ICC Accepting Applications to Serve on Committee Developing ANSI Standard for Irrigation Sprinklers
The International Code Council (ICC) is currently accepting applications for the Turfgrass and Landscape Irrigation Sprinkler Standard Consensus Committee. The deadline for the receipt of applications is close of business on January 17, 2011. The committee will work to produce the first ANSI standard governing the design, construction, performance and testing of sprinklers used in landscape and turfgrass irrigation systems. Information and an application form can be found on the ICC website at http://www.iccsafe.org/CALL2010. Any interested party is welcome to apply to the committee and ICC membership is not required.
ICC, as an ANSI-accredited standards developer, provided notice of the intent to develop three ANSI consensus standards for landscape irrigation products through the ANSI Project Initiation Notification Systems (PINS) in May, 2010. Notification of these PINS filings were published in the ANSI Standards Action of May 28, 2010 for Devices to Control and Operate Automatic Irrigation Systems, Rainfall Sensors for use with Automatic Irrigation Systems, and Turfgrass and Landscape Irrigation Sprinklers and Emitters. The current call for applications is only for the consensus committee responsible for the creation of the sprinklers standard. Development of the controller and rainfall sensor standards is expected to begin shortly under a different committee.
The need for planned standards came to light with the development of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), which includes provisions for efficient outdoor landscape irrigation systems. During the early stages of the development of the IGCC, the lack of ANSI consensus standards for these products became apparent. Model codes, like the IGCC, depend heavily on the availability of robust consensus standards to establish requirements for the design, construction, performance, and testing of products used in modern construction. Product standards set baseline performance and design requirements for products that ensure that these individual components can be assembled into a high-quality system. Without them, code writers are forced to either assume their design and performance, or write their own product requirements into codes. This leads to fragmented requirements that vary widely across the country and individual states and cities attempt to work out their own solutions.
To address this need, ICC’s Plumbing Mechanical and Fuel Gas (PMG) representatives began to reach out to key industry organizations such as the Irrigation Association (IA) early in 2010 to build relationships and learn more about the industry. Based on feedback received during the PINS filings, ICC also engaged the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). ASABE, also an ANSI standards development organization, publishes a number of related standards for agricultural irrigation products and systems. The result was an agreement to collaborate on the development of the new standards, bringing ASABE’s considerable expertise and long history in the market into the effort.
The next outreach initiative undertaken by ICC was a highly-successful industry roundtable convened with landscape irrigation industry experts on October 6th at the 2010 WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Expo. ICC facilitated the roundtable to obtain industry feedback on the proposed consensus standards and provide an overview of the development process and procedure for stakeholders. Participants included a full range of industry experts, manufacturers, installers, contractors, design professionals, academia, U.S. EPA WaterSense, water efficiency organizations and water utilities. This event provided ICC valuable feedback from the industry on their unique needs and stakeholder relationships, and confirmed the value of an ANSI product standard development effort.
These efforts culminated in this call for proposals for the first standard to be developed, Turfgrass and Landscape Irrigation Sprinklers, on November 1, 2010. After the application due date of January 17, 2011, all applications will be processed and appointments will be made by ICC’s Board of Directors. The committee is expected to be seated and begin work in early 2011. Development of the sprinkler is anticipated to last up to 18 months, with up to 5 in-person meetings. While only the committee votes on what actually goes into the standard, any interested party may participate in several ways. All committee meetings are open to the public. Most committees establish workgroups that do the majority of the work drafting language for the standard in between committee meetings. These workgroups are open to all who wish to participate, subject to the requirements in Section 6 of the ICC Consensus Procedures. The number and scope of workgroups is determined and approved by the consensus committee.
Meanwhile, the ICC PMG Group will continue to engage the landscape and irrigation industries to build awareness of the effort and answer questions on ICC’s standards development process. PMG staff will attend the IA/ASABE Irrigation Show 2010, December 5-7 in Phoenix, where they will operate a booth. PMG staff will also participate in a session there being conducted by the Irrigation Association and ASABE on the role of standards in the industry to further build awareness of various standards projects.
The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety, fire prevention and energy efficiency, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the International Code Council. The International Codes also serve as the basis for construction of federal properties around the world, and as a reference for many nations outside the United States.