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Dept. of Energy names PHCC representative to Furnace Standards committee

August 7th, 2014

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) has a seat among a key rule-making group under the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC). Members will negotiate proposed regional federal standards for the energy efficiency requirements of residential and commercial appliances covered under the Final Furnace, Air Conditioner, and Heat Pump Rule.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected Chuck White, PHCC’s Vice President of Technical & Code Services, to participate in this follow-up process to the Final Furnace, Air Conditioner, and Heat Pump Rule, a portion of which had been set aside as a result of litigation.

“As the only contractor in this group, Chuck will bring the practical concerns of the installing contractors – the front-line players – to the table in an effort to craft a program that saves energy in an economically feasible manner,” said PHCC Executive Vice President Gerry Kennedy. “PHCC is thrilled to have a representative involved in shaping the outcome of the proposed standards.”

The DOE’s Final Furnace, Air Conditioner, and Heat Pump Rule sought to set new minimum efficiency standards for a myriad of regional standards for furnaces and central air conditioners and residential HVAC products. In April, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit approved a settlement that would rescind new regional federal efficiency standards for non-weatherized gas furnaces. The settlement was a result of a lawsuit filed by the American Public Gas Association challenging DOE’s Rule. Currently, there are no energy conservation standards for regional standards enforcement.

As part of this follow-up process, DOE is seeking input from affected parties to address and resolve key issues.


MCAA releases new Tool & Equipment Rental Guide

August 6th, 2014

ROCKVILLE, Md. — The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) released a 2014-2015 Tool & Equipment Rental Guide. As with previous editions, MCAA members receive free online access to the new edition, which is available for purchase by non-members.

The Tool & Equipment Rental Guide is MCAA’s comprehensive, current guide to cost recovery for commonly used tools and equipment. The 2014-2015 edition has been completely revised and updated. Like previous editions, it includes tools and equipment of special interest to mechanical construction, service and plumbing contractors.

The rental rates in the guide are based on ownership and operating costs for contractor-owned equipment. These rates are derived from formulas and data developed by EquipmentWatch, which developed the guide on MCAA’s behalf, and from analytic methods used in the construction industry. Generally, these methods consider purchase price, depreciation, maintenance and overhaul costs, indirect equipment costs, and average annual use hours.

Profit, project overhead and general company overhead costs such as office facilities and supplies are not included in the rates. The new edition includes an appendix containing a Regional Rate Adjustment Table to help contractors adjust the rates in the guide for their state’s economic conditions. Lists of the small tools typically charged to the cost of a job and typical expendable items also are included, as is a chart to help contractors adjust for fuel rate fluctuations that may occur between editions of the guide.

The guide is available for immediate download from MCAA’s online store at

Phc News visits Oatey Pro Plumbers Tour

August 5th, 2014

BUFFALO GROVE, Ill. – The Oatey Van recently came through the Chicago area as part of Oatey Company’s Pro Plumbers Tour. The tour featured stops in almost 30 states and more than 100 cities in 2014. The tour was developed to take Oatey’s rough plumbing products directly to its customers.

“Our Pro Plumbers Tour is a unique opportunity for professional plumbers to get their hands on our latest product innovations, and also provide critical feedback on soon-to-be-released products while they are still in the prototype or final development stages,” said Dean Field, Global VP of Sales & Marketing at Oatey.

Phc News Editorial Director Jim Schneider paid a visit to Oatey’s tour stop at Banner Plumbing in Buffalo Grove, Ill.

“It really is like a mobile trade show,” Schneider said. “I was able to take a hands-on tour of both the van and the product exhibit that was set up outside. It’s a great way for contractors to learn about Oatey’s offerings and interact with product experts one-on-one.”

An added bonus for contractors is that the tour comes to them, rather than asking plumbers and tradesman to travel to a convention or exhibit.

“Having the trailer on-site at our key wholesalers is a win-win for the wholesaler, contractor and for Oatey,” explained Mason Oatey, regional sales manager at Oatey. “The format has facilitated hundreds of product innovation conversations with contractors helping us develop and improve our product offering.”

