Industry News

Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI), the global leader for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, today announced that it has been awarded a $91 million project with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to improve facilities and energy efficiencies of landmark buildings. As part of the National Deep Energy Retrofit (NDER) program, the GSA is upgrading building technologies Read more

Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI), the global leader for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, today announced that it has been awarded a $91 million project with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to improve facilities and energy efficiencies of landmark buildings. As part of the National Deep Energy Retrofit (NDER) program, the GSA is upgrading building technologies in the pursuit of net zero energy consumption while achieving energy goals prescribed in various federal Energy Acts.

Johnson Controls portfolio of smart building systems provides the physical components for the upgrades as well as OpenBlue software solutions that support systemic management of building operations, providing memory, intelligence and unique identity to spaces. This infusion of physical systems with award-winning artificial intelligence that helps systems learn over time automates changes that drive maximum energy and resource efficiency.

Buildings receiving facility improvements over the next three years include the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center (RRBITC), the New Executive Office Building (NEOB), the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB), Jackson Place, the Winder Building and the Civil Service Building. Johnson Controls Federal Systems’ team will perform much of the work associated with the project. Execution of these projects is anticipated to begin on May 1, 2021.

“Sustainability, energy efficiency and working toward the goal of net zero are top of mind for government leaders across the United States. This is reflected in the Biden-Harris Administration’s recent infrastructure bill as well as our nation’s re-joining of the Paris Agreement,” said George Oliver, chairman and CEO at Johnson Controls. “Partnering with the GSA to make these historic buildings more environmentally friendly and energy efficient is an honor, and we look forward to upgrading more buildings around the U.S. in the coming years to create healthier places and do our part to support a healthier planet.”

Overall project objectives include:

  • Reducing energy and water consumption
  • Improving efficiency of lighting, water and HVAC systems
  • Transforming building automation systems
  • Implementing cost-effective retrofits with paybacks of 25 years or less
  • Completing construction with minimal disruption to tenants
  • A comprehensive and integrated whole-building approach to the various energy conservation measures

“We are proud to help the GSA achieve energy resilience in the Nation’s Capital through Johnson Controls legacy of building expertise and our intimate understanding of the agency’s technology and security needs,” said Nate Manning, President of Building Solutions North America at Johnson Controls. “It is a privilege to work with GSA on infrastructure projects that deliver transformational sustainability solutions for iconic landmarks. These buildings are critical locations for the federal government and include parts of the White House Complex and a National Historic Landmark used by the Executive Office of the President including the Office of the Vice President, Office of Management and Budget, and the National Security Council.”

The NDER program demonstrates GSA’s commitment to driving energy savings beyond that of an ordinary energy savings project without a detrimental effect on occupant comfort and agency mission. GSA’s NDER program is achieving greater than 34 percent energy savings over its portfolio of buildings included in the program. The cornerstone of success in NDER projects is the holistic and interactive consideration of energy conservation measures. For the RRBITC and the NEOB projects alone, energy conservation measures are projected to reduce combined energy consumption by 42% and water consumption by 50%.

This initiative leveraged the Department of Energy’s Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) in conjunction with GSA’s innovative NDER program to achieve transformative infrastructure outcomes. By following an ESPC approach, the GSA was able to more quickly finalize the contract and award the work to Johnson Controls with minimal up-front capital costs or special appropriations from Congress. This approach to contracting simplified finalization of agreements, paving the way for facility improvements to begin and energy savings to be realized as soon as possible.

Sustainability is an integral part of Johnson Controls vision and values. Since signing the United Nations Global Compact in 2004, the company has remained fully committed to aligning its operations and strategies with the U.N. Global Compact’s Ten Principles. In January 2021 the company announced ambitious and accelerated sustainability commitments. Further, in March, the Science Based Targets Initiative approved Johnson Controls ambitious emissions reductions targets. These commitments not only reflect internal action being taken across the company, but also the way that Johnson Controls works with and supports customers, partners, vendors and supply chain participants.

To read more about Johnson Controls commitment and accomplishments around sustainability, please visit: https://www.johnsoncontrols.com/corporate-sustainability/environment

OneWest, a nonprofit community development organization with a mission to elevate the city of Louisville through commercial development in West Louisville, has announced a new initiative to attract and support minority business owners in the construction industry. “The Plan Room” is a business accelerator specifically designed for Black and brown contractors and construction business owners. The Read more

OneWest, a nonprofit community development organization with a mission to elevate the city of Louisville through commercial development in West Louisville, has announced a new initiative to attract and support minority business owners in the construction industry. “The Plan Room” is a business accelerator specifically designed for Black and brown contractors and construction business owners. The Plan Room provides education, training, mentorship, professional services, and networking opportunities in a dedicated physical space that recently opened in March of 2021.

