Welcome to the inner workings of the RPA — Pt. 2

In last month’s column, we reviewed the functions of the Education Committee. In this month’s column, we will review the workings of the Codes and Standards Committee. This group of professionals is tasked with initially developing the guidelines surrounding the eventual development and final adoption of the Uniform Solar Energy and Hydronics Code to be established through the auspices of IAPMO.

In last month’s column, we reviewed the functions of the Education Committee. In this month’s column, we will review the workings of the Codes and Standards Committee of the Radiant Professionals Alliance. This group of professionals is tasked with initially developing the guidelines surrounding the eventual development and final adoption of the Uniform Solar Energy and Hydronics Code to be established through the auspices of IAPMO.

Although not exactly starting from scratch, this group is charged with reviewing the current offering of solar and hydronics codes, deleting those items that may not have applicability, and adopting those items that are applicable to the final goals of our efforts; that being the ability to actually have a functional code. In those areas that are not served by the Uniform Solar Energy and Hydronics Code, these standards can be utilized to serve as guidelines to help guide our industry’s efforts forward.

It is not our goal to dictate what can and can’t be done to deliver comfort. Instead, it is our goal to develop a standard that will allow intelligent decisions to be made to ensure what the consumer is getting is what they are expecting in the way of operating efficiencies and the ability to deliver good comfort at all conditions of exposure. This will be a win-win proposition for all parties concerned, and the process is an open consensus process that allows all participants the ability to have and express an opinion as it pertains to this process and the final goal.

My vision of the final document would be to have charts showing the different (existing) climatological zones of exposure, a chart showing the available heat sources (solar, G.S.H.P., A.S.H.P., fossil fuel appliances, etc.) and a final chart showing which methodology of delivering the radiant energy is applicable given exposure, approach temperature and delivery methodology. This eliminates the one-type-fits-all approach that has plagued our industry for years. It will enable the designers and contractors to comfortably develop a plan to meet the wishes, wants and needs of the final consumer.

A huge part of this whole program is tied back to the Education Committee. In order for all of this to work, it is going to require the certification of not only the designers and installers, but also a detailed education process of the Authority Having Jurisdiction. Having the greatest hydronics code in the world is virtually useless if enforcement in the field is inconsistent or non-existent. It requires education and training, from the bottom to the top, including everyone in between.

Technically, the Code and Standards group is charged with the following: the Codes and Standards Committee monitors, influences, and keeps members abreast of applicable codes and standards to ensure that the best criteria for a product, process, test or procedure is realized. This committee informs the RPA members of any action or activity that may impact the industry. This committee also participates in the development of new, emerging codes and standards as well as in the maintenance of existing codes and standards.

The committee has been established, and currently consists of the following members: Chairman Randy Knapp of Plastic Pipe Institute; Dean Newberry of Xlath Radiant Ceiling Modules; Richard Graves of Heatmeister Group LLC; Mike Tierney of Aspen Solar; Elio Scotti of BEKA USA; John Goshulak of Weil McLain, Canada; Moses Fischman owner ENYQ Corp; Barry Nauss of Grundfos; Dave Nickelson of Rehau; and Dan Foley of Foley Mechanical.

Tune in next month as we continue our discussion of what makes this organization so great.

All Mark Eatherton material on this website is protected by Copyright 2013. Any reuse of this material (print or electronic) must first have the expressed written permission of Mark Eatherton and CONTRACTOR Magazine. Please contact via email at: [email protected].

 

 

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