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“Omnibus Spending” Legislation


“Omnibus Spending” Legislation

May 24, 2018
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We generally focus our leading practice discovery resources on safety and sustainability optimization opportunities that are too technical for policy experts (typically “government relations functionaries”  in service of  education industry trade associations or individual institutions); or too political for technical experts working on behalf of organizations that oppose the user interest in the global standards development process (typically fire marshals, building inspectors, compliance and conformity organizations, manufacturers, insurance companies, installation and maintenance contractors).

From time to time, however, we break form (see ABOUT) to devote limited resources to understanding how money flows through the arteries of the US federal government to our workpoint in schools, colleges, universities and university-affiliated medical research and clinical delivery enterprises.  Of particular interest are money flows to various federal agencies whose activity affects our #TotalCostofOwnership agenda

Linked below it is the so-called “Omnibus Spending Bill” passed last week by the US Congress:

US Congress | Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018

Comments are due September 30, 2018.   By this we mean that the bill is effective only until the end of the 2018 fiscal year.  Individuals have the right to approach their own state congressmen about their comments on how future federal budgets shall be crafted. (List of current members of the U.S. Congress)

Because the legislation is 2200-odd pages long we recommend searching on terms such as the following:

Department of Commerce | Allocations begin on Page 130

Department of Energy | Allocations begin on Page 428

Department of Education | Allocations begin on Page 981

Other recommended search terms: “university”, “college”, “schools”, “institute”, “facilities”,  “hospital”, “infrastructure”, “electric”, “telecommunications”, “buildings”,  “science”, “athletic”, or the name of any state.  One wonders why the US Congress could not have presented this information on a spreadsheet.  Perhaps someone soon shall.

All federal actions are on the standing agenda of our weekly Open Door teleconferences — every Wednesday, 11 AM Eastern Time.   Anyone is welcomed to join them.  Click here to log in.

Issue: [18-83]

Category: Public Policy, US Department of Education, US Department of Commerce, US Department of Energy

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Jack Janveja, Richard Robben

ISEA Z358.1 | ANSI Standard for Emergency Shower & Eyewash Testing

May 24, 2018
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We have been advocating for risk-informed applications of emergency shower and eyewash testing safety technologies since the 2014 revision of ISEA Z358.1 | ANSI Standard for Emergency Shower & Eyewash Testing (Click here).    Through indications received from many users in research enterprises in the education industry, the quantity overspecification and the fixed interval testing of this safety technology imposes a financial burden that prohibits scarce preventive maintenance resources from being allocated to other safety technologies where risk is higher.

We have not had much success in this advocacy project (begun ahead of the 2014 revision cycle) owing to the dominance of manufacturer, compliance and enforcement interests.  Admittedly, great deal of resistance to change originates in the rather well-funded compliance enterprises in research universities also.  As in many ANSI-accredited standards suites, the manufacturers — the organizations that support the trade association – write the standard to reduce their risk.  Only after the public standard is written is the user-interest — the stakeholder in university research enterprises in the best position to manage all dimensions of risk — allowed to vote.   The stakeholder we have in mind is the principal investigator who has received the research grant — not the university compliance officer.

The 2019 revision to ISEA Z358.1 is under development now and was on the agenda of ISEA’s Annual Executive Summit that took place May 6-8 in Arlington, Virginia.   It is noteworthy that laboratory safety technology is on the agenda of the International Code Council’s Group A Code Development Cycle.   One proposal for laboratory safety can be found on Page 10 (Item K322) of the link below:

Healthcare Proposals Group A I-2 11-29-2017 File 16-69 and 13-28

The proposal for inclusion into the International Fire Code (IFC) appears to expand the application of the safety technology.   Whatever concepts we have proposed in the past for  ISEA Z358.1 will have a new challenge in the next revision of the IFC.    Many research universities have enterprises that will be affected by this proposal.  Does over-testing of laboratory safety equipment make US research universities less competitive globally?

We welcome collaboration with all stakeholders on this proposal during our weekly Open Door teleconferences.   Anyone is welcomed to participate with the login information below:



Issue: [13-28] and [16-69]

Contact: Mike Anthony, Richard Robben, Mark Schaufele, Ron George

Hunter College Laboratory | Our position has been to specify more of these rather than more of them in laboratory building hallways.

