ASTM Board Meets in Chicago
In keeping with the tradition of meeting in locations away from ASTM International headquarters, the ASTM board of directors took the opportunity to assemble in Chicago on Oct. 13-16 for this year's fall meeting. With more than 1,000 active ASTM members in and around the Chicago area, the Windy City is no stranger to ASTM International.
Members in "Chicagoland" are active on nearly all of ASTM's 143 technical committees, and next to Washington, D.C., Chicago is the leading association headquarters city in the United States, making it the country's second largest association community.
Another interesting connection to ASTM International comes on the heels of today's focus on the environment. Chicago is the first major U.S. city to achieve a distinguished sustainability rating based on ASTM standards for meetings, conventions and other events.
ASTM's green meeting standards are the first to provide comprehensive performance requirements for nine areas of meeting and event production, ranging from accommodations to food, and meeting venues to transportation. These ASTM standards provide event planners and suppliers with specifications for producing events more sustainably.
"Choosing Chicago as the location for our board of directors meeting is an example of ASTM standards in action," says ASTM International President James A. Thomas. "With the recent release of the complete suite of ASTM standards covering the sustainability of destinations and events, these ASTM documents are benchmarks. Chicago is one of the first cities in the world to achieve certification as a sustainable destination, a distinction which is based on ASTM standards."
Further refining Chicago's environmental focus is the city's Sustainable Chicago 2015 initiative, a roadmap that sets goals, actions and commitments toward sustainability. ASTM standards address many of the sectors covered in Sustainable Chicago 2015, including clean energy, transportation, water and wastewater, and recycling.
One full day of the board's stay was devoted to making and furthering local connections. On Tuesday, Oct. 22, teams of board members and senior staff embarked on 28 visits to corporations and associations, as well as a national laboratory and a local university. In total, ASTM had the opportunity to reach some 400 individuals from various sectors where ASTM standards play a key role in quality, safety and commerce. (See sidebar, "Chicago Outreach Day Visits.")
Part of Outreach Day involved members and staff seeing the application of ASTM International standards firsthand. The various teams toured corporate facilities, warehouses and in-house testing labs, and saw such ASTM activities as interlaboratory testing. At several locations, the site visits served to generate new interest among individuals at the host organizations who were less familiar with ASTM, further extending the impact of Outreach Day. It was a day of knowledge sharing, information exchange and overall good will.
Dominic Sims, CEO of the International Code Council, addressed the board as the luncheon speaker on the first full day of policy meetings. ICC is dedicated to developing model codes used to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures.
Sims emphasized the strong relationship between ASTM International and ICC, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this past July. "The minutes of the first ICC meeting show ASTM at the top of the list of attendees. ASTM is a valued partner," Sims said.
ASTM International is one of five cooperating sponsors of ICC's International Green Construction Code, the first model code to include sustainability measures for the entire construction project and its site. Forty ASTM standards are cited in the IgCC, and 13 ASTM technical committees have standards referenced in the IgCC on topics ranging from air quality to thermal insulation.
Chicago is among other world-class cities that have been destination for the ASTM board to convene. Past meeting locations include Beijing, Berlin, London, Mexico City, New York City, Stockholm, Tokyo, Toronto and Washington, D.C.
The next away location for the board will be the capital and largest city in South Korea, Seoul, in October 2014.