Builders, plasterers and pool industry professionals are eagerly awaiting news of the APSP/ICC/NPC-12 American National Standard for the Plastering of Swimming Pools The standards are the culmination of a year’s worth of work as the standards make their way to becoming an American National Standard approved by the American National Standards Institute.
The process began with the draft’s writers, the APSP-12. The draft was then submitted to the APSP technical committee for review for accuracy. Upon technical committee approval, it was submitted to a vote of draft consensus by an APSP Standards Consensus Committee, and then unveiled to the public for a public review period. This was followed by a writer-response
period. As of July 17, the draft was eligible to be sent to ANSI for approval.
Creating the standards has been a long haul, with a more unsettled history than those outside of the industry could ever imagine. But for those in the industry, the idea of creating standards received near universal support, and the APSP recognized that there was a certain need for such standards.
“We were at a mutual crossroad wherein the prospect of an ANSI standard would attempt to quell a lot of the controversy and allegations swirling around on plaster and settle things down into a standard on language all could agree with.
“We thought, wouldn’t it be helpful to the marketplace if we could come together and write a standard to accomplish this? It would be an opportunity for all sides to present their material and then subject its content to the outside world and see how well the writing committee did,” said Carvin DiGiovanni, APSP Vice President, Technical & Standards.
The original draft of the Standard was written by the APSP-12, a committee predominantly made up of NPC members who are plaster subject-matter experts, making their living consulting about plastering, applying plaster, or manufacturing plaster materials.
According to DiGiovanni, a proposed standard may be written by a single person, or a committee as large as 15. What is important is that the draft is voted on by a balanced standards consensus committee and then subjected to public review, ensuring that all voices have been given an opportunity to be heard. Being an ANSI accredited Standards Developing Organization (SDO), APSP ensures that these procedural steps are taken.
The APSP Standards Consensus Committee is made up 30 pool and spa subject-matter experts that represent a balance of three diversified interest categories: 10 Producers, 10 General Interests and 10 Regulators (code and health officials). Their purpose is to pass judgment on the technical content of the draft. This committee votes on the standard prior to the public comment period.
For the Standard to pass the Consensus Committee, there must be approval of consensus by a 2/3 majority. During the vote by both the Consensus Committee and the comments made in the public review period, the focus must be directed specifically to the language in the draft.
“To comment and argue on language that is not there not only is counterproductive but impedes the process and goes nowhere. Such issues however do pave the way for future agenda items to be discussed at the next standards committee meeting where it is totally appropriate,” DiGiovanni said.
The public review period took place from May to mid June. APSP received 5 public review comments; a number that DiGiovanni said is high for any industry.
“Given the publicity of the draft, close to 60 requests were received underscoring the curiosity people had for seeing how plaster was being addressed,” DiGiovanni said. The comment period was from late June through mid July. That was the time for the writing committee to respond to any submitted comments.
According to ANSI rules, the writing committee is required to respond to all comments, even to those comments that addressed language not in the draft. July 17 was the target date after which, the plaster draft could be sent to ANSI. ANSI’s job is not to render judgment on the technical content of a standard or issue, but rather to procedurally ensure that all dissenting points of view were given due process.
DiGiovanni believes that the plaster standard provides a useful starting place for moving the industry forward. “We agree on this body of work and then begin discussions on what should be in the next revision. The standards are a living document that can be added to as we get new information,” DiGiovanni said.
APSP is a standards developing organization accredited by ANSI. Since 1983, ANSI has given APSP its approval to write the country’s’ pool and spa standards. They have helped to write standards for water quality, barrier codes, and suction entrapment avoidance, among many others.More recently, they have also helped write standards for water parks and other public pools, as well as residential spas and spa energy efficiency standards.
For more information on APSP’s pool and spa standards program visit Online at www.APSP.org.