Campus grounds maintenance is a significant cost center in the $300 billion US education facility industry. Maintaining real assets of this kind in a safe and sustainable manner is a high priority for all school districts, college and universities. The appearance of lawns and gardens contributes mightily to pleasant campus atmospherics that, in turn, supports the educational mission, philanthropic goals and brand identity. Many colleges and universities have botanical gardens that are open for instruction and public enjoyment.
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is one of the first names in standards setting for this space; largely supported by equipment manufacturers and doing business in Alexandria, Virginia where many non-profit education industry trade association offices are located. The OPEI has an extensive library of consensus products that set safety and sustainability benchmarks (CLICK HERE). It also sponsors the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute’s Education and Research Foundation; an organization that encourages young people to go outside and play.
The landing page for its standards-setting enterprise is linked below:
There are no redlines open for public review at the moment; though we will be keeping a weather-eye out for release of an OPEI draft standard OPEI 60335-2-107 – Robotic Battery Powered Lawnmowers.
Note that OPEI develops its suite according to the ANSI/NIST-ITL Canvass Method which differs from the standards development method used in many other safety and sustainability standards suites administered by the NFPA, IEEE and ICC, for example. From 20+ years of experience in “code writing and vote-getting” we have mastered all due process platforms and regard the canvass method as the method by which the user-interest is weakest. Still, any ANSI due process platform is better for the user-interest than Congressional summer interns writing regulations for industries they know nothing about. (CLICK HERE for our related coverage on the National Technology Transfer & Advancement Act)
For example, we are tracking other ANSI-accredited standards developers move into writing standards for safety and sustainability for the campus exterior environment. If past is prologue, we will see these standards driven into local, state and federal regulations and along with it another cadre of enforcement functionaries. ASHRAE, for example, proposes to expand the scope of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2016 — Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings onto entire building sites.
OPEI is also ANSI’s US Technical Advisory Group administrator and the Global Secretariat for ISO TC/23 Tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry. This makes sense since the machinery manufacturing has long since been a global industry. The landing page for that committee is linked below:
We encourage our colleagues in exterior grounds and landscaping units to participate directly as a User interest in the OPEI standards development process. OPEI Standards Staff Contacts are listed on the OPEI Standards landing page.
We meet online once per month to walk through the developmental status of Grounds and Landscaping codes and standards. See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting; open to everyone.
Category: Landscaping & Exterior
Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Richard Robben, Jack Janveja
— OPEI (@OPEInstitute) March 29, 2019