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Standards Virginia

As we explain in our ABOUT, we are continuing development of the cadre of “code writers and vote-getters” begun at the University of Michigan in 1993.  Code writers and vote getters are the true expert witnesses to the social negotiation of technical change.  They are leaders in the reconciliation of the competing requirements of safety and economy in the largest non-residential building construction market in the United States.

We are now drilling down into state and local adaptations of nationally developed codes and standards that are incorporated by reference into public safety and sustainability legislation.   This post is a “test pancake” for generating discussion, and for discovering the best way forward for crafting state exceptions to nationally developed codes and standards.  Every state will have to be managed according to its history, culture, governance regime, asset-base and network of expertise.

Standards Michigan will remain the “free” home site but state-specific sites such as Standards Virginia will be accessible to user-interest code-writers and vote-getters.   Please send a request to join one of our mailing lists appropriate to your interest for #SmartCampus standards action in the State of Virginia.




“Coffee in the Garden” | Daniel Ridgway Knight (1839-1924)

As the U.S. member body to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) encourages its members and relevant stakeholders to participate in discovering standardization solutions in a broad range of technologies and markets with like-minded experts in other national standards bodies.  The full sweep of ANSI’s participation in consensus documents developed by the ISO is described in the link below:

ISO Programs – Overview

ANSI recently posted a US leadership opportunity regarding the value chain of a product familiar to daily life at home and in business: coffee.   The ISO administers leading practice discovery and promulgation in the global coffee value chain through parent Technical Committee 34 (TC34) with the Association Française de Normalisation as the global Secretariat with the Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas as the twinned Secretariat*.  Subcommittee 15 oversees standardization in the field of coffee and coffee products, covering the coffee chain from green coffee to consumption, in particular. Standardization includes terminology, sampling, test methods and analysis, product specifications and requirements for packaging, storage and transportation

From the ISO/TC 34 prospectus:

Business Plan ISO TC34 Food Products

The Secretariats for this subcommittee is currently held by Colombia (ICONTEC) but, with ANSI recently announcing that it is relinquishing its role as the US Technical Advisory Group Administrator, there is no US stakeholder participating.  ANSI has posted an invitation for another US-based stakeholder to assume leadership in this standard:

ANSI Standards Action Page 34

Apart from the passion that young people have for fair trade in any market, we see this as an outstanding opportunity for faculty and students to gain insight into the geo-politics of food supply generally and the subtleties of coffee markets.

Business schools, agricultural colleges, international studies program developers who may be, and should be, interested in a leadership opportunity on behalf of the United States should communicate directly with ANSI’s ISO Team ((   Standards Michigan also devotes an hour every month to review public commenting opportunities on all international standards.  See our CALENDAR for the next online teleconference.

Issue: [19-46]

Category: Academic, International

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Christine Fischer

ISO Guidance on Twinning




Fire Protection & Security Standards Monthly

“New York Public Library” / Colin Campbell Cooper (1910)

Today at 11 AM Eastern time we sweep through action in fire safety-related consensus documents; some of which are incorporated by reference into federal, state and local energy regulations. Architects, engineering, facility planning and design units within academia are welcome to join us in reviewing the blistering pace of code and standard development in this space.   If we are successful you will likely want to tweak your design and construction documents.  At the very least, time spent with us today offers anticipatory intelligence about technical specifics but also action by government agencies at all levels.

We track the action in the following list of accredited standards developers that set the standard of care for energy conservation and sustainability in education facilities:


APCO | Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International

ASHRAE | American Society of Heating & Refrigeration Engineers

ASME | American Society of Mechanical Engineers

ASSE | American Society of Safety Engineers

ASTM | American Society for Testing & Materials

AWWA | American Waterworks Association

AHRI | Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute

IAPMO | International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials

ICC | International Code Council

IEC | International Electrotechnical Commission

IEEE | Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers

ISO | International Standardization Organization

NECA | National Electrical Contractors Association

NEMA | Association of Electrical and Medical Equipment Manufacturers

NFPA | National Fire Protection Association

SIA | Securities Industry Association

UL | Underwriters Laboratories

This is a fast-moving space, with existing standards developers claiming some part of it; or new organizations building new business models around it.

Use the login credentials at the upper right of our home page.

