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 October 2006 Global Notebook

New Standards Portal Focuses on U.S.-China Trade

The American National Standards Institute and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in cooperation with the Standardization Administration of China, have announced the launch of a Standards Portal that will facilitate the trade of goods and services between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. Designed primarily for industry stakeholders and policy officials, the Standards Portal contains dual-language (Mandarin and English) educational materials on the structure, history, and operation of the U.S. and Chinese standards systems; a database of 2,000 standards (1,000 from each nation) considered vital to successful trade between the two nations; and access to nearly 300,000 other national, regional and international standards and guidelines.

DoC Seeks Input on the Burden of Information Collection

As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, the U.S. Department of Commerce invites public comment on the type and manner of information collected from testing and calibration laboratories applying for accreditation by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program. The NVLAP application process entails the completion of a general application form in addition to program-specific applications for each field in which the laboratory is seeking accreditation. Additionally, applications are requested for both new and renewed requests for accreditation and require the signature of the laboratory’s authorized representative. In particular, DoC invites comments pertaining to:

• The necessity and utility of the requested information;
• Ways to enhance the quality and clarity of the information;
• The accuracy of the department’s estimate of the time and cost burdens of the information collection, as outlined in the Federal Register notice; and
• Means of minimizing the burden.

The affected public includes business and other for-profit organizations; not-for-profit institutions; and federal, state, and local government. Written comments should be submitted to Diana Hynek, departmental paperwork clearance officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6625, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230 or via e-mail. Comments must be submitted by Nov. 6.

Workshop Addresses How to Avoid Progressive Collapse

The 1995 bombing that triggered the collapse of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Okla., first raised concerns in the United States about the safety of public buildings from “progressive collapse” (the spread of an initial local failure in a structure until it results in the collapse of the entire building or a disproportionately large part of it). Since that event and the subsequent terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, both private and public groups have begun to address progressive collapse as a design requirement for new buildings. Working with experts in the design, construction and operation of buildings, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has prepared a comprehensive set of best practice guidelines for reducing the likelihood of progressive collapse of structures, and is participating in a series of technical workshops to spread the word. Among the items featured in the document are an acceptable risk approach to progressive collapse, a review of design methods used to enhance a building’s resistance to progressive collapse, a look at progressive collapse provisions in building standards around the world, and case studies of progressive collapse events triggered by abnormal loading (where building integrity is compromised by unexpected hazards from explosions, aircraft or vehicle impacts, foundation failures, construction errors, etc.). NIST and the Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers will hold a workshop on Oct. 19 in Chicago (as part of the 2006 ASCE Annual Conference). All pre-registered attendees will receive a draft copy of the NIST document in advance of the workshop. To register online, select a date and location under “Progressive Collapse Workshops” at the SEI Web site.

CORM 2007 Annual Technical Conference

The Council for Optical Radiation Measurements is a non-profit professional organization working to identify and resolve technical issues in the use and measurement of optical radiation. The CORM annual technical conference will be held May 8-11, 2007, in Gaithersburg, Md. It will provide a venue for professionals in the field of optical radiation, radiometry, photometry, and optical properties of materials to exchange the latest information on metrology, standards, measurements, and instrumentation with colleagues from industry, government, and education. The theme of the 2007 conference is “Optical Radiation Consensus Standards and Industry.” Participants in consensus standards organizations such as ASTM, the International Commission on Illumination (CIE), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and Deutsches Institut für Normung are invited to exchange information on the needs of the industrial community with representatives of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and industry, government, and educational sectors that use, measure, or manipulate optical radiation in their fields. See the Web site.

AATCC and TI Announce Membership Agreement

The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists and The Textile Institute have made an agreement whereby each association will offer discounted membership in its organization to people who are current members of the other association. The agreement takes effect on Jan. 1, 2007. According to the agreement, current members of one organization who are not already members of both organizations may become members of the other organization at a discounted rate of 30 percent. //

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