ANS Key Steps Document Released

The updated "ANSI Essential Requirements: Due Process Requirements for American National Standards" has been released by the American National Standards Institute. The new version includes links for relevant forms and more information. The ANS process includes consensus by a group open to all interested parties; broad-based public review; incorporation of proposed changes that meet consensus requirements in a draft standard; and the availability of a procedural appeals process.

Sustainability TAC Established

The International Accreditation Service, a part of the International Code Council, has established a technical advisory council on sustainability. The TAC is addressing the additional demand for accreditation of sustainability programs and is beginning to develop accreditation criteria for commissioning agencies. Future topics will include testing laboratory, calibration laboratory and product certification agency accreditation.

ANSI Energy Efficiency Collaborative to Develop Roadmap

The American National Standards Institute Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative is working on a roadmap intended to identify what standards, codes and conformance solutions are currently available, where gaps may exist and what additional standardization activities may be needed to advance energy efficiency in the United States. The main EESCC goal is to increase awareness, adoption and implementation of standards, codes and conformance activities among policymakers and the market. The working groups are addressing building energy and water assessment standards; systems integration and communications; building energy modeling, rating and labeling; evaluation, measurement and verification; and work force credentialing. The first EESCC in-person plenary meeting will be held Jan. 22-23 in Arlington, Va. Emailed updates are available on request.

Self-Healing Concrete under Development

A new concrete that patches itself is being tested outdoors. Work is under way at Delft Technical University, The Netherlands, by the concrete's developers, microbiologist Henk Jonkers and concrete technologist Eric Schlangen. To improve the durability of this widely used building material, the team has added bacterial spores and their nutrients as granules to the concrete mix; rain activates the spores, which produce limestone.

ILAC Arrangement Extended

The International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation mutual recognition arrangement has been extended to include inspection bodies; each signatory to the ILAC MRA now recognizes the accreditation and results of an inspection body accredited by another signatory. The arrangement, which includes 39 accreditation bodies from 39 economies, was signed in October 2012. To ensure a uniform approach to assessing inspection body competence, accreditation bodies that are signatories to the ILAC MRA use International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) 17020 on Conformity Assessment - Requirements for the Operation of Various Types of Bodies Performing Inspection. This consistency allows economies to establish cross-border agreements based on mutual evaluation and acceptance of each other's inspection body accreditation systems.

Report Addresses Manufacturing

The 2012 report, "Facts about Manufacturing," is now available. Produced jointly by the Manufacturing Institute, the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, and the National Association of Manufacturers, the report provides 65 figures and analysis that show the importance of the manufacturing sector and the challenges that the industry faces. The data assesses the role of manufacturing in such areas as economic growth, innovation, employment and compensation, environment, trade and investment, and competitiveness.

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.