Follow the tour online and enter contests at or


NKBA University announces ‘Professional of the Year’ contest

August 4th, 2014

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) announced the launch of NKBA U “Professional of the Year.” The contest recognizes driven professionals in the kitchen and bath industry. The contest is open to both NKBA members and non-members, and applications are being accepted until August 22.

“The NKBA U Professional of the Year contest embodies the Association’s spirit for professional development across the entire industry, setting a new industry standard for excellence,” said Bill Darcy, CEO of NKBA. “NKBA U is a resource not only for kitchen and bath designers, but builders and remodelers, architects, dealers, manufacturers and representatives, as well as retailers. We’ve developed learning paths for multiple disciplines and brought the industry’s best instructors onboard to teach the best content—all through the most engaging and convenient platforms.”

In the spirit of NKBA U’s focus on continuing education, the winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Almeria, Spain to tour the headquarters and factory of Cosentino, the NKBA U Professional of the Year Platinum Sponsor. The runners-up will also receive all-expenses-paid trips for two courtesy of the contest’s Gold Sponsors, including Kohler Co., who will provide a tour of its headquarters and manufacturing facilities.

“This contest embodies the NKBA’s renewed spirit and focus for developing the very best professionals in our industry, and every applicant exemplifies a bigger lesson: Learning never stops,” Darcy said. “The NKBA U Professional of the Year contest recognizes those who share that belief—both for how it benefits them professionally and how it propels our industry forward as a whole.”

Contest Overview
• The NKBA U Professional of the Year Contest comprises three rounds and runs from July to January. Entrants can apply online now, sharing how they excel in one of the eight NKBA U learning paths and how these skills come to life day-to-day on the job.
• Semifinalists will receive a customized NKBA U curriculum and submit a short video explaining how the courses will advance their career; the videos will then be posted to the
contest landing page for public voting.
• Four finalists, selected by popular vote and a panel of NKBA judges, will receive air, hotel accommodations and a VIP pass to KBIS® 2015 in Las Vegas for the final competition:
A presentation live from NKBA’s Center Stage on what they learned from taking the NKBA U courses and how they are implementing the lessons to fuel their success.

Follow the latest news for the NKBA U Professional of the Year Award on Facebook and Twitter with #NKBAUpro.


RSES members awarded CM/CMS status

August 4th, 2014

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. — The Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) announced the names of members who were awarded RSES Certificate Member and Certificate Member Specialist status April through June.

In order to become a CM, a RSES Member must first pass a rigorous examination that tests the knowledge required to install and service refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. CM-level members are recognized industry-wide as having achieved a superior level of HVACR knowledge. The RSES CM exam is based heavily on theory and practical applications.

The following RSES members passed the CM exam and were awarded CM status: H. Edward Bartram, CM, of the Greater Detroit Chapter, Detroit; Dion L. Buckley, CM, of the Old Gold Chapter, Iowa City, Iowa; and Stephen G. Sargent, CM, of the Mid-State Chapter, State College, Pa.

To obtain CMS status, a SM or RSES Member must first pass the CM examination. CMS status is earned by passing one or more of the eight Specialist examinations available. Specialist exam categories include: Commercial Refrigeration; Commercial Air Conditioning; Heating; Controls; Domestic Service; HVACR Electrical; Heat Pumps; and Dynamic Compression.

The following RSES members passed a CMS exam and were awarded CMS status: Thomas E. Pieniazek, CMS, of the Central Arizona Chapter, Phoenix, passed the CMS exam in HVACR Electrical; and Brynn C. Cooksey, CMS, of the Greater Detroit Chapter, Detroit, passed the CMS exam in Domestic Service.

The CM/CMS exam series originated in 1935 and the SM classification was introduced in September 2008. The TruTech Scholar Award is presented quarterly to the RSES Member who earns the highest score on the RSES Certificate Member exam and the RSES Member who earns the highest score on the RSES Certificate Member Specialist exam. The winners of the award for the April-June quarter are Stephen G. Sargent, CM, for the highest CM score, and Brynn C. Cooksey, CMS, who passed the Domestic Service exam with the highest overall score. Each TruTech Scholar Award winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to purchase TruTech merchandise.


