IIAR-2 Committee Recognized for FourYear Publication Effort

Updating the IIAR-2 standard was a massive four-year effort, during which IIAR’s volunteer committee – working to achieve consensus – took a “divide and conquer” approach to handle the approximately 1,500 comments and more than 1,000 off-the-record suggestions, said standards committee vice chairman Don Faust.

“Arriving at a consensus within the entire industry was our biggest challenge, especially with a scope as broad as IIAR-2. The difference between a standard and a code is that a standard must achieve that consensus, so we had to address formal and informal comments,” said Faust, vice president of Gartner Refrigeration in Minneapolis. “I saw pretty quickly due to the sheer mass of comments that we had to break up into groups, with each group tackling a section of the standard and addressing the comments related to that standard.”

“This committee rewrote the standard to make it more comprehensive and to improve the level of safety design for new facilities.”

Dave Rule, IIAR president

Committee members at times held daily conference calls lasting up to four hours, and the new standard went through six public reviews before IIAR published the final document. Before the first public review draft was submitted, many other drafts were created as discussions generated changes. “We began naming the drafts after animals just to distinguish one from the other,” IIAR Vice President and Technical Director Eric Smith said. “The last one before public review began was called osprey.”

Although committee members had a hand in each section of the updated standard, members also focused on specific areas. Faust helped develop standards for ammonia detection and safety systems for engine rooms.

Dave Schaefer, chief engineer at Bassett Mechanical in Wisconsin, and the IIAR 2 subcommittee chairman was involved with most parts of the standard but made a large contribution to the development of package systems and pumps. Standards Committee chairman Bob Czarnecki, who recently retired from Campbell’s Soup Company, established the subcommittees, weighed in on technical issues and distributed information. Other members divided into groups to work on various chapters.

“This committee rewrote the standard to make it more comprehensive and to improve the level of safety design for new facilities,” said Dave Rule, IIAR president. “They were all volunteers, and they all offered their time and their commitment to the industry to produce a document that will improve the safety and efficiency of the ammonia refrigeration industry.”

As the Standards Committee chair, Czarnecki managed the process and kept the project on track. “The amount of comments were way more that we would normally receive on a public review because the document had changed so much, so it took a lot of time to work up responses,” he said. “We learned a lot about how to streamline the process for the future.”

In addition to quarterly meetings in Washington, D.C., committee members spent countless hours on conference calls and working individually to resolve issues. “A lot of people put more time into this than you would normally expect from a volunteer,” Czarnecki said.

The committee faced a deadline for publication of the updated standard if it hoped that it be referenced in codes for the for the next code cycle. “A standard holds less weight on its own, but its incorporation in codes provides significant status,” Faust said. “We were under tremendous time pressure to get this done.”

Faust utilized his experience writing standards to field public comments and draft responses. “We developed a concept for the latest standards for ammonia detection and safety systems in engine rooms,” he said. “A lot of what I did was overseeing the process. There were many, many hands involved in every section.”

As a subcommittee chairman, Schaefer’s role was to make certain that responses were formulated to the proposed solutions that came from debates and public comments.

Members of the SC Committee, IIAR-2 SubCommittee and IIAR Staff were recently awarded special plaques by IIAR for their efforts in developing this new standard, said IIAR’s Rule.

“Everyone played an equal part in the process depending on which chapters they worked on,” Rule said. “They are very passionate, dedicated people.”