Tags: Climate Change / Sustainability, Codes, Standards & Regulation, Disease outbreak / control, Event Reports, Gray Water / Black Water, Industry Training, Innovation, Research & Knowledge, Water Efficiency / Dry Drains, Water Quality, Australasia Page 3 of 5 | Single page
. Dane Roberts updated WELS (for a full report see Plumbing Connection Autumn 2011 edition) and Phil Payne, manager and executive officer, Plumbers Licensing Board, WA gave a State perspective about how the national changes will affect State regulations.
The post lunch session provided an industry outlook led by Harley Dale, chief economist at Housing Industry Association (HIA), Ken Gardner CEO of Master Plumbers and Sumit Oberoi a policy analyst for the Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors’ Association of Australia. All gave three excellent presentations while Sumit spruiked something Plumbing Connection has been on about for the past year – the importance of Building Information Modelling or BIM as it is more commonly known.
The final session of the day focused on sustainability in relation to plumbing regulatory policy. Dr Steve Cummings, research director Caroma Dorf kicked off proceedings with an update about AsFlow research. Focusing on research being conducted in a female urinal in a 24 storey building in West Australia, research found that with low flows (and lower possibly coming), the habit to use a lot of toilet paper posed significant dangers to the plumbing system. These problems were compounded by the different types of brand paper available. AsFlow tested several types of paper to find that there were differences in the quality of paper and their overall effect.
According to Alan Pears AM, an adjunct professor of Sustainability at RMIT we are facing challenging times, but also a time of opportunity. He believes that plumbing needs to adapt to rapidly changing sustainability policy. The industry also needs to adapt and streamline systems in the wake of natural disasters and should be held accountable for delivering workable sustainability outcomes. This means upgrading existing buildings and infrastructure and auditing how best to do this.
Due to policy change, more work and business opportunity is created, therefore there is a need to either upskill or reskill. More accountability is necessary as the complexity of installations increases and there needs to be a focus on upgrading, rather than just replacing like for like. This is vital to keep up with changing technologies. A switch to services and systems thinking will go a long way to solving the challenges created by ‘green’ policy.
Rounding out the day were Haydn Wood and Ian McNicol. Haydn is the manager of the PlumbSmarter Program and spoke about the pilot for the PlumbSmarter in My Home program. He made the point that plumbers are at the frontline of change and through the program can recommend to their clients ways of saving water and energy. The program offers plumbers the right framework of motivation and incentive to carry out these recommendations, which are not only good for their hip pocket and to build loyal custom, but good for the environment, also. (A full report about the PlumbSmarter program can be found on page... of this issue.) Ian is a senior analyst in energy efficiency for Sustainability Victoria. Following on from Haydn’s message, he spoke about upgrading the efficiency of existing houses.
Making an impact
Day three began with a video presentation by Robert Burgon. Robert, as many will know, is the chair of the World Plumbing Council (WPC). In the days before World Plumbing Day on March 11, Robert spoke about the impact of significant weather patterns on the plumbing industry, highlighting the need for ‘robust water systems’.
“Only when natural disasters occur, is there an understanding of how plumbing infrastructure is affected,” he says. “It is worse around the world, where there is a lack of access to basic plumbing facilities.”
Robert calls for better respect of plumbing systems, to create better health and economic conditions for less fortunate countries.Continued...