Hansgrohe presents awards for visionary bathroom concepts

August 1st, 2014

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — The competition for the “Hansgrohe Award 2014: Efficient Water Design“ for sustainable design concepts for using water is now over. The prize money, totalling 5,000 euros, is shared among five winners from China, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Germany.

Approximately 180 creative minds submitted entries for the award, which was presented as part of the international competition for up-and-coming young talent, the iF concept design award. The finalists received their awards in Hamburg, Germany. The jury was made up of Andreas Haug, co-founder and partner of Phoenix Design; Axel Meißner, Hansgrohe Product Manager; and Philippe Grohe, Head of the Axor Brand.

This year the jury was particularly impressed by two concepts: the multi-functional Houdini bathroom furniture and the Puro wash basin. The Houdini concept by Christoffer Ohlander from Sweden (Konstfack University, Stockholm) integrates three functions in one “incredibly compact sanitary item.” The functions are in the wash basin, shower and bath tub. In the opinion of the jury, the shape of the Puro wash basin, which was designed by Fabrice Höfgen from Germany (University of Darmstadt), expresses, “just what it is intended to accomplish: less water consumption.”

Philippe Grohe, Head of Hansgrohe SE’s Axor brand, was enthusiastic about the achievements of the talented young designers.

“We want to give young designers the opportunity to address the element of water and to present their ideas to a jury,” Grohe said. “I was particularly pleased to see the large number of international submissions – these clearly show that the interplay of water and space is gaining in importance with up-and-coming young designers all over the world.”

Three other bathroom visions met with the jury’s approval: Elastigenic by Petr Strejcek (Czech Technical University) largely consists of an elastic material, through which bathroom objects protrude mechanically; these can be modified as required and are retractable for easy cleaning.

“A complete bathroom concept that is truly captivating,” according to the jury.

Also unique is the concept shower Kengai, featuring three cascades, by Oliver Keyerleber and Fabian Bitter (University of Coburg). Like rain, water streams from the top level and through two further modules with steam and herbal applications. These support the use of medicinal plants.

The Energy-Saving Shower, a nomination from China by Xiangying Lin (Huaqiao University, Xiamen), combines a shower with panel functions which help save both water and energy. The jury was keen to highlight the attractive, formal solution.

“The water heating becomes a visible design element. Stunning, purist design,” according to the jury.



ACCA seeks nominations for 2015 ‘Contractors of the Year’

July 31st, 2014

ARLINGTON, Va. — Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) is seeking nominations for its “Contractors of the Year” awards program. The application for the 2015 program is available now.

For 2015 the nomination process will remain the same as it has been for the past few years. However, some minor changes have been made to the judging process. This year, along with their finalist profile and pictures, finalists will have to fill out a questionnaire that will offer the judges more insight into their businesses. The past ACCA chairmen who make up the judging panel will generate the questions that will be included in the Contractors of the Year questionnaire.

“The Contractors of the Year program continues to be one of the most coveted awards that ACCA presents and each year more contractors are vying for this honor,” said Melissa Broadus, director of communications at ACCA. “With the influx of applications and the high quality of contractors that are applying, we felt we needed to make the program more rigorous. Adding in the judging questionnaire will give the judges more in-depth information about each company and the unique qualities that they have to make them stand out as leaders in the industry.”

The ACCA Contractors of the Year awards program provides ACCA members with an excellent marketing opportunity for their businesses. Not only will the winning contractors be honored at ACCA 2015, taking place February 16 – 19, 2015, at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas, by their peers, but this is a great opportunity for them to tout their company’s accomplishments and show that they are recognized leaders in the industry to their customers.

Applications for the program will be accepted until October 10. Once the nomination deadline has passed, all Contractors of the Year nominees will be evaluated and six finalists will be selected—three residential and three commercial. The finalists will be notified by the end of October. ACCA staff will work with each finalist to put together a judging packet. The official judging packets; including the six write-ups, photos, fact sheets, and questionnaires, will be judged by a panel of ACCA past chairmen. The winners—one residential, one commercial—will be recognized on stage at ACCA 2015 and will be profiled in IE3 magazine.

