Trades Connection September 2020 Primary Content

  • Spotlight: Becky Jones, Manager of the Elevator, Ski/Amusement Division

    Spotlight: Becky Jones, Manager of the Elevator, Ski/Amusement Division

    I have been with the Bureau of Construction Codes (BCC) for a little over 2 years and with the State of Michigan for a little over 13.  I started with BCC in July 2018 managing the newly formed Elevator, Ski/Amusement Division, while the Bureau was in the process of welcoming the Ski/Amusement program into our family. A few months later the in-house IT team joined the division and we were done growing.  As a Division this makes us responsible for about 30,000 elevators, 350 ski lifts, 1,100 amusement devices (both fixed and mobile), and over 150,000 users of our system.

    In my role, I have the opportunity to represent BCC on many fronts and endeavor for a positive customer experience with every person I talk to both internally and externally.  I am extremely fortunate to work with amazing inspectors and office staff in this division and within the Bureau overall.  As a Division, we strive to ensure the safety of the riding public as well as correcting IT issues for both internal and external users.  

    The Elevator, Ski/Amusement Division is currently comprised of 26 staff members split across the 3 program areas working both in the office and the field. The first line supervisor for Elevator and Ski/Amusement inspectors is Craig LaLonde, the Code and Inspector Supervisor for the division who is charged with not only supervising inspectors but also responding to all code related questions.  In the office I have Susan Stone for elevator and Kelly Bean for Ski/Amusement, both of whom keep us all on task and focused on the Division goals.  Rikki Robinette sets the pace and drives all of our work and ensures everything is getting done on time.  In the field we have 16 Elevator inspectors and 3 Ski/Amusement inspectors.  The inspectors work almost exclusively in the field and are spread throughout the state are responsible for conducting all inspections; including permit, annual, violation follow-ups, and new equipment. 

    Also in the office is the IT team comprised of Jennifer Little, Andrea Humphrey, and Jonathan Marihugh who are focused on supporting both internal and external staff as well as all of our customers.

    I am thankful to be part of not only BCC but also the amazing Division team that I work with daily.  We are all focused on moving BCC’s mission of “Safety in the Built Environment” forward while providing the best customer service possible.

  • Bureau of Construction Codes News: Skilled Trades Regulation Act Citation Implementation Keith Lambert, Bureau Director

    Bureau of Construction Codes News: 
    Skilled Trades Regulation Act Citation Implementation 
    Keith Lambert, Bureau Director

    Many of you should have already received notice of an upcoming change to BCC field operations. As a reminder, BCC will begin implementing its authority to issue citations in accordance with MCL 339.553 and MCL 339.5537 to maintain compliance with the Occupational Code, 1980 PA 299, and the Skilled Trades Regulation Act, 2016 PA 407.  Individuals licensed/registered as building officials, inspectors, plan reviewers, residential builders, maintenance & alteration contractors, electricians, plumbers, mechanical contractors, and boiler tradesmen may be subject to a citation being issued.

    Effective October 1, 2020, a BCC team member may issue a citation to a person that is licensed under 1980 PA 299, or 2016 PA 407, or required to hold a license or certificate under these acts if staff observes from an investigation, inspection, or complaint that conduct or conditions exist or have existed that violate these acts or rules promulgated or orders issued under these acts.  Please be advised that citations will not be issued for violations of the code as there are existing remedies to resolve code deficiencies.

    The following are a list of violations subject to a citation being issued along with a brief description of conduct or conditions observed, and individuals that may be subject to the citation being issued:

    Lack of Identification

    Conduct/condition:  No proof of licensure and government-issued photo identification.

    Individuals:  Anyone required to be licensed under 2016 PA 407, specifically: building officials, inspectors, electricians, plumbers, mechanical contractors, and boiler tradesmen.

    No Permit Status

    Conduct/condition:  No documentation of permit where required before work commences.

