How standards drive an “innovation nation”
World Standards Day is celebrated internationally each year in October and honors the efforts of the thousands of experts who develop voluntary standards within standards development organizations and aims to raise awareness among regulators, industry and consumers as to the importance of standardization to the global economy.
This year’s U.S. celebration of World Standards Day will be held on Oct. 18, 2018, in Washington, D.C., during World Standards Week 2018 to recognize the critical role of various stakeholders across the standards community, including business leaders, industry, academia, and government. The widely attended event is co-chaired each year by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology — with the role of the Administrating Organization rotating amongst the members of the U.S. World Standards Day Planning Committee. The October 18 event is sponsored by the codes and standards community — including the Code Council, which has served twice as Administrating Organization — and attended by representatives from corporations, industry and federal government agencies.
The day began as a celebration of the birth of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which held its first meeting in London on Oct. 14, 1946. ISO’s U.S. representative ANSI is one of the founding organizations of World Standards Day. Initially launched in 1970, U.S. activities are organized annually by a planning committee consisting of representatives from the standards and conformity assessment community. The American National Standards Institute will serve as the event’s 2018 administrating organization in celebration of ANSI’s 100th anniversary.
The World Standards Day event will include the presentation of the 2018 Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award, which is named after the late U.S. Secretary of Commerce and honors an individual who has effectively promoted standardization as a key tool in the elimination of global trade barriers. Ronald L. Lynn, a past board president of the International Code Council, was a recipient of the prestigious award in 2012. Awards are also presented to the winners of the 2018 World Standards Day Paper Competition — co-sponsored by the Society for Standards Professionals — which is designed to raise awareness of the importance of standards, as well as present various perspectives on national and international standards and conformity assessment issues.
As technological advances propel American industries to new heights, this year’s World Standards Day theme commemorates voluntary standards and conformity assessment’s fundamental role in supporting a safe and efficient “Innovation Nation.” From far-reaching progress in artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and virtual and augmented reality, to specific advancements in areas such as smart health, e-commerce and digital transactions, 3-D printing, and autonomous vehicles, an ever-expanding array of technical innovations is changing the way Americans work and live every day. Voluntary standards and conformity assessment are fueling that transformation, enabling innovators across nearly every industry to build on established technologies and deploy cutting-edge advancements with safety, efficiency, and reliability.
The Code Council is proud of its work with ANSI and the commitment of U.S. experts to support international standardization activity for established fields and emerging new technologies. As an active participant in the international standards community, an institute member and an ANSI-accredited standards developer, ICC proudly supports World Standards Week and World Standards Day each year, has worked side-by-side with ANSI, and is currently engaged in many projects:
The International Code Council references almost 1,300 standards in its International Codes and has been re-accredited for its ANSI Standard Development activities under the ICC Consensus Procedures. The Code Council also develops a number of codes and standards, including mechanical, plumbing, structural, resilience, accessibility and green standards, and is accredited by ANSI as a standards developer.
The Code Council adheres to openness and transparency in our standards development process. All ICC standards committee meetings are open to the public. Any interested party can participate in committee meetings and can be considered by the committee for membership on any work-group that the committee creates, including the Rainwater Collection System Design and Installation Consensus Committee (IS-RCSDI).
Driven by the growing interest in rainwater harvesting as a sustainable, renewable, resilient source of water for homes and commercial buildings, the Code Council and CSA Group partnered on a joint U.S./Canadian standard — the CSA B805-18/ICC 805-2018 Rainwater Harvesting Systems Standard — to address design and performance of rainwater harvesting systems, water shortages, storm water management and water quality. The standard will be especially useful in regions that want to use rainwater harvesting to counteract drought, storm water management concerns and water quality issues for commercial and residential applications. Approved by ANSI and the Standards Council of Canada, the new CSA B805/ICC 805 Rainwater Harvesting System Standard is available for use in the U.S. and Canada.
The Code Council is currently working with the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) on a joint RESNET/ICC American National Standards Institute candidate standard that is under development. In 2016, the associations published two ANSI-approved standards: ANSI/RESNET/ICC 301-2014, Standard for the Calculation and Labeling of the Energy Performance of Low-Rise Residential Buildings using an Energy Rating Index; and ANSI/RESNET/ICC 380-2016, Standard for Testing Airtightness of Building Enclosures, Airtightness of Heating and Cooling Air Distribution Systems, and Airflow of Mechanical Ventilation Systems.