Government Affairs Committee

Chair: Meghan McNulty

 

The Government Affairs Committee (GAC) is actively involved in providing current and relevant information to chapter members regarding local and state governmental activities where the design industry, energy initiatives, and building codes may be impacted.  The Committee promotes ASHRAE standards to governing officials by being actively involved in keeping local, provincial and state governments updated on technical issues.

Since the establishment of the Government Affairs Committee in 2013, educating governmental officials has been the primary focus.  This has been especially true when considering the positive or detrimental affects potential alterations to building codes and/or energy codes may have in the design industry and energy sector. During the legislative session, we will schedule a Day on the Hill event, where volunteers meet with their state representatives to discuss how ASHRAE can be a resource for them, and to let them know their constituents are experts in topics related to the built environment, such as energy codes, refrigerant safety, energy efficiency in existing buildings, and indoor environmental quality. 

ASHRAE Atlanta members who are interested in taking a greater role in GAC's work should contact GAC Chair Meghan McNulty

COVID-19 and Building Operations

Visit ASHRAE's COVID-19 Resources page for the latest in technical guidance from the Epidemic Task Force. Society President Darryl Boyce prepared this letter that you can share with government officials, public health professionals, and emergency care workers, which offers ASHRAE's expertise and resources to help limit the spread of disease in buildings. 

Georgia Primaries Rescheduled to June 9, 2020; Vote-by-Mail Encouraged

In response to Georgia’s public health state of emergency, all primaries originally scheduled for March 24 or May 19 will be rescheduled to Tuesday, June 9, 2020. This election includes primaries for President, US Senate, US Congress, Public Service Commissioners, State Senate, and State House. The state has mailed absentee ballot applications to all registered voters to encourage voting-by-mail due to the pandemic. The application can be returned to your county voter registration office by postal mail or email. The new voter registration deadline is May 11, 2020, and early voting begins on May 18, 2020. Visit the Georgia My Voter Page to register to vote, check your voter registration details, and preview your ballot:  https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do


Key Local Issues for Society Year 2019-20

National Engineers Week, February 16-22, 2020

Since 1951, eWeek has been set aside to recognize the remarkable men and women of this profession. EWeek—the only event of its kind—is a time to:

  • Celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world
  • Increase public dialogue about the need for engineers
  • Bring engineering to life for kids, educators, and parents

To celebrate EWeek 2020, the ASHRAE Atlanta Chapter received proclamations from the the Governor of Georgia and Atlanta City Council recognize the contributions of engineers to society.

  • Legionella Education and Advocacy

In the aftermath of the recent legionella outbreak in downtown Atlanta, our chapter has reached out to the Georgia Department of Public Health and Fulton County Board of Health to offer technical resources for prevention of future outbreaks, including copies of ASHRAE Standard 188, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems and connections with local members with related expertise. We intend to offer advocacy and education opportunities to our membership this spring, and welcome additional suggestions of ways ASHRAE and the Atlanta Chapter can help protect the health, safety, and wellness of the public through the built environment.

Special Technical Seminar following the chapter meeting technical program on Tuesday, October 8 - Legionella & Standard 188.

Resources from ASHRAE: https://www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/standards-and-guidelines/guidance-on-reducing-the-risk-of-legionella

  • Standard 188-2018: Legionellosis, Risk Management for Building Water Systems - ASHRAE Standard 188 is essential for anyone involved in design, construction, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance, and service of centralized building water systems and components. More than 10,000 copies have been distributed to date. A read-only version can be accessed from the ASHRAE website.
  • PreventLD Training - This free online training developed by CDC and partners can help individuals create a water management program. PreventLD Training aligns with industry standards like ASHRAE Standard 188-2018 to effectively manage risk for Legionella bacteria.

Smoke-Free ATL Success

Atlanta City Council passed the Atlanta Smokefree Air Ordinance (19-O-1205) on July 1, 2019, banning indoor smoking in all bars and restaurants and the airport starting January 2, 2020 (with exceptions for cigar bars and hookah bars). The ordinance was promoted by Smoke-Free ATL, a coalition led by the American Cancer Society Action Network. ASHRAE first published a position document on Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) in 2010 to affirm that the only means of effectively eliminating health risks associated with indoor ETS exposure is to ban all smoking activity. ASHRAE Atlanta supported this ordinance with a letter from 2018-19 ASHRAE President Sheila Hayter, and testimony at city council meetings by ASHRAE members Elliott Horner, Henry Slack, and Meghan McNulty. 


Mayor’s Office of Resilience

The Mayor’s Office of Resilience has several initiatives that address energy efficiency, carbon reduction, and sustainability.

  • Clean Energy Plan – the draft of the city’s vision for a 100% clean energy future has been released: http://100atl.com/
  • Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance (CBEEO) - The City of Atlanta's Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance requires owners of commercial buildings over 25,000 sf to benchmark their energy and water consumption on an annual basis, as well as have an ASHRAE Level 2 energy audit performed every 10 years. These steps identify opportunities to improve the economic and resource efficiency of a building that may otherwise be overlooked. You can view a list of properties covered by the ordinance here. To find out more information visit www.atlantabuildingefficiency.com
    • New deadlines have been released for reporting in 2019
      • Benchmarking: 2018 energy and water data must be submitted through Portfolio Manager by November 15, 2019
      • Energy Audits: properties with an energy audit due in 2019 must have the summary audit report submitted by December 32, 2019
    • ASHRAE Atlanta is providing technical assistance to the OoR and additional volunteers are always welcome. Previous collaboration resulted in the following two guides:

Current (as of January 1, 2020) Georgia Energy Code Resources

Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs maintains the list of all current mandatory and permissive state construction codes, as well as copies of the state-specific amendments for each code here: https://dca.ga.gov/local-government-assistance/construction-codes-industrialized-buildings/construction-codes

The US Department of Energy maintains an extensive database of building energy codes for all states: https://www.energycodes.gov/adoption/states/georgia

Georgia’s current energy code has been in effect since January 1, 2011. For residential buildings, the code follows the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (2015 IECC) plus Georgia State Supplements and Amendments (2020). For commercial buildings, there are two options:

  • 2015 IECC plus Georgia State Supplements and Amendments (2019), OR
  • ASHRAE 90.1-2013
    • The 90.1 option is referenced in 2009 IECC Chapter 5, Section 501
    • The 2007 version of 90.1 is specified in 2009 IECC Chapter 6: Referenced Standards

The International Code Council provides free online access to the codes, including 2015 IECC here: 2015 International Energy Efficiency Code (online free read-only version) and All other I-Codes

For all Georgia State Supplements and Amendments to all codes effective 1/1/2020: https://www.dca.ga.gov/node/5689

Additional code resources:

Contact information for Department of Community Affairs Codes & Industrialized Buildings staff can be found on slide 2: https://www.dca.ga.gov/sites/default/files/energy_code_training_presentation_0.pdf

Stay up-to-date on government affairs around the country on the federal and state level, through ASHRAE's bi-weekly update emails - subscribe here.

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Last Updated:  March 2020

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