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Sloan headquarters earns AWS Standard certification

Sloan has achieved certification to the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard at its Franklin Park, Illinois, headquarters, the company announced.

A globally applicable framework for major water users to understand their water use and impacts, AWS certification enables organizations to further work collaboratively and transparently for sustainable water management, Sloan explained. As a global manufacturer of water-efficient commercial restroom products, Sloan’s Franklin Park location innovates and develops sustainable plumbing fixtures each day, it added.

“At Sloan, ‘Water Connects Us’ is more than just a tagline. It’s a commitment to Earth’s most precious resource that we take very seriously,” said Patrick Boyle, Sloan director of sustainability. “Being the first general goods manufacturer to certify to the AWS standard is just one more step in our endeavor to promote water stewardship.”

The AWS Standard asks water-using sites to address water challenges and onsite risks to address these issues in a way that progressively moves them to best practices in terms of the five outcomes of good water stewardship:

  • Good water governance;
  • Sustainable water balance;
  • Good water quality status;
  • Important water-related areas; and
  • Safe water, sanitation, and hygiene for all.

Sloan touch-free products — from faucets and flushometers to sinks, soap dispensers and hand dryers— are developed with sustainability and hygiene in mind to promote health and wellness in commercial restrooms of all types, the manufacturer said.

“Sloan is the perfect partner to implement the AWS Standard,” said Matt Howard, director of AWS North America. “They are a leader in water-saving restroom products, and their Franklin Park facility plays a major role in the development of those products. With this certification, we’re proud to help highlight benefits to their corporate headquarters from improved water stewardship performance.”

Sloan’s high-efficiency flushometers can cut down a building’s water use by 30%, while its commitment to product transparency through Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and Health Product Declarations (HPDs), as well as resources such as its Green Product Finder and Sustainability Calculator, promote water sustainability efforts, the company noted.

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IPEX announces opening of new distribution center

IPEX announced its newest distribution center in Charlotte, North Carolina is now fully operational.

Located at Creekside Commerce Center on John Price Road in southwest Charlotte, at more than 200,000 square feet, the new facility nearly doubles the company’s warehouse space in the region. The DC will serve IPEX’s customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky.

All new IPEX facilities will incorporate industry-leading health and safety best practices and technologies, it noted. Scanning and material handling equipment, and forklift and pedestrian safety equipment are all being evaluated for installation in the new year.

“At IPEX we place the customer at the center of all our decisions, and expansion in key markets to bring products closer to them is one of the ways we continue to deliver an exceptional experience,” said Alex Mestres, IPEX’s CEO. “And our new facility will be equipped with industry-leading technology to help us better serve our customers and ensure the health and safety of our employees.”

This new distribution center follows the company’s other openings in Garland, Texas in the U.S., and in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia in Canada, and the announcement of a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant to be built in Pineville, North Carolina. IPEX’s future growth plans include additional DCs in the southern and western U.S., it noted.

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Ferguson announces Q1 2022 results

Ferguson announced its interim financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2022.

Some highlights are:

  • Supportive end markets and continued market-share gains drove substantial sales growth;
  • Price inflation increased to low teens in the quarter;
  • Ability to manage price inflation along with good cost control generated particularly strong profit growth;
  • Completed four acquisitions since the start of the fiscal year with annualized revenues of $125 million; and
  • Completed $97 million of the $1 billion share buyback program, the distributor announced.

Kevin Murphy, group chief executive, commented: “Our associates have continued to drive strong market-share gains while navigating industry supply chain pressures, delivering particularly strong profit growth. We are pleased with earnings growth that significantly outpaced revenue growth to generate strong operating leverage, demonstrating the agility of our business model. Our balance sheet remains strong as we continue to invest in inventory availability to service our customers and return capital to shareholders through the ongoing share buyback program.

“Since the start of the second quarter, Ferguson has generated revenue growth similar to that of Q1 2022. We continue to expect a tapering of growth in the second half on tougher prior-year comparatives and we remain mindful that the recent tailwinds from inflation on gross margins will likely moderate, although the timing and extent remain uncertain. Given the strong momentum in the business and the agility of our business model, our full year expectations have increased.”

Summary of financial results

Net sales of $6,803 million were 26.6% ahead of last year, 24.5% higher on an organic basis with 1.8% from acquisitions, and a further 0.3% from the impact of foreign exchange. Inflation in the first quarter was in the low teens.

Gross margins of 31.3% were 170 basis points ahead of last year, driven primarily by its ability to serve customers while managing price inflation, enabled by the hard work of our sales associates and the strength of our supply chain, the distributor added. Operating expenses continued to be well-controlled as it focuses on productivity and efficiencies while investing in its talented associates, supply chain capabilities and technology program, Ferguson said.

Reported operating profit was $739 million (adjusted operating profit: $767 million), 64.2% ahead of last year (adjusted operating profit growth: 58.5%) as strong revenue, gross margin expansion and good cost control led to strong operating leverage, Ferguson noted.

Earnings per share on a diluted basis was $2.40 (adjusted earnings per share – diluted: $2.50), an increase of 71.4% (adjusted earnings per share – diluted growth: 64.5%) with the increase due to the strength of the profit performance in the period and the lower share count arising from share buyback programs, it added.

