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Ferguson, PHCC Foundation celebrate decade of education

March 20th, 2014

WASHINGTON —Ferguson and the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (PHCC) Educational Foundation are celebrating 10 years of educational programs made possible by Ferguson contributions. These generous gifts to the Foundation’s annual giving campaign have supported the Foundation’s mission of providing quality business management and technical educational programs to contractors and their employees. The campaign also funds scholarships through the PHCC National Auxiliary’s scholarship program.

In 2005, Ferguson made a major charitable gift to the Foundation’s Invest in Your Future Annual Giving Campaign in support of industry education, and has continued to give generously each year since.

“Ferguson’s track record of support illustrates that loyalty and a belief in the value of long-term relationships are integral parts of their corporate values,” said Roger Peugeot, chairperson of the Foundation. “They have our thanks – and that of the industry – for making a decade of great education possible.”

“Ferguson joined the Foundation’s Board of Governors back in 1990,” said Henry Wood, senior director of Residential Business Group & Corporate Counter Development at Ferguson. “It has been a pleasure to expand this relationship through our backing of the Invest in Your Future Campaign over the past ten years. Enabling the Foundation’s efforts to provide training for thousands of people makes the scale of what we have accomplished together remarkable.”

The 2014 fundraising goal for the Foundation’s annual campaign is $150,000 to support the development and delivery of industry educational programs and scholarships. InSinkErator also provides matching contributions for the fundraiser.

By making a gift to the annual giving campaign, contractors, suppliers and manufacturers can show their support for the industry and be included on the Foundation’s published contributor thank you list. Gift forms and a list of industry donors are available on the Foundation website.


HARDI settles in lawsuit with DOE

March 19th, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Heating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) announced that a settlement has been reached in the long-running lawsuit regarding Regional Efficiency Standards for residential gas furnaces and central air-conditioners finalized by the Department of Energy (DOE) in October 2011. The settlement would remand the efficiency standards for gas furnaces, forcing the DOE to begin the process for assessing efficiency standards anew and in a more transparent manner.

The increase and regionalization in the standards for central air-conditioners will remain. But, the DOE has allowed for a “sell-through” period of 18-months and agreed not to penalize HVACR distributors as part of the enforcement of the Regional Standard. Additionally, the DOE has agreed to engage in a process to review the regulatory processes that established the Regional Efficiency Standards.

The settlement signifies a victory for HVACR distributors.

“Our goal from the start has been twofold. The first was to provide relief to our members who faced damages as a result of DOE’s actions. The second has been to fix the process, so this will never happen again. We believe this settlement accomplishes both goals to the greatest extent possible,” said Royce Henderson, president of HARDI.

HARDI Executive Vice-President andCOO Talbot Gee said, “While of course not perfect, this notably favorable outcome is entirely owed to the exemplary leadership of our Board of Directors, Policy Task Force and HVAC Council who, for multiple years now, have put aside competitive interests, endured sometimes intense pressure from suppliers and customers, and have maintained the foresight to focus on what’s in the best interest of HVAC distributors and our industry today, tomorrow and in years beyond.”

Henderson acknowledged his predecessors’ work leading up to this settlement.

“Richard Cook (Johnson Supply), Bud Mingledorff (Mingledorff’s Inc.) and Brian Cobble (G.W. Berkheimer Co.) deserve praise for guiding us through much of this process, which was uncharted territory for HARDI,” Henderson said.


AHRI releases new Heating, Cooling Equipment Shipment data

March 18th, 2014

ARLINGTON, Va. — A full report of the January monthly shipments is available from The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).

According to the report, Residential Storage Water Heaters U.S. shipments of residential gas storage water heaters for January increased 2.2 percent, to 370,850 units, up from 363,004 units shipped in January 2013. Commercial Storage Water Heaters Commercial gas storage water heater shipments decreased 13.0 percent in January to 7,206 units, down from 8,282 units shipped in January 2013.

