People News

Michael Copp, executive vice president of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors — National Association (PHCC), has formally announced that he will retire from PHCC in December.

“We appreciate the many significant contributions Michael made for the organization over the past six years,” PHCC President Hunter Botto said. “Thanks to his leadership, PHCC made considerable progress in fulfilling important strategic goals and positioning PHCC members as the ‘contractors of choice’ in their markets. The association is now well positioned to achieve sustained growth and further our mission of advancing the industry through education and training to protect public health, safety and the environment.”

Botto praised Copp for leading important future-focused strategic initiatives as well as accelerating the implementation of effective new technologies and processes that enabled the PHCC National office to remain fully operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and provide members with relevant and timely resources to weather the storm and prepare for the next normal.

During Copp’s tenure, PHCC achieved many legislative and regulatory successes to benefit professional plumbing, heating and cooling contractors; made progress on important workforce development initiatives; expanded HVAC-specific resources and collaborative efforts; elevated marketing efforts and began producing a quarterly magazine; built a new education and training department; launched several online member communities; offered numerous new member benefits; and realigned and strengthened its relationships with PHCC industry partners and coalitions. The organization also updated the association’s history book, “A Heritage Unique,” and finalized a crisis action/pandemic plan that was offered as a model for PHCC chapters and members during the pandemic. 

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve our PHCC members and work with so many great professionals across the PHCC federation over these past six years,” Copp said. “Our collective efforts represent a real team effort; especially these past two years, which prove that PHCC members and staff continue to move forward with hope in their eyes and a bone in their teeth as they protect the health and safety of everyone and our planet.” 

A PHCC search committee has been formed that will work with a consultant to begin the process of identifying and interviewing possible successors. PHCC’s leadership is committed to hiring an individual with the skills and drive to ensure the association’s continued growth and member success, it noted.

Duravit announced Sarah Efendi as marketing communications coordinator for the brand. A detail-oriented and creative marketing professional, Efendi brings proven success in project management and team support across a myriad of marketing activities to this new role, the company noted.

“Sarah brings strong analytical skills and an innovative approach to marketing strategy. We look forward to the impact she will have on the brand through her work with our North American and global team,” said Tim Schroeder, president of Duravit North America.

Prior to joining Duravit, Efendi worked in event design and managed an e-commerce business focused on home decor.

The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) welcomed Joshua McDonald, CFPS, to its Department of Engineering and Technical Services as technical programs specialist. In this role, he will be responsible for developing, updating and delivery of technical content.

“Joshua brings additional valuable industry knowledge to our team,” says AFSA's Vice President of Engineering & Technical Services John August Denhardt, P.E., FSFPE. “Joshua will be a big asset to our Beginning Fire Sprinkler System Planning School, ITM Inspector Development Program, webinars, and in-person training.”

McDonald has experience in all areas of training for fire protection industry professionals including web-based and hands-on learning. He also has experience with risk engineering applying to the installation of fire protection systems. As a manufacturer, McDonald has been involved in the research and development of new fire protection products and has extensive experience with NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. He received his bachelor of science degree in fire protection and safety engineering technology and master of science degree in fire safety and explosion protection from Oklahoma State University. McDonald is a member of NFPA and SFPE.


Company News

Asahi/America announced its Asahitec PP-RCT piping system for plumbing and HVAC applications has been added to the hydronic piping specification section (231316) of MasterSpec.

Engineers who use MasterSpec will now be able to use Asahi/America’s Asahitec as the basis of design for various building services piping, including chilled water, condensed water, hydronic piping and heating and cooling water.

The Hydronic Industry Alliance-Commercial (HIA-C) and Taco Comfort Solutions have built on the foundation of their commercial building HVAC system efficiency comparison tool. Enhancements stem from more than two years of additional input from engineers, contractors and building owners — resulting in a substantially upgraded, interactive Building Efficiency System Tool (BEST).

When it was introduced several years ago, BEST solved a long-standing industry need for accurate comparisons of different styles of HVAC systems, all tested to different standards, many with differing efficiency ratings (EER, IEER, SEER, COP, HSPF) as they are applied to actual, real-world buildings. BEST 5.0 allows designers to easily comply with ASHRAE 209 Early Box Modeling requirements with the inclusion of real cost, budget and comparative energy efficiency predictions. This results in better decision-making information for builders, engineers and design-build professionals when faced with selection options for HVAC systems, HIA-C and Taco explained.

BEST 5.0 now incorporates the consumption and energy data for domestic water heating systems. New benefits also include per-square-foot energy load based on building occupancy, profile and cost of energy – through local utilities – with forecasting of cost increases. The new software is easier to use, yet still has the capability to be customized for each energy source (water, air or refrigerant), efficiency and labor.