    Individuals:  Anyone required to be licensed under 1980 PA 299 or 2016 PA 407, specifically: building officials, inspectors, electricians, plumbers, mechanical contractors, residential builders, maintenance & alteration contractors, and boiler tradesmen.

    Unregistered Apprentice

    Conduct/condition:  Non-licensed individual on worksite assisting with electrical or plumbing work.

    Individuals: Anyone required to be registered under 2016 PA 407, specifically: apprentice electricians and apprentice plumbers.

    Operation of a Boiler Without a Valid Certificate

    Conduct/condition:  Boiler found operating with a certificate blocking violation and existing code deficiencies that are not corrected.

    Individuals:  Anyone responsible for the boiler.

    Any citation issued will include actions required for compliance along with the payment of a fine not to exceed $100.00 for each violation.  Please note that a citation can either be accepted or contested within 30 days of issuance.  If you have any questions concerning this notification, please contact us at 517-241-9302 or BCCHelp@michigan.gov.

  • Upcoming Ski Season Renewal Updates: Becky Jones, Division Manager

    Upcoming Ski Season Renewal Updates: Becky Jones, Division Manager

    The 2020-2021 ski season is already upon us, with all the warm weather this summer it is hard to believe that we are going to be thinking about snow soon. Renewals for the resorts are coming in and inspectors will be working to schedule preliminary inspections soon.

    As we move into the upcoming season, the Ski Area Safety – General Rules are being updated. We are in the process of updating Rule 5 specifically.  R 408.65, Adoptions of standards by reference, will allow BCC to adopt ANSI standards B77.1-2017, the most recent code book available for the ski industry.  The new code will have immediate effect when officially adopted. Please see the Administrative Rules Update section withing the Trades Connection for an update on the status of this rule set.

    No matter what anyone considers fun, there is always some danger involved on a ski hill. When a ski operation is issued a Do Not Operate order, followed by a cease and desist, this is done for the protection of those who want to partake in the sport. It is very important to make sure all safety protocols that are required by the Act and the Administrative Rules are followed closely. These have been created by those in the industry with an abundance of experience and knowledge. When a device is used by the public, whether they are paying customers or not, the State of Michigan has a responsibility to do what can be done to protect those individuals by performing a thorough inspection of each device. Our inspectors do their best to help ski operators come into compliance with as little operation and loss of revenue as possible. The State of Michigan ski Inspectors are professional and compassionate and will work to reinspect or provide additional information as soon as possible and to the best of their ability.

    If any operators have questions, please feel free to reach out to us via email at lara-bcc-ski-amusement@michigan.gov and we will promptly respond.

  • Boiler Rule 408.4027 and CSD-1, Maintenance of Controls and Safety Devices: David Stenrose, Division Manager

    Boiler Rule 408.4027 and CSD-1, Maintenance of Controls and Safety Devices:  David Stenrose, Division Manager

    Boilers supply hot water or steam to heat buildings, provide domestic hot water, operate machinery, or deliver steam for power or process uses.   To accomplish these ends, boilers contain a lot of energy in the form of high temperature water or steam under pressure.  A sudden and uncontrolled release of this energy can result in extensive property damage and personal injury.  To safely contain this energy within the boiler, it is fitted with certain controls and safety devices.

    The safety relief valve prevents overpressure and damage to the boiler by venting excess pressure to a safe location where people will not be harmed.

    The low water cutoff device will turn off the burner, stopping the flame in the furnace and prevent overheating of the boiler pressure containment structure.

    The high temperature limit switch will turn off the burner if the boiler temperature reaches the maximum water temperature allowed in the boiler.

    The high-pressure limit switch will turn off the burner if the boiler reaches the maximum steam pressure allowed in the boiler.

    Most boiler failures are related to the malfunction of one or more of these safety and control devices, it is very important that these be maintained in good working order.

