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ANSI Student Paper Competition


ANSI Student Paper Competition

July 1, 2017
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  • Ferris State University

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system, and its Committee on Education (CoE) hosts a paper competition every year.  The purpose of this competition is part of an ANSI-led effort to raise awareness about the strategic importance of standards and conformance among U.S. undergraduate and graduate students.

The 2016 winners are:

Karmin Chong of the City College of New York are the first-place winners:


Amanda Goetz, Branden Hill, Libby Lee, and Jennifer Pattillo of Michigan’s Ferris State University are the second-place winners.


The 2017 papers focusing on “The World in 2050” (Click here) were due in April and are now being evaluated by Committee on Education for award during World Standards Week — October 16-20 in Washington D.C.  (Click here).  In the intervening time, it is not too soon for educators to present this opportunity to students.   During its May 22nd meeting, the ANSI Committee on Education discussed multi-media possibilities for the student “paper” competition.    More information on this possibility, and how to become involved, is available from Lisa Rajchel ( and Monte Bogatz (

See related blog post:  Five Universities Receive Funding to Develop Standards Curricula



Contact: Mike Anthony (, Christine Fischer (, Paul Green (

Advocacy Update for MIAPPA

March 3, 2017
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Ferris State University | Big Rapids, Michigan


Mike Anthony and Richard Robben will be updating the Michigan Association of Physical Plant Administrators (MIAPPA) tomorrow, March 9th, 1:15 – 2:15 PM EST at the University Center of Saginaw Valley State University.

Since Mike and Rich were unable to present at the MIAPPA Summer Conference, the annual advocacy report that was prepared for MIAPPA members is linked below:

@StandardsUMich-Report-to-MIAPPA-Summer-2016 (1)

The backstory about the original University of Michigan Plant Operations enterprise to increase safety and reduce #TotalCostofOwnership for our “cities-within-cities” through assertive participation in consensus standards will be covered by Rich Robben during the presentation.   A few key points:

1.  The Simon Institute is publishing the first three ANSI accredited custodial standards for one of the largest cost centers in the US education facilities industry:

2. The 2017 National Electrical Code will contain two advocacy achievements on electrical safety and security, 9 years in the making:

  • §110.5 | Bright line language that clarifies that the National Electrical Code permits the use of  aluminum wiring for buildings and large medium voltage campus power distribution systems.
  • §220.12 | Lighting supply circuits may be reduced to 2-1/2 watts per square foor from 3-1/2 watts per square foot.  IEEE article on the 2014 NEC change (other trade journals will be covering our 2017 change):

IEEE IAS Article on NEC 220 Anthony Harmon Harvey July August 2016

Note: All electrical power, telecommunication and information technology concepts are being formulated in collaboration with the IEEE Education & Healthcare Facilities Committee which meets on line bi-weekly in American and European time zones and is focused on developing IEEE standards for campus power and telecommunications infrastructure for the emergent #SmartCampus.   A 2020 NEC workgroup has already begun coordinated mark up of the 2017 NEC with the IEEE SCC18 and meets 2x weekly on Friday and Saturday.   MIAPPA members are welcomed to log in with the information available at this link:  NFPA 70-Series Workgroup

3. With the funding provided by MIAPPA and others, the NFPA Fire Protection Research Foundation has completed Phase I of a study intended to “rightsize” the building premise power chains that are most common in the US education facilities industry.   The study in its entirety is available at this link:  Evaluation of Electrical Feeder and Branch Circuit Loading

4. The Office of Regulatory Reinvention is making significant changes to Bureau of Construction Code administration.  Some of the changes are those for which we have been advocating for the past 3 years — namely, putting a check on incumbent interests.   One particular legislative proposal should be of interest: S.B. 963 Skilled Trades Regulation Act

5. The Michigan Energy Code (adapted from the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code) was adopted February 8, 2016.   We opted to advocate in the ASHRAE suite rather than directly in the IECC which was a more cost effective use of advocacy resources.

6. We continue our advocacy for performance-based inspection, testing & maintenance in ISEA Z358.1 ANSI Standard for Emergency Shower and Eyewash Equipment.   We are seeking funding for a blind study of the failure rates of this equipment.   The 2018 revision cycle begins in December 2016.    A colleague from Northwestern University will be taking over the leadership of this advocacy priority.

7. We continue encouraging proposals and comments on ANSI accredited and open source consensus documents that affect #TotalCostofOwnership by knowledgeable facility professionals of all disciplines.

Link to Rich Robben presentation: MIAPPA winter conf presentation – Rich Robben



Economic Benefits of Standards to the UK Economy

February 20, 2017
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Oxford University

Many social problems are solved with economic growth; economic growth is hastened by standards.  The inherent potential value of standards — especially those accredited by the American National Standards Institute —  lies in the consolidation of the knowledge and experience of many people into a single document; in a form that adds value to the end-user by supporting efficiency and reducing unnecessary divergence, duplication and/or inconsistency.  Standards are the unsung heroes of the quality infrastructure in every industry; making innovation more transferable, giving organizations anticipatory intelligence and, for the education facilities industry — preparing our campuses for the #SmartCampus zietgeist*.