Fill out the online nomination form at

Viessmann to host Open House

July 30th, 2014

WARWICK, R.I. — Join the Viessmann team for its 2014 Open House Event on September 10, at the Viessmann Manufacturing Company U.S. Headquarters in Warwick, R.I.

The event will kick off the fall heating season with a day of events from 9:00am to 4:00pm. The event is open to any interested contractors and heating professionals.

Events will include:

High-caliber Viessmann training and education sessions
Live-fire demonstrations
Award-winning BBQ
Promotional giveaways
Viessmann training staff, technical professionals and sales pros on hand to answer questions one on one
Training sessions will include general product overview, renewables (biomass and solar), residential boilers, commercial boilers, and controls.

Contractors are encouraged to attend to absorb training and knowledge. Guests can selectively attending only a couple of sessions or stay all day to attend all of the sessions.

Register at


Deadline nears for World Plumbing Council scholarship

July 29th, 2014

ONTARIO, Canada — World Plumbing Council (WPC) Chairman Sudhakaran Nair announced the launch of the WPC Education and Training Scholarship Program.

“2014 is the first year that two scholarship opportunities have been offered by the World Plumbing Council,” Nair said. “The scholarships provide an opportunity to increase global awareness of the contribution that plumbing has made to global health and the environment and this year, 2014 sees the introduction of a scholarship program designed specifically for developing and least developed countries in addition to the WPC Scholarship introduced in 2003, which boasts many successful applicants, who having traveled to many parts of the world in their quest for knowledge.”

Nair went on to say that he was particularly proud to announce the new scholarship program which would be known as WPC Scholarship for Least Developed and Developing Countries –Exclusively supported by IPA. He said that this was a great opportunity for WPC and IPA to assist people to access fresh water and sanitation in the least developed and developing countries through plumbing education and training and the creation of a plumbing knowledge base for future generations.

Nair invited personnel involved in the plumbing industry to make an application for these rewarding and educational industry scholarship programs. Each of the scholarships provides up to $10,000 in funding to travel to another country or countries to share innovative ideas and techniques. The scholarships are intended to provide for an educational exchange between countries focusing on plumbing industry training, while at the same time exposing the participants to new technologies and innovations in training systems. They also provide an opportunity to increase awareness of the contribution that plumbing has made to global health and the environment.

Nair stated, “The enhanced scholarship program now offered by the World Plumbing Council was a significant step towards achieving its mission, to promote the role of plumbing in improving public health and safeguarding the environment, by uniting the World Plumbing Industry for the benefit of all.”

The WPC Scholarship program provides the opportunity to live and work within the culture of another country, providing the chance to learn another language and develop friendships. Successful applicants are encouraged to focus on the following areas during their scholarship program:

  • Identification of emerging vocational training needs and trends
  • Plumbing training & education to address the environment and sustainability issues
  • The value of water efficiency to the community and the plumbing industry
  • How does plumbing training or lack of training affect public health in a country or region?

The deadline is August 31.


GEO presents at Illinois Renewable Energy Conference

July 28th, 2014

WASHINGTON — Given its first opportunity to participate in the Illinois Renewable Energy Conference, the Geothermal Alliance of Illinois (GAOI) joined the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) and its members to fulfill a day-long track of geothermal heat pump (GHP) presentations at the Illinois Renewable Energy Conference. The conference was held on July 16, at Illinois State University, Normal, Ill.

Attended by more than 250, the event was coordinated by the Center for Renewable Energy, Illinois State University. Partners included the Illinois Wind Working Group, Illinois Solar Energy Association, the Geothermal Alliance of Illinois, the Illinois Biomass Working Group, the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, and Western Illinois University.

GAOI Executive Director John Freitag gave the opening plenary address on GHPs. GEO President and CEO Doug Dougherty presented during a breakout session on public policy and moderated a panel discussion on GHP commercial case studies.

“It was refreshing to see our technology identified as renewable energy,”Dougherty said. “Many Illinois public policy decision makers were in attendance, so we seized the opportunity to enlighten them on why GHPs should be included in Illinois’ Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.”

GAOI and GEO have begun discussions on an effort to accomplish that goal during the state’s next legislative session.


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