One of The Plan Room’s first programs is a Business Information Modeling (BIM) training program that will train individuals to use intelligent software to create the 3D construction documents needed to construct modern buildings. Interested candidates can now apply for the 14-week program at theplanroom.org. The first BIM Training program will begin in July of 2021, with prerequisite technology training courses starting in May. The BIM training program, along with all programs of The Plan Room, is available at no cost to participants.

“This is what real community development looks like,” explains OneWest Executive Director Evon Smith. “The launch of The Plan Room earlier this year has been an incredible step forward for racial minority business owners in the construction industry. The addition of the BIM Training Program provides access to practical skills for just about anyone — not just those in the construction industry — to succeed in a new higher-paying career. And this is only the beginning for One West and our incredible partners.”

The Plan Room was built in collaboration with 4 key community partners who are committed to building a better future in the West End — KPFF7PM GroupLouisville Central Community Center (LCCC), and University of Louisville College of Business.

Specifically, KPFF Consulting Engineers office in Louisville has been leading the charge for the BIM training program. “There is a huge need for these professionals in our industry,” says KPFF’s Principal, Greg Buccola, “We can teach a high school graduate how to use the BIM software in far less time than a 2 or 4-year degree program. So why not create our own ecosystem of BIM personnel and help lift up our community with higher paying jobs?”

KPFF is also working with Interapt Foundation (IF), a new non-profit organization formed by software development company Interapt. Interapt Foundation will provide the training program structure for the BIM curriculum.

Also contributing to The Plan Room’s overall curriculum is the University of Louisville College of Business. University of Louisville College of Business Dean Todd Andrew Mooradian says, “The Plan Room initiative is exactly how our College should be involved in West Louisville. We are teaching business – that is our core, distinctive competency – and we’re showing the way to building opportunities and wealth in the community.”

On May 4, 2021, The Home Depot will partner with SkillsUSA for National Signing Day and, in celebration and support of high school seniors entering the skilled trades industry, The Home Depot Foundation will provide six scholarships totaling $30,000. Focused on career readiness and training the next generation of tradespeople, these scholarships will go toward Read more

On May 4, 2021, The Home Depot will partner with SkillsUSA for National Signing Day and, in celebration and support of high school seniors entering the skilled trades industry, The Home Depot Foundation will provide six scholarships totaling $30,000. Focused on career readiness and training the next generation of tradespeople, these scholarships will go toward covering each student’s trade school tuition.

Recipients will be selected by The Home Depot Foundation and SkillsUSA and announced on National Signing Day. And as part of the all-day celebration, The Home Depot, alongside valued supplier partner Klein Tools – which has offered professional-grade tools to tradesmen since 1857 – will cheer on SkillsUSA’s graduating seniors in the Southeast. Delivering gear, pizza and even a virtual appearance from football star Jimmy Garoppolo and his father, Tony, the two companies are coming together to embrace the next generation of talent.

With oversight to much of the Southeast including The Home Depot’s Atlanta headquarters and 11 other territories, The Home Depot and Klein Tools are building upon the program’s momentum as they look to engage and support students pursuing careers in the construction trades.

Lindon, Utah — Aquatherm announced that it has added Southern Pipe & Supply as a distribution partner. Founded in 1901, Southern Pipe & Supply is one of the largest privately held, independent distributors of brand-name plumbing, HVAC, industrial, mechanical, and water works supplies in the Southeast, with more than 100 locations in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia Read more

Lindon, Utah — Aquatherm announced that it has added Southern Pipe & Supply as a distribution partner.

Founded in 1901, Southern Pipe & Supply is one of the largest privately held, independent distributors of brand-name plumbing, HVAC, industrial, mechanical, and water works supplies in the Southeast, with more than 100 locations in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Arkansas, Florida, and Tennessee.

“Southern Pipe has always aligned themselves with the brand leaders in the marketplace,” said William Jolly, Director of Purchasing – Southern Pipe & Supply. “We are honored to partner with Aquatherm, the leader in polypropylene piping systems.”

Glen Miller, Vice President of Sales, Aquatherm North America, said the company has been strategically adding distribution to support its contractor customers.

 

“Southern Pipe & Supply is a perfect fit with Aquatherm’s Culture of Excellence,” Miller said. “We are excited to have them as a distributor partner.”