For more details, including information on Warm Air FurnacesCentral Air Conditioners and Air-Source Heat Pumps, see the full report on the AHRI website.

AHRI is a trade association representing manufacturers of air conditioning, heating, commercial refrigeration, and water heating equipment. An internationally recognized advocate for the industry, AHRI develops standards for and certifies the performance of many of these products. AHRI’s 300 plus member companies manufacture quality, efficient, and innovative residential and commercial air conditioning, space heating, water heating, and commercial refrigeration equipment and components for sale in North America and around the world.


Winters adds new lead free instrumentation

March 17th, 2014

TORONTO, Ontario — Winters Instruments introduced a line of lead free products for drinking water.

Winters Instruments launched a new line of lead free pressure gauges, thermometers and accessories. The line is manufactured to comply with the 2014 Safe Drinking Water Act. The act, which took effect January 4, limits the amount of lead content of all products installed in potable/drinking water systems.

Winters Instruments is a global manufacturer of pressure and temperature instrumentation, with distribution in over 80 countries.


Illinois ranks No. 1 in U.S. for LEED Green Building

March 14th, 2014

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released its ranking of the Top 10 States for LEED, in which the state of Illinois placed first. The list highlights the regions around the U.S. that are at the forefront of the movement for sustainable building design, construction and operation.

Utilizing less energy and water, LEED-certified spaces save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce carbon emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

“In the face of the extraordinary global challenge of climate change, our national imperative to create resource-efficient and cost-effective green buildings has never been greater,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of USGBC. “Illinois has a strong base of dedicated individuals who are using LEED to transform its built infrastructure into high-performing spaces that promote the health of our planet and the people who use these buildings each and every day.”

“Illinois’ national ranking is the result of the robust network of businesses committed to sustainability working together with elected officials who understand the benefits of green building,” said Brian Imus, executive director of the Chicago-based USGBC Illinois Chapter. “It’s great to see passion from so many people making an impact and moving Illinois closer to the goal of everyone living, working and learning in a green and healthy building.”

The per-capita list is based on 2010 U.S. Census data and includes commercial and institutional green building projects that were certified throughout 2013. Illinois certified 171 projects representing 29,415,284 square feet of real estate, or 2.29 square feet per resident, in 2013.

USGBC calculates the list using per-capita figures as a measure of the human element of green building, allowing for a fair comparison of the level of green building taking place among states with significant differences in population and, accordingly, number of overall buildings.

A few notable projects that certified in Illinois in 2013 include:
• The Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie, LEED Gold
• Choices Mental Health Facility in Ottawa, LEED Platinum
• 300 North LaSalle, a 57-story, 1.3 million-square-foot tower in Chicago developed and managed by USGBC Platinum Member Hines, LEED Platinum
• The Caterpillar Visitors Center in Peoria, LEED Gold
• Engine Company 16 in Chicago, LEED Platinum
• Lincoln Hall at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, LEED Platinum
• Powell Elementary School in Chicago, LEED Gold
• Lincoln Land Community College Workforce Careers Center in Springfield, LEED Silver

There are 541 USGBC member organizations with headquarters in Illinois, employing more than 14 million people and grossing more than $106 billion in annual revenue. In addition, there are more than 8,600 LEED credentialed professionals in the state.

Collectively, 1,777 commercial and institutional projects became LEED certified within the top 10 states in 2013, representing 226.8 million square feet of real estate. Worldwide, 4,642 projects were certified in 2013, representing 596.8 million square feet.

More than 20,000 projects representing 2.9 billion square feet of space have been LEED-certified worldwide, with another 37,000 projects representing 7.6 billion square feet in the pipeline for certification.

USGBC launched LEED v4, the newest version of the rating system, in the fall of 2013. The latest version continues to raise the bar for the entire green building industry, which McGraw-Hill Construction projects could be worth up to $248 billion in the U.S. by 2016. LEED v4 features increased technical rigor; new market sector adaptations for data centers, warehouses and distribution centers, hospitality, existing schools, existing retail, and mid-rise residential projects; and a simplified submittal process supported by a robust and intuitive technology platform.

