This would give critics of the standard the opportunity to appeal to ANSI and ask that organization to address procedural violations they believe occurred during ASHRAE's adoption of the standard and to seek new public approvals before it can be accredited.
AGA, GAMA, NAHB and possibly AHAM plan to appeal to ANSI if that becomes necessary.
The Appeals Panel gave appellants 10 minutes to testify. This was followed by up to 10 minutes of questions to the appellant from panel members, a 10 minute rebuttal from the committee chairman and 10 minutes of follow-up questions to the chairman from panelists. Unlike the building code hearing process, there was no opportunity for appellants to rebut the chairman or for the chairman to provide re-rebuttal.
NAHB testified that the standard would increase costs to home buyers by $735-$1,041 per house; plus $350 more for installing open vents or supply fans in furnace rooms and retesting if a house fails the induced backdrafting test; and up to $3,000 to dehumidify outdoor air in hot, humid climates. These costs were explained in detail in the NAHB appeal.
The chairman said that the cost of compliance would be $100. He provided no cost details and NAHB had no opportunity to rebut his testimony.
AHAM argued that sound ratings should not be required on ventilation fans in an indoor air quality standard; that allowing the user to certify to any sound rating standard is unenforceable; and that there is no technical basis for setting a three-sone limit and exempting fans over 400 cubic feet per minute.
AGA argued that the backdraft test required by the standard for gas and oil appliances conflicts with NFPA 54, the National Fuel Gas Code. The standard references a test in NFPA 54 that is not required, but deletes portions of it and makes it mandatory.
GAMA argued that backdraft testing should be removed from Section 6.4 because it is in the purview of NFPA 54, not Standard 62.2. Combustion safety, it said, is regulated by the codes and should not be regulated by an indoor air quality standard.
Rodney Lewis argued that the standard violates ASHRAE membership petition procedures because no recognized authority has defined a need for continuous ventilation, identified the contaminants that need to be controlled and set limits for those contaminants. He added that the standard violates ASHRAE policy because it exceeds minimum requirements.
NAHB cited numerous substantive technical errors relating to whole-house mechanical ventilation, kitchen exhaust rate calculations, sone ratings and furnace and fireplace backdraft testing.
The panel responded that, “The appellant has not demonstrated that there is a technical flaw in the standard, and the Appeals Panel believes that due process occurred.The Appeals Panel did not see evidence that any technical arguments were not considered by the SPC [Standard Projects Committee].”
The panel also rejected NAHB procedural complaints dealing with: committee balance, making changes without public review, failing to resolve conflicting standards, failing to provide reasons for rejecting comments and mixing mandatory and non-mandatory language in the standard.
Though rejected by the ASHRAE panel, NAHB stands firm on its appeal and will carry it forward accordingly.
Should all appeals fail, the standard would still not be mandatory until building codes reference it and state and local jurisdictions adopt and enforce the code.
Click here for more information or e-mail Dick Morris or call him at 800-368-5242 x8444.
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