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Building Sciences

In This Issue

Dates to Know

November 1, 2018
DOE Webinar: Recent Research on Time-Sensitive Value of Energy Efficiency
1:00 – 2:30 pm ET

November 4-7, 2018
IRMI Construction Risk Conference
Houston, TX

November 6, 2018
DOE Webinar: Lighting Toolkit for K-12 School Districts
3:00 – 4:00 pm ET

November 6-7, 2018
NFMT Vegas

Las Vegas, NV

November 6-8, 2018
ASTM Symposium on Structural Integrity of Additive Manufactured Parts

Washington, DC

November 6-9, 2018
FCIA Firestop Industry Conference & Trade Show

Austin, TX

November 7-9, 2018
Design-Build Conference and Expo

New Orleans, LA

November 8, 2018
DOE Webinar: Sky Glow Comparison Tool
1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

November 9, 2018
Facades+ Boston
Boston, MA

November 13-15, 2018
Infrastructure Imperative

Cleveland, OH

November 13-15, 2018

Austin, TX

November 16-17, 2018
Building Envelope Technology Symposium

Nashville, TN

November 28-30, 2018
The Buildings Show

Toronto, Canada

December 2, 2018
ASTM Symposium on Building Science and the Physics of Building Enclosure Performance - Part 2

Washington, DC

December 7, 2018
Facades+AM Seattle

Seattle, WA

December 13, 2018
Western Utility Emergency Planning Conference

Anaheim, CA


January 7-10, 2019
Building Innovation 2019

Washington, DC

January 22-25, 2019
World of Concrete Show 2019

Las Vegas, NV

January 28-29, 2019
WDMA-Northeast Winter Conference 2019

Baltimore, MD

February 19-21, 2019
NAHB International Builders’ Show

Las Vegas, NV

March 2019
National Ladder Safety Month

March 14-19, 2019
2019 RCI International Convention & Trade Show

Orlando, FL

March 19, 2019
2019 X-STEM “Extreme” STEM Symposium

Washington, DC

March 26-28, 2019
NFMT 2019

Baltimore, MD

April 2-4, 2019
Geospatial World Forum

Amsterdam, Netherlands

April 3-6, 2019
AEI 2019 Conference

Tysons, VA

May 19-23, 2019
LIGHTFAIR International 2019

Philadelphia, PA

June 22-25, 2019
BOMA 2019 International Conference & Expo

Salt Lake City, UT

October 16-18, 2019

Pittsburgh, PA

December 9-12, 2019
2019 Buildings XIV International Conference

Clearwater Beach, FL

Journal of the National Institute of Building Sciences - Autumn 2018

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Industry News

ANSI Student Paper Competition to Look at How Standards Help Mitigate Disaster

The 2019 American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has announced its eighth annual student competition. The 2019 challenge asks participants to submit papers that answer the question, “How do standards help mitigate disaster?” The paper competition is open to students enrolled full- or part-time in associate, undergraduate or graduate programs during the 2018-2019 school year in U.S. higher education institutions. The deadline to submit an entry is April 30, 2019. View the criteria.



October 2018

The Institute in Action

Building Innovation 2019:
Education Session Details Revealed, Early-Bird Deadline Today

Building Innovation 2019 Conference and Expo

Building Innovation 2019: The National Institute of Building Sciences Seventh Annual Conference and Expo is set to deliver an impressive educational program designed to share knowledge, experiences and ideas on multiple ways to improve the built environment. Sixty expert speakers will make 38 presentations in 18 different sessions over two days covering a wide range of topics that will engage the entire team of building professionals in exploring strategies aimed at Optimizing for Tomorrow.

In addition to the two days of quality credit-building educational sessions, the four-day event, scheduled for January 7-10, 2019, in Washington, D.C., will include three keynote presentations, workshops on building enclosure commissioning, two days of exhibit hall activities and three networking events. Hear from leading experts, play a role in the process and earn educational credits. The National Institute of Building Sciences is an American Institute of Architects Continuing Education Provider and an International Code Council Preferred Education Provider.

Register now to join us where Science meets Design® at Building Innovation 2019 and participate in this exciting program. Early-bird savings end tonight, Wednesday, October 31, 2018, at midnight ET! Save $250 off onsite registration now!

Institute Board Attends the ICC Conference in Richmond

Institute Board at ICC Conference

above The National Institute of Building Sciences Board of Directors and senior staff join International Code Council (ICC) representatives on stage during the ICC Annual Business Meeting in Richmond October 22. In addition to convening its fall meeting during the ICC Conference, the Institute Board participated in several Conference activities to gain a better understanding of the role code officials play in the industry.

ICC IBC Advertisement


Davis to Serve as Secretary/Treasurer on ICC Board

The International Code Council (ICC) welcomed a new slate of officers and directors to its Board of Directors during its Annual Business Meeting in Richmond, Virginia, this past week. The board sets the strategic direction for the association and acts as the voice of the association’s membership. Among the members of the new Executive Committee is National Institute of Building Sciences Board Treasurer Cindy L. Davis, CBO. Davis is the Virginia deputy director of the Division of Building and Fire Regulations. Read the ICC release.

