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Western Washington


Sheet Metal BUILDING CONNECTIONS Also in this issue: New Horizons Action Resolutions Culture and Purpose

Official Journal of Record for SMACNA-WW


SMACNA-Western Washington is a trade association and a Local Chapter of the Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA), which is located in Chantilly, Virginia. SMACNA Contractors are heating, ventilating, air conditioning (HVAC), and sheet metal experts. They are your assurance of quality in the fabrication and installation of ductwork and air handling systems. SMACNA contractors are also skilled professionals in: • Architectural sheet metal • Industrial sheet metal • Kitchen equipment

• Specialty stainless steel work • Manufacturing and custom fabricating • Repair services

• Siding and decking • Flow testing & balancing • Energy management & maintenance

Well known and respected within the construction industry, SMACNA contractors provide the highest quality workmanship, professionalism, and service to their customers. They care about the life cycle of the project, not just the winning bid. You’ll find SMACNA contractors working in all areas of construction whether industrial, commercial, institutional, or residential. SMACNA contractors developed the technical manuals and standards that today are accepted worldwide in the construction community. As leaders in their industry, they continue to adopt and apply the latest technologies to HVAC and sheet metal work. Everything from duct construction and installation to air pollution control, from energy recovery to roofing, from seismic restraint to welding… they do it all!

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE The ultimate goal of SMACNA - Western Washington, Inc. is to achieve and maintain the following principles and programs for the sheet metal industry: 1. To establish advertising, publicity, and promotional activities that advise the public of the nature, extent, and availability of services performed by the industry. 2. To promote educational programs to formulate high quality standards of sheet metal construction. 3. To aid in the formulation of uniform sheet metal specifications and improvement of state and municipal codes. 4. To expose fraudulent or misleading advertising or representations intended to deceive the public. 5. To encourage and promote trade practices that will eliminate unfair competition or exploitation of the sheet metal industry. 6. To encourage and promote the establishment of a uniform pattern of payments by customers during the progress of jobs to avoid inequitable payment delays and economic penalties. 7. To provide a forum for the discussion of the common interests and problems of labor and industry, and to encourage and promote harmonious relations between labor and industry. 8. To encourage any proper activity that will increase the efficiency of the industry and its ability to serve the public.

SMACNA - Western Washington, Inc. 13810 SE Eastgate Way, Ste 445 Bellevue, WA 98005 Tel: 425-289-5010 • Fax: 425-289-5011

Western Washington



Jessica Kirby Direct: 250.816.3671


Mark Breslin Kathleen Collins Karen Forner Norm Grusnick Julie A. Muller-Neff, Esq.


Courtesy of World Relief Seattle.


Christina Tranberg 877.755.2762 ext 1408 Direct: 250.667.0401


Lara Perraton 877.755.2762 ext. 1407 Direct: 250.714.4973

PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY Point One Media Inc. Sheet Metal Journal - Western Washington P.O. Box 11, Station A Nanaimo, BC V9R 5K4 Toll-free: 877.755.2762 While information contained in this publication has been compiled from sources deemed to be reliable, the publisher may not be held liable for omissions or errors. Contents Š2019 by Point One Media Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or duplicated without prior written permission from the publisher. Printed in the USA. Postage paid at Aberdeen, SD. To update or cancel subscriptions please call 1.877.755.2762, email, or visit


14 Winter 2019

FEATURES 10 Building Connections

Construction for Change and 30/30 build essential services facilities in communities at home in the United States and abroad.

14 New Horizons Foundation Offering contractors a "chance to grow" with leading business research, educational opportunities, and an industry-spanning knowledge base.

17 Culture & Purpose Drive Talent It isn't where young, talented workers are best paid but where they are most valued that will keep them engaged. Official Journal of Record for SMACNA - WW

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Code Corner


Meet the Board


Legislative Update


Industry News


It's the Law


Association Events


Engineer's Desk


Feature Focus


Advertiser Index • Winter 2019



Welcome back after what I hope was a warm and joyful break over the holidays. As we settle back into the daily work routine, hopefully well-rested and full of new ideas, I would like to remind you that the first of the year is a great time to set performance and other goals to work towards over the next 12 months. For some leaders this will mean new policies and objectives; for others it will mean a look back at the previous year's performance and thinking about how to improve in key areas. But here is the most important resolution contemporary effective leaders can make—resolve to take action. It is relatively straightforward to write down some observations and plans, but it can be overwhelmingly difficult to take action. Taking action requires delegation, engagement, and commitment, and sometimes rallying all of those at once can seem elusive. This year, I challenge you to make action part of your resolution. Vow to take the steps required to create meaningful change in your business and in your workplace culture. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Time to Get Excited The more passion you put into your work, the more creative and dynamic your workplace culture will become. Don't be afraid to have fun at work—that is what inspires people (and you) to bring their best selves and have the confidence to put their thinking out there. Bringing energy and excitement to the work place transforms the office culture and makes it a place everyone wants to be, and than means opportunities for collaboration and new ideas will be plentiful.

2. Plan Ahead It doesn't really matter what you “do” or achieve in your office if you aren't organized. You must have a plan and everyone must be on board. If not, everyone is just running around in different directions completing a series of mildly related tasks. Make time for strategic or objectives planning where you set forth three or four aims for the year and the actions it will take to achieve them. Not sure where to begin? Start with some short-term goals to inspire your team, and then work on long-term goals that leverage what you've accomplished. Most importantly, stay flexible. “Plan for the unexpected” might be the best business advice ever given.

3. Work Smart, Play Hard Improving productivity is almost always on leaders' to-do list, but making it happen can be harder than it looks. We tend to believe being more productive means working harder, but the real key is working smarter. Moving the focus from effective to efficient means examining each internal process and having the


Sheet Metal Journal, Western Washington

By / Julie A. Muller-Neff, Esq. Executive Vice-President, SMACNA-WW

courage to try new ways to eliminate inefficiency. Sometimes very small changes can make a big difference, and freeing up small pockets of time can have an immense impact on your team's efficiency. Be sure to involve as many people as you can in this process—job satisfaction leads to creativity, loyalty, and a sense of value. Most importantly, the byproduct of a more efficient workplace is more time for “play”, which is the biggest payoff of all.

4. Find the Cheese—every single day There was an experiment about learning where mice were placed at the beginning of a maze and tasked with finding a piece of cheese positioned at the end of the maze. Day after day they completed the same path to the cheese until they could solve the maze in record time. Then scientists moved the cheese and only the most innovative, passionate mice were able to adapt and find the new path to success (aka cheese). The rest followed the old path with no passion and no reward, their desire for familiarity overcoming their hunger. Be the innovative mice. Adapt, learn, and grow, and never stop adding to your repertoire of skills and abilities. The value of building your confidence, improving your mind, and realizing your full potential is immeasurable. Never stop learning.

5. Inspire Others The business world is inundated with studies about how it takes attention and feedback to engage millennials, but the truth is, everyone wants to feel valued, listened to, and useful. Make time each month to celebrate the people who work for you. Get to know them, find out what drives them, and encourage them to share their ideas. Because yearly performance reviews can seem daunting and intimidating, make shorter, more frequent check-ins a priority. You might be surprised what you learn from people when you stop and listen.

6. Be Brave in the Face of Newness Risk-taking is the only way to explore the world. If you think about it, every time we go on vacation to a new place, cook a new food, or make a decision to take the less-travelled road we are taking a risk. Departing the unfamiliar can be daunting, but

SMACNA-WW UPDATE it is absolutely necessary if you want to progress. The results won't always be what you'd hoped for, but even in those moments there are invaluable opportunities for learning. Don't miss out.

7. Find New Space Leadership can be exhausting and the pressure can get heavy. When you need a refresh, it is best to go back to basics and rediscover what makes your organization “tick” on all levels. Get out of your office and spend time with employees to revive your sense of knowing your business on all levels. Visit with customers to get a taste of the value you are bringing to the world beyond your desk. Reminding yourself of these areas will renew your focus and expand your vision of what it takes to make the company or organization run smoothly.

