President’s Message by Dave Rule

As you’ve likely noticed, this issue of the Condenser is all about the re-release of IIAR-2, the first comprehensive code standard for the safe, reliable and efficient design of ammonia refrigeration systems. We’re dedicating so much space to IIAR-2 because it is perhaps one of the most important, long reaching projects our association has completed in recent years. As your association president, I’m using my column this month to outline why IIAR-2 is so important to our industry and to you, our members.

The standards development process is complex and often spans years, and the development of IIAR-2 has been no exception. To recognize the work behind this monumental effort is to recognize the dedication and support of the many standards committee members and IIAR staff who have taken the writing and review process to completion – not to mention the hundreds of IIAR members and industry professionals who have lent their support by providing literally hundreds of comments during multiple rounds of public reviews.

I’m proud to announce that IIAR was able to address every one of those comments, an effort that took over three years of work by dedicated individuals who are passionate about our industry and its future.

The result is a standard that truly reflects the ideal ANSI process, balanced by the participation of members from every sector of our business. From engineers, to end-users, to academics, to regulators, IIAR-2 mirrors the broad input of our industry.

And this groundbreaking standard also highlights one of the most important goals of our association, and gets to the heart of the very reason we exist – to inform the codes and practices that dictate how our industry will operate.

The process is never an easy one. To create a standard of the breadth and substance of IIAR-2, an organization must be prepared to truly address all concerns posed by those participating in the standard’s creation.

For us, that has meant working through the many valuable viewpoints of every participant, regardless of whether or not the opinions expressed fall in line with those of the majority, or even the authors of the standard.

I’m proud to say that in this capacity, IIAR has made the best use of the ANSI consensus process, producing a final product that reflects the true consensus and broad input of our industry.

And this standard’s impact in the real world will be just as broad. As we adapt to the new technology that is even now opening doors to new markets – where natural refrigerants have the potential to create real environmental gains – the issues addressed by the re-release of IIAR-2 are more vital and timely than ever.

From the beginning, we took a practical approach to IIAR-2, remaking it into our industry’s first comprehensive safety standard by developing it specifically for adoption by code making bodies.

As a result, it is already being recognized and adopted by various code bodies around the country. And at the same time, the weight IIAR-2 garners as a code-informing standard has earned it recognition in the regulatory environment, where OSHA, EPA and the Department of Homeland Security are already making references to the operational and safety practices it outlines.

This is a watershed moment for our organization and our industry because IIAR-2 is setting a precedent for the larger goal this organization has – to develop a suite of standards in addition to IIAR-2 that establish generally accepted engineering practices.

Establishing these practices through the ANSI standards process, as recognized by code and regulatory bodies, ensures that our industry will follow the best practices available – that those practices are recognized to improve safety for operating personnel, and most importantly, are technically correct.

In the rapidly changing environment in which we are now operating, our standards activities are more important than ever. The Environmental Protection Agency has recently released preliminary rules that will shape new regulations for all synthetic refrigerants.

That means that the reporting and regulatory requirements that have long boosted operating costs for natural refrigerants will likely soon apply to synthetics as well. And that opens an opportunity for a broader range of end users to start considering natural refrigerants.

Given this important development, IIAR isn’t missing a beat. Now that IIAR-2 is complete, we’re starting the entire development process again for a CO2 standard, RAGAGEP For Existing Facilities and other significant programs, as we continue to expand our suite of standards to address the new needs of our industry.

Whether you are a member of an IIAR committee, a participant in the standard review process, or a nonmember working in our industry, your support is essential. Please join me in congratulating all those who made IIAR-2 a reality, and if you haven’t already, I urge you to find a way to get involved in the work of our committees. These efforts could not be completed without the dedication of members like you.