The full ranking of the top 10 states includes:
table leed

Reliable Controls names VP Sales and Marketing, Americas

March 13th, 2014

reliable vp

NOVATO, Calif. — Reliable Controls announced the promotion of Rick Rosine to vice president of Sales & Marketing, Americas.

Rosine has worked in the Direct Digital Controls industry his entire career, starting as a DDC Technician in 1986, the same year Reliable Controls was founded, then moving to a position as an Application Engineer for a temperature controls company in 1992, followed by an Engineering Manager role for one of our past dealers in 1998, before accepting the role of Regional Sales Manager – Central U.S. for Reliable Controls in 2007.

During his tenure with Reliable Controls as RSM – Central US, Rosine was instrumental in growing the region in six out of seven years, typically posting double-digit growth. At the end of 2013, the Central – U.S. region was home to four of the top 10 dealers in the global Reliable Controls Authorized Dealer network, and sales closed at an astonishing 3.5 times than when Rosine joined the company.

Rosine now takes on the challenge of helping the existing team of Regional Sales Managers in the Americas to grow the respective regions, and to develop distribution in Central and South America.


Emerson’s Andre Patenaude to present at CMPX Show

March 12th, 2014

ST. LOUIS — Emerson Climate Technologies announced Andre Patenaude, director of marketing at Emerson Climate Technologies Canada, will speak at the 2014 Canadian Mechanical and Plumbing Exposition (CMPX). CMPX will be held in Toronto on March 19–21.

Patenaude will present “Enhanced Refrigeration Solutions” at 10:30 a.m. (EST) on March 19. Patenaude will discuss several enhanced solutions that can be applied in both retrofit and new refrigeration and air conditioning applications. Lowering energy consumption, through precise system control and modulation, will also reduce the carbon footprint. These enhanced solutions will provide faster and more accurate system diagnostics. He will also present several case study examples in which an enhanced solution has benefited both the contractor and the end user.

Emerson works closely with hundreds of manufacturers of commercial refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. Driven by energy regulations and North American guidelines, this equipment continually evolves to become more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Within the commercial sector, foodservice has one of the highest energy uses per square foot, due largely to the need for commercial refrigerators and freezers. All of this equipment — ice machines, refrigerators, walk-in coolers and rooftop air conditioners — benefits from recent compressor innovations, new refrigerants and improvements in system efficiency.

Patenaude leads Emerson’s Canadian market strategy, planning and implementation of programs for its refrigeration and air conditioning business. His focus is to research market dynamics, define opportunities, identify synergies and work with the sales business development teams to provide individual customer strategies. Patenaude is a Certified Mechanical Engineering Technologist and has served as director of the Manufacturer’s Division of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute. He is an active member of the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society, Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists and ASHRAE.


Webinar to be hosted by NATE

March 11th, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The North American Technician Excellence (NATE) has made it its mission to improve the industry through certifying technicians through rigorous, knowledge-based tests that give them a real world working knowledge of HVACR Systems.

On March 12, NATE will be hosting a webinar, “What It Takes To Be A NATE Testing Organization,” from 12-1 pm (EST). This webinar will explain how an organization can become a NATE testing provider, and tips/best practices from John Sigerson of O’Connor Company and Jack Bartell of Virginia Air Distributors. Participants will also learn how to qualify for consideration for the NATE National 2014 Certifier and Norh American Chapter Affiliate/Regions Certifier Awards given at the 2014 HARDI Annual Conference.

RSVPs are required for this event as space is limited.


Trane partners with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

March 10th, 2014

LAS VEGAS — Trane, a leading global provider of home comfort solutions and services and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, a strategic partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Trane will serve as a national sponsor of the 2014 St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway.

