, ICC brings together members, stakeholders and other technical experts to address complex issues in the built environment. On July 31, the ICC, National Association of Home Builders and National Multifamily Housing Council roundtable reviewed fires in buildings under construction that caused severe property damage and personal injury. An August 20 roundtable will look at a recent trend in some states and jurisdictions to extend the cycle for updating building safety codes. A national summit is being planned as part of ICC’s 2014 Annual Conference to examine issues and propose solutions related to the education and development of code officials.

The ICC is a member-focused association. It is dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.


The Dwyer Group acquired by The Riverside Company

August 20th, 2014

WACO, Texas – The Dwyer Group, Inc., one of the world’s largest franchising companies of trades service brands, announced it has been acquired for the second time by The Riverside Company, a private equity fund with locations in North America, Europe and Asia. The deal with the global investment firm renews a collaboration between two growing and successful organizations. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Dwyer Group, based in Waco, Texas, serves as a holding company for seven residential and commercial franchise service brands. The franchise network includes more than 1,600 franchisees operating in the U.S. and seven other countries. In addition to its franchise concepts, The Dwyer Group also owns and operates 35 full-service glass stores in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. Combined, the service brands account for almost $1 billion in annual system-wide revenues.

Riverside first purchased The Dwyer Group in 2003, taking the company private and working with company management to accelerate growth through acquisitions of new brands, expanding facilities at corporate headquarters, and aggressive development of existing franchise brands. After seven years of growth, the firm sold The Dwyer Group to TZP Group LLC in 2010 where the franchise network and its revenues continued to thrive along with the respected profile of the service brands across the U.S. and around the world. The Riverside purchase transfers majority ownership from TZP back to Riverside along with a significant reinvestment from The Dwyer Group executive team, and an investment from each brand president within The Dwyer Group companies.

“We’re extremely excited to welcome The Dwyer Group back to The Riverside Company and to become involved once again with franchisees and associates dedicated to a strong Code of Values,” said Sarah Roth, a partner based at The Riverside Company’s Dallas office. “The executive team remains fully committed to the business, and The Dwyer Group service brands are well positioned for more expansion.”

“The Dwyer transaction has been a very successful one for TZP reflecting the very essence of our firm’s strategy of being the Partner of Choice for management teams,” said Sam Katz, managing partner for TZP. “We are very proud of our joint achievements in enhancing the franchisee value proposition and initiating exciting online and offline marketing initiatives. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Dina and the Dwyer team and watching them continue to succeed at building this special company.”

Calling TZP a tremendous partner for The Dwyer Group over the past three-and-a-half years, Dina Dwyer-Owens, executive chairwoman of The Dwyer Group, said the successful relationship set the stage for the next bold step forward.

“I commend our talented and dedicated team members and their commitment to The Dwyer Group Code of Values that has served as our roadmap as we’ve traveled a journey of unprecedented growth,” Dwyer-Owens said.

Mike Bidwell, CEO and president of The Dwyer Group, added, “By focusing on our core brands and service to our franchisees, we have enjoyed incredible success that continues to this very day, and that success has been noticed for all the right reasons.”

The entire executive team at The Dwyer Group will remain in place and will work with Riverside to advance the organization to the next level.


Samsung Electronics America to acquire Quietside

August 19th, 2014

RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J.— Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announced that it has agreed to acquire Quietside Corporation, a leading distribution channel for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) products. Quietside has been the master distributor for Samsung HVAC products in the U.S. and Canada since 1997.

The acquisition will provide Quietside with greater access to Samsung’s wide range of cost effective and energy efficient HVAC products, including its industry-leading DVMS System with the highest efficiency ratings. As a result of the acquisition, Quietside will be increasing its personnel and infrastructure investment in North America in order to serve the continuing rapid expansion of the split ductless and VRF product categories.

Samsung expects to further strengthen its sales operations in North America, particularly in the business-to-business space. The company also plans to unveil an enhanced HVAC product lineup that better reflects the needs of North American customers. The company will continue to be headquartered in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Headquartered in Ridgefield Park, NJ, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA), is a recognized innovation leader in consumer electronics design and technology. A wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., SEA delivers a broad range of digital consumer electronics and IT products.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in technology, opening new possibilities for people everywhere. The company employ 286,000 people across 80 countries with annual sales of U.S.$216.7 billion.