ASCE | Minimum Design Loads For Buildings and Other Structures

May 23, 2018
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Florida International University

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) — and its affiliate the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) —  develops a suite of ANSI-accredited standards that inform the standard of care for structural engineers, architects, and building code officials working in the built environment of the education industry and others.   Its standard — ASCE 7 -16 Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures — describes the means for determining dead, live, soil, flood, tsunami, snow, rain, atmospheric ice, earthquake, and wind loads, and their combinations for general structural design.   The 2022 revision is open for public comment.

Proposals are due June 30, 2018.  You may propose revisions to the ASCE 7 standard using the  ASCE 7 Change Proposal Form.  (You will need to set up a no-fee account).  Proposals to revise the ASCE 7 Standards must be submitted using this form and are to be submitted via email to Jon Esslinger, Director, Codes and Standards, at  More information about participating in the ASCE standards development process for this and other documents may be obtained from Jennifer Groupil (  Additionally, the ASCE 7 Committee will be meeting next week in Denver.   The agenda for that meeting is linked below:

SEI ASCE 7 Main Committee Agenda | March 22 | Crowne Plaza Denver

The ASCE suite of standards is on the standing agenda of our weekly Open Door Teleconference every Wednesday, 11 AM Eastern Time.   We Click here to log in any Wednesday, 11 AM Eastern Time*.

Issue: [13-68]

Category: Architectural, Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Richard Robben, Jack Janveja

* Link to previous work on this standard: (Legacy) Advocacy Project 13-68 .   Note that our primary interest in ASCE 7 was to advocate for, a) up-to-date and more granular identification of occupancy classes, and b) revisit loading requirements recognizing that education facilities presented lower load because fewer books were stored on site.  For example, many colleges and university “libraries” are now “media centers” with heavier books stored in off-site slab on grade facilities.  


Education Industry Construction Spend

May 23, 2018
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Image credit: ESPN College Town

Update on the build-out of these “cities-within-cities” which,

when observed as a network, constitute a sovereign nation.


The value of construction put in place in March 2018 by the US education industry proceeded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $73.1 billion, 0.1 percent (±2.5 percent) below the February 2018 estimate of $73.2 billion.  (This number does not include renovation and new construction in university-affiliated health care delivery enterprises).   The complete report is available at the link below:

At this rate, the US education facilities industry (which includes colleges, universities, technical/vocational and K-12 schools, most university-affiliated medical research and healthcare delivery enterprises, etc.)  is the largest non-residential building construction market in the United States.  Overall — including construction, energy, custodial services, furnishings, security. etc., — the non-instructional spend plus the construction spend of the US education facilities is approximately $300 billion per year.  Cash throughput at this scale draws comparisons with the $223 billion annual revenue of Berkshire-Hathaway (a Fortune #2 corporation) and the $304 billion national gross domestic product of Denmark.

Construction cameras overlooking construction activity at US universities

(more cameras coming)

We encourage the education facilities industry to contribute to the accuracy of this monthly report by responding the US Census Bureau’s data gathering contractors.

We host weekly teleconferences to discuss our advocacy priorities every Wednesday, 11:00 – 11:30 AM Eastern Time.   Anyone is welcomed to join these teleconferences by clicking here.

Next teleconference on this topic: May 2nd.  Detailed information about our advocacy agenda is available to our email subscribers.    You are welcomed to join this list by sending an email to

From our archives:


IBC | Healthcare Facilities

May 23, 2018
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We follow the development of safety and sustainability concepts in the agenda of the International Code Council (ICC) Group A Committee Action Hearings that took place April 15 to 25, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio.   A batch of public input (strike-and-bold/redlines) regarding healthcare facilities for the 2021 edition of the International Building Code (IBC) is linked below:

Healthcare Proposals Group A I-2 12-8-2017 (2)

Generally speaking, the healthcare facilities affiliated with large research universities are to be built to the same standard as healthcare facilities everywhere else.  We only point out that there are two differences that might be brought to bear upon the development of the next revision to the IBC:

  • University-affiliated healthcare enterprises tend to be the destination for patients that need specialized care.  The destination of last resort, so to say, because those enterprises have physicians engaged in leading-edge therapies, and therefore a different (typically, higher) risk profile than most healthcare enterprises.
  • Essential utility supplies — water, power, telecommunications, etc. — can be complicated by the character of the utilities of the host municipality serving the perimeter of the campus; essentially a city-within-a-city.