Through the partnership, Trane will donate heating and cooling products for nearly 30 custom-built homes that will be given away throughout the year through local raffle drawings. The funds raised will help support the hospital’s lifesaving mission of finding cures and saving lives of kids battling cancer and other deadly diseases.

The St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway is one of the largest single-event fundraising efforts for St. Jude, which is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other deadly diseases. Each year, approximately 30 St. Jude Dream Homes, valued between $300,000 and $600,000, are built in cities across the country in partnership with local home builders and businesses using mostly donated materials, supplies and labor. When complete, the homes are opened to the public for tours and given away through the sale of $100 raffle tickets.

Established more than two decades ago, the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway program has built and given away more than 340 homes and raised more than $270 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“For more than 100 years, Trane has been known for its reliability in providing home comfort to families with our heating and cooling products,” said Scott Martin, vice president of Marketing at Trane. “We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to provide lasting comfort for those families who win a St. Jude Dream Home, and ultimately support St. Jude in providing families with some level of comfort knowing that they will never receive a bill from St. Jude for anything.”

St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway in 30 U.S Cities

In 2014 the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway will be held in the following cities:
• April: Biloxi, Miss.; Peoria, Ill.; Warner Robins, Ga.; and Monroe, La.
• May: Hampton Roads, Va.; Santa Maria, Calif.; and Colorado Springs, Colo.
• June: Lafayette, La.; Bakersfield, Calif.; Baton Rouge, La.; Boise, Idaho; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Memphis, Tenn.; Nashville, Tenn.; New Orleans; Springfield, Mo.; and Tulsa, Okla.
• August: Shreveport, La.; and Paducah, Ky.
• September: Bowling Green, Ky.; Jackson, Miss.; St. Louis, Mo.: and Charleston, W.V.
• October: Kansas City, Mo.; and Charlotte, N.C.
• November: Fresno, Calif.; and Denver.


MTI Baths celebrates 25th anniversary

March 7th, 2014

ATLANTA — MTI Baths celebrated its 25th anniversary recently, a milestone that highlights the transformation of a small family business into one of today’s leading bath manufacturers.

It all started with one man’s dream to create a better bathtub. The company was founded in 1988 by J.C. Henry, a factory machinist with an entrepreneurial spirit who wanted to make the best whirlpool tubs in the market. He named his company “Mr. Tubs” and began buying tubs from other manufacturers and plumbing them with his own whirlpool systems. It wasn’t long before he decided to take matters into his own hands by purchasing a defunct bathtub manufacturing facility and started to produce his own tubs.

Within a few short years, his company was creating a higher quality acrylic tub than was commonly available at the time. Henry wasn’t satisfied though. He was bothered by the build-up of soap residue and other deposits left behind in the whirlpool plumbing lines. After a great deal of trial and error, Henry created a self-cleaning whirlpool. He obtained a patent for his design, and as the years passed, the company grew under his leadership, offering an unprecedented degree of customizations for tubs and pursuing high-end showroom sales and hotel projects.

When Henry decided to retire in 2002, he wanted to leave the company in trusted hands that would continue his legacy of quality and service. He refused several outside offers and opted to sell the company to a group of 25 employees who mortgaged all they had to raise the cash. At that time, the company was renamed MTI Whirlpools and embarked on its current mission to become the best in the world.

In 2003, MTI became one of the first tub manufacturers to offer a Lifetime Warranty that is still the most comprehensive in the industry. Since then, the company has obtained multiple new patents, earned dozens of awards for new products and design excellence, and has been featured countless times on popular HGTV and DIY programs. In 2011, MTI’s name was changed to MTI Baths to more clearly communicate the variety of its product offerings, which are available through an exclusive network of kitchen, bath and plumbing showrooms across the country.

Today, the Atlanta-based company has 144 employees and more than $20 million in revenue. It is respected throughout the industry as an innovator of custom and handcrafted bath products with a laser-like focus on impeccable quality and customer satisfaction. The company’s stated goal is simple and straight-forward – to be the best in the world at what they do.