For full story, visit


Fluidmaster named ‘Business of the Year’

August 18th, 2014

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. – The leading global provider of toilet trim products, Fluidmaster Inc. based in Orange County, Calif., was recognized as “2014 Business of the Year.” The company was honored by the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce at a special awards ceremony on July 10.

Fluidmaster also received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa; a resolution made by U.S. Rep. Mark Wyland of the 38th District in the California State Senate; and certificates of recognition from Supervisor Patricia Bates of the Orange County Board of Supervisors and Mayor Sam Allevato, San Juan Capistrano.

Each year, the chamber recognizes the company exhibiting outstanding business practices and quality of service, and also the positive impact the company has on the community. The chamber recognizes the ways in which companies contribute to the local economy and area growth and through community support and involvement with non-profit and charitable organizations. This award adds to the growing list of recognitions for Fluidmaster overall as well as for its leaders.

“In the early years of Fluidmaster, our founder Mr. Adolf Schoepe specifically included ‘be a good citizen in the community’ to the company’s goals,” said John Wohlfiel, vice president of human resources. “That objective remains a priority to this day for our entire team as we serve the community through such organizations as the Boys & Girls Club, American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, as well as through our support of the many local businesses that make San Juan Capistrano an exceptional place to live and work.”


Greenlee makes appointments in engineering, product management

August 15th, 2014

ROCKFORD, Ill. — Greenlee, a Textron company, has announced two new appointments within its engineering and product management departments. Jeff Smith was named as director of engineering, and Josh Jacobs was named as director of product management.

As the director of engineering, Smith supports existing product lines, manages the design of new products, and assumes responsibility for the engineering staff. Smith most recently served as the director of advanced manufacturing.

As director of product management, Jacobs focuses solely on leading the product management team to build a rich pipeline of new products while reducing time to market and increasing the amount of new products made in its own factories. Jacobs joined Greenlee in 2011 as a senior product manager. He was promoted to director of product management and engineering in 2013.


ASHRAE changes In Operation Methodology for bEQ Program

August 14th, 2014

ATLANTA – To allow greater uniformity for building types seeking an In Operation rating under its Building Energy Quotient (bEQ) program, ASHRAE is now using methodology from its standard for energy efficiency in existing buildings to calculate the rating.

The bEQ program, a consistent, comprehensive and accurate method of rating and labeling buildings based on energy use, offers two rating labels: an As Designed label that rates the building’s expected energy use under standardized conditions—independent of the building’s occupancy and usage variables—and an In Operation label that rates the building’s actual metered energy use as influenced by the building’s occupancy, structure and usage. bEQ helps owners and managers zero in on opportunities to lower building operating costs and make informed decisions on energy reduction strategies.

Previous to this change, the In Operation rating relied on ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to provide a normalized median energy use index (EUI) for the rating calculation. Unfortunately, this normalization was only available for those buildings that were covered by Portfolio Manager, so all other building types, such as convenience stores, libraries, fire stations and restaurants, had no methodology for this normalization.

“The change to this new methodology provides several advantages for those who are submitting buildings for In Operation ratings,” said Ross Montgomery, chair of the bEQ Committee. “The new methodology allows greater uniformity for many more available building types, which should result in better rating comparisons since those buildings are now able to get a normalized energy use index. In addition, submission forms are now easier to use with more of the information/calculation automated and with expanded explanations, definitions and instructions to help better classify a candidate building.”

Montgomery explained that the updated bEQ Workbooks use methodology from one of the informative appendices of Standard 100, Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings. This methodology allows generation of median EUIs by climate zone for all building types covered in the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), maintained by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Montgomery notes that similar changes are planned for the As Designed rating, which currently uses Target Finder to calculate the median EUI for normalization.

Given the updated improvements for the In Operation rating, ASHRAE is offering a four month limited offer to qualified ASHRAE members, allowing them to submit for two ratings with no registration/submission fee from July 30 until November 30.

The offer is extended to ASHRAE members who are certified by ASHRAE as Building Energy Assessment Professionals (BEAP) or Building Energy Modeling (BEMP) Professionals, or professional engineers (PE) licensed in the jurisdiction where the rated building is located.


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