Industry News

The American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) is seeking volunteers with a technical background in designing plumbing systems, specifically domestic water heating systems, to participate on Working Group 15 to develop a new American National Standard on system design methods used to regulate the temperature of water exiting a fixture or appliance in domestic water Read More

The American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) is seeking volunteers with a technical background in designing plumbing systems, specifically domestic water heating systems, to participate on Working Group 15 to develop a new American National Standard on system design methods used to regulate the temperature of water exiting a fixture or appliance in domestic water distribution systems. Ideal candidates would be plumbing system designers/engineers, piping system experts, code authorities, and others knowledgeable in plumbing system design techniques.

ASPE 15 is intended to reduce the potential for hot water scalds and related injuries, as well as reduce the risk of thermal shock due to pressure disturbances within the domestic water distribution system. It will fill a void that exists in current product standards by addressing the total system design from the point of entry, through the distribution system, and to the point of use.

The deadline to apply is May 10, 2019. Interested individuals are encouraged to fill out the application here: ASPE Standards Committee Application. For more information, please contact WG 15 Chair, Chris Haldiman, at Chris.Haldiman@wattswater.com or ASPE Sr. Director of Technical & Regulatory Affairs, Ramiro Mata, at rmata@aspe.org.

Apple Valley, Minn. — Uponor North America was recently honored with the Minnesota Real Estate Journal award in the Industrial/Manufacturing/Science category for the design and build-out of the company’s new PEX (crosslinked polyethylene) pipe manufacturing plant in Hutchinson, Minn. More than 225 projects were nominated from across the state with honorees selected by a panel Read More

Uponor wins Minnesota Real Estate Journal award for recently renovated Hutchinson facilityApple Valley, Minn. — Uponor North America was recently honored with the Minnesota Real Estate Journal award in the Industrial/Manufacturing/Science category for the design and build-out of the company’s new PEX (crosslinked polyethylene) pipe manufacturing plant in Hutchinson, Minn. More than 225 projects were nominated from across the state with honorees selected by a panel of judges.
Uponor opened the 237,000-square-foot facility in May 2018, six months ahead of schedule, and has already added more than 50 jobs in the community.
Uponor wins Minnesota Real Estate Journal award for recently renovated Hutchinson facility
“The Uponor team is world-class,” says Jeremy Baer, Principle of TEKTON Engineers, which worked on design of the Hutchinson project.
“Their process of creating a vision, developing the project, organizing the team, and executing the project all but ensures that their projects are worthy of emulation and adulation by the industrial community. We at TEKTON Engineers are proud to be trusted partners of the Uponor design process and pleased to see that Uponor is being recognized for its work.”
Uponor wins Minnesota Real Estate Journal award for recently renovated Hutchinson facility

A. O. Smith, a leading manufacturer of hot water systems for homes and businesses, has been named a 2019 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year for its contribution and dedication to manufacturing high-efficiency water heaters. A. O. Smith’s accomplishments were recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy at a Read More

A. O. Smith, a leading manufacturer of hot water systems for homes and businesses, has been named a 2019 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year for its contribution and dedication to manufacturing high-efficiency water heaters. A. O. Smith’s accomplishments were recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on April 11, 2019.

“It is such a huge honor to be recognized by ENERGY STAR® as a leader in the industry,” said David Chisolm, vice president of marketing for A. O. Smith’s North American water heater business. “Everyone at A. O. Smith works so hard to create environmentally savvy products and services that demonstrate exceptional energy efficiency, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity and a platform to make a difference.”

A. O. Smith recently partnered with ENERGY STAR®  to launch a contractor locator tool which connects consumers interested in upgrading to an energy efficient heat pump water heater to more than 1,000 loyal A. O. Smith contractors nationwide.

“I applaud the 2019 ENERGY STAR Award Winners,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, Bill Wehrum. “Their innovation and leadership enhance America’s economic competitiveness. Reducing costly energy waste improves air quality and public health while protecting the environment.”

A. O. Smith is consistently focused on driving innovation efforts through resources like its new Corporate Technology Center and emphasis on education. While many water heaters have earned the ENERGY STAR® designation, A. O. Smith prioritizes incorporating commercial-grade components into its residential models while maintaining high efficiency energy standards and reliability.

Each year, ENERGY STAR® acknowledges businesses and organizations that lead their industries in protecting the environment and demonstrate superior leadership, innovation and commitment to environmental protection through energy efficiency.

For a complete list of all 2019 ENERGY STAR Award winners and more information about ENERGY STAR’s award program, visit energystar.gov/awardwinners.

New code represents the first comprehensive revisions to the building code in 70 years Chicago — City Council voted to adopt a major update to the Chicago Building Code that will better align the city’s construction requirements with up-to-date model codes and national standards. The new code represents the first comprehensive revisions to the building Read More

New code represents the first comprehensive revisions to the building code in 70 years

Chicago — City Council voted to adopt a major update to the Chicago Building Code that will better align the city’s construction requirements with up-to-date model codes and national standards. The new code represents the first comprehensive revisions to the building code in 70 years and will make construction in Chicago more affordable by expanding options to design and build with a wider range of materials and technologies. Chicago is now among the first major jurisdictions in the U.S. to adopt the 2018 International Building Code.

“This world-class city continues to grow from the ground up. People want to move here, they want to invest here and they want to build here,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Chicago is taking the national lead in modernizing our building codes so that we can continue to advance sustainability, make construction more cost-effective and build on our city’s reputation for innovative design and world-renowned architecture.”

