During Building Innovation 2014 – the National Institute of Building Sciences second annual Conference and Expo – the Institute will celebrate its 40th Anniversary as an advocate for the building industry and explore innovative solutions for Advancing Life-Cycle Performance. Plan to join us for this weeklong event, January 6-10, 2014, in Washington, D.C. Find out more and sign up to receive Conference updates.
Nominations Wanted for Institute Board
The National Institute of Building Sciences Board Nominations Committee is currently seeking candidates to serve on the Institute's Board of Directors. The Institute Board is comprised of 21 members. Six members are appointed by the President of the United States, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to represent the public interest. The remaining 15 members are elected and can represent either public interest or industry voices. The Board representation includes architects, builders, building owners, building standards developers, consumers, contractors, educators, fire safety professionals, local agency officials, product manufacturers, professional engineers, state agency officials and others. However, the majority of board members are required to come from the public interest category.
The three-year terms begin in 2014. Nominations can be submitted for one or more candidates, but a separate nomination form must be completed for each. In preparing the election ballot, the Board Nominations Committee will give equal consideration to all submissions, whether single or multiple nominations are received. Although membership in the Institute is not a requirement for nomination or election, it is encouraged. Nominations must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. ET, July 19. Download the nomination form.
Call for Honor, Member Award Nominees
The National Institute of Building Sciences Awards Committee is currently accepting nominations for the 2013 Institute Honor and Member Awards. Each year, the Institute recognizes individuals or organizations that have made an exceptional contribution to the nation and the building community. Members of the building community will honor the recipients of this year's awards during the 2014 Annual Awards Banquet on Wednesday, January 8. The ceremony will take place as part of Building Innovation 2014: The National Institute of Building Sciences Conference and Expo, to be held January 6-10, 2014, in Washington, D.C. Download the nomination forms: Member Award or Honor Award. Nominations must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. ET, July 19.
Write a Paper for a Chance to Win $2,500
Each year, the United States standards community comes together to celebrate the importance of standards. As part of this U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day, SES – The Society for Standards Professionals holds a paper competition. The theme for 2013 is "Standards for a World at Work and Play."
Cash prizes will be awarded for up to three papers selected by a panel of judges. The first place winner will receive a plaque and $2,500. Second and third place winners will receive $1,000 and $500, respectively, along with a certificate. In addition, the winning papers will be published in SES's journal, Standards Engineering. Paper competition winners will receive their awards during a banquet October 3 in Washington, D.C., hosted by the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day Planning Committee, of which the National Institute of Building Sciences is a member.
All paper contest submissions must be received with an official entry form by midnight, August 3. Get the full details.
Consultative Council Releases Recommendations to
Advance the Building Industry
The National Institute of Building Sciences Consultative Council released its 2012 report, Moving Forward: Findings and Recommendations from the Consultative Council, earlier this month at a Capitol Hill briefing hosted by the High Performance Buildings Caucus. This year's report is a pathway toward high-performance buildings. It offers specific recommendations, implementable in the near term, which can serve as the basis for a national buildings policy. The briefing kicked off the 2013 High Performance Building Week celebration in Washington, D.C. Read the release. View the report.
Fire Sprinkler System Innovator Chester Schirmer Dies at 84
Influential Fire Protection Engineer Chester (Chet) W. Schirmer died February 19, 2013, at the age of 84. Schirmer was the past CEO of Schirmer Engineering Corporation (now known as Aon Fire Protection Engineering Corporation) and son of the company's founder, Robert Schirmer.
A registered professional engineer in five states and a Fellow of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, Schirmer was a board member for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) from 1974 to 1986, serving two years as its chairman. His dedication to the industry helped to influence changes on sprinkler systems and the development of the life safety systems approach for the Sears Tower in 1970, leading to significant changes in tall building fire safety design. President Ronald Reagan awarded Schirmer a Presidential Commendation for his contributions to the development of the quick response sprinkler system concept.
"Chet served as a mentor for many young fire protection engineers," said National Institute of Building Sciences Board Member Carl Baldassarra, P.E., who worked with Schirmer for almost four decades. "His practical approach and innovative thinking helped improve the level of fire safety in the built environment."
Schirmer served for 24 years as the chairman of the NFPA Technical Committee on Automatic Sprinklers from 1974 to 1997. He was awarded the NFPA Standards Medal in 1992 and, in 2003, was honored with the highest award that the NFPA bestows, the Paul Lamb Award. Learn more about Schirmer.