We are open every day at 11 AM Eastern time to discuss and make decisions on any consensus product and round up all the energy-related commenting opportunities once a month.  See our CALENDAR for the next teleconference; open to everyone.



Natural Gas Transmission & Distribution

Poster showing benefits of gas lighting and heating (Italy, 1902)



Most school districts, colleges, universities and university-affiliated health care systems depend upon a safe and reliable supply of natural gas.   One of the first names in standards setting for the natural gas industry in the United States is the American Gas Association (AGA) which represents companies delivering natural gas safely, reliably, and in an environmentally responsible way.  From the AGA vision statement:

“….(AGA) is committed to leveraging and utilizing America’s abundant, domestic, affordable and clean natural gas to help meet the nation’s energy and environmental needs….”

We do not advocate in natural gas standards at the moment but AGA standards do cross our radar because they assure energy security to the emergent #SmartCampus.  We find AGA standards referenced in natural gas service contracts (for large district energy plants, for example) or in construction contracts for new buildings.  As with all other energy technological developments we keep pace with, improvements are continual even though those improvements are known to only a small cadre of front line engineers and technicians.

AGA has released seventeen redlines containing proposed changes to GPTC Z380.1 Guide for Gas Transmission, Distribution, and Gathering Piping Systems. The redlines are listed in the link below:

American Gas Association Standards Public Review Home Page

Comments due July 8th.

You may obtain an electronic copy from:  Order from: Michael Bellman, (202) 824-7183,  Send comments to Michael (with copy to  Any questions you may have concerning public reviews please contact Mike as well.

We meet online every day at 11 AM Eastern time to march through technical specifics.  Feel free to click in.   Also, we meet with mechanical engineering experts from both the academic and business side of the global education community once per month.  See our CALENDAR for our next Mechanical Engineering monthly teleconference; open to everyone.

Finally, now that the worst of the winter weather is behind most parts of the United States, we should reflect upon the legacy energy systems fueled by natural gas that are challenged by the “green zietgiest” we find in the business and academic side of the education industry.  There is no way most school districts, colleges, universities and related hospital systems  could have survived the extreme weather with solar panels and windmills.  

Issue: [19-27]

Category: Energy, Mechanical, Risk Management

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Richard Robben, Larry Spielvogel


University of Michigan Central Heating Plant


Standards California

As we explain in our ABOUT, we are continuing the development of the cadre of “code writers and vote-getters” begun at the University of Michigan in 1993.  Code writers and vote getters are on the front line of the social negotiation of technical change.  We are now drilling down into state and local adaptations of nationally developed codes and standards that are incorporated by reference into public safety and sustainability legislation.

This post is a “test pancake” for generating discussion, and for developing a way forward for crafting state exceptions to nationally developed codes and standards.  Every state will have to be managed according to its history, culture, governance regime, asset-base and network of expertise.

Standards Michigan will remain the “free” home site but state-specific sites such as Standards California will be accessible to user-interest code-writers and vote-getters.   Please send a request to join one of our mailing lists appropriate to your interest for #SmartCampus standards action in the State of California.

Sustainability Leadership for Photovoltaic Modules

“Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” / Bruegel, Pieter de Oude (1558)

NSF International has launched a new revision cycle for its standard NSF 457 Sustainability Leadership Standard for Photovoltaic Modules.   The scope of this Standard includes PV modules for installation on, or integral with buildings, or to be primarily used as components of free-standing power-generation systems, including but not necessarily limited to:

— photovoltaic cells that generate electric power using solar energy;
— interconnects (materials that conduct electricity between cells);
— encapsulant (insulating material enclosing the cells and cell interconnects);
— superstrate (material forming primary light-facing outer surface) and substrate (material forming back outer surface) (e.g., glass, plastic films);
— wires used to interconnect photovoltaic modules and connect junction boxes to the balance of system equipment;
— frame or integrated mounting mechanism, if present.

The following are not included:

— balance of system equipment, such as cabling and mounting structures, equipment intended to accept the electrical output from the array, such as power conditioning units (inverters) and batteries, unless they are contained in the photovoltaic module;
— a photovoltaic cell that is a part of another device for which it produces the electricity, such as consumer or industrial electronic products (e.g., calculators, lights, textile) where the photovoltaic cell primarily provides the energy needed to make the electronic product function; and
— mobile photovoltaic cell where the inverter is so integrated with the photovoltaic cell that the solar cell requires disassembly before

This Standard establishes measurable criteria for multiple levels of sustainability/environmental leadership achievement and performance throughout the lifecycle of the product. This Standard addresses multiple attributes and environmental performance categories including management of substances, preferable materials use, life cycle assessments, energy efficiency and water use,
responsible end-of-life management and design for recycling, product packaging, and corporate responsibility.

