2015 Plumbing Industry Leadership Coalition Meeting

Since 2012, leaders in the plumbing industry have gathered together annually to voice the concerns of everyone from homeowners to lawmakers. The group, founded by Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI), American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) and International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), has grown to include 15 industry associations. On May 12, there were 16 representatives from those associations that showed up to the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), in Washington, D.C., for the 2015 Plumbing Industry Leadership Coalition (PILC) Meeting. Phc News was one of the media partners invited to cover the event, which took place from 11:00am to 4:00pm.

Dr. Sokwoo Rhee, Presidential Innovation Fellow at Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), was the first presenter at the meeting. Dr. Rhee spoke on The Internet of Things (IoT), and the advancement in sensors and tech communication that now enables data collection that previously was not practical. The analytics that are collected today through integrated hybrid networks of physical and cyber systems help to better control technology. 

CPS is exploring how IoT will allow for optimization of the way society deals with emergency, transportation and construction needs. One initiative that CPS is focusing on, in partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is the “Smart America Challenge.” Since 2013, the two groups have been assessing teams and their approaches to issues such as air quality, manufacturing, and health care. Some of the examples Dr. Rhee shared were: a sustainable management project in Cincinnati, a commercial building energy storage system in from Siemens and Columbia University, and 3-D data visualization work for green building in San Francisco. Dr. Rhee closed with a quick plug for the Global City Teams Challenge Expo. The expo recently took place, on June 1 in Washington, D.C., and was designed to advance the deployment of IoT technologies within smart city and smart community environments. 

The next speaker up was Ryan Colker, director of the Consultative Council and Presidential Advisor at NIBS, who extended hospitality greetings from the institute. Gardner Carrick, vice president of the National Association of Manufacturing (NAM) Manufacturing Institute, led an afternoon presentation on workforce development. Carrick honed in on the skills gap in U.S. manufacturing and the work that the institute, in partnership with Deloitte, is doing to help make tangible changes in 2015 and beyond. 

Other national issues were discussed as action items at the meeting including legionella awareness and drought prevention. Billy Smith, executive director and CEO of ASPE, addressed the coming ASHRAE 188 regulations and a report on legionella expected to be released by the ASHRAE later this summer. Barbara Higgens, CEO and executive director of PMI, shared that PILC recently submitted a proposal to WaterSense for consideration of tier levels for GPM flows to help with the emergency drought status in California and 10 other areas.

The next PILC meeting will take place at the International Emerging Technology Symposium (IETS) in Chicago, on May 12, 2016.

PILC members include: Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI), Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE), American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA), American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), American Supply Association (ASA), Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute (CISPI), Copper Development Association Inc., International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), International Code Council (ICC), Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association (PPFA), Plumbing Contractors of America (PCA), Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association (PHCC), United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States, Canada, and Australia (UA), and Water Quality Association (WQA).

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