8. Embrace Productive Feedback Focusing on the past is an exercise in futility; however, looking ahead at how to solve problems before they arise is smart business. Give employees solid, solutions-based feedback on how to improve in the future and remember that doing so is a skill. Practice. It is also useful to encourage and accept gracefully feedback on the company's operations. Remember: knowledge is power.

9. Say What You Mean; Mean What You Say Opening up to feedback about your leadership style may reveal you don't always follow up on your ideas or promises—this is the most common concern employees have about even the most effective leaders. Usually this is because you have too many irons in the fire and are busy prioritizing the big items, but never forget that being true to your word matters on an intrinsic level. Use lists and schedule everything you say you are going to do. If you don't have the time or head space, delegate.

10. Ask for Help Although we tend to carry the world on our shoulders, leaders appear stronger and more capable when they are not afraid to ask for help. If you read one thing this year, make it “Dare to Lead” by Brene Brown and note what she says about how vulnerability connects people and strengthens relationships. Asking for help might mean delegating tasks, asking for feedback, or engaging employees in a new company vision. It doesn't mean you give up control; it means you inspire other people's faith in your leadership because they see you will do whatever it takes to get the job done.  Reaching the HVAC and sheet metal market in Western Washington is easy. Advertise with Sheet Metal Journal Western Washington, to access industry professionals in this busy and successful region. Call 1.877.755.2762 to book your space.

SMACNA members perform work in industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential markets. They specialize in heating, ventilation and air conditioning, architectural sheet metal, industrial sheet metal, kitchen equipment, specialty stainless steel work, manufacturing, siding and decking, testing and balancing, service, and energy management and maintenance. CONTRACTOR MEMBERS ACCO Engineered Systems Air Handlers, Inc. AIRTEST Co., Inc. Apollo Mechanical Contractors Argo Blower & Mfg. Co., Inc. Auburn Mechanical, Inc. Ballard Sheet Metal Works, Inc. Bellevue Mechanical, Inc. Capital Sheet Metal lnc. dba Capital Heating and Cooling D/B Solutions, LLC Delta Technology Corporation Distribution International Eckstrom Industries, Inc. Emerald Aire, Inc. ENVIROMECH Evergreen State Heat & AC GB Systems, Inc. Gensco, Inc. H & R Mechanical Systems, Inc. Hermanson Company, LLP

Holaday-Parks, Inc. Holmberg Mechanical Johansen Mechanical, Inc. L & M Sheet Metal Fabricators Inc. MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions Inc. McKinstry Co., LLC Miller Sheet Metal, Inc. Miller’s Smith & Losli Sheet Metal, Inc. Neudorfer Engineers, Inc. Olympia Sheet Metal, Inc. Phoenix Mechanical, Inc. Pinchiff Mechanical LLC PSF Mechanical, Inc. PSR Mechanical Schmitt’s Sheet Metal & Roofing Scott & From Co., Inc. Shinn Mechanical, Inc. Sunset Air, Inc. Temp Control Mechanical Services Corp. University Mechanical Contractors, Inc.


ACI Mechanical & HVAC Sales Air Reps LLC AIREFCO, Inc. Armacell LLC Automated Controls CL Ward, Inc. C.M. Hoskins Company CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP Cole Industrial, Inc. Dorse & Company, Inc. ECCO Manufacturing Edge Construction Supply FBM SPI General Insulation Company, Inc. Gripple, Inc.

Hudson Bay Insulation Co. ISAT Seismic Bracing Industrial Air Systems, Inc. Johnson-Barrow, Inc. K-Solutions Law Magnum Crane Service Milwaukee Tool Pacific Product Sales, Inc. Performance Contracting, Inc. PlanGrid, Inc. Star Rentals Inc. Sunbelt Controls Trane York NW Factor Direct

Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association - Western Washington Chapter Executive Vice President: Julie Muller-Neff, Esq. 13810 SE Eastgate Way, Ste 445 Bellevue, WA 98005 Tel: 425-289-5010 • Fax: 425-289-5011 • • Winter 2019


MEET THE BOARD JIM REYNOLDS - CHAPTER COUNCILOR Jim Reynolds is serving on SMACNA-Western Washington's board for a three-year term, currently sitting on the executive committee, and holding the position of Chapter Councilor. He joined the board in 2006 and has been through the chairs as Secretary Treasurer, Vice- president, and President. He serves on the Legislative and Political Action Committee, Audit Committee, Budget and Finance Committee, and the LaborManagement Committee. Outside the SMACNA-Western Washington board, Reynolds is extremely active in other areas of the industry, serving as a Trustee and co-chair on the Northwest Sheet Metal Organizational Trust (a Taft-Hartley market recovery fund) and as a trustee on the Northwest Sheet Metal Health Care Trust, which provides health care coverage for employees in Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. He is also a long-time ASHRAE member, WSSHE member, and NAIOP member. In May 2019, Reynolds will celebrate 42 years in the industry. He has been with Auburn Mechanical for three years, following 19-year tenures with Holaday-Parks and PSF Mechanical, respectively. Auburn's scope of work includes all wet and dry mechanical design and construction services (HVAC plumbing and piping), 24/7 maintenance and service, plus Pure Water Systems (RODI and WFI water systems and maintenance). Reynolds left engineering school at Washington State University because he wanted to get into construction—a move he says may not have been the best path. “However, it led me to a specialty program in HVAC and plumbing design, and six months into that program I had the opportunity to start working at Holaday-Parks, the oldest mechanical contractor in Seattle (est. 1889),” he says. “There were many long days at work followed by night classes five nights a week. It worked for me.” He relies on tried and true words of wisdom to live by: “I try to always treat people how I would like to be treated,” says Reynolds. “I also learned along the way you cannot make people into something they are not.” Two important books he read, First Break all the Rules and Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Beckingham and Curt Coffman, reinforced those hard learned lessons. “I’ve also found the servant leader model works better for me,” he adds. Over the years, the HVAC / sheet metal industry has experienced many changes and challenges, the most profound


Sheet Metal Journal, Western Washington

being margin erosion, says Reynolds. “The biggest change has been expectations for speed of delivery (for everything) and the always-on world we live in,” he adds. “Disconnecting is much harder now.” As in all times and places, SMACNA has an important role to play in helping members adapt and progress in changing times. Establishing standards that are applicable worldwide, providing a platform for education and training across the industry, and being a player in both the national and local political arena to make sure member businesses enjoy a fair and reasonable business environment are its key roles moving forward. “I believe in leaving things in better shape than you found them,” says Reynolds. “I don’t expect to revolutionize the industry overnight. Patience and persistence have served me well over the last 40 years, though I’ll admit I’m not as patient as I was when I was younger!” 

UPCOMING SMACNA-WW EVENTS February 1, 2019 56th Annual Crab Feed Ocean Shores Convention Center Ocean Shores, WA August 2, 2019 Annual Golf Tournament, Washington National Golf Club October 14–17, 2019 SMACNA National Convention, San Diego, CA December 6, 2019 2019 Holiday Gala, Seattle Waterfront Marriott


2018 SMACNA–WESTERN WASHINGTON’S HOLIDAY GALA SMACNA–Western Washington celebrated its 2018 Holiday Gala in a Le Cirque holiday ball at the beautiful Seattle Waterfront Marriott. Members were greeted with an open reception where they enjoyed the talented Cirque performer, the Strong Man Living Statue. The ballroom décor was a stunning collection of Cirque theme, with music including the Cirque performers.

SMACNA - Western Washington will hold its 56th Annual Crab Feed Friday, February 1, 2019 at Ocean Shores Convention Center, 120 W. Chance A La Mer Ave., Ocean Shores, WA. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the Pirate Buffet begins at 7:00 p.m. Join us for an entertaining night and be sure to doll up in your best mermaid or pirate costume to vie for prizes for best dressed in both categories. Make sure to submit your registration to this fabulous event. Don't wait, or you may be disappointed as it fills up fast. The deadline to submit your registration is Monday, January 23 or when 375 individuals are registered with payment received. You may contact Carrie Heinrich at cheinrich@smacnaww. org or at the SMACNA-WW office at 425.289.5010 with any questions. 