The landing page for NSF International standardization activity is linked below

NSF International Standards Home Page

The redline for this particular commenting opportunity for both revisions (i3r1) and (i4r1) posted in  ANSI Standards Action) is linked below:

Comments are due July 22, 2019

Send comments (with optional copy to  For more information you may contact Matthew Realff / Chairperson, Joint Committee on Photovoltaic Modules, Tel: (734) 913-5794.

We are happy to drill into the technical specifics of this standard any day at 11 AM Eastern time or during out monthly Energy Standards teleconference.  See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting; open to everyone.

Issue: [17-228]

Category: Electrical, Recycling

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Richard Robben


Solar Photovoltaic Modules – Sustainability Leadership Objectives

Health Level 7

“The Courtyard of the Hospital at Arles” / Vincent Van Gogh (1889)

Health Level Seven International (HL7), founded in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1987, is a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited standards developing organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information that supports clinical practice and the management, delivery and evaluation of health services.  HL7 is supported by more than 1,600 members from over 50 countries, including 500+ corporate members representing healthcare providers, government stakeholders, payers, pharmaceutical companies, vendors/suppliers, and consulting firms.

The landing page for its standard development platform is linked below:

HL7 Standards – Master Grid

HL7 has released another tranche of draft revisions now open for public review and listed below.  They should be of interest to the administrative staffs of university-affiliated medical research and healthcare delivery enterprises:

Arden Syntax for Medical Logic Systems.  The Arden Syntax for Medical Logic Systems v2.10 is the most recent approved version of this formalism for representing computable clinical knowledge. It has been implemented in the clinical decision support systems of several vendors and a number of health care organizations. It is used to represent the knowledge, such as clinical practice guidelines, that such systems employ to create and deliver interventions such as alerts, reminders, targeted data capture forms, order sets and the like.

Behavioral Health Functional Profile, Release 1 (reaffirmation of ANSI/HL7 EHR.  This HL7 EHR Behavioral Health Functional Profile (EHR BH FP) contains the functions and conformance criteria deemed important for behavioral health care providers’ clinical records systems.

Child Health Functional Profile.  The HL7 Child Health Functional Profile for EHR Systems (Child Health Profile) is designed to assist children’s healthcare providers and associated IT vendors to create functionality that ensures safe and reliable care of children through the effective use of information technology.

Clinical Research Functional Profile.  The EHR Clinical Research Functional Profile (EHR CR FP) provides high-level functional requirements necessary for using electronic health record (EHR) data for regulated clinical research.

Clinical Statement Pattern.  The Clinical Statement Pattern provides a model that can be used by various disciplines to propagate commonality in the core clinical modelling space.

Regulated Studies – Annotated ECG.  This specification is used to package annotated digital waveform data produced by an ECG analysis system for transmission from trial sponsor to a regulatory agency. In no case would a waveform recording device be required to communicate its direct waveform readings using this specification.

XML: Implementation Technology V3 Structures for Wire Format Compatible Release 1 Data Types.  This is a reaffirmation of the XML Implementation Technology Specification.  It includes the wire format compatible Release 1 Data Types that conform to Abstract Dat Types 2.0, but with limited breaking of the wire format backwards compatibility with ITS Data Types Release 1.

XML Implementation Technology Specification Wire.  The is a reaffirmation of the XML Implementation Technology Specification – Wire Format Compatible Release 1 Data Types, Release 1 specification, AKA R2B data types.

Comments are due July 15th.  The public review documents are free but you need to obtain them from Karen Van Hentenryck, (734) 677-7777,  Send your comments to Karen with optional copy to

We are happy to walk through public review drafts of any standard any day at 11 AM Eastern time.   We also devote one hour per month to walking through all global standards governing best practice in medical research and healthcare delivery.  See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting; open to everyone.