    Michigan Boiler Rule 408.4027 requires periodic testing and maintenance of boiler controls and safety devices to ensure they are in good working order.  This work must be performed by technicians holding a Mechanical Contractors License with a heating service endorsement or employed by such a Mechanical Contractor.  The technician doing the testing and maintenance should be leaving a report in the boiler room or with the person responsible for the boiler.  Boiler inspectors will be looking for this service report when they perform the periodic inspection to renew the boiler certificate.

    Boilers providing steam for heating, power, or process must have this testing and maintenance completed every year.  Boilers providing hot water for building heat or domestic needs also are required to have this maintenance once per year.  If the heat input of these hot water heating or hot water supply boilers is 400,000 btu/hour or less, this maintenance is required once every three years, but it must be done within one year of the upcoming certificate expiration date.

    The best time to have your boiler controls and safety devices tested maintained is before the heating season starts, that way if testing reveals that parts need to be ordered or more involved repairs need to be effected, you will have time to get the work done before the heating season starts.

  • Upcoming Renewals

    Upcoming Renewals

    **Renewals can be done online 90 Days Prior to December 31, 2020 or the expiration date of your license/registration. **

    Notices of required renewal will be mailed to licensees.

    Boiler Installer, Repairer, Inspector, and Operator renewals occur on a yearly basis and are due by December 31, 2020. If you fail to complete your renewal, you may be subject to licensing action if you are found to be doing work on a boiler.

    Electrical Contractor renewals occur on a three-year basis and are due this year by December 31, 2020. If you fail to complete your renewal, you may be subject to licensing action if you are found to be doing electrical work.

    Electrical Master renewals occur on a yearly basis and are due by December 31, 2020. If you fail to complete your renewal, you may be subject to licensing action if you are found to be doing electrical work.

    Electrical Journeyman renewals occur on a yearly basis and are due by December 31, 2020. If you fail to complete your renewal, you may be subject to licensing action if you are found to be doing electrical work.

    Fire Alarm Contractor renewals occur on a three-year basis and are due this year by December 31, 2020. If you fail to complete your renewal, you may be subject to licensing action if you are found to be doing electrical work.

    Fire Alarm Specialty Technician renewals occur on a yearly basis and are due by December 31, 2020. If you fail to complete your renewal, you may be subject to licensing action if you are found to be doing electrical work.

    Reciprocal Contractor Registration renewals occur on a yearly basis and are due by December 31, 2020. If you fail to complete your renewal, you may be subject to licensing action if you are found to be doing electrical work.

    Sign Specialist renewals occur on a yearly basis and are due by December 31, 2020. If you fail to complete your renewal, you may be subject to licensing action if you are found to be doing electrical work.

    Sign Specialty Contractor renewals occur on a three-year basis and are due this year by December 31, 2020. If you fail to complete your renewal, you may be subject to licensing action if you are found to be doing electrical work.

    Elevator Contractor renewals occur on a yearly basis and are due by December 31, 2020. If you fail to complete your renewal, you may be subject to licensing action if you are found to be doing elevator work.

    Elevator Journeymen are required to renew their license every year, due on the anniversary of the issued date. As a reminder, if you fail to renew your license by the required time, you may be subject to licensing action if you are found to be working on elevators. Additionally, if you are more than 60 days late in renewing your license, you will be required to pass an examination.

  • Natural Gas Meter Sizing for Standby Generators: Matt Gay, Lead Mechanical Inspector

    Natural Gas Meter Sizing for Standby Generators:  Matt Gay, Lead Mechanical Inspector

    With the growing popularity of whole house generator installation, many homeowners and contractors have found themselves in a position where their existing natural gas meter will not provide adequate volume to meet the demands of appliances in the home and the generator itself. Inadequate flow of gas to necessary appliances, such as the furnace, could negate the benefits of having a generator during those wonderful ice storms and other extreme weather events that so often impact power generation in Michigan. It is for that reason that contractors and/or homeowners need to evaluate the capacity of their natural gas meter and compare that capacity to the demand of all appliances within the home before installing a standby generator.