Executive vice-president, Julie Muller-Neff, thanked everyone for coming and welcomed president, Brian Fluetsch, to kick off the evening. The current Executive Committee & Board of Trustees were introduced. Members danced the night away to the outstanding Mr. Pink Band and enjoyed a fantastic evening of camaraderie and holiday joy. Mark your calendars for our 2019 Holiday Gala, December 6, 2019. SMACNAHolidayGala2018  • Winter 2019


INDUSTRY NEWS US HOME CONSTRUCTION ROSE LAST MONTH, LED BY APARTMENTS US developers broke ground on more homes last month, but the increase occurred entirely in apartments. The construction of new single-family houses fell. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that housing starts rose 3.2 percent in November from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate 1.26 million. Despite the increase, that is down 3.6 percent from a year ago. Singlefamily starts dropped 4.6 percent in November and are down 13.1 percent from a year earlier. Some of the data likely have been distorted by extreme weather. Home-building jumped 15.1 percent last month in the South in the aftermath of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. And home construction fell 14.2 percent in the West, possibly because of wildfires in California. Single-family homebuilding fell in the West by the most since February 2009. Still, rising mortgage rates have dragged down home sales in the past year, discouraging many builders and causing a slump in the overall housing market. Sales of new and existing homes are dropping and home price gains are slowing. The unemployment rate is at a five-decade low and incomes are rising more quickly, but many would-be buyers struggle to find homes they can afford. Developers say that rising labor and materials costs make it harder for them to build more affordable properties. “Rising home prices and mortgage rates have created high hurdles for homebuyers, while cost increases have made it difficult for builders to deliver homes at the most in-demand price points,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at

WASHINGTON EMPLOYERS: PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE PREMIUMS BEGIN JANUARY 1, 2019 The state of Washington passed legislation in 2017 that established a Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program. As an employer signatory to the Local 66 CBA, you must begin remitting premiums and submitting quarterly reports for PFML starting January 1, 2019. There is no collective bargaining exemption for the Sheet Metal Workers Local 66 CBA under the PFML program. If you have a question about an exemption for another trade, please contact your Employer Representative for that trade (i.e. NECA or MCA). In short, starting on January 1, 2019, employers must begin remitting premiums and submitting quarterly reports for PFML. Starting January 1, 2020, employees may begin taking PFML leave. As per the IRS, this premium is treated like a 0.4 percent tax on gross wages. The employer portion will be 37 percent of the premium. Employers may withhold up to the remaining 63 percent of the premium from employee wages if they choose. If the employer fails to deduct the employee share, the employer is obligated to pay the employee portion. Please note, this statewide insurance program differs from Sick Leave Initiative I-1433. Please do not confuse the two. Under Sick Leave Initiative I-1433 you must continue to track the hours and provide the leave pay. Please email the SMACNA-Western Washington office for more information on Sick Leave Initiative I-1433 or for a copy of a memo from Karen Forner at K-Solutions Law distinguishing PFML from the Sick Leave Initiative.

Sales of new homes plummeted nearly 9 percent in October and the number of newly built, unsold homes sitting on the market has climbed to its highest level since 2009.

All employers in Washington should review the new laws rules and requirements in advance of the January 2019 premium payment launch date. For more detailed information visit esd. For an employer tool kit visit Please feel free to contact the SMACNA-Western Washington office with any questions or comments. 

And an index of home builders’ confidence has fallen sharply over the last two months. On Monday, the National Association of Home Builders said the index dropped last month to its lowest level in 3 ½ years.


Mortgage rates shot up to nearly 5 percent in early November, the highest level in seven years. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has fallen back since then and hit 4.6 percent last week. Still, that is up from an average of 3.9 percent a year earlier.

If the goal is to graduate from college with little or no student loan debt, the SMACNA College of Fellows Scholarship Program may be part of the answer. It is now accepting applications for the 2019-2020 academic year.

The construction of apartment buildings has soared in the past year, rising 20 percent nationwide. That could help keep rents in check. 


Sheet Metal Journal, Western Washington

Please note that the application deadline is February 28, 2019, one month earlier this year. The scholarship application and details on eligibility requirements along with instructions for submitting the application are available on the SMACNA website. Use form: COF 18.

INDUSTRY NEWS The College provides scholarships to SMACNA member contractors, employees of SMACNA member contractors, SMACNA chapter executives, National SMACNA employees, SMACNA Associate Members, and members of the families of all of these groups who are participating in undergraduate studies in accredited institutions of higher education. Read more at 

SMACNA CONNECT HELPS BUILD PEER NETWORKS Wish you had a sounding board of industry experts and peers to guide you and offer trustworthy advice? SMACNA Connect, a mobile-friendly platform introduced earlier this year, offers members and chapter executives the opportunity to share knowledge, network, and connect instantly. Members can participate in this private, professional networking community and leverage the expertise of their peers. Each community discussion has a landing page, with the ability to post new discussions, search the archives, and upload documents and photos to a community resource library. Focused communities include bargainers, chapter executives, safety, women in construction, and the Market Sectors: HVAC, industrial, residential, and architectural. The latest member discussions were on safety data sheets for hazard comunications, hydrostatic and pneumatic pressure testing, lobbying, contractor licensing, and safety incentive programs. SMACNA members are invited to complete their profile, connect with others, and join a community of interest. By joining the conversation, members can build and enhance their peer network. These discussions will also benefit those newer to the industry who can search for advice and learn from the expertise of others. If you haven’t already done so, sign up today at 

2019 SAFETY CHAMPIONS CONFERENCE The Safety Matters Awards will be presented at the annual Safety Champions Conference, Feb. 24 to 26, 2019, at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel in Tempe, Arizona. This year, SMACNA contractors will have the opportunity to interact with management and labor representatives interested in protecting workers and promoting safety excellence in the sheet metal industry. The tentative agenda includes presentations and discussions about safety cultures, adult learning and training, the aging workforce, and new technologies shaping the future of safety and health. Conference registration is now open for SMACNA members. Sign up at 

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGREES TO $1.2B SEATTLE LIGHT-RAIL GRANT The Federal Transit Administration has voted yes to $1.2 billion grant earmarked for construction of the $3.2 billion Lynnwood Link Extension light-rail project in Seattle. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D.-Wa.) issued a press release in December outlining that the FTA has submitted the full funding grant agreement, which represents approximately 40% of the project costs, to congress for a 30-day review. The grant agreement will allow local transit authority, Sound Transit, access to $200 million in Capital Investment Grants already approved by the federal government. Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff told The Seattle Times that the agency would be in a position to approve contracts for early work on the 8.5-mile line in January 2019 and begin construction early in the first quarter. continued on page 23

UPCOMING NATIONAL EVENTS January 26 - 29, 2019 2019 Chapter Executive Institute Austin, TX March 2 - 7, 2019 2019 Business Management University Tempe, AZ March 11 - 12, 2019 2019 Collective Bargaining Orientation Dallas, TX March 13 - 15, 2019 SMACNA Association Leadership Meeting Irving, TX March 29 - 30, 2019 2019 College of Fellows Spring Meeting Palm Beach Gardens, FL April 1 - 4, 2019 SMACNA Executive Leadership Development Program Chapel Hill, NC Oct 20 - 23, 2019 2019 SMACNA Annual Convention Austin, TX • Winter 2019



IN CONSTRUCTION By / Jessica Kirby

Building Title


onstruction for Change operates on a simple vision: every person – regardless of where they live – should have access to well-built spaces where they can manage their health, further their education, or increase their economic mobility. The non-profit organization, which includes support from several members of the sheet metal industry, partners with other non-profits to design, plan, and build spaces where people can become healthier, better their education, and increase economic mobility. The work generally comprises architectural and engineering, construction management, and construction services, completed pro bono and through in-kind donations. CfC's work is collaborative, leveraging the efforts of volunteers and world-class design and architectural firms and forgoing short-term gains that could hinder greater success in the long term. “Construction for Change does amazing work internationally and here at home in the United States,” says Julie Muller-Neff, executive vice-president of SMACNA-Western Washington. “It


