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 June 2007
Global Notebook

American National Standards Process: Guidance Documents Available

The American National Standards Institute has made available online a toolkit for all ANSI-accredited standards developers. The suite of guidance documents is intended to support developers through the American National Standards development process, including the ANSI audit. Hallmarks of the ANS process include consensus by a group that is open to all interested parties, broad-based public review, incorporation of submitted changes that meet consensus requirements into a draft standard, and the availability of a procedural appeals process. To guide developers through this process, the online resource materials offer:

• A slideshow presentation overview of the American National Standards process;
• A reference guide to ANS deliverables and maintenance options;
• Key steps in the ANS process – from accreditation to final appeal;
• The ANS compliance reference guide, covering best practices that support compliance with ANSI’s requirements;
• Top 10 ANSI standards developer audit findings, which outline common errors;
• Tips and techniques for the ANSI audit process;
• A self-audit tool;
• An audit process flow chart;
• An electronic document checklist, guiding the maintenance of ANS compliance-related records;
• Key implementation and compliance considerations for ANS-related procedural compliance assessments;
• An ANSI appeals process guide; and
• A summary of revisions to the ANSI Essential Requirements (2003-2007).

All resources are available in the ANSI Public Document Library. The documents will be updated on an ongoing basis; additional resources will be added as appropriate.

Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete

The American Concrete Institute announces that ACI Committee 318 plans to publish ACI 318-08, “Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete,” in January 2008. As an important part of finalizing revisions to ACI 318-05, ACI invites the public to review and comment on the proposed revisions during a public discussion period. The proposed revisions will be available for download from the ACI Web site, no later than July 1, 2007. To request paper or compact disc copies of the proposed revisions, call 248/848-3800. All comments received by Aug. 15 will be considered by Committee 318.

Golden Gate Bridge Seismic Retrofit Wins 2007 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award

The Golden Gate Bridge has long been considered vulnerable to significant earthquake damage — with a 65 percent probability of an earthquake with a magnitude of at least 6.7 striking the San Francisco region before the year 2030. To protect this international icon, five structures of the bridge were retrofitted to withstand an 8.3 Richter scale-magnitude earthquake occurring seven miles west of the bridge. In recognition of the project’s success, the Golden Gate Bridge Seismic Retrofit Phase II South Approach Structures Project has been honored with the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2007 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement award. The OCEA award recognizes the project’s significant contribution to the civil engineering profession and its local community. The extent and cost of the retrofit were significantly reduced by the techniques used — many of which had never before been employed — which greatly decreased the magnitude of earthquake-induced forces in the structures (the south approach viaduct, the south anchorage housing, two south pylons and the Fort Point arch). Major modifications included completely replacing the viaduct supports and bottom lateral bracing; replacing the west wall and strengthening the east wall of the south anchorage housing; installing external and internal steel plating and an architectural concrete cover on the pylon walls and a high capacity tiedown system at the pylon foundations; and installing uplift guides and impact force reducing devices at the bearings of the arch.

NIST Releases Major Update of Popular REFPROP Database

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released an expanded and upgraded version of a popular database, a computer package for calculating the properties and modeling the behavior of fluids. Data on key components of alternative fuels, such as ethanol and hydrogen, are among the many new additions to NIST’s Reference Fluid Thermodynamic and Transport Properties Database Version 8.0, which provides critically evaluated property values needed to evaluate fluids and optimize related equipment and processes. Among its new features, Version 8.0 provides properties of ethanol, cryogenic fluids and additional natural gas components. It also includes many new equations, which enable users to plug in variables such as temperature and pressure and find out how a fluid’s other properties, such as density and viscosity, stack up. In addition, many other aspects of the program have been enhanced, including the graphical interface. More information about REFPROP, the NIST Reference Fluid Thermodynamic and Transport Properties Database (SRD 23), is available here.

ANSI Publishes Second Edition of National Conformity Assessment Principles Document

Recognizing the importance of conformity assessment to national competitiveness, the American National Standards Institute Conformity Assessment Policy Committee recently updated the National Conformity Assessment Principles for the United States. The document articulates principles for U.S. conformity assessment activities that promote confidence among consumers, buyers, sellers, regulators and other parties, without creating unnecessary barriers to trade. This second edition builds on the original framework published in October 2002. The NCAP can be applied to all types of conformity assessment activities, including accreditation, certification, inspection, registration, testing and supplier’s declaration of conformity. Particular consideration is given to approaches that facilitate trade, provide regulatory confidence and protect public safety. //