All other safety and sustainability concepts are the same, as an examination of the redlines linked above should reveal.

Because the Group A Hearings is such an large undertaking,  breakout committees administered by ICC staff have been preparing public input for presentation at the hearings.   Several months of work by the healthcare committee is linked below:

2021 ICC Group A Healthcare Committee Proposal Administration

Standards Michigan encourages user-interest subject matter experts in the education industry to participate in the ICC Code Development process (Click here).  On concepts specific to healthcare facilities you may also contact Kimberly Paarlberg ( the chairperson of the ICC healthcare committee.

The entire ICC suite of codes and standards is on the standing agenda of our weekly Open Door teleconferences every Wednesday, 11 AM Eastern Time.   Click here to log in.

Issue [17-229]

Category: Architectural, Healthcare Facilities

IEC TC 3 | Identification and marking principles

May 23, 2018
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Uppsala universitet

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) releases draft standards Committee Drafts for Votes (CDV’s) that are open for public review and comment; contingent upon coordination with national standards bodies such as USNC/IEC.   The IEC standards development process is noteworthy because, for the moment, it welcomes comments from the general public worldwide; contingent upon meeting IEC requirements for public comments that are not unlike the responsibilities of participants in other global standards development processes.

Now comes an opportunity to comment upon revisions to an existing standard covering the marking of electrical equipment.  The Secretariat for Technical Committee 3 is Sweden.  The strategic business plan for IEC TC 3 is linked below:


The subject standard — IEC 61293 ED2: Marking of electrical equipment with ratings related to electrical supply — is primarily a product normative reference to other IEC technical committees when specifying the minimum ratings of any electric supply of equipment, sub-assemblies and components.  It is relevant to the design, operation, construction and maintenance of electrotechnology on the emergent #SmartCampus because electrical safety standards develop around concepts of both product safety and field installed safety.  It is relatively easy to certify electrical equipment safety in a factory; more difficult to assure the electrical safety of a field installation over its life-cycle.

Comments are due in Geneva by July 27th.  Because access to IEC redlines is “coordinated” we typically refer this the IEEE Education & Healthcare Facilities Committee (which meets twice online again on Tuesday, May 22nd — 15:00 Central European Time and 3:00 PM Eastern Time)  Of course, the IEC suite and all other international standards are on the standing agenda of our weekly Open Door teleconferences every Wednesday at 11 AM Eastern time.  Anyone is welcomed to join this teleconferences with the login information in this link (Click here)

Issue: [11-4]

Category: Electrical, Energy, #SmartCampus, Facility Asset Management

Contact: Mike Anthony, Jim Harvey, Giuseppe Parise, Richard Robben


ISO/TC 268 Update | Smart Community Infrastructures

May 22, 2018
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The United States Technical Advisory Group (US-TAG), with oversight by the American National Standards Institute and administration by NFPA International, are participating in the development of an International Organization for Standardization consensus document that will shape policy development for smart cities (sustainable cities and communities).  As cities-within-cities, major international research universities are stakeholders in these discussions because of the town-gown infrastructure interface in the emergent #SmarCampus.  We have been participants in this project since 2014.

It is a large and fast-moving project and, frankly difficult, project to keep pace with as new workgroups are spawned from core ISO TC 268.


April 2018 Update:

At the 2017 Paris meeting of TC/268, the UK suggested that it would be helpful to develop an overall maturity model for cities, drawing on the framework set out by SC1 in ISO/DIS 37153. The TC agreed, and WG4 was asked to work up proposals.

At its Berlin meeting in May, WG4 made good progress and recommended a way forward. But in plenary discussion with other working groups, there was concern that WG4 was moving too quickly and on too narrowly‐focused a basis

The purpose of a recent release by ISO TC/268 — an outline of city “maturity models” — is to respond to those concerns, proposing a broader framework for future work in this area across TC/268

Link to TC/268 City Maturity Model Presentation

Owing to copyright restrictions upon ISO consensus documents we are unable to reproduce draft documents in their entirety beyond the balloting periods.  We limit our use of these documents to collaborations with subject matter experts in knowledge of, and concern for, the user-interest in the US education industry.