Construction for Change and 30/30 Build Essential Services Facilities in Communities at Home in the United States and Abroad By / Jessica Kirby with files from Construction for Change Photos courtesy of World Relief Seattle

is truly a collaboration of talent, knowledge, and willingness to help others that brings this group together.” The group's motivation is social impact over financial profit and it only pursues work that aligns with its mission-driven priorities. Always keeping budget, cultural sensitivity, and longevity in mind, CfC expects results. The group monitors its projects – domestic and abroad – and measures and the benefits they bring to communities in order to learn and improve. “SMACNA supports CfC because we believe that it is important for our thriving construction industry to give back locally and globally,” says Muller-Neff. “CfC offers SMACNA and member firms the opportunity to collaborate with other industry partners in an effort to build mutually beneficial relationships and make meaningful contributions to those in need and the people struggling to provide essential services in their communities.” Bringing this vision to life means CfC works with organizations that provide life-changing resources, such as schools and medical facilities, who have outgrown their current facilities or want to expand the services they offer. CfC and the partnering

organization consider needs, current facilities, opportunities for growth or expansion, and ways to implement cultural sensitivity and durability into each project. Some of CfC's key projects include health facilities in Nsambe, Malawi; Mbita, Kenya; and Jharkhand, India; educational spaces in Campon Cham, Cambodia and Kakata, Liberia; and, a food bank and community gardens in Seattle, WA. “One other cool aspect of CFC is the Change Fellowship program,” says Mahi Demissie, CfC's board chair and project manager at Sellen Construction Company. “The program provides an opportunity for young, underrepresented construction leaders to gain practical training, mentorship, and international project management experience. The goal is to give them an edge in the job market and grow the number of women and minorities working in the management ranks of construction and related fields.” 30/30 Project Much of Construction for Change's recent work has been accomplished through its multi-build partnership with the 30/30 Project. The 30/30 Project believes healthcare is a human right and envisions a world in which everyone can get the healthcare they need,” says Kevin Hunter, executive director of Construction for Change. Julie Lewis, a 30-year HIV survivor and mother to Grammy winning, songwriter and performer Ryan Lewis, founded the 30/30 Project to improve global healthcare access. “Their goal is to construct 30 healthcare facilities worldwide that are built to rigorous standards and will stand for at least another 30 years,” says Hunter. “To make this goal a reality, the 30/30 Project partnered with Construction for Change to coordinate design, development, and construction management of medical facilities with in-country organizations.”

Together, CfC and 30/30 have constructed or are in the process of building 16 healthcare facilities, three maternity wards, two inpatient wards, one refugee garden, two outreach centers, and one lab across nine different countries. “These facilities have logged 215,963 patient visits, administered 73,983 HIV tests, and performed 10,247 prenatal visits,” says Hunter. “Now in the final year of the five-year initiative, the 30/30 Project will select its final facilities in the next four to five months.” A recently completed community gardens project in Kent, WA was a CfC and 30/30 initiative, meeting the healthcare mandate by supporting healthy eating and access to fresh, nutritious food, which helps people stay healthy. Case Study: World Relief Seattle – Community Gardens and Training Kitchen World Relief Seattle (WR Seattle) envisions every local refugee and vulnerable immigrant welcomed by community, rooted in community, and empowered for community. The work is informed by the belief that every refugee and vulnerable immigrant has an important place in our community. From the time of arrival to the first job to citizenship and beyond, the World Relief community is committed to serving and being served by this brave and resilient population. World Relief Seattle has existed since 1979 to empower the local church to serve refugees and immigrants in the Greater Seattle Area. Originally founded to care for those fleeing war in Southeast Asia, WR Seattle has since grown to resettle refugees from almost 50 countries. The group is encouraged by the many businesses, service agencies, and individuals who use their resources and ingenuity to enhance the lives of refugees throughout Western Washington. • Winter 2019


large numbers of families can gather and work together to build community connections and resiliency while also developing new skills, allowing them to become economically mobile. The Opportunity In 2017, WR Seattle and Hillside Nazarene Church in Kent, Washington developed a strategic partnership. The church was looking to redevelop itself in the midst of a changing demographic and community. It had a very large, unused parking lot and a large building that was woefully under-used throughout the week. What emerged was a vision for a large community garden where families would have their own plots, as well as a certified training kitchen where individuals could be trained in food prep and service, ultimately providing them the skills needed to seek employment and economic livelihood. The results would be families coming together to build connective relationships, growing healthy and sustainable food, and gaining critical job skills to enter the local economy.

The Need The majority of people served by WR Seattle come from Second or Third World contexts. Most refugees are fleeing political unrest, unjust societies, or natural disasters. They have experienced significant trauma and now face an uncertain economic future, and feel isolated without being connected to a local community of trusted relationships. A high percentage of this population comes from agrarian societies and have the skills to grow their own food if given access to land. In short, refugee populations need a places within close proximity of their new residence to grow crops in environments where RESULTS OF ENGAGEMENT The following is a list of results from the CfC’s engagement with World Relief and Hillside Nazarene for the Community Gardens Project: • 50 garden plots | 22,000 sq. ft. of asphalt de-paved | 800,000 gallons of storm water diverted

The Challenge While the vision began to crystalize, the fact remained that both WR Seattle and the local church did not possess the in-house land redevelopment and construction skill sets nor the budget flexibility to hire these capacities on the open market, especially in a pressurized Seattle construction boom. It became clear they needed a partner that understood the complexities of taking on the redevelopment of a large parcel of land on a significant slope and turning it from pavement to farm land. The community partner would also need to facilitate a significant interior remodel of existing space to create a community teaching kitchen. This project would require significant analysis, planning, and design related to the demolition, water run off and collection, and navigating the permitting process with the City of Kent. Also, like any building project there would need to be architectural renderings that would need to be developed and used as marketing materials for the capital campaign.

• 1,067 volunteers

Key Deliverables from CfC

• 4,238 hours of volunteer services

In May 2017, CfC was retained and officially signed a contract to manage the project. CfC retained a volunteer project manager, Shannon B. from Turner Construction, to oversee the project in collaboration with Tim Hickory, CfC’s Director of Operations.

• $102,305 in volunteer services • $129,078 value of in-kind professional services • $16,000 of donated materials • 10 local construction companies engaged • $247,384 in budget saving • 50 families served annually who are direct beneficiaries of the garden, and 1,100 members of the refugee community have access to the garden. • The Teaching Kitchen is scheduled to complete in 2020.


Sheet Metal Journal, Western Washington

Next, CfC was able to secure a partnership with a local plumbing nonprofit, Plumbers Without Borders, and the Local 32 Plumbers Union, which together provided pro bono engineering and installation services. CfC also brought on a local architectural firm, Collins Woerman, as a pro bono designer to review the site and begin design of the gardens and the hydronics that would be needed to ensure the project was sustainable and able to cover the minimum operating costs moving forward. Design

and engineering were completed in May, 2017. This enabled the fundraising campaign to have design renderings to share with potential stakeholders and working drawings from which to proceed with construction. Through CfC’s pre-construction services, the project was able to submit for the required permits in August, 2017.

continuing the partnership that will impact even more members of the refugee and immigrant community.” On May 5, 2018 the community food garden formally was opened and began operations. 

CfC project management began scheduling volunteer work parties for demolition of the parking lot, construction of elevated garden plots totaling 50, construction of four large water cisterns for capturing and collecting water run off, and rain gardens filtering waste water from remaining parking areas.

COMMUNITY GARDENS CfC TEAM Collins Woerman: Architecture Design Tuner: Project Management, Sub-Contractor donations, Professional Install Labor (saw cutting) Lease Crutcher Lewis: Volunteer Work Party

CfC was successful in generating pro bono services from a number of general contractors and mechanical contractors in the region contributing in-kind materials and in-kind professional skilled labor.

Johansen Mechanical: Volunteer Work Party, Mechanical Design Services

It also became clear that the formal engagement of CfC increased the confidence level of potential funders and stakeholders across the project and had a catalytic effect in generating additional partners and support for the project.

