Future Research Foundation Projects

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Future Research Foundation Projects

Hunters Curve - The 1940 report entitled “Methods of Estimating Loads in Plumbing Systems” by Roy B. Hunter has been the basis of the methods used to size water piping in buildings for 70 years. Today’s modern plumbing systems utilize flow control devices, automatic sensors, and timers and in general are just more efficient than the systems with which Hunter worked. The Foundation believes it is appropriate to revalidate these findings so that more efficient designs can be utilized in the construction of these piping systems.

Grease Traps and Waste Lines - The Foundation intends to evaluate the design of the piping network for grease collection and retention systems vis-à-vis the length of run that the grease-laden waste must travel prior to separation. Results are expected to provide design parameters for plumbing engineers and to help them understand the locational impact of grease interceptors and associated piping systems.

Heat Recovery and Its Uses - Heat recovery in plumbing systems is becoming more dominant, especially with the predominance of green building design. The Foundation will research new and innovative approaches to heat recovery in plumbing systems regarding available technologies, materials, and equipment and identify new potential technologies and their applications.

Air-admittance Valves - An air-admittance valve is a mechanical device designed to replace portions of a standard plumbing vent system with a device that opens and closes to overcome the positive and negative pressures in a plumbing system. The Foundation will research the technical applicability and impact of pressure fluctuations that these devices have on all types of plumbing systems, including low- and high-rise systems.

Domestic Hot Water Temperature Maintenance Systems - Code requirements do dictate how far a water heating source can be from a fixture outlet in recirculation systems, but they are not based on any research into how long it actually takes to deliver hot water from its source to the fixture outlet based on the distance of travel from the source, pipe size, velocity, insulation thickness, and ambient temperature.

Biofilm in Waste Streams - Despite a growing body of knowledge regarding biofilms in both water distribution and drainage/sewage systems, little is understood about their actual effects on the piping system. Does biofilm provide a protective barrier between the water and the piping material? Does biofilm contain corrosion cells that promote early failure of the piping material?

Microorganisms and Water Quality - Population growth continues to put pressure on water treatment and sewage treatment plant capacity. The Foundation proposes to conduct an ongoing monitoring and research program to understand this issue and develop responses to it, such as methods of understanding and specifying localized water quality monitoring and improvement equipment.

Potty Parity - It is well known that the quantity of fixtures to be used in men's and women’s restrooms, while long established in the building codes, is not based on any practical or scientific research. The Foundation believes that a significant effort needs to be made to determine the actual quantity of fixtures required to prevent potty unparity.

Water Reuse - A future shortage of potable water availability is almost a certainty, and with a burgeoning world population, the demand for quality water supplies is increasing. The Foundation will examine all studies, products, and installations (past and present) associated with the research, development, and/or production of water purification and recycling systems suitable for worldwide application in private homes, industrial facilities, commercial buildings, or municipalities. In addition, this research will look into developing new systems for water reuse.

Legionella - Legionella is an acute respiratory infection transmitted via water. The Foundation will explore methods and alternate systems to control this disease and provide the designer with the tools necessary to design plumbing water supply systems that perform within the code and allow this disease to be controlled.

Medical Gas Sizing: Computer Calculation Program - This is the next generation of the MEDGAS software originally part of the 1992 ASPE Research Foundation project “A Computer Program for the Design of Medical Gas and Vacuum Systems.” It will be designed to be extensively user friendly, and user functions and help menus will be integrated within the program's interface.

Thermo Shock (Tepid Water) - OSHA, for emergency fixtures, requires water supplies to be tempered to prevent the possibility of thermal shock. This research project will be designed to properly define what range of temperatures accomplishes OSHA requirements and will provide a safe method of treating workers exposed to harmful chemicals.