Legislation Supporting Codes Introduced, Relies on Institute Report
Earlier this month, U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), along with bi-partisan colleagues, introduced the “Safe Building Code Incentive Act,” H.R. 1878 and S. 905 respectively. The legislation would allow states that adopt and enforce model building codes that meet minimum life-safety standards to receive an additional 4%
in post-disaster funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Qualifying codes would have to be consistent with the most recent version of a nationally recognized model building code, have been adopted by the state within six years of the most recent version of the model code; and use the model code as a minimum standard.
When discussing the legislation, the co-sponsors and other supporters frequently cite the Institute’s Multihazard Mitigation Council report, Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: An Independent Study to Assess the Future Savings from Mitigation Activities. This report found that money spent on reducing the risk of natural hazards is a sound investment. On average, a dollar spent by FEMA on hazard mitigation saves the nation about $4 in future benefits. View the legislation.
Institute Participates in Opinion Leaders Forum on Building Codes
Institute President Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA, serves on a panel during the “Opinion Leader Forum on Effectiveness of Strong Building Codes as a Disaster Mitigation Strategy,” held May 9. Members of the panel, “Safer, More Resilient Communities from Building Codes,” discussed the advances in construction techniques and materials and their effects on life safety. Green specifically focused on the work of the Multihazard Mitigation Council and its findings on the value of mitigation. The forum was sponsored by the BuildStrong Coalition and the Congressional Fire Services Institute.
BEST4 Technical Committee Issues Call for Papers
Conference to Focus on "Performance-Driven Architectural Design"
The Technical Committee of the fourth Building Enclosure Science and Technology Conference (BEST4) is now accepting abstracts of potential papers to be considered for presentation at the event. With the theme, "Performance-Driven Architectural Design,” BEST4 serves to enhance attendees’ understanding of critical design changes and provide a forum for discussion of unresolved issues.
Hosted by the National Institute of Building Sciences Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC) and the Building Enclosure Council of Kansas City (BEC-Kansas City), BEST4 will be held April 12-15, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. The conference will address critical issues related to the performance of the building enclosure, in conjunction with whole building performance. View the Call for Papers.
NCS Ballot Submission Period Now Open
The committee responsible for overseeing development of the nation’s leading computer-aided design (CAD) standard has begun the cycle for the next edition. The Steering Committee for the United States National CAD Standard® (NCS) opened the revision cycle on May 20, 2013, to begin development of NCS Version 6. The Ballot Submission Period is scheduled to run through July 14. The voting period will begin on October 16 and close November 11, 2013. The new edition of the standard is expected in the middle of 2014.
Any member of the NCS Project Committee can propose a change or addition to the NCS Version 5. Each proposed amendment must be documented on an NCS Ballot Submission Form. The Steering Committee will host three Balloting Module web presentations during the week of June 3 to provide an overview of the ballot process. To view the schedule and reserve a spot, read the NCS Announcement.
Case Study for USACE Headquarters Posted on WBDG
Another case study from the 2012 Beyond Green™ High-Performance Building Awards is now available for reference on the WBDG Whole Building Design Guide®. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District Headquarters, also known as Federal Center South Building 1202, won the 2012 Honor – First Place for High-Performance Buildings in Category A, High-Performance Buildings.
The result of funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), this U.S. General Services Administration project transformed a brownfield industrial warehouse site into the Corps of Engineers’ Seattle Headquarters. The building had to be designed to comply with numerous requirements, including sustainability and anti-terrorism standards. The project made extensive use of building information modeling (BIM) and incorporated an incentive compensation structure to encourage meeting of performance targets. The 200,000 square foot facility is anticipated to be in the top 1% of U.S. buildings for energy performance and should exceed all high-performance building requirements outlined in ARRA. View the case study.
NBIMS-US™ Version 3 Ballot Submission Period Opens Monday
Building professionals who have been waiting to submit ballots to the nation’s building information modeling (BIM) standard don’t have to wait much longer. The ballot submission period for the National BIM Standard – United States™ Version 3 (NBIMS-US™ V3) opens this coming Monday, June 3.
Because a BIM covers all aspects of the building process, everyone in the construction industry will be impacted as the use of BIMs becomes standard operating procedure. Therefore, the buildingSMART alliance™ is asking every sector in the building industry to participate in the development process of NBIMS-US™ V3. Ballots can amend or revise current NBIMS-US™ content or they can address the latest technologies, processes and practices not yet included in the standard. Find out the steps to get involved.
AIA Highlights WBDG as Resource for Continuing Education
The WBDG Whole Building Design Guide® has a number of continuing education classes available. Back in September 2012, in order to get the word out to architects about this great resource, The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Continuing Educations System (CES) invited WBDG Program Director Richard Paradis to record a podcast to share his experiences as a CES Provider. This month, AIA ran a follow-up article to that podcast, highlighting the WBDG and exploring the new content and continuing education courses available. Listen to the podcast. Read the article.