Building must meet the requirements in ASHRAE's 1999 energy-conservation standard.

ATLANTA - States have little time remaining to prove to the U.S. Department of Energy that their building codes meet the requirements in ASHRAE's 1999 energy-conservation standard.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers' Standard 90.1-1999, "Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings," was established by the DOE as the commercial building reference standard for state building energy codes under the Federal Energy Policy Act.

The act requires all states to certify that they have energy codes in place that are at least as stringent as ASHRAE's standard, or justify why they cannot comply. The certification or a request for an extension is due July 15.

"States should implement up-to-date, nationally recognized consensus energy standards for new buildings because they benefit the public, help to mitigate energy and capacity shortages and outages, and are economically justified," ASHRAE President Richard Rooley said. "Congress and DOE have determined that Standard 90.1-1999 sets the standard of care and the minimum efficiency requirements that states should adopt."

According to the Energy Department, as of April 8, only one state - New York - has acknowledged certification. Washington, D.C., and Virginia have requested extensions.

ARI elects two members to board

ARLINGTON, Va. - At its May 1 meeting, the board of directors of the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute elected Manitowoc Ice President Tim Kraus and Daniel L. Ellis, president of ClimateMaster, to serve as directors at large.

The men were elected to fill the remaining terms of Eric Evans of Copeland Corp. and Daniel W. Holmes Jr. of Morrison Products Inc., who resigned their positions.

Kraus' term runs until November 2005. Ellis' term expires in November 2006.

ASHRAE, architects partner on energy-efficiency guide

Recognizing that residential and commercial communities are a major source for energy consumption, ASHRAE and the AIA are working together to develop energy-efficiency guidelines.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and the American Institute of Architects signed a memorandum of understanding at ASHRAE's 2004 winter meeting, held in January in Anaheim, Calif.

The agreement says the two organizations will work jointly in the research and development of next generation energy efficiency guidelines.

"Both ASHRAE and AIA have an essential role to play in achieving energy-efficiency improvements in all types of buildings," Richard Rooley, ASHRAE president, said. "We will work together in promoting ‘smart' design practices regarding energy usage, energy-efficient and environmentally responsive buildings."

Contractors group endorses U.S. House health care package

WASHINGTON - The Associated Builders and Contractors has announced its support of three health care bills recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Boosting employees' access to health care while lowering the cost of such coverage for business owners is a key issue for the association, said ABC President Kirk Pickerel.

"The need for affordable health care is urgent for the 23,000 member firms represented by ABC," Pickerel said in May. "We strongly support ... the three bills put forward in the House this week to ensure health care security for America's workers."

Two students given Rees scholarships

ARLINGTON, Va. - Milwaukee resident David Grassl and Daniel Izer of Greencastle, Pa., have been awarded $2,000 scholarships from the Clifford H. "Ted" Rees Jr. Scholarship Foundation, which encourages students to seek careers in the HVACR industry.

Grassl, a graduate of Dodgeville High School, is attending the Milwaukee School of Engineering where he is working toward a degree in architectural engineering. Grassl also serves as vice president of the school's American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers student chapter.

Izer graduated from Greencastle-Antrim High School in Greencastle, Pa., and is enrolled in the Pennsylvania College of Technology, where he serves as president of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America's first student chapter there.

Applications for scholarships are available at www.reesscholarship.org or by writing Rees Scholarship Foundation, 4100 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 200, Arlington, VA 22203.

Students are eligible if they attend or plan to attend an HVACR training program at an accredited school. There is an October 29 deadline for students who will be enrolled in school by January 2005.

Safety guide available

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Sheet Metal Occupational Health Institute Trust recently released a small safety guide that deals with energy procedures and components.

The guide was created for workers who perform jobs on and around electrical-powered equipment. The printed pocket guide gives an overview of the types of energy and the minimal procedures that must be followed when locking or tagging out components.

The procedural sequence, types of energy and glossary of terms are included in the 22-page booklet.

"The saying goes, ‘when in doubt, lock it out,' " said Gary Batykefer, program administrator. "This pocket guide is intended to reduce the risk of being electrocuted, hit, crushed or otherwise harmed by unexpected energization. It is especially helpful for workers whose jobs are based primarily on servicing or maintaining machinery or equipment, almost all of which is energized."

RSES members awarded

special status

DES PLAINES, Ill. - The Refrigeration Service Engineers Society announced eight members were awarded certificate member and certificate-member-specialist status in March.

Larry E. Hughes and Jimmy R. Kroll, both of Grundy, Va.; John A. Roberts of Riverside, Calif.; and Timothy A. Meier of Pittsburgh, passed the certificate-member test.

Passing the certificate-member-specialist test were Larry W. Lynn of Nashville, Tenn., who earned his degree in electricity; Mark D. Pross of St. Louis, who was awarded a degree in domestic service; Steven B. Waldman of Newark, N.J., who has heating certification; and Merl D. Bennett of Gulfport, Miss., whose certificate is in electricity.

Proposed legislation would spur replacement of CFC chillers

ARLINGTON Va. - Manufacturers of chillers used for comfort cooling in buildings replaced or converted 2,585 units that use chlorofluorocarbon or CFC refrigerants during 2003, leaving an estimated 36,200 chillers still using CFCs, according to an ARI survey.

The annual survey of chiller manufacturers by the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute showed that building owners in the United States had replaced or converted 43,774 units as of Jan. 1, 55 percent of the original 80,000 CFC chillers.

New, non-CFC chillers reduce maintenance costs, use less electricity and can typically pay back the cost of replacing an old CFC chiller in five years or less, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Institute officials said that during 2003, there were 187 conversions and 2,398 chillers replaced with non-CFC equipment utilizing alternative refrigerants accepted for use by the EPA. The pace of the change has been slower than expected due in part to federal tax laws that require depreciation of the chillers over 39 years, according to experts.

Four U.S. House members, led by Congressman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), a member of the Congressional Manufacturing Caucus, have introduced H.R. 3953, the Cool and Efficient Buildings Act, to set the depreciation period at 15 years for "any property which is part of a heating, ventilation, air conditioning, or refrigeration system and which is installed on or in a building which is nonresidential real property."

According to Hoekstra, "The current 39-year depreciation periods on HVACR systems is not reflective of their average life span, and it is not cost effective. The Cool and Efficient Buildings Act will provide an incentive for businesses to invest in new equipment, which will save businesses money in the long run and provide another stimulus to the U.S. economy.