ONTARIO, Calif. - The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) has released its Green Plumbing and Mechanical Code Supplement. According to IAPMO, the Green Supplement is designed to complement current plumbing and mechanical codes, to bridge the gap between existing codes and established green building programs.

“The building codes are perhaps the biggest hindrance to the adoption of green buildings,” said Dave Viola, IAPMO director of special services and staff liaison to the Green Technical Committee (GTC) that developed the document. “There’s so little information about how to do green systems properly and safely within existing building codes, so we’ve rolled out a document that shows exactly how it’s done.”

Where code language and green building concepts lack cohesion, IAPMO said the Green Supplement helps create harmony by addressing such areas as:

• Proper use of high-efficiency plumbing products

• Conservation of hot water

• Energy conservation in HVAC systems

“Many of the provisions in the Green Supplement are very advanced,” said Amir Tabakh, director of environmental engineering, Environmental Affairs Division of the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and a member of the Green Technical Committee. “These standards are five to seven years ahead of the local codes. As you know, a code cycle takes three to five years and we cannot wait five years for products that are advanced or highly sophisticated before they are approved by the code. The Green Supplement gives a local jurisdiction the opportunity to adopt a superior product, a superior standard without waiting five to seven years.”

Though provisions dealing with sustainable plumbing are prominent, Tabakh said the mechanical aspects should not be overlooked. “According to the California Energy Commission, 30 percent of the state’s energy consumption within commercial buildings is mechanical equipment,” he said. “If that 30 percent is positively impacted, it means many more electrical systems will become highly efficient. So, this document ultimately touches national standards for electrical efficiency.”

For more information about the Green Supplement, go to www.iapmo.org/Pages/IAPMO_Green.aspx.

Publication date:02/15/2010