Most of our time is spent responding to the stream of technical particulars originating from the 240 standards developers in the US who provide the technical foundation for what we regard as “streaming regulation”.  Streaming regulation requires streaming advocacy — especially in an industry with $300 billion annual spend.  Once a week, however, it is worthwhile reflecting upon how other nations use standards to stimulate growth in their own economy.  Today we share the findings of research by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) prepared for the British Standards Institute (BSI).

37% contribution to productivity

20.1% contribution to the growth of productivity in specific sectors over 10 years since 2005

28% contribution to Gross Domestic Product Growth

84% of UK companies report that their reputation had been enhanced by shaping and conforming to UK standards

Even if you cut these numbers in half, standardization activity — fast-moving leading practice discovery by a balanced group of materially affected stakeholders — still contributes an outsized component to the growth of the UK economy.

In May 2016 the American National Standards Institute hosted its annual Company Member Forum at the University of Michigan where education industry leaders had a chance to meet with the leadership of many Fortune 500 companies and government agencies and learn how standards can be conveyed at a greater scale into both the business and the academic sides of the US education  industry.

Link to related article: “Education Enterprise”, Anthony & Robben, ISO Focus, January 2015

Link to BS 8536-1:2015: Briefing for design and construction. Code of practice for facilities management (Buildings infrastructure)


(Originally published March 6, 2016)

Federal Participation in Consensus Standards

February 12, 2017
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University of Michigan Ross School of Business


The White House Office of Management and Budget released a revision of OMB Circular No. A-119, Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities.  According to the announcement:

OMB has issued a revision of Circular A-119 in light of changes that have taken place in the world of regulation, standards, and conformity assessment since the Circular was last revised in 1998.  OMB’s revisions are meant to provide more detailed guidance to agencies to take into account several issues, including the Administration’s current work in Open Government, developments in regulatory policy and international trade, and changes in technology.

The revised Circular is available at the link below:

The response by ANSI is available at the link below:

ANSI Response OMB A-119 050614

The degree to which leading practice can be discovered and promoted by industries themselves is a policy issue upon which good minds will disagree.   Few nations disagree that innovation is faster and more enduring from the workpoint (or the point of consumption) up, but markets are not perfect instruments for discovering the greater good.

At a speech given at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business in 2015, S. Bhatia, CEO of the American National Standards Institute, expands upon this point in the short videoclip below:

Issue: [16-18]

Contact: Mike Anthony, Christine Fischer, Jack Janveja, Richard Robben

Category: Federal Regulation


ASHRAE 13 | Guidelines for Specifying Building Automation Systems

February 8, 2017
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Brigham Young University

Temperature sensors at every building on a campus may not be economical in all cases.   At the University of Michigan, with a campus footprint of several square miles and hundreds of buildings across 3 campuses, only 2 temperature sensors have been used for the past 25 years and rarely do building control experts ever see more than a one degree difference between buildings across that footprint.   In our view, this does not justify a $5000 first cost for every building and a permanent and continual operations and maintenance load on the hardware, firmware, and software.  

Mindful how easily a statement in ASHRAE 13 Guidelines for Specifying Building Automation Systems may be incorporated by reference into enforceable law. our colleague David Anderson successfully argued against proposals for mandatory, prescriptive requirements for more temperature sensors.  In December 2014 the ASHRAE 13 technical committee accepted David Anderson’s comments and integrated them into the Second Public Review Draft.  

An approximation of avoided cost (associated with avoided regulatory burden) is $620,000 annually to the University of Michigan Central Campus alone.  Other campuses are the beneficiary of the successful resolution of the ASHRAE 13 proposal.   

A 30-minute backgrounder is linked below:    


David B. Anderson



2017 National Electrical Code | Article 220 Branch and Feeder Circuits

February 7, 2017
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University of Notre Dame | South Bend, Indiana


Two experts explain, in their own words in the videoclips below, the problem of transformer oversizing that we have been advocating against for nearly a decade.  We have made some progress but, as we have explained in trade and academic journals, the American national standards system allows for incumbent interests to oppose our position and should be regarded as an indication of a healthy balance in the standards development process.

That much said, the reasons other materially affected stakeholders have opposed our proposals are summarized below:

Manufacturers.  Smaller transformers generally mean a smaller power chain throughout a building.  Larger equipment provides larger profit margins.

Government.  Most municipalities scale their construction inspection fees on the ampere rating of the electrical service.  The smaller the service the lower the inspection revenue.

Enforcement.  Charged with ensuring public fire safety; smaller transformers reduce the safety margins.   Instead of transformers being 2 to 3 times oversized; they feel safer when transformers are 4 to 12 times oversized; despite the increase in arc flash hazard that larger transformers present.