PHCP-PVF supply chain to be affected; Jan. 1, 2022 date set for new fixture water efficiency compliance. By Jim Kendzel, MPH, CAE Director of Codes and Standards American Supply Association On March 25, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed Chapter 8 of the Acts of 2021 titled An Act Creating A Next-Generation Roadmap For Massachusetts Climate Read more

PHCP-PVF supply chain to be affected; Jan. 1, 2022 date set for new fixture water efficiency compliance.

By Jim Kendzel, MPH, CAE Director of Codes and Standards American Supply Association

On March 25, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed Chapter 8 of the Acts of 2021 titled An Act Creating A Next-Generation Roadmap For Massachusetts Climate Policy.

The new law represents a significant revision to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 21N. The enacted bill has direct impact on the plumbing-heating-cooling-piping (PHCP) and industrial pipe-valve-fitting (PVF) supply chains related to the products delivered, and provides specific deadlines for compliance.

The key takeaways for ASA members and others in the PHCP and PVF supply chain are the following:

  • The following plumbing fixtures — faucet, showerhead, spray sprinkler body, urinal, water closet or water cooler — will not be able to be sold in the state of Massachusetts after Jan. 1, 2022 unless they comply with the new water efficiency requirements.
  • The state will require further emissions reductions in six “high-priority” sectors of the economy: electric power, transportation, commercial and industrial heating and cooling, residential heating and cooling, industrial processes, and natural gas distribution and service.
  • The law allows for local municipalities to set local bans on the use of fossil fuels, such as oil or natural gas.The following highlights the key elements covered in the 56-page document signed by the governor:

    Sets emission limits in high-priority sectors

    The overall goals set in the act is a greenhouse gas emission limit of net zero for 2050 in no event shall the level of emissions in 2050 be higher than a level 85% below the 1990 level; previously was set at 80% of 1990 level. The Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs mandated to set interim 5-year emission limits beginning in 2025 and up to 2050.

 

In addition to setting an overall emissions limit goal, the state will require further emissions reductions in six “high-priority” sectors of the economy: electric power, transportation, commercial and industrial heating and cooling, residential heating and cooling, industrial processes, and natural gas distribution and service.

Heating and building emissions

The law mandates the administration to create a local net zero stretch energy code that municipalities would have the option to opt-in, and allows for cities to adopt local bans on new fossil fuel construction. In addition, the law adds four new seats to the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) for experts in building energy efficiency, advanced building technology and the Commissioner of the Department of Energy Resources (DOER).

Sets nationally consistent appliance efficiency standards

The law includes new appliance efficiency standards according to precedents set in California and likely future federal standards. This includes certain water-saving technology relating to plumbing fixtures and sprinklers.

Increases offshore wind development by 43%

Boosts the amount of offshore wind utilities are required to purchase by an additional 2,400 megawatts. This builds upon previous legislation and will result in a total authorization to 5,600 megawatts of offshore wind for Massachusetts

Boosts Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)

Raises the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) by 3% each year for 2025-2029, which would ensure at least 40% of the state’s electric power will come from renewables by 2030.

Although the law does not set a detailed plan for reaching the stated net zero goal related to the use of fossil fuel and how reaching the goal will have an impact on commercial and residential cooling and heating, we believe we can look to California as to how the implementation of the law may progress.

In California, there is a significant push to move to a completely electric system and the elimination of the use of fossil fuels in building construction and also certain appliances such as HVAC products and water heater products. The inclusion in the law to allow local municipalities to place a ban on use of fossil fuel sources further indicates what we are experiencing in California may occur in Massachusetts; the adoption of inconsistent and overreaching local ordinances. ASA and its members whose businesses are in or have a footprint in Massachusetts will need to be watching local initiatives closely. The Secretary of Energy and Environment Affairs is required to hold public hearings to solicit input on how the setting of the interim reduction goals are set, and it is at these hearings where ASA will need to be present.

The good news is ASA recently developed and published its position on greenhouse gas reduction programs. Briefly, the ASA position states, “The American Supply Association supports programs intended to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and allow for a smooth transition to cleaner energy; however, we do not support electric-only policies.”

In addition, the ASA position calls for “flexibility” and “consumer choice” when it comes to using technology that provides a reduced level of greenhouse gas emissions, no matter the fuel source being used. Finally, ASA supports the development of policies that cover an entire state or region and opposes local ordinances developing programs due to the logistical problem in serving a market based on diverse local requirements. To learn more about the ASA position please go to the ASA webpage https://www.asa.net/Advocacy/Issues- Agenda/State-Issues.