Ahern: Construction Equipment

“With the partnership of Construction for Change we are able to have a safe, beautiful, green meeting and growing space that engages the community,” says Chitra Hanstad, executive director, World Relief Seattle. “We are looking forward to

Hermanson: Volunteer Work Party Grey-Hawk Demo: Pavement demo & removal, demo equipment Waste Management: Dumpsters & Waste Removal King Conservation District: Material & equipment donations Organic Garden Company: Compost Local 32 Plumbers Union: Plumbing Install Plumbers Without Borders: Volunteer recruitment and plumbing design

WE’RE ON YOUR TEAM! When you work with Star Rentals, you add

powerful players to your project team–pros that are skilled, knowledgeable, and easy to work with. Star Rentals employees are the most experienced in the industry. From our extensive training and safety programs to our equipment expertise, you can count on us to deliver the goods. We make sure you get fast, responsive service, and headache-free billing. Do we think it’s important to be a team player? Absolutely.

100+ Years of Outstanding Service. Star Rentals is the oldest, largest and most reliable independent rental company in the Pacific Northwest.

Bellevue • Bremerton • Eugene • Everett • Ferndale • Hillsboro • Kent • Longview • Olympia Pasco • Portland • Salem • Seattle • Spokane • Tacoma • Vancouver • Wenatchee • Yakima • Winter 2019


Growing good ideas and positive results By / Jessica Kirby


By / Jessica Kirby

he New Horizons Foundation offers “A Chance to Grow” by turning good ideas into solid results that will position HVAC and sheet metal contractors as positive, knowledgeable, key participants in the construction process.

HVAC and sheet metal contractors, industry partners, and leading researchers in the US have created the New Horizons Foundation, which has, for more than a decade, worked collaboratively to develop a cutting-edge research and education portfolio that is making this industry stronger, more efficient, and more profitable. “The foundation is a sheet metal/HVAC industry initiative established by leading sheet metal contractors and SMACNA 17 years ago,” says New Horizons Foundation (NHF) Executive Director Tom Soles. “After an initial endowment provided by SMACNA, subsequent funding has been provided by SMACNA contractors, SMACNA Chapters, and industry professionals and suppliers.” The Foundation commissions critical investigations of business management issues impacting contractors' growth and productivity. Past studies have examined everything from market recovery and decision-making to labor and technology. The foundation solicits requests for project proposals from leading industry consultants, experts, and the higher educational institutions in June of each year and members of NHF’s Summit Council are invited to an annual leadership and project selection meeting each fall to deliberate and select projects to pursue. “[In 2018], for example, RFPs were sent to approximately 35 interested research organizations, and 14 proposals were received,” Soles says. “The Summit Council selected three


Sheet Metal Journal, Western Washington

© Can Stock Photo / Lopolo

New Horizons Foundation

projects for 2019 at its fall meeting. To date, 29 research reports and 10 white papers have been developed by the foundation.” The group also develops workforce capabilities through leading-edge educational programs that combine wellresearched best practices with fundamental skills. This means foundation projects are often translated into educational programs that can be delivered through SMACNA’s 100 chapters throughout the US and Canada. These business or project management type topics are intended to help contractors improve their performance. “A program developed a number of years ago, 'Quantifying the Cumulative Impact of Change Orders,' is a good example of a research project that has practical implications and was translated into a half-day educational program, focused on the impact of change orders on labor productivity, that was delivered through SMACNA Chapters,” Soles says. Another project under development for release in the first quarter 2019 is the Library of Knowledge project, almost an internal project of organizing by topic/subject matter for the whole ongoing library of research projects and white papers. The goals are to organize and catalogue the NHF library; improve accessibility to find research products; by improving access increase implementation of research results; and act as a roadmap for future research. 'The Internet of Things and the Implications and Strategies for Sheet Metal and HVAC Contractors' is another foundation project expected to be completed by mid-year 2019. The vast library of projects and research is available to all of the industry categories, which help's achieve another of NHF's

primary objectives: providing a knowledge link among industry members, suppliers, contracting industry partners, colleges and universities, other national and international trade associations, and customers. In simple terms, the New Horizons Foundation works to keep the industry strong. Its proponents see education, information, and merit performance as the cornerstones of a productive and prosperous HVAC and sheet metal industry. Foundation members see their responsibility is to take a visionary approach to providing the information and education that will give contractors the best possible opportunities to develop their companies. “We’re also finishing a project, 'Tools for the Hiring, Promotion, and Talent Development of Sheet Metal and Mechanical Contractor Personnel' that identifies and evaluates model profile and usable tools to help contractors identify and hire the right talent and the best career areas where that talent can develop and succeed,” Soles says. “Another project to be completed soon identifies customer satisfaction measurements that differentiate a contractor from its competition by focusing on select measurable achievements that stand out.” Skills shortage is very real and getting more critical all the time. From senior company managers to the craftsman in the field, the sheet metal / HVAC industry requires a unifying force to convey the message that it has a bright and dynamic future, and NHF is determined to add to that message with a state of the art work environment populated with effective managers, qualified supervisors, and skilled workers. To help achieve this, the Foundation has three important labor-related objectives: • Build key relationships with allied industry partners and academic institutions in order to identify, monitor, and analyze major workforce-related trends that affect the HVAC and sheet metal industry. • Provide education and information that will help position HVAC and sheet metal contractors as positive, knowledgeable, participants in the construction process. • Encourage career participation in the HVAC and sheet metal industry by those most likely to excel at such work. Improve and develop the capabilities of the current and future workforce through leading edge educational programs. The foundation has delivered several research projects on labor and management development including “The Use of Just-in-Time Training in Construction,” “Mentoring and Coaching Practices: Developing the Next Generation,” and “A Comparison of Operation Cost Factors: Union Versus

Nonunion HVAC and Sheet Metal Contractors”. Visit the website at to view these and other NHF reports. “We believe the Foundation’s program portfolio is essential to the survival and prosperity of major contracting firms and smaller, independent, local companies,” says Soles. “Every company deserves a chance to grow.” 

NEW HORIZONS FOUNDATION SUMMIT COUNCIL Distinguished Opportunities for Leadership Investment The Summit Council includes dedicated, well-respected contractors, SMACNA Chapters, and industry partners who have united to support the HVAC and sheet metal industry by guiding and shaping the New Horizons Foundation’s program agenda. These volunteer leaders work together to identify, commission, and monitor the industry’s most critical research. Each Council member has made a major financial investment in New Horizons and is fully committed to the vision of offering every HVAC and sheet metal contractor a chance to grow through the outstanding research and education developed with New Horizons’ resources. Summit investors are honored with national public acknowledgement at industry annual meetings and other special events and in Foundation publications. The Summit Council also offers exclusively-named project funding for specific initiatives identified and recommended by Council and by the Foundation Board of Directors. In Action The Foundation’s Summit Council has a real and meaningful voice in selecting and implementing the New Horizons agenda. Members of the Council meet each year with business analysts and construction experts to review and evaluate the state of the industry. Collectively, the Council then recommends Foundation investments in targeted programs and projects that will help secure the future strength, excellence, and competitive edge of one of America’s key construction industries. Each commissioned project has an assigned Summit Council Task Force. These volunteers work with the research team to identify and monitor the project’s progress. The Task Force often calls upon the advice, experiences, and suggestions of other members of the industry. The objective is to make each project as complete and valuable as possible. Equally important, Council members work as partners with the New Horizons Board of Directors in enlisting new financial commitments to the Foundation from other members of the industry. • Winter 2019



In mid-November, FastEST, Inc. officially released its newest versions of the company's award-winning mechanical estimating programs. Besides the HVAC and sheet metalcentric FastDUCT® estimating program, the FastPIPE® program for estimating plumbing, mechanical, and site utilities piping, and FastWRAP™ for mechanical insulation estimating were also fully upgraded and improved. Version 18 of the FastEST programs offers numerous new features and improvements, a few of which are touched on below. Faster Program Operation, Calculations, and More: Version 18 is designed for faster program navigation, quicker calculations of job reports and totals, and crisp graphics rendering not only in the takeoff screen but throughout other menus and areas of the software. Even better, customers who operate over a network, VPN, or other remote connections will have a seamless and fluid experience operating in a network environment. Even Easier and More User-Friendly: Though customers already find the software to be some of the most user-friendly

estimating software on the market, Version 18 has a new higher-resolution display (equipped to be compatible with UHD and 4K monitors and televisions), along with being single or dual-screen operational, as always. The new versions also have an optimized takeoff screen layout for faster and easier takeoffs, along with a modernized and familiar look and feel that somewhat mimics the Windows® 10 theme. New Features, Both Now and in the Future: FastDUCT®, along with FastEST’s other programs, are now equipped with various new time-saving and cutting-edge features. For example, there are now scalable assemblies in the programs, which make assemblies even more versatile. Visual deducts are also a new feature. With visual deducts, users can calculate deductions on project addenda or change orders via mark-ups placed on the On-Screen Digitizer, which previously was not an available option. Call FastEST today at 800-828-7108, or visit the website at to see the brand-new program versions in action! 