Balloting of the US stakeholders for the most recent batch of documents has already taken place; though there are ISO restrictions on the distribution and use of them before formal release.  We are happy to review them during our weekly Open Door teleconference which takes place online every Wednesday, 11 AM Eastern time.  (Click here for login information).   You may also communicate directly with Robert Solomon at NFPA International, the US TAG Administrator for this project (

An explanation of the broad contours of parent standard — with the Association Française de Normalisation (AFNOR Groupas the Secretariat — is described in the videoclip below:

Issue: [14-101] and [18-5]

Category: #SmartCampus, Informatics, Administration & Management

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


NETA | Electrical Commissioning Specifications

May 22, 2018
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University of California San Diego Microgrid Installation

The InterNational Electrical Testing Association (NETA) is an association of leading electrical testing companies comprised of visionaries who are committed to advancing the industry’s standards for power system installation and maintenance to ensure the highest level of reliability and safety.  It has launched a new revision cycle to update  the existing 2015 Edition of ANSI/NETA ECS Standard for Electrical Commissioning Specifications for Electrical Power Equipment and Systems.  From the standard prospectus:

Scope: It is the purpose of these specifications to assure that tested electrical equipment and systems are operational, are within applicable standards and manufacturer’s tolerances, and are installed in accordance with design specifications.

Project Need: The purpose of these specifications is to assure that tested electrical systems are safe, reliable, and operational; are in conformance with applicable standards and manufacturers’ tolerances; and are installed in accordance with design specifications. These specifications are specifically intended for application on electrical power equipment and systems.

Stakeholders: Commissioning agents, governmental agencies, A&E firms, inspection authorities, owners of facilities that utilize large blocks of electrical energy, electrical testing firms.

This standard is not intended to be submitted for consideration as an ISO, IEC, or ISO/IEC JTC-1 standard.

At the moment, ANSI Procedures only require public notification of the initiation and scope of activities expected to result in new or revised American national standard. (Link to ANSI Announcement | PDF Page 31).

NETA standards are typically referenced in electrical system construction documents for setting safety criteria before local authorities permit initial system energization and building occupancy.  The NETA suite is also among the constellation of consensus documents that set the standard of care for the safety of building electrical systems across the full span of an electrical system life cycle.

NETA technical committees will meet at the Powertest Conference in Grapevine, Texas March 11-15, 2019 to advance the revision cycle of this document.   We will refer this to the IEEE Education & Healthcare Facilities Committee which is the locus of the most informed technical and business opinions on customer-owned electrical power generating facilities for the education facilities industry.   That committee meets online twice today:

Teleconferences | May 22, 2018

All standards dealing with the #TotalCostofOwnership of distributed electrical energy resources are on the standing agenda of our weekly Open Door teleconferences which are hosted weekly on Wednesday at 11 AM Eastern time.  Click here to log in.


Category: Electrical, Facility Asset Management, #SmartCampus

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Jim Harvey, Gary Walls, Glenn Keates

NFPA 99 | Healthcare Facilities Code

May 22, 2018
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It is not too early to begin formulating concepts for the 2021 revision of NFPA 99 Health Care Facilities Code.   Some of the concepts we are advocating in Article 517 for the 2020 revision of National Electrical Code (now being debated among several NEC working groups) may be more effectively placed in NFPA 99; though the concepts belong in either document is an issue over which good minds will disagree.

Several workgroups are already convening ahead of the Public Input meetings in Hiltonhead, SC in January 2018; one of which is examining proposals from Standards Michigan and the American Society of Healthcare Engineering for “rightsizing” the healthcare facility building power supply chain.  Access to the work in progress of those working groups is available at this link: 2020 NEC Concepts Landing Page

Public Input Closing Date is June 21, 2018.   We will continue collaboration with the IEEE Education & Healthcare Facilities Committee which meets again twice Tuesday, November 21st.   Anyone is welcomed to join those teleconferences with the login information provided on the meeting agenda.

