On July 29th, Mike Baucom met with Donna Lipke, the Managing Director, along with Crisi Cooper and Kelly Kelly at the TDLR Industrialized Housing and Buildings Program Compliance Division Headquarters in Austin, Texas.
Donna and her associates shed much light on many issues, include key methods that licensed manufactures should exercise to gain exceptions to compliance with code requirements, as follows:
1. TDLR offers Texas Building Manufacturers the option to comply either with ASHRAE 90.1 or the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
2. They offer no special or up-front exceptions to industrial building manufacturers, who must comply with the same standards as all other building manufacturers.
3. They were not aware of ASHRAE 90.1 Section 2.4, but did note awareness of a similarly worded Section C101.3 in the IECC.
4. All States are mandated by the Federal Government to enforce energy conservation standards.
5. They therefore do not issue exemptions without extremely well documented justifications, regardless of what a building contains or where it is located.
Donna also noted that if an industrial building manufacturer provides a written justification, the TDLR may grant an exemption to energy conservation requirements on a case-by-case basis. The justification must include a reason for exemption, fully supported by engineering plans and details. Manufacturers must also cite specific Sections of ASHRA 90.1 or the IECC, because the TDLR cannot accept any requests for total exemption.
Over the past 5 days, Mike has consulted with key members of ASHRAE, including Mr. Deep Gosh from Southern Company, Mr. Michael Rosenberg from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Mr. Jeremiah Williams from the Department of Energy (the DOE), and learned the following details:
1. It is plausible to request an interpretation of the Scope Exception under Section 2.4 of ASHRAE 90.1, but the Authority having Jurisdiction (such as the TDLR) is not necessarily bound by such interpretations.
2. The DOE does not provide the energy efficiency requirements to ASHRAE or ICC. Instead, the DOE participates in the industry led consensus process used by the model code development organizations ASHRAE and ICC. Therefore, DOE control of what gets into those codes is really no greater than any other participant.
Donna then reached back to Mike this week to first confirm that NFPA 30 was a recognized Code in the IBC and IFC, but that NFPA 496 was not referenced in either document.
Going forward, Mike will begin efforts to have the ICC, IBC and IFC recognize and reference NFPA 496 as a safety standard that must take president over energy efficiency requirements. He will also continue effort with various State Regulatory Officials, including Donna and her Associates at the TDLR, to learn more about what forms of disclosures will be required to receive compliance exemptions.
Please note Bebco Environmental Controls Corporation supports the efforts of both ASHRAE and all State Regulatory Agencies to ensure the safe and practical application of essential codes, standards, recommended practices and guides to ensure the safety, welfare and health of our industrial workforce community. Our support is manifested by Mr. Baucom's voluntary participation in NFPA, ISA and ASHRAE Technical Committees over the past 30 years. It is further manifested by Bebco's ongoing efforts to advise and educate clients in the proper interpretation and application of Codes and Standards, and our ongoing research and development efforts to produce practical serviceable products that meet or exceed all applicable requirements. This is all made possible by your ongoing support of our company, our many highly motivated associates and by the purchase and use of the uniquely advanced environmental control products we manufacture.
In conclusion, it is clear that the effort to gain recognition of safety requirements by the Building Code Authorities and State Regulatory Agencies, coupled with efforts by Manufacturers to properly document exemption requests are the keys to success.
To submit initial or follow-up comments and participate in the resolution of this critical issue, please use the form submission button below, or send your comments directly to Mr. Baucom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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overall health and safety of the industrial workforce here in the USA.
This article is not sponsored by ASHRAE and viewpoints as herein expressed do not reflect any official position of the ASHRAE Society.