© Can Stock Photo / BrandonSeidel 16


Sheet Metal Journal, Western Washington

Oct 20 - 23, 2019

2019 SMACNA Annual Convention Austin, TX

CONTRACTORS' ADVICE CULTURE & PURPOSE DRIVE TALENT DECISIONS Maybe the problem is not that Millennials don’t value meaningful work. Maybe they just define it differently than other generations. – Kelly Pledger Weeks in Harvard Business Review Our research shows that Millennials who found “special meaning” in their work were six times more likely to plan to stay at their workplaces. – Fortune magazine By / Mark Breslin

More than two million people quit their jobs last year. That number is up 35% in the last five years. One in three people polled say they are considering leaving their existing position. That is one-third of the workforce. Today. Over 90% of Millennials expect to stay in their positions for less than three to four years.

Creating this kind of culture takes work. It means being open to change – driving change – and accepting that you have to meet people where they are, and not where you are. Or you can try to keep them by paying them more money until they leave anyway.

In the past, leaders in the construction industry (which my family has worked in for four generations) didn’t care about culture. They cared about production. They didn’t care about “culture” when “authority” is what got the job done. They didn’t worry about retention, because the general idea was “If you can’t do it, I’ll find someone who can.” Well, the evolution of culture in construction is underway in a profound manner. And what is driving it is a simple formula. Here it is:

Purpose: a sense of purpose is now often cited as the number one priority for young talent, particularly as it relates to retention. Purpose sounds like this:

“In today’s market, talent will flow to where it is valued most.”

Are the plans and direction of our organization communicated to me effectively?

Notice I did not say where it is paid the most. Money is certainly a mandatory component of the workplace relationship, but underestimating the importance of value is a dire mistake. Here’s why. Based on almost every study (and the younger the employee, the more accurate this is) people work at an organization (and stay there) because of two major drivers. Here they are in order: Culture: what is the prevailing culture around employment? This constitutes elements such as: How much effort does the company and my boss make to emphasize my value? How much feedback do I get on my performance? How interested is my organization in developing my talent and career? Do my company and supervisor display the commitment, ethics, transparency and work ethic that make me want to emulate them? Do they display trust and loyalty? Can I do my best work and be my best self in the environment?

Do I understand the real mission of the company and how I fit in? Does the work I do matter? And how do I know that?

Am I given the freedom and autonomy to create the best outcomes? Am I listened to? Purpose now vs. purpose before? As a Boomer, my purpose was pretty damn simple: work hard, get ahead. Now people want and expect more, and most importantly, they can get it – if not from you, then from someone else. Of all the things I do as a CEO, with hundreds of member companies and dozens of staff, two interrelated roles make all the difference. One is my role as Talent Picker and the other is Culture Creator/Protector. With the amount of attention paid to talent selection, the reputation of my employees is one of being “A” Players. Not every role, every year, all the time, but on balance for a small business, I hire for culture and fit — not skills. If I want a superstar, then I have to know they will thrive within the culture. It is no mistake that a good number of our “alumni” have gone on to CEO, SVP and other top jobs around the nation. We get ‘em. We grow ‘em. And they jump out of the nest with our encouragement. But for them to thrive, the culture is the platform for talent development and retention. continued on page 23 • Winter 2019


CODE TITLECORNER POLLUTION CONTROL UNIT AND REMOTE POWERED DAMPER INSTALLATION The Code and Technical Committee has been hard at work in 2018, with 18 members addressing a wide array of issues that can potentially affect everyone in our industry. In this article we will describe two issues that have been reviewed by our group and provide our consensus opinions on how to address code compliance. Installation of pollution control units (PCUs) in Type 1 grease exhaust systems: The use of these “air scrubbing” devices in Type 1 grease duct systems (as defined by the International Mechanical Code, Section 506) has become a popular option in lieu of traditional grease exhaust fans in this type of system. The popularity stems from several things, including the construction of mixed-use buildings that combine residential living units with restaurant spaces on street level. Developers are aware that grease odors and particulates from Type 1 systems are not conducive to happy residents in these buildings and scrubbing the air with PCUs is an excellent solution to this challenge. When installing a PCU in these systems instead of an exhaust fan, the code requires the installation of a vibration isolation device at the duct to PCU connection (506.3.2.4). In our review there appears to be no “listed and labeled” product currently on the market that meets this code requirement, and to comply it is necessary to submit an “approved” design to the code official for review and approval prior to installation. An approved design must include flexible connection material that is rated for continuous duty at a temperature of not less than 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. This approved design should be recommended by the manufacturer of the PCU to be installed, and the code committee suggests that this component of the PCU installation should be coordinated with the selected manufacturer and be included with manufacturer’s equipment submittals, and specified on the permit drawings if possible, to ensure that this component and therefore the entire installation clearly meets the code requirements described above.

By / Peter Boileau, Chairman of the ICC Code/Technical Advisory Committee

Installation of low voltage remote powered balancing dampers: Low voltage remote powered balancing dampers are typically used in duct systems that are installed above ceilings that are high above the floor, difficult to access, or made of rigid gypsum board attached to a framing system (often called “hard”) in all types of buildings. Although expensive, powered dampers have proven more reliable and more accurate for balancing these systems when compared to linkage or cable actuated remote dampers. One issue with their installation, however, involves a potential code requirement for ceiling access doors to service the motors used with this type of damper. The committee looked at several possible code interpretations of installing low voltage motors without ceiling access doors, which are required by code for “inspection, repair, replacement, or adjustment”. As we have probably all experienced, numerous access doors in hard or high finish ceilings are not popular with architects and building owners. The committee’s recommended solution for addressing the issue of leaving these motors inaccessible is to obtain a letter from the damper manufacturer that they are approved for installation with no access doors. This letter should be obtained from the manufacturer at the time of purchase of the dampers and presented to the on-site inspector prior to installation, avoiding after-the-fact code “interpretations” and potential ductwork and/or ceiling rework costs to address this code issue after installation is complete. 

Submit your news, story, or photo idea CONTRACTORS AND SUPPLIERS SMJ-WW is on the lookout for interesting HVAC, architectural sheet metal, testing & balancing, and industrial / specialty news and feature topics. If you have a great idea, notice an industry issue that needs addressing, or want to weigh in on a technical subject, we would love to hear from you. We also need great pictures – current and historical – of people working in all aspects of the sheet metal industry. If you have something to share, please email it to our editor, Jessica Kirby, with a caption about what is going on in the photo. Questions about how else to get involved in a future issue of Sheet Metal Journal? Reach out to jessica.kirby@ or 250.816.3671 and get the scoop.


Sheet Metal Journal, Western Washington


Who’s in Charge

Riding the blue wave, the Democrats increased their majorities in both the House and Senate. The House Democrats gained seven seats to raise their numbers from the bare majority of 50 to 57. The Senate won back three Republican held seats to bump their majority to 28 out of 49 seats. This will mean the Democrats will have sufficient margins to pursue some long desired revenue and policy proposals. The other change we are seeing is a transition in Democrat leadership. Senate Majority Leader Sharon Nelson from Seattle did not run. Senator Andy Billig from Spokane will be the new Majority Leader. The House will see a major change at the end of the 2019 session. Frank Chopp, the longest serving Speaker of the House, will be stepping down as the House’s Democrat leader, but will continue to serve as a legislator.