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New engineering guide ‘Fire Safety for Very Tall Buildings’ now available

The Society of Fire Protection Engineers, a professional society for fire protection and fire safety engineering, the International Code Council, a global source of model building codes and standards and building safety solutions, and Springer, a global scientific and technical publisher, announced the release of a new engineering guide: “Fire Safety for Very Tall Buildings.

The 2021 edition of “Fire Safety for Very Tall Buildings” provides information on the fire safety performance of tall, very tall and super tall buildings. Topics featured in the engineering guide include emergency egress, fire resistance, building envelope, suppression, detection, alarms and smoke control, with new guidance on considerations for existing buildings, energy storage systems, aerial vehicle platforms and unique building features such as observation decks and fireworks displays. Additional information in the guide consists of performance-based design and international practices.  

“We know that very tall buildings impose unique fire protection challenges and require new engineering solutions above and beyond traditional methods,” stated Nicole Boston, CAE, CEO of SFPE. “This engineering guide provides fire safety engineers and fire protection professionals with specific and necessary engineering principles to overcome the challenges of fire and to protect very tall buildings, their occupants, and first responders.”

As leaders in engineering a fire-safe world, SFPE provides rapid dissemination of the most recent and advanced work in fire protection engineering, fire science and the social/human dimensions of fire. Recently published books in the SFPE book series include “Fire Safety for Very Tall Buildings” and the 2021 “International Handbook of Structural Fire Engineering,” with additional titles forthcoming. Added to the expertise of the Code Council in model codes, standards and building safety solutions, and Springer’s scientific and technology experience, the new publication provides a tool for all fire safety and design professionals all over the world.

“The population growth of many urban centers in numerous countries and the increase in the number of super-tall buildings being built have necessitated advances in fire protection engineering and associated technologies,” said Beth Tubbs, PE, FSFPE, ICC senior staff engineer and incoming SFPE president. “The second edition of “Fire Safety for Very Tall Buildings,” is an excellent product of the partnership between SFPE, ICC and Springer Publishing and provides critical guidance for engineers and fire safety professionals.”

The new “Fire Safety for Very Tall Buildings” is available for prices beginning at $109, with an additional 40% discount to SFPE members, and the standard ICC member price discounts. The 276-page guide is available in various formats from SFPE and ICC. Institutional licensing options are available to academic, government, and corporate entities from SFPE.

“Springer Nature is very pleased to publish the Fire Safety for Very Tall Buildings Engineering Guide, second edition, making this important work available in print and electronically through the extensive SpringerLink platform,” remarked Michael Luby, senior editor and publisher liaison, Springer.  “This marks an important milestone in our strategic collaboration with the Society and its affiliates.”

A complete table of contents, purchase options, and additional information is available from SFPE at or from ICC at

Danfoss FAMU FSU Signing

Danfoss announces multi-year collaboration with FAMU-FSU College of Engineering

Danfoss and Florida State University have announced a multi-year collaboration in which Danfoss will fund scholarships and provide research opportunities for faculty and students at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, the joint engineering institution for Florida A&M University and Florida State University. The five-year agreement, which was officially signed on Nov. 12, establishes the Danfoss FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Fund with a $750,000 commitment from Danfoss.

“This agreement is an exciting new chapter in Danfoss’ relationship with the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering,” said Ricardo Schneider, president of Danfoss Turbocor based in Tallahassee, home of the college. “We have been developing a strong partnership for nearly 10 years, sponsoring undergraduate and graduate research projects, and are excited to expand our support for the development of engineering talent in the community. These scholarships will help underrepresented minority students achieve their dreams of an engineering career, bring more diversity to the profession and create a talent pipeline for our Danfoss Turbocor business.”

Each academic year, the fund will award multiple grants (expected to be around 10 per year) to undergraduate and graduate students from either university at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. Undergraduate fellowships will focus on first- or second-year engineering students, with a focus on first-generation college students or those who belong to an underrepresented group. Additionally, the fund will support graduate research fellows and faculty fellows each year who are engaged in research that is of interest to Danfoss. Fellows will collaborate with selected students at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) on graduate research projects. The students will likely spend time at each other’s campus, with support from Danfoss and the Fund.

“This funding is another important step in the nearly decade-long collaboration between Danfoss and the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, and it will be transformative in many ways,” said Farrukh Alvi, senior associate dean for research and graduate studies at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. “They’re providing financial support to our students who need and deserve it, while also creating a pathway for important research and international career connections that students would otherwise not have access to. This partnership is another notable step toward growing the number of career and research-ready engineers from first-generation and underrepresented groups, a high priority for both organizations.”

The collaboration with SDU will provide a path for SDU students to pursue graduate engineering study at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering in mechatronics, controls, material science and aerodynamics, Danfoss noted. Danfoss faculty fellows will provide them with mentorship and advising and the SDU students will continue their collaborations with the Danfoss graduate research fellows with guidance from FAMU-FSU Engineering and SDU faculty.

Danfoss, headquartered in Denmark, has an ongoing relationship with SDU, sponsoring many activities through the company’s Mads Clausen Foundation, and this agreement will expand and strengthen the existing relationship.

“We are very excited about the student exchange collaboration with Florida A&M and Florida State universities,” said Henrik Johnsen Vindt, associate professor and assistant director of international affairs at SDU’s Faculty of Engineering. “International qualifications are essential for our engineering students and this collaboration supports our effort to give future engineers a global mindset. The American students will enhance the international environment at our university, have the opportunity to experience Denmark and hopefully consider our business for employment in the future.”

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