SMACNA's board of directors has approved a 2006 budget totaling more than $9 million, the association announced. Along with the budget, the Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors' National Association has approved several projects for the year, including a MasterFormat Division 23-HVAC reference document that will identify specific SMACNA publications that will help members when they bid on MasterFormat-specified work.

SMACNA approves 2006 budget, announces projects

SMACNA's board of directors has approved a 2006 budget totaling more than $9 million, the association announced.

Along with the budget, the Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors' National Association has approved several projects for the year, including a MasterFormat Division 23-HVAC reference document that will identify specific SMACNA publications that will help members when they bid on MasterFormat-specified work. It will be available at no cost to specifying architects and engineers.

SMACNA will also work on several guides. The Blue Book of Sheet Metal and HVAC Equipment will update the rental-rate guide on the ownership and operating costs of HVAC equipment. Financial Tools for SMACNA Contractors will help members and chapters better understand how to use the Financial Tools for SMACNA Contractors publication. Also, the second edition of the HVAC Duct Systems Inspection Guide is in the works.

SMACNA will also update the existing Guide to Safety Policies and Procedures and make it available on CD.

Personal protective equipment safety will be addressed in two training pamphlets that focus on specific hazards in shops and on construction worksites. Other planned pamphlets will deal with contractors working in extreme temperature conditions. One pamphlet will focus on heat and stress issues; the other will cover cold-environment issues on worksites.

SMACNA is aiming to establish a "green" building task force in the next year. It will also update its "National SMACNA at Work" video to provide a marketing and public relations tool to member chapters.

AMCA awards performance certifications

The Air Movement and Control Association has licensed two products from Comefri USA Inc. for air performance.

The company's Model AP high-performance airfoil and curved plenum, and the Model ATZAF double-inlet centrifugal fans with airfoil backward-curved blades are now licensed through AMCA's certified ratings program.

Under AMCA's ratings program, products are tested for performance in accordance with an AMCA or other internationally recognized method of test standard. Newly licensed models are included in the certified products section at www.amca.org.

General contractors weigh in on federal budget

President Bush's proposed 2007 budget has its strengths - and some flaws, the Associated General Contractors of America says.

According to the group, some of the budget recommendations could have positive and negative impacts on the construction industry.

"Budgets from every president present a mixed bag," said AGC Chief Operating Officer Stephen E. Sandherr. "In this instance, the president has demonstrated his commitment to the highway program and to ensuring a healthy construction economy by proposing to make tax cuts permanent."

Much of the president's fiscal recommendations focus on growth of military capacity and defenses against terrorist threats on U.S. soil. According to the AGC, many of these programs will help the construction industry.

For example, $50 million in grants has been recommended to construction contractors to retrofit equipment.

AGC says that it supports the president's efforts to highlight the importance of enacting "association health plan" legislation that would allow small businesses to band together to negotiate lower rates on health care. The association also supports the increased funding for highways, but is concerned about the long-term solvency of the highway trust fund.

"We support the open-roads financing pilot program that would attempt to identify alternative sources (and) methods for collecting highway user fees," said Sandheer.

AGC is concerned about cuts to infrastructure programs, such as wastewater and drinking water funding, as well as the safety-training grants. The association expressed concern over proposed cuts to aviation infrastructure, federal building infrastructure and water infrastructure.

ASHRAE research fund reaches $50 million

ATLANTA - With the approval of projects at the society's Jan. 20-25 winter meeting in Chicago, ASHRAE has funded $50 million in research since 1959, the group announced.

"ASHRAE research furthers technology to help keep indoor environments comfortable and productive, deliver healthy food to consumers and preserve the natural environment," said Lee Burgett, president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. "Only an organization such as ASHRAE has the continuity, the ability to generate research funding, and the expertise to attract researchers from disparate backgrounds and institutions. Only ASHRAE provides a forum to integrate their knowledge and transfer that knowledge to the industry to advance the science of engineering and the art of human comfort."

The first project contracted by ASHRAE was a $7,600 study of condensing refrigerants in horizontal and inclined tubes at Kansas State University. Since that time, ASHRAE has funded some 700 projects.

ASHRAE recently approved funding totaling $1.4 million for 12 research projects. They are:

  • "Revised Heat Gain and Capture and Containment Exhaust Rates from Typical Commercial-Cooking Appliances"

  • "Develop a Standard for Testing and Stating the Efficiency of Industrial Pulse-Cleaned Dust Collectors"

  • "Incident-Response Monitoring Technologies for Aircraft Cabin Air Quality"

  • "Identification and Evaluation of Working Fluids for High-Temperature Heating Applications"

  • Algorithm for Smoke Modeling in Large, Multi-Compartmented Buildings"

  • "Intelligent Control of Combined Heat and Power Systems"

  • "Common Data Definitions for HVACR Industry Applications"

  • "Generation of Hourly Design-Day Weather Data"

  • Characterization of Effluents from Additional Cooking Appliances"

  • Development of Design Guidelines for Hybrid Ground Source Heat Pumps"

  • "Heat Gains from Electrical and Control Equipment in Industrial Plants (Part II)"

  • "Scientific Review of Existing Information Related to the Impact of Ventilation Related to Health"

For more information on ASHRAE projects, visit www.ashrae.org/research.

Society welcomes executive vice president

The Refrigeration Service Engineers Society has named Mark Lowry as its executive vice president.

Lowry replaces Robb Isaacs, who retired Feb. 18.

"The future is bright for RSES," said Lowry. "With the industry needing qualified, trained professionals more than ever, RSES, with all its expertise, is positioned to provide a valuable service. Such opportunities are not without challenges, but I see both the obvious opportunities and solving these challenges as bearing fruit for the entire organization."

Lowry has been director of operations since 1999 and has worked at RSES since 1993. According to Lowry, through the years he has obtained a solid understanding of the organization's strengths and weaknesses, and believes "that knowing where RSES has struggled in the past prepares us to better overcome challenges in the future."

He says his goal for the group is to establish an organization with a clear mission and provide members with what they need.

Isaacs, the outgoing executive vice president, served in his position for six years, and has been a society member for 45 years.