The Budget Wish List The 2019 session is a long session, 105 days, when legislators put together their two-year budgets for operating, capital, and transportation expenditures. The healthy economy has added more money to the state coffers. Legislators can expect to have $50 billion to spend on their 2019 to 2021 operating expenses. This will be the largest revenue amount in the state’s history. There are some new fiscal demands on the budget—collective bargaining contracts, mental health services and facilities, and increasing health care costs. Many Democrat legislators have said they want to reduce some of the state property tax increase that was part of the McCleary education funding agreement in 2017. What does that mean? Many Democrats are saying $50 billion won’t be enough. We expect the Governor will propose new revenue in his budget. Democrat leaders are already pushing for a capital gains tax to replace some of the property tax dedicated to education. The capital gains tax proposals in the prior session included tax, not only on profits from sale of stocks, but also on profits from the sale of businesses. SMACNA has opposed the capital gains tax for this reason.

Expected Contractor Issues in 2019 We will see a range of issues of interest to SMACNA contractors in the 2019 session. Last year the Legislature passed a law to requiring the use of collective bargaining agreements (CBA) to set the prevailing wage when there are applicable agreements in place. Lacking a CBA, the traditional survey method will be used. The change in law caused steep increases in a few trades triggering complaints from many some public entities. We can may expect to see a bill making some adjustments this session.

By / Kathleen Collins, SMACNA Legislative Consultant

On the contracting front, the state employees will run a bill to restrict contracting out. SMACNA is working with other construction groups to exempt construction and service work or to minimize the impact. There will likely be bills to give women and minorities preference in contracting. And Labor and Industries will have a bill to increase bond limits for contractors who have complaints against them. As part of his climate package the Governor is going to propose a bill to incentivize deep energy efficiency building retrofits. The state would make incentive payments to building owners who upgrade their buildings to energy performance standards set by the Department of Commerce. The energy performance standards would be established by rule for commercial buildings to require energy use intensity targets by building type and would include an energy management plan, maintenance program, and audits. While helpful to many SMACNA contractors, this proposal is likely to meet opposition from building owners. Also the Governor will be proposing a bill to phase out hydrofluorocarbons. It will include almost a million dollars to implement the program. The issue of condominium liability has discouraged many SMACNA legislators from participating in condominium projects. The desire to have more affordable housing has increased interest in dealing with the problem. Senator Jamie Pederson, Chair of the Senate Law and Justice Committee, held several hearings on the issue this interim. There may be a bill that deals directly with the liability issue. The bill would set the legal standards to those generally accepted at the time of construction. The bill would also specify that the defect has to be more than technical, be significant to a reasonable person, violate construction standards used at the time of construction, and have caused physical damage or a safety risk.  SMACNA will keep you updated on legislative issues as they evolve during session. If you have questions, please contact the SMACNA office.

Have a project or story idea you would like to share? Contact Sheet Metal Journal-Western Washington's editor, Jessica Kirby, at or 250-816-3671 • Winter 2019


IT'S THE LAW EIGHT KEY AREAS OF EMPLOYMENT LAW THAT CAN LEAD TO EXPENSIVE LITIGATION Washington state employers face a great body of city, state, and federal employment laws that they must navigate, and it would take a book to outline all of them. There are a few keys areas, however, that stand out above the rest as frequently causing problems and leading to expensive litigation for employers.

Hiring Issues When it comes to employment laws affecting standard hiring practices, there are three common pitfalls: (1) prohibited questions on job applications and interviews about criminal convictions and other protected categories; (2) improper background checks or screening tests; and (3) improper processing of the required I-9 form to determine an employee’s authorization to work in the United States. To assess and analyze compliance with city, state, and federal laws in these areas, a company should do the following, ideally with a human resources expert or an employment attorney:  Collect forms used at application and hiring phases.  Review current employment application(s) and related forms.  Collect and review a sample of completed I-9 forms and assess current handling of completed forms.  Assess current background check and screening tests (if any) and collect related forms.  Review background check and screening forms.

Classifying Workers State and federal law distinguishes between workers owed overtime pay (non-exempt employees) and those who are not (exempt employees). Much costly litigation centers on the allegation that a company has misclassified a group of employees as exempt when in fact those employees were non-exempt and due overtime pay. Similar lawsuits focus on the appropriate classification of workers as employees (protected by wage and hour laws) rather than independent contractors (non-employees excluded from wage and hour protections). To assess and analyze compliance with city, state, and federal laws in these areas, a company should do the following, ideally with a human resources expert or an employment attorney:  Determine the extent of exempt and independent contractor classifications.  Evaluate the process that the company uses for determining exempt or independent contractor status.


Sheet Metal Journal, Western Washington

Compensation Requirements

By / Karen Galipeau Forner, Managing Attorney

Washington State boasts one of the highest minimum wages in the country, and the minimum wage is even higher in the City of Seattle depending on the size of the employer. For construction companies working on federally- or state-funded projects, employees must generally be paid the prevailing wage (set by government standards). To assess and analyze compliance with city, state, and federal laws in these areas, a company should do the following, ideally with a human resources expert or an employment attorney:  Collect names, jobs, and locations for all employees to ensure compliance with minimum wage laws.  Evaluate the company’s status for purposes of Seattle’s minimum wage requirements (i.e., determine factors to designate Seattle division as small, medium, or large employer).  Assist in identifying any projects on which prevailing wage rate must be paid and evaluate compliance of any subcontractors on projects.

Work and Break Time Reporting and Requirements Employers must keep accurate records of all the time their nonexempt employees work, which means a consistent and accurate time reporting system is crucial. Washington employers must also give each employee regular (paid) rest breaks and provide an opportunity to take a (usually unpaid) meal break. While seemingly straightforward, there has been much litigation in Washington lately about missed rest and meal breaks, and this is an area in which many employers fall short. To assess and analyze compliance with city, state, and federal laws in these areas, a company should do the following, ideally with a human resources expert or an employment attorney:  Assess current time reporting system.  Evaluate current rest and meal break practices; review related policies.

IT'S THE LAW Protected Leave Entitlements Employees in Washington State are entitled to a minimum amount of leave from work. The most commonly used leave includes family medical leave (both state and federal), pregnancy disability leave, family care, and paid sick and safe leave. (Employers will have obligation under the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, beginning January 1, 2019.) Additional laws entitle employees to leave for military duty (or when a spouse is deployed to military duty), for victims of domestic violence, and for disability-related reasons.

To assess and analyze compliance with city, state, and federal laws in these areas, a company should do the following, ideally with a human resources expert or an employment attorney:  Collect and review risk class reporting documents.  Analyze risk classes and project descriptions to evaluate whether employee hours are being properly reported.

Record Keeping and Notice Requirements

City, state, and federal law requires employers to keep particular employment records for at least a three-year period. It is helpful, To assess and analyze compliance with city, state, and federal however, to keep some records even longer because it could laws in these areas, a company should do the following, ideally help an employer defend against a lawsuit or government with a human resources expert or an employment attorney: investigation. A good recommendation, therefore, is to keep payroll and personnel information for five years after an  Collect and review relevant leave policies and forms. employee’s separation from employment (whether voluntary or  Identify gaps in policy (if any) and prepare language to involuntary). This includes records of how much each employee was paid (including whether pay was straight time, overtime, fill gaps. commission, piecework, etc.), how many hours they worked, Risk Class Reporting and Tracking Hours and requests for leave. Some records should be kept even longer, including any employment contracts (subject to a six-year statute Every employer operating in Washington is required to report of limitations). and pay into the Workers’ Compensation system for each employee hour worked. The workers’ compensation classification Employers are also required by city and state law to give each system contains over 300 classifications based on the type of employee particular notices upon hire. The City of Seattle, for work performed. Each classification, or “risk class,” has an example, requires employers to give employees written notice of assigned rate that is used to calculate an employer’s workers’ specific “employment information” upon hire or at any change compensation premium. When you first set up your workers’ in employment status that includes the employer’s name, physical compensation insurance with the Department of Labor and address and contact information, pay rate, pay basis, regular Industries, the department assigns a basic classification and pay day, and tip policies. More notices are required every time probably several risk classes for your business. Employers are a paycheck is issued (or at least monthly, whichever happens required to properly classify each employee hour worked in the more regularly) to inform each employee about his or her paid proper risk classification assigned by the department. Employers sick leave balance. can run into problems when they incorrectly classify their employee hours, when they do not keep adequate records to To assess and analyze compliance with city, state, and federal substantiate their reporting, or when the nature of their business laws in these areas, a company should do the following, ideally changes but their risk classes do not. Incorrect reporting can with a human resources expert or an employment attorney: lead to an audit of up to three years, citations, civil penalties and interest, and license suspension, and can even prohibit that company from bidding on public works projects.