    To evaluate the total demand, simply add the total BTU/H output (British Thermal Units per hour) which is typically listed on the equipment rating plate, for all appliances within the home. For example, a 70,000 BTU/H furnace, a 38,000 BTU/H water heater, and a 40,000 BTU/H gas stove, for a total of 148,000 BTU/H. Now add a 10KW standby generator which at full load is rated for 127 CF/H. (When converting from CF/H to BTU/H simply move the decimal point to the right three places which means 127 CF/H equals 127,000 BTU/H). The total load on the gas meter in the above example is 275,000 BTU/H. At standard pressure, with a standard 250 CF/H meter (the meter rating should be listed on the plate located on the meter) the actual continuous capacity is estimated to be roughly 15% higher than the rated capacity. In the above instance, the standard meter at the standard pressure should provide adequate volume to support all appliances in the home and the generator at full load. Rated capacity-250 CF/H, actual capacity 287.5 CF/H.

    Our gas providers are an excellent resource for evaluating the meter on your project. It is important to confirm the pressure and the rated capacity of the meter in question. Consumers Energy has created a document to assist contractors and homeowners in determining whether they need to upgrade their meter to compensate for the addition of a whole house generator. The document can be found here:

    https://www.consumersenergy.com/residential/programs-and-services/-/media/1FCD94D7C3554B13B3640B80F18D6DD9.ashx

    Whole house generators can offer an additional level of protection for your home during tumultuous weather events, but they must be designed and installed correctly, in order to realize that benefit.

  • Upcoming Board and Commission Meetings

    Upcoming Board and Commission Meetings

    Elevator Safety Board

    Meeting: September 22, 2020

    Time:  10:00 AM

    *Location:  Will be held virtually.

    Board of Boiler Rules

    Meeting: September 29, 2020

    Time:  10:00 AM

    *Location:  Will be held virtually.

    Ski Area Safety Board

    Meeting: October 1, 2020

    Time:  1:00 PM

    *Location:  Will be held virtually.

    State Boundary Commission

    Meeting: October 7, 2020

    Time:  10:00 AM

    *Location:  Will be held virtually.

    Construction Code Commission

    Meeting: October 14, 2020

    Time:  10:00 AM

    *Location:  Will be held virtually.

    State Survey and Remonumentation Commission

    Meeting: October 22, 2020

    Time:  10:00 AM

    Location:  Will be held virtually.

    **Deadline for requests to appear before the Commission:  September 18, 2020

    State Plumbing Board

    Meeting: October 27, 2020

    Time:  10:00 AM

    *Location:  Will be held virtually.

    **Deadline for requests to appear before the Board:  September 23, 2020

    Electrical Administrative Board

    Meeting: November 5, 2020

    Time:  10:00 AM

    *Location:  Upper Level, Conference Room 4

    **Deadline for requests to appear before the Board:  October 2, 2020

    Residential Builders’ and Maintenance and Alteration Contractors’ Board

    Meeting: November 10, 2020

    Time:  10:00 AM

    *Location:  Upper Level, Conference Room 3

    **Deadline for requests to appear before the Board:  October 7, 2020

    Barrier Free Design Board

    Meeting: November 19, 2020

    Time:  10:00 AM

    *Location:  Upper Level, Conference Room 3

    **Deadline for requests to appear before the Board: September 21, 2020

    Board of Mechanical Rules

    Meeting: December 2, 2020

    Time:  10:00 AM

    *Location:  Upper Level, Conference Room 2

    **Deadline for requests to appear before the Board:  October 29, 2020

    Manufactured Housing Commission

    Meeting: December 9, 2020

    Time:  10:00 AM

    *Location:  Upper Level, Conference Room 4

    **Deadline for requests to appear before the Commission:  November 5, 2020

    Elevator Safety Board

    Meeting: December 15, 2020

    Time:  10:00 AM

    *Location:  Upper Level, Conference Room 2

    **Deadline for requests to appear before the Board:  November 4, 2020

    More Meetings