The Code Council, ASME and CSA chart a new course for plumbing standards
The International Code Council is working with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the CSA Group to improve and streamline the development process for the A112 plumbing standards. The A112 standards regulate everything from water closets, showers, faucets, roof drains and grease interceptors to air gaps; and cover materials, fixtures, devices and equipment used or installed in plumbing or mechanical systems. The International Plumbing Code — the first model code published by the International Code Council in 1997 — references the A112 standards.
Over the past two decades, ASME has worked with CSA to harmonize a number of standards between the U.S. and Canada, including plumbing supply fittings, plumbing waste fittings and flexible water connectors. The harmonization efforts allow a single standard to regulate that particular group of plumbing fixtures for use in North America. The Code Council — a global leader in developing plumbing, mechanical and fuel gas codes and standards using both prescriptive and performance-related provisions to protect building occupants and the public — has been an active participant as a member of the A112 committee in the work involved in this harmonization.
In light of ASME’s former goal to move away from maintaining the A112 standards in the future, CSA, ICC and ASME have been in discussion on how to maintain the standards since early 2017. The parties explored many possibilities but agreed from the outset that what was best for the industry, stakeholders and the technical committee would be the criteria, which would drive any change in how future updates to the standards would be achieved.
Ultimately ASME decided that remaining an active sponsor of the A112 standards committee and resulting standards would be the best way to achieve the shared goal. It was agreed that the sponsorship of the standard would remain as is with CSA and ASME, and that the A112 standards development process could be streamlined to make the committee members’ time more effective and to ultimately help get resulting products out faster. The Code Council will continue to participate in process improvements, as well as help CSA and ASME in harmonization of other standards covered under the scope of the A112 committee. In addition, the parties agreed to consider adding additional stakeholder interest to improve market acceptance as they are updated in the future.
The Code Council and CSA have experience working on standards together. 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 partnered for the CSA/ICC Joint Rainwater Collection Systems Design and Installation Committee 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.
In addition to the International Plumbing Code — which this year shares its initial publication with the Code Council’s 15th anniversary operating as a consolidated membership association — ICC also publishes the International Swimming Pool & Spa Code and International Private Sewage Disposal Code, all of which are founded on broad-based principles that make possible the use of new materials and new plumbing designs.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world.
The CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit membership association dedicated to safety, social good and sustainability. Its knowledge and expertise encompass standards development; training and advisory solutions; global testing and certification services across key business areas including hazardous locations and industrial, transportation, plumbing and construction, medical, safety and technology, appliances and gas, alternative energy, lighting and sustainability.