 Assess employment information given to employees at hire.  Review a sample of paycheck stubs to evaluate adequacy of regularly required notices.

Handbook Review

Are you wondering what's happening in the Canadian sheet metal industry? Check out to read news and articles from our BC edition of Sheet Metal Journal

While no law requires an employer to issue employee handbooks, most employers use handbooks as a valuable management tool. Indeed, they are particularly useful in distributing a company’s anti-harassment and discrimination policies. These policies are necessary to establish an important legal defense available to employers should harassment or discrimination litigation arise, but more importantly, a well-drafted policy and communicated continued on page 23 • Winter 2019


ENGINEER'S DESK COMFORT BY DESIGN PER ASHRAE STANDARDS 62.1 AND 55 The goal of a good room air distribution system is to provide thermal comfort and a healthy living environment for occupants in the space. ASHRAE Standard 55-2010 Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy and ASHRAE Standard 62.12010 Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality provide design engineers with the guidance to optimize health and comfort occupied building spaces. Many codes around the country require compliance with these ASHRAE standards. LEED also requires compliance with these standards. This article will briefly outline the goals of these standards and illustrate how to comply.

The occupied zone as defined by Standard 55-2010 reads as follows: “the region normally occupied by people within a space, generally considered to be between the floor and 6 ft. level above the floor and more than 3 ft. from outside walls/windows and 1 ft from internal walls.” The space from the interior walls inward 1 ft. serves as a mixing zone where room air is entrained into the supply air stream and mixes to provide thermal comfort in the occupied space. When designing underfloor air distribution (UFAD) systems or thermal displacement ventilation (TDV) systems, the occupied area around the outlets may be excluded to where the total air jet from the outlet contains velocities greater than 50 feet per minute. These areas are known as the “clear zone”. Any design must also include an adequate supply of ventilation air to the breathing zone of the space. ASHRAE 62.1-2010 defines ventilation air as “that portion of supply air that is outdoor air plus any re-circulated air that has been treated for the purpose of maintaining acceptable indoor air quality”. The breathing zone is the 6 feet area above the floor. The primary factors to be considered when determining conditions for thermal comfort in the occupied space are temperature, air velocity, humidity, clothing insulation, and activity level of the occupants. All of these factors are interconnected when determining the general occupant comfort of the space. The ideal temperature in a space is where the occupant will feel neutral to their surroundings. While the range of acceptable temperature may vary depending on other conditions, ASHRAE 55 requires the “allowable vertical air temperature difference between head and ankles to be 5.4 degrees F”. Air velocity in the space is less than 50 fpm during cooling and 30 fpm during heating. ASHRAE 55 requires the dew point to be less than 62.2 degrees F. Clothing variables also are factored in from sandals to shoes. The final item is the activity level of the occupant in the space. Most office activity ranges from a 1.0 to 1.3 factor. The three common methods of room air distribution used in


Sheet Metal Journal, Western Washington

By / Norm Grusnick, P. Eng. Commercial products manager, ECCO Supply

commercial buildings are fully mixed, fully stratified, and partially mixed such as underfloor systems. Design methods for cooling an interior zone and heating a perimeter zone vary with each method. For fully mixed systems, the pattern of the air delivered to the space must be considered when selecting the air outlets. Various options include ceiling diffusers, plenum slot diffusers, and side wall grilles. Typically for perimeter applications where the same outlet is being used for both heating and cooling a liner or plenum slot diffuser is used. For perimeter heating, the requirements for table 6-2 of ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2010 must be considered. For partially mixed air distribution systems (typically UFAD), the core area usually experiences even loading throughout the occupied area. The goal of partially mixed systems is to save energy by conditioning the lower area through use of floor diffusers. Perimeter zones for partially mixed systems need special attention due to the outdoor solar and air temperature changes. Fully stratified design typically requires a separate heating system, but ventilation air can be reduced by 20%. Regardless of which type of room air distribution system you use on your project, occupants who are comfortable are more productive. Comfort derived from good design keeps all occupants and users happy and healthy. 

CONTRACTORS AND SUPPLIERS SMJ-WW is on the lookout for interesting HVAC, architectural sheet metal, testing & balancing, and industrial / specialty news and feature topics. If you have a great idea, notice an industry issue that needs addressing, or want to weigh in on a technical subject, we would love to hear from you. Reach out to or call 250.816.3671 to share your ideas.


continued from page 9

The line will serve 68,500 daily commuters between downtown Seattle and Lynwood. 


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reporting procedure can stop a problem in its tracks. Other policies or explanations of employment standards often included in handbooks, while not legally necessary, go a long way to ensuring consistent treatment for similarly situated employees and is a convenient tool for distributing other information required by law to be distributed to employees. It is crucial that handbooks be reviewed to ensure they are up to date with the ever-changing and expanding state and federal employment laws. To assess and analyze compliance with city, state, and federal laws in these areas, a company should do the following, ideally with a human resources expert or an employment attorney:

is a frequent presenter at continuing legal education seminars and to employer groups. Karen has over 25 years’ experience defending and resolving a wide range of workers’ compensation, WISHA, and employment law matters. Prior to starting K-Solutions Law, Karen worked as senior attorney at a law firm in Seattle and for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. She was the Program Advisor for the Industrial Insurance and Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA) Discrimination Programs for more than 10 years and the Program Advisor for the Workers’ Compensation Sren also litigated complex WISHA, Industrial Insurance, Third Party, and Crime Victims Compensation Act cases. She recently served on the Washington State Bar Association Character and Fitness Board.


continued from page 17

You note that I wrote not only Culture Creator but also Protector. That’s because it’s not enough to just set up the culture and expect it to thrive and support the best behaviors, growth and outcomes. No. Because people will always test it. People will bring habits from previous employment. People will fill in the blanks if you don’t have a firm framework and they will often be outside the lines. Senior management owns culture and must protect it with all they got. That’s it.

So in a hot talent market, or in an industry of unlimited upward  Collect current handbook or employment policies issued mobility, these are the two starting places for your strategy— to employees. Culture and Purpose. The next time someone comes to you and  Review and revise current handbook for compliance with says they got “a better offer,” put aside the money issue and ask yourself if you have put enough effort into these leadership state and federal law. priorities. Culture and purpose are the anchors, and money is This is not an exhaustive list of the state and federal law that often the excuse. What they don’t want to tell you is that you Washington employers face. These eight areas represent, failed. Try not to get pissed at them until you have engaged in however, the most common pitfalls that employers can fall leadership self-reflection. It will be worth the time and effort; into. Ensuring compliance in these areas will go a long way and not just now, but in your business and market strategy toward protecting your company from potential problems and long-term.  expensive litigation.  Karen Galipeau Forner is the founder and managing member of K-Solutions Law in Bellevue, Washington. Karen represents employers in the areas of workplace safety, workers' compensation, administrative appeals, and employment law. She

Mark Breslin is an author, speaker, CEO and influencer at the highest levels of business in North America. His five bestselling books have sold hundreds of thousands of copies and have improved leadership, accountability, profitability, innovation and engagement for organizations and individuals. .

Happy New Year! We wish you a very successful and prosperous 2019. ~ Jessica, Christina, and Lara, Sheet Metal Journal, Western Washington

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Sheet Metal Journal, Western Washington - Winter 2019  

• Building Connections • New Horizons • Action Resolutions • Culture and Purpose

Sheet Metal Journal, Western Washington - Winter 2019  

• Building Connections • New Horizons • Action Resolutions • Culture and Purpose