Institute Looking to Hire Professionals with BIM, CAD, GIS Expertise

The National Institute of Building Sciences is in the process of filling several positions to support federal agency clients. The organization is looking to hire building professionals with expertise in building information modeling (BIM), computer-aided design (CAD) and geographic information systems (GIS).

Interested individuals with the required skillsets can read the job descriptions for the BIM Manager and BIM Data Analyst to see the full duties and responsibilities of the positions.

To apply for either of the positions, email a cover letter and resume to jobs@nibs.org with “BIM Manager” or “BIM Data Analyst” in the subject line.


Industry Leadership and Advocacy

Cote Receives Ron Brown Award Standard Leadership Award

Arthur Cote accepting Ron Brown Awwardimage right Arthur E. Cote (left), former executive vice president and chief engineer (retired) at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), accepts the Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award from American National Standards Institute (ANSI) President and CEO S. Joe Bhatia during the U.S. World Standards Day Dinner and Reception. Mr. Cote was recognized for his globally impactful contributions to NFPA, ANSI and other domestic and international organizations, and was honored for his role as a leading advocate of the voluntary standards community for over four decades. The U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day Planning Committee recognized Cote during its annual event, held October 18 in Washington, D.C.

Each year, members of the U.S. standards community come together in the nation’s capital to celebrate standards. This year’s theme was “Innovation Nation.” The National Institute of Building Sciences is a member of the Planning Committee that organizes the celebration. Learn more about the event.

Institute Meets with Sudanese Representatives

Ryan Colker with Sundanese Reps

Institute Vice President Ryan Colker (center) meets with Dr. Malik Dongla (right), President of Sudan’s Organizing Council for Engineering Works Contractor, and Mohamed Osman Akasha, Minister Counselor at the Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan, to discuss housing development and new construction technologies in the United States.

EPA WaterSense® Program Receives Authorization
Fulfills Consultative Council Recommendation

On October 23, President Trump signed S. 3021, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), “America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018,” which includes strong language officially authorizing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense® program. The WaterSense® program promotes water-efficient products through a labelling system and sets voluntary efficiency standards for water appliances such as toilets, showerheads and landscape irrigation systems. WaterSense®-labeled products and services are certified to use at least 20 percent less water, save energy and perform as well as or better than regular models. Along with the WaterSense® provision, the legislation extends for two years the EPA's Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), creates a stormwater financing federal taskforce and authorizes $225 million per year for the next two years in grants to states and localities for water-related infrastructure projects.

In its 2016 Moving Forward Report, the Institute’s Consultative Council examined water resources and the built environment, providing findings and recommendations on the authorization and funding of the WaterSense® program, WIFIA and other important water-related programs. Read the 2016 Moving Forward Report. Learn more about the WaterSense® Program.

Security and Disaster Preparedness

Institute Issues Second Report on the Value of Mitigation
Highlights Mitigation for Utilities and Transportation Infrastructure

Utilities and Transportation InfrastructureThe National Institute of Building Sciences has issued its latest report in a multi-year study on natural hazard mitigation. The second in a series of interim results, Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: Utilities and Transportation Infrastructure examines the potential benefits associated with investing in mitigation for select utility and transportation infrastructure.

The project team studied Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants relating to flood mitigation for roads and railroads; flood mitigation for water and wastewater facilities; wind mitigation for electric and telecommunications; and flood mitigation for electric and telecommunications. In addition, the team analyzed several leading options for natural-hazard mitigation and found positive benefit-cost ratios for replacing specific water supply pipeline segments to create a “resilient water-supply grid”; strengthening electric substation equipment to better resist earthquake loads and to create a “resilient electric grid”; and strengthening highway bridges to better resist earthquake loads.

Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: Utilities and Transportation Infrastructure is an independent work, funded with the support of public- and private-organizations interested in expanding the understanding of the benefits of hazard mitigation. Read the release. Download the report.

FEMA, FIMA Discuss the Results of the 2017 Interim Report

FEMA Presentation on Mitigation Saves Report

above Jennifer Goldsmith-Greenspoon talks about the results of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2017 Interim Report during a presentation to a group of FEMA representatives.

Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) and the National Institute of Building Sciences came together September 25 to discuss the results of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2017 Interim Report. In the 2017 Interim Report, an Institute project team looked at federally funded mitigation grants provided by FEMA, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and found that funding mitigation can save the nation $6 in future disaster costs, for every $1 spent on hazard mitigation.

Institute Project Manager Jiqiu Yuan; Edward Laatsch, Director of Planning, Safety and Building Science Division of the FIMA Risk Management Directorate within FEMA; Jennifer Goldsmith-Grinspoon, the FEMA Technical Lead for the Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2017 Interim Report; and 60 other representatives from various sectors of FEMA joined the discussion on how to best use the results of the report. Read the report.

The Next Step in Mitigation…Incentivization

Fannie Mae Meeting

above National