Issue: [19-143]

Category: Healthcare, Administration & Management

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Jim Harvey Akkeneel Talsma




Design & Operation of Health Care Facilities

The American Society of Heating & Refrigeration Engineers (ASHRAE) has released a proposed revision — Addendum a — to Table 7.5.2A Energy Cost and CO2e Building Performance Factors (BPF) of Standard 189.3-2017, Design, Construction, and Operation of Sustainable High-Performance Health Care Facilities.  It is a relatively minor change but at least helps us keep pace its development, and the development of related standard ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170-2017: Ventilation of Health Care Facilities (covered in a related post).

You may access the redline and key in your comments starting at the link below:

Public Review Draft Standards / Online Comment Database

Comments are due July 21st.  

We welcome real-time discussion on these and other energy conservation codes and standards proposals any day at 11 AM Eastern time.   We also host a monthly Mechanical Engineering monthly teleconference to survey the status all codes and standards and related consensus products that set the standard of care for mechanical systems in education facilities.  See our CALENDAR for the next date.  Use the login credentials at the upper right of our homepage.

Finally, to our colleagues in the Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas region, ASHRAE will host its Annual Conference at the Kansas City Marriott and Kansas City Convention Center for the next few days.  Most of the technical committees meet during the conference so you should find time to sit in on a few of the meetings.  Registration information is linked below

2019 ASHRAE Annual Conference Kansas City, MO | June 22–26, 2019

Issue: [Various]

Category: Mechanical, Electrical, Energy, Facility Asset Management

Colleagues:  David Conrad, Richard Robben, Larry Spielvogel


ARCHIVE / ASHRAE 189.3 Sustainable High-Performance Health Care Facilities

International Fire Code

“A Square with Imaginary Buildings” | Hendrik van Steenwijck (1614)

The 2021 Group A consensus products developed by the International Code Council were ready for incorporation by reference into public safety legislation earlier this year.  At the moment we limit our resource allocation to simply tracking the proposals that run through Group E (Educational) and Group I (Institutional) occupancies in the Group A suite with closer attention to the state they are adopted whole cloth or with local exceptions.

Fire safety is a relatively crowded space — with many, many “legacy” subject matter experts — because public safety budgets historically support the local and state fire marshal and his or her staff.   The revenue stream of many trade associations originates from membership, conference attendance, training and certification enterprises that service the public sector stakeholder.   Unless there is an idea, or proposed regulation that has run off the rails (either in terms of rigor or cost increase) — we place firs safety in the middle of our ranking of priorities.  All the ideas running through the 2021 edition of the International Fire Code are very reasonable, in our view.

Click on image for more information

The ICC posts the transcripts of public proposals, technical committee responses to public proposals, public response to the technical committee response and the final balloting in a fair and reasonable fashion as can be seen in the transcripts linked below:





A simple search on the terms “classroom” or “school” in any of the documents above offers granular insight into the trend of current thinking.   We find fire extinguishers placement a perennial concern across several standards suites.   You will note the careful consideration of proposals for use of the mass notification systems, now integrated into fire alarm systems and their deployment in active shooter situations.

The transcripts reveal detailed understanding and subtlety that is noteworthy.

“The Country School” | Winslow Homer


There are many issues affecting the safety and sustainability of the education facility industry.  We add value to the industry because of our cross-cutting perspective on the hundreds of “silos”created by the competition (and sometimes cooperation) among accredited, consortia and open-source standards developers.  We have the door open every day at 11 AM Eastern time to enlighten understanding of them all.  We also host a breakout teleconference every month to drill into the specifics of standards action on fire safety for the real assets of school districts, colleges and universities.  See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting.

Finally, we persist in encouraging education industry facility managers (especially those with operations and maintenance data) to participate in the ICC code development process.  You may do so by CLICKING HERE.   Real asset managers for school districts, colleges, universities and technical schools in the Las Vegas region should take advantage of the opportunity to observe the ICC code-development process during the Group B Public Comment Hearings in October.  The hearings are usually webcast — and we will signal the link to the 10-day webcast when it becomes available — but the experience of seeing how building codes are determined is enlightening when you can watch it live and on site.


Issue: [16-169]

Category: Architectural, Facility Asset Management, Space Planning

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Joshua Elvove, Jack Janveja, Richard Robben



ICC Group B Code Development Schedule



Building Energy Code

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