Progress made on Vancouver green plan

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Dear Editor,

The Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating would like to provide clarification to the April 2017 P&HVAC Magazine article titled “Vancouver ‘greenest city’ plan alarms industry”. Considerable progress has been made on the proposed plumbing changes.

The CIPH team worked closely with the City of Vancouver technical and policy team on the plumbing bylaw changes within planned updates to the Vancouver Building By-Laws with both technical commentary and support with the intent to align with the National Plumbing Code for water conservation measures and flow rates.

The CIPH bulletin dated Sept. 15 was an alert to members to educate them on the changes proposed with the technical analysis that was provided to the City of Vancouver by both Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) and CIPH. It was from that platform that CIPH begun the deep consultation with the City of Vancouver team to understand their objectives and needs and balance it with the consensus based national model codes.

CIPH has had nothing but open, rapid and direct communication, co-operation and collaboration with the team on those technical matters.

We connected the City of Vancouver with the province’s policy makers to collaborate on adoption times and schedules. The province intended to adopt the 2015 NPC and the adoption schedule alignment should be considered.

As a result, the City of Vancouver team have had both face-to-face and virtually open lines of constant communication on the technical rationale for the plumbing bylaw changes, tweaking them until the wording was near perfect, were aligned to the national codes, and we were sure that City of Vancouver staff could defend these changes in front of Council.

On April 12, the City of Vancouver Council opted to approve the changes that city staff developed. The decision to align and adopt the fixture flow rates with 2015 National Plumbing Code was the ultimate result.

Coordination with the province on adoption schedules resulted in the Jan. 1, 2018 effective date.

Here is the current wording that has been adopted into regulation:

  • Water closet: 4.8 litres per flush (Lpf), with discretion of the Chief Building Official for up to 6.0 Lpf in retrofits;
  • Shower head: 7.6 litres per minute (L/min);
  • Lavatory faucet: 1.9 L/min, except 5.7 L/min for private use areas;
  • Pre-rinse spray valve: 4.8 L/min;
  • Wash fountain: 6.8 L/min for each plumbing fixture.

We respectfully request that this information supersede your April 2017 magazine article.

Regards,
Ralph Suppa, CAE
president and general manager
Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating

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