Issues: [12-18, [15-97] and [16-101]

Contact: Mike Anthony, Jim Harvey, Robert Arno, Josh Elvove, Joe DeRosier, Larry Spielvogel

Previous public input and comment: NFPA 99 Public Input and Comment 2015 Edition Issue 15-97


McGill University Health Center | Montreal

ISO | Standard for Healthcare Administration

May 22, 2018
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The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) is the United States Technical Advisory Group Administrator for the first global standard for health care administration; developed by International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 304 (Click here: ISO/TC 304).     The creation of this standard was initiated by UTMB and, if this document is incorporated by reference into public law, or adopted by the private sector as a performance benchmark,  it will have significant effect upon health care enterprises in every industry in the US — not the least among them the healthcare delivery enterprises in the US education industry.  

ISO TC 304 Participation Map | Click on image for more details

March 28, 2018

We have received an update from S. Lee Webster, the global Secretariat for this emergent document:

Briefing Paper about Healthcare Organization Management Standards (030518) v1 (1)

The next meeting of the various working groups will be held in Vilnius, Lithuania, May 21-25, 2018.  Contact Lee Webster for information about how to attend (  Ahead of the May meetings, we will be scheduling a live Q&A with Lee during one of our weekly Open Door teleconferences.

Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos (Click on image)

February 27, 2018


Quoting S. Joe Bhatia, CEO of the American National Standards Institute in a May 16, 2015 press release:

“With more than $360 billion spent annually on health care administration in the U.S., reducing costs and streamlining administrative processes in health care is a critical national priority,” said S. Joe Bhatia, president and chief executive officer of ANSI, the U.S. member body to ISO. “The newly formed ISO TC 304 shows great promise in tackling inefficiencies in health care administration worldwide, and ANSI proudly supports UTMB’s leadership role as acting secretariat on behalf of the United States.”

It is rare for a US educational institution to assume leadership at this scale. As an Accredited Standards Developer the UTMB will oversee the creation of standards and technical reports that define effective, interoperable, and comparable healthcare administration practices and metrics among healthcare entities. These practices and metrics will be limited to staff and operational management of healthcare facilities.  Excerpts from the standardization project identify the rationale:  

Rationale 1: Establishing healthcare administrative standards will reduce the cost of providing healthcare through the widespread adoption of interoperable metrics and practices.

Rationale 2: Reducing the cost of healthcare will make these services more affordable and thereby provide an opportunity for greater access to society.

Rationale 3: Improving the administrative and managerial performance of healthcare entities results in better healthcare outcomes for patients.

Rationale 4: Although numerous standards exist for the laboratory protocols, clinical services and patient care functions of healthcare organizations, there are scant standards that address administrative functions or these standards are specific to a particular healthcare entity.

Rationale 5: Standardizing Healthcare administrative metrics will create apple-to-apple comparisons of organizations performance that will better educate consumers and drive process improvement activities

Rationale 6: Rural and underserved communities will have access to effective practices that offer a roadmap to improve their own quality of healthcare services they receive.

Rationale 7: Positive support have been received from other ASD and members of the healthcare technical community

Rationale 8: Standards will complement standards developing efforts of existing ANSI and ISO standards developing committees.

Rationale 9: The healthcare community and its stakeholders are highly receptive to standardization and certification and will adopt approaches from these sources readily. 

Those practices and metrics that directly affect patient care and medical research are outside the scope of this standards effort. Clinical performance and patient safety and satisfaction standards will not be pursued by this ASD body.  ISO 304 will also not address 1) the management or administration of organizations that practice dentistry, 2) the production and use of medical devices or instruments, and 3) the capture and analysis of clinical medical information or procedures.   More detailed information is available in the documents linked below:

14-99 Proposal_for_a_NFTA (Healthcare Administration 0915)v3

14-99 Summary of the Proposal for ISO TC for Healthcare Admin Stds (101915) v1

University of Texas Medical Branch

The slide deck for the December 15, 2016 teleconference is linked below:

Healthcare Administration Information (121516) v1 (Webster) 14-99

Facility managers in university-affiliated medical research and healthcare delivery enterprises who would like to participate in developing the US position are encouraged to contact Lee Webster Lee Webster (

[Issue 14-99]

Contact:  Lee Webster (, Mike Anthony (, Richard Robben (, James Harvey (, Christine Fischer (

Category: Medical Research & Health Care, Management, Finance & Administration, International

From our archives:


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