Mayor Emanuel and the Department of Buildings introduced the ordinance at the March City Council meeting. In addition to further streamlining the permit process, the new code will improve, enhance and spur on new building projects of all sizes throughout Chicago by adding more flexibility and options for construction materials. This can bring down the cost of new construction and building rehabs in Chicago including single-family homes, affordable housing units, and two- and three-flats. In being more closely aligned with model codes and national standards, the new code will speak the same language as building codes used virtually everywhere else in the country and promote greater use of green technologies and best practices for sustainable building design and construction.

Though there have been several modifications to the Chicago Building Code over the years, the last comprehensive overhaul to the code was adopted in 1949. The code update approved by City Council moves Chicago closer to national standards in several significant areas including building planning, fire and life safety, enclosures and materials, structural, small residential, and rehabilitation of existing buildings.

More specifically, the rewritten code will:

  • Adopt specific, up-to-date requirements for a wide range of building materials such as walls, roofs and other construction that will provide guidelines and standards that are lacking in Chicago’s existing code.
  • Enhance safety by requiring sprinkler systems in new construction including hotels, most apartment buildings with 4+ units, places of assembly with 300+ occupants and new office buildings greater than 70 feet tall.
  • Encourage new development by allowing buildings with sprinkler systems to have greater height, number of stories, and floor area per construction type.
  • Allow for more cost-effective construction of single-family homes by adopting risk-based structural design requirements so that a 2-story single-family home will not need to meet the same structural requirements as a 15-story hospital.
  • Create greater opportunities for conversion of existing basements and attics as livable space without costly structural alterations by reducing minimum ceiling heights, as well as providing more options to meet light and ventilation requirements.
  • Encourage preservation of Chicago’s existing building stock, including historic buildings, by providing additional flexibility and options for rehab work. This will bring down the cost of projects like the adaptive re-use of schools, retail buildings, and many vacant buildings throughout the city.
  • Promote energy efficiency and sustainability by making it easier to construct green buildings – ones that are durable, functional and energy efficient.
  • Enhance public safety in the event of a natural disaster by adopting seismic design requirements for critical facilities such as hospitals and fire stations and some taller buildings.
  • Adopt the International Building Code’s widely used terminology and classification systems for building occupancies and construction types, making it easier for architects and builders to follow and meet Chicago’s code requirements.

For over a year, the Department of Buildings has worked closely with the Departments of Fire, Health, Planning and Development, and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities along with more than 150 volunteer technical experts and industry leaders to review and refine several drafts of the Chicago Building Code.

“For decades, there has been widespread recognition that Chicago should better align its construction requirements with model codes and standards used in other major U.S. cities,” said Building Commissioner Judy Frydland. “We could never have accomplished this monumental endeavor without the help of many dedicated professionals from Chicago’s design, construction and development communities who generously volunteered their time and expertise.”

The code modernization ordinance is based on the latest editions of the International Building Code for new construction and International Existing Building Code for rehab of existing buildings. A significant part of revising the Chicago Building Code involved adopting the common terminology and format used in other major U.S. jurisdictions. This will make it easier for all architects, designers and builders to understand Chicago’s requirements. In addition, the code will be easier to keep up-to-date going forward as national standards are changed or refined.

“This week is an important milestone for the City of Chicago as they work to modernize their building code based on the International Codes, the most widely used and adopted set of building safety codes in the world,” said International Code Council Senior Vice President of Government Relations Sara Yerkes. “This modernization advances building safety in the city, and contributes to creating consistent codes across the state, and will help Chicago attract more business. We’re proud to support the City of Chicago as it moves forward with this historic update.”

Similar to the new Electrical Code and Elevator Code that were successfully implemented last year, the rewritten construction codes retain several requirements in the existing code that have enhanced building safety in Chicago’s unique local conditions and urban density such as stricter limits on the use of combustible materials in larger buildings.

The proposed changes will be phased in gradually, beginning June 1 and completely replacing the current Building Code by August 1, 2020. During the implementation period, the Department of Buildings will continue to work with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition. The code modernization will not increase permit fees.

The Propane Education & Research Council’s Propane Training Academy has a new online course available that provides commercial building owners and operators with a closer look at commercial water heating needs and trends. It will also discuss how propane technologies can add value to their commercial buildings. The online course, Propane Tankless Water Heating in Read More

New Online Course from PERC Explores Water Heating Needs in Commercial BuildingsThe Propane Education & Research Council’s Propane Training Academy has a new online course available that provides commercial building owners and operators with a closer look at commercial water heating needs and trends. It will also discuss how propane technologies can add value to their commercial buildings.

The online course, Propane Tankless Water Heating in Commercial Building Applications, Efficiency and Performance Benefits, will count toward continuing education credits from the American Institute of Architects and Green Building Certification Institute. Take the online course here.

Upon completion of the course, participants will:

  • Understand commercial building market segments, key energy use trends, and the significance of water heating energy in this market.
  • Identify key operational and installation benefits of propane tankless water heaters in commercial building applications.
  • Assess the energy efficiency advantages of propane tankless water heaters in commercial applications.
  • Identify the contributions that propane tankless water heaters can make towards LEED certification of commercial buildings.

“This course is a new opportunity for building owners and operators to learn more about how propane can benefit their building’s overall system,” said Jesse Marcus, director of residential and commercial business development at PERC. “Because of their reliability, versatility, and efficiency, propane tankless systems can provide immense value in many types of commercial buildings and applications.”

To access the library of online courses, participants must first register for free to become a member of the Propane Training Academy. Further, visit Propane.com to learn more about commercial propane tankless water heaters.