As a curator of fine bath products – from tubs to sinks to shower pans– MTI can attribute its success to its unmatched degree of quality and craftsmanship. Each product is built to order and handcrafted by artisans here in the U.S. There are no robots in MTI’s production facilities – only real people creating exceptional products, one careful step at a time. Each product is made to individual specifications and is manufactured only after the order is placed.

From the type of hydrotherapy to the placements of jets to all manner of available options, the possibilities for customization are nearly limitless. Remarkably, even with this advanced degree of personalization, most MTI products ship within seven business days, the fastest in the industry.

Over the past quarter century, MTI has won top awards for innovative design, including nine prestigious ADEX awards last year alone. Among the most recent examples of their success on the design side of the business is the steady chorus of accolades generated by the new Juliet tub. Created by designer Audrey Newsome in partnership with MTI’s President and Chief of Design Russell Adams, the Juliet has a sculpture-like silhouette that was inspired by a vintage candy bowl. Its versatile shape, which changes depending on the viewing angle, fits in well in a traditional or contemporary space. The tub has been featured in numerous design blogs and was named as a finalist in Interior Design magazine’s eighth annual “Best of Year” awards.


MTI prides itself on being customer-focused. Solving a customer’s problem is just one more opportunity to make MTI a positive experience. They have even gone to such lengths as to fly an employee to another country to help make sure a large installation project went smoothly.
Being adaptable to change is the hallmark of a successful business, and one that certainly holds true for MTI. Once specializing primarily in whirlpool tubs, the company has greatly expanded its offerings over the years, shifting with consumer preferences to add a line of shower bases, bath furniture, bathroom sinks, renewable teak bath products and more, all while continuing to feature advanced bathing hydrotherapies.

MTI is also in tune with evolving design trends, offering products that are on the edge of emerging styles. The Designer Collection includes more than 100 bath models in styles ranging from elegant and traditional to contemporary and minimalist. Most can be specified as a soaker, air bath, whirlpool or combination, complemented by a wide range of options and accessories. In fact, MTI is known for its willingness to change or customize its tubs, often regarding the original design as merely a starting point.

As MTI makes plans for continued growth – including a new manufacturing plant to allow room for new product lines – CEO Kathy Adams underscores the importance of balancing ‘big picture’ planning with the immediacy of the daily functions of running a business.

“The process of running a long-term sustainable business involves knowing when and how to change big items, such as product offerings, targeted distribution channels and marketing campaigns,” Adams said. “We need to keep doing well all those things we are doing well. This is more than maintaining the status quo. It is about continually improving and the natural consequence of that process is change.”


It stands to reason that in an employee-owned company, employee input is highly valued. During the recent recession, MTI employees were encouraged to bring their ideas to the table – and management implemented many of them. Company mantras include “continual improvement” and “zero defects” – philosophies that encourage cross-training for all employees. Each employee is urged to view him or herself as a leader and as part of a team, and all are fully trained to provide the best products and service. Pride in workmanship is intrinsic to the culture, and more than 76 percent of employees have an ownership stake in the company. MTI was recognized as a Top Workplace by the Atlanta Constitution-Journal for creating a work environment that encourages employee feedback and fosters growth by taking ideas from every department, not just upper management.

Recycling is big, from the materials used in manufacturing and shipping to everyday office supplies. Approximately 65 percent of the materials used in ESS are organic, and over 40 percent of the materials used in acrylic products is post-industrial recycled material. MTI uses the newest chemicals that offer the lowest emissions, and the teak used in their bath products is harvested only after a replacement tree had been planted 20 years earlier.

The company also designs products that enable consumers to be more environmentally responsible. The Jentle Jet jetted laundry sink launders fine washables using only about five gallons of water, compared to 35+ gallons in a washing machine set to the delicate cycle. MTI’s whirlpool cleaning system uses less than 10 gallons of water, far less than that required by other manufacturers’ cleaning procedures.



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