Insurance.  These organizations have a close affiliation with enforcement and fire safety professionals.  In their view, smaller transformers produce a greater likelihood of fire and the primary objective of the NEC is to reduce fire; not energy conservation.

Conformance.  These organizations have a close affiliation with all of the foregoing, depending upon them all for revenue, so in the collaborative platforms where the NEC is developed, they tend to vote as a bloc.

Despite the user/owner/final fiduciary being structurally outvoted by opposing interests — we have made progress.  We have the science and public policy on our side.  The amount of money in play is enormous — about $10 billion annually for our industry alone.

Larry Ayer | Independent Electrical Contractors

Larry has persuaded the committee to change Table 220.12 to permit designers to reduce lighting power densities in offices and banks to 1.2 VA /sqft. from 3.5 VA / sqft. — without exception.  Recall that our change (Exception No. 3 to Table 220.12) was accepted contingent upon the presence of an energy management system.  The IEC change removes that contingency for a large proportion of square-footage in higher education — office space.

Larry Schoff | Independent Consultant

A well respected voice in the energy conservation discipline for decades, Larry explains to the leadership of school districts, that if it is serious about reducing energy consumption then it must approach the “higher hanging” possibilities in reducing the size of the power chain supplying plug loads.

This advocacy project is a standing agenda item on the IEEE Education & Healthcare Facilities committee which meets on the internet every other Tuesday in US and European time zones.  Anyone is welcomed to join the teleconference with the login information linked here:

DOE | Reducing Regulatory Burden

February 2, 2017
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Photovoltaic array the roof of the James Forrestal_Building, US Department of Energy | The US Department of Energy is one of the beneficiaries of Standards Michigan advocacy in the National Electrical Code since 1996

As part of its implementation of Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” issued by the President Obama on January 18, 2011, the Department of Energy (Department or DOE) is seeking comments and information from interested parties to assist DOE in reviewing its existing regulations to determine whether any such regulations should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed. The purpose of DOE’s review is to make the agency’s regulatory program more effective and less burdensome in achieving its regulatory objectives. In this request for information, DOE also highlights its most recent regulatory review and reform efforts conducted to date in light of comments from interested parties.

The request for public comment is available in the link below:

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 5 CFR Chapter XXIII 10 CFR Chapters II, III, and X Reducing Regulatory Burden AGENCY: Office of the General Counsel, Department of Energy

Much has happened since this commenting opportunity was posted on the original @StamdardsUMich website.   Accordingly, we will place this item on the agenda of our next weekly open door teleconference to which anyone is welcomed to join with the login information available in the link below:




Issue: [16-149]

Contact: Mike Anthony, Richard Robben, Christine Fischer

Category: Federal Legislation


Sunday Video | Standards In Action

January 29, 2017
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A 2016 article by James Whittaker in the Facility Management Journal stated, “If communities, like humans, had DNA, standards would form the genes and chromosomes of society. Standards are woven into the fabric of all we do and have been around from the beginnings of recorded history.” We recognize that standards and standards development are subtle subjects for most people.  We seek to establish why standards matter and how our advocacy on behalf of the entire education facilities industry adds value to total cost of ownership.  For a “bird’s eye view” Standards Australia has provided a video that captures the importance and impact of standards in action.

Link to FMJ article: Standardization: One of Today’s Most Vital Global FM Trends


Christine Fischer | Originally posted July 3, 2016

IFC | Elevator Operation & Maintenance

January 28, 2017
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University of California San Diego Nuevo East Graduate Student Housing

Significant changes to the requirements for elevator operation and maintenance (Section 606) for the 2021 edition of the International Fire Code which is incorporated by reference into public safety law of most states.

Click on image for more information

The changes are identified in strike and bold document linked below:

2018 IFC 606 Elevator Rev 6 Revisions draft 9-23-2017 File 17-342

The International Code Council invites the public to participate in its process through cdpACCESS and at its Groups A Code Development Hearings April 15 – 25, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio.   Ahead of the Group A Hearings we will place this and other Groups A proposals on the standing agenda of our weekly Open Door teleconferences hosted every Wednesday, 11 AM Eastern Time.  Anyone is welcomed to join these teleconferences from your computer, tablet or smartphone with the login information below:

You can also dial in using your phone. United States : +1 (408) 650-3123 Access Code: 718-914-669


Georgia State University Piedmont Central Student Housing & Dining Hall

National Technology Transfer & Advancement Act | Part 2 of 2

January 21, 2017
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Christine Fischer | Originally posted July 21, 2015

We would like to circle back to our February 2015 coverage of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act because it forms the foundation for the self-determination of most US industries — including the education and health care industry.   This time we have the good fortune of having this topic enlightened by the time and expertise of Andrew Updegrove of Gesmer Updegrove, LLC — one of the leading names in global standards setting, promotional consortia and open source foundations.






Issue: [11-31]

Contact: Mike Anthony, Jack Janveja, Christine Fischer, Rich Robben

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