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Latest ASTM Technology Transfer Forum Held in Mexico on Sustainability of Residential Construction

On Aug. 27, in cooperation with CONAFOVI, the Home Building Advancement Commission of the Mexican Government, ASTM International hosted a Technology Transfer Forum for Standardization in the Sustainability of Residential Construction in Mexico. Sixty-six invitees attended from Mexican government regulators, building industry, mortgage and financial institutions, and standards developing organizations.

As explained by CONAFOVI Commissioner Carlos Gutiérrez, Mexican public home-building plans call for the construction of 750,000 homes per year by 2006. This effort requires a 100 percent increase over the levels of the year 2000 and represents an enormous increase in services to the Mexican population including water, energy and other resources. This effort will be better served if it is carried out under adequate standard procedures.

Belinda Ramírez of CONAFOVI, who was partly responsible for the excellent outcome of the Forum, mentioned that there will soon be a Green Seal for construction in Mexico covering products, systems and designs that comply with sustainability requirements in a process that will require a set of relevant standards.

Gustavo Orpinel, director of Urban Environmental Advancement at the Mexican Environmental and Natural Resources Department, also spoke, explaining the high visibility this issue has gained and the existing interest in following relevant standard procedures.

Also participating from ASTM were John Nicholas, the chairman of E06 on Performance of Buildings, and Luis Ordóñez, board member, who together explained ASTM’s process, its electronic standards development tools and the significance of ASTM to the building community, and explored the participation of Mexican stakeholders in the process.

An inquisitive audience responded with an interest in the ASTM process. It is hoped that the information provided at the forum will result in the greater relevance of ASTM standards in Mexico’s residential construction market.

—Luis Ordonez

Presenters at the Technology Transfer Forum included (from left): John Nicholas, chairman of ASTM Committee E06, Omega Point Labs; Fernando Mayagoitia-Witrón, Urbi; Francisco Flores-Cruz, Geo; Gustavo Orpinel Guerra, Mexican Secretariat for the Environment and Natural Resources; Carlos Gutiérrez-Ruiz, Commissioner, CONAFOVI; and Belinda Ramírez-Reyes, CONAFOVI.

Cristina González, CONAFOVI (third seated from left); Mayra Lazcano, Sociedad Hipotecaria Nacional (fourth from left); and Gabriela Rojo, CONAFOVI (partially hidden behind Lazcano) listen to presentations.

South Africa Signs MOU with ASTM International

The South African Bureau of Standards has become the 24th national standards body to sign a memorandum of understanding with ASTM International. Through these MOUs, ASTM intends to help signatories to use standards in support of the needs of their citizens in areas of public health and safety, technology development, and environmental protection. //

ASTM Representatives Provide Training at APEC/PASC Program

On Aug. 19-20, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC) jointly hosted a Training Program on Participation in International Standardization Processes in Hanoi, Vietnam. The event was held at the headquarters of STAMEQ, the Vietnam Directorate for Standards and Quality. ASTM Vice President of Global Cooperation Kitty Kono and Director Dan Smith were present at the sessions and attended the PASC meetings, held after the training program nearby in Hanoi.

The workshop focused on the challenges of international standardization and featured discussions and case studies on topics ranging from the importance of using international standards in regulation to a panel discussion on the use of information technology tools for standards development.

Speakers included Peter N. Walsh, executive director of Standards Australia International, Douglas M. Durant of Deere and Co., Naotake Fujishiro of the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee, Kevin McKinley of Standards Council Canada, G.R. Visser of South Africa, Gary Kushnier of the American National Standards Institute, Tomoko Sakaguchi of the Japanese Standards Association, Rob Steele of Standards New Zealand, and Dennis Chew of the International Electrotechnical Commission. Dan Smith demonstrated ASTM’s use of information technology in the development of its standards for the panel discussion on IT Tools for Standards Development.

Forty members of Pacific Rim industry and standards developing organizations from countries including Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Fiji, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam attended the sessions. //

Dan Smith, a director in ASTM’s Technical Committee Operations Division, discusses ASTM’s standards development processes at the APEC/PASC Training Program on Participation in International Standardization Processes in Hanoi, Vietnam.

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