Viega was recently announced as one of the 50 Sustainability & Climate Leaders by TBD Media Group. This campaign is based on the United Nations’ naming of 17 goals as part of its Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Its goal is to recognize those corporations doing some of the most important and innovative work toward developing a sustainable world, Viega noted.

Viega was recognized for its exemplary work in providing safe drinking water and heating piping systems that save energy, or, as the company puts it: “installing lifelines for the buildings of tomorrow.”

Rheem earned a Gold award at the 2021 Edison Awards for the ProTerra line of residential water heaters in the award’s sustainability category. Named after Thomas Alva Edison, the Edison Awards have recognized and honored some of the most innovative new products, services and business leaders in the world since 1987. 

“We were very impressed by the level of collaboration and discovery in this year’s entries,” said Edison Universe Executive Director Frank Bonafilia. “Somehow, while facing the unprecedented challenges of this global pandemic, companies around the world figured out how to work safely and smartly and still innovate at an award-winning level.”

ProTerra was chosen as one of four Gold award winners in the sustainability category by a panel of more than 3,000 senior business executives and academics that were tasked with evaluating a range of high-efficiency home products. Rheem was the only water heating solution to be named a finalist in any of the three sustainability sub-categories, which included wind power, solar energy and chemical manufacturing products. 

Science Based Targets (SBT), an organization dedicated to driving climate action in the private sector, recently granted Uponor approval of its new greenhouse gas (GHG) emission-reduction targets. The SBT initiative defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies’ goals. The targets are set in alignment with the latest climate science requirements needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and aim to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5° C (about 3° F).

Uponor’s new climate-related targets are:

  • Reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 46% by 2030;
  • Reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services and upstream transportation and distribution by 14% by 2030; and
  • All purchased electricity to be renewable by 2025

The baseline for targets is 2019.

Elkay announced it has joined Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) as one way to prepare for business opportunities and challenges expected to emerge post COVID-19.

“There’s so much going on – it’s the right time,” said Elkay Manager of Compliance and Sustainability John Watson, who will serve as the company’s primary liaison with PMI.

PMI CEO/Executive Director Kerry Stackpole said PMI is delighted to welcome Elkay as the newest member of PMI and looks forward to supporting the success of the company’s entire team. “Elkay is a well-respected member of the plumbing products community and brings a historic legacy of great products and great brands. We are excited about working together to further the goals and future of the plumbing fixture and fittings industry,” he stated.

Watson said the plumbing manufacturing industry expects the Biden administration to introduce regulatory activity and to address issues of interest, such as tariffs, water infrastructure, lead testing and more. “PMI will provide us with advocacy information in a timely fashion when there’s still time to do something about it and to plan for what’s coming,” he explained. “With access to the same information as other manufacturers, Elkay looks forward to participating in dialogues between PMI members.”

Brown and Caldwell has been granted funding from The Water Research Foundation (WRF) to study the fate of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) through sewage sludge incineration.

Many PFAS are resistant to grease, oil, water and heat, and are used in many applications, including stain- and water-resistant fabrics and carpeting, cleaning products, paints and fire-fighting foams. The widespread use of PFAS and their ability to remain intact in the environment over time can result in environmental contamination.

PFAS — deemed as “forever chemicals” — are present in discharges to wastewater systems, and because of their characteristics, undergo virtually no degradation before environmental discharge. Thermal treatment of PFAS-laden wastewater solids through sewage sludge incinerators (SSIs) offers a potential PFAS control strategy; however, with few published research studies available, the ability of SSIs to fully mineralize PFAS is unknown.

To this end, a research team led by co-principal investigators Lloyd Winchell (Brown and Caldwell) and Dr. Detlef Knappe (North Carolina State University) has been awarded a $100,000 grant from WRF through its Tailored Collaboration Program to support utility-specific/regional issues. The study aims to explain the fate of PFAS compounds through SSIs and provide utilities with an indication of the extent to which SSIs can eliminate or reduce PFAS emissions. 

Aspects of the study include identifying municipal water resource recovery test sites with different technologies to combust solids captured from the treatment process. Once collected, samples will be analyzed, and a research report prepared to help utilities inform their assessment of appropriate PFAS handling strategies. The recently commenced study is scheduled for completion within 18 months. Collection and sample analyses are expected by the end of 2021. The report will be finalized within six months of receiving test data.

Franklin Electric Co. announced it has acquired Puronics and its wholly owned subsidiaries, headquartered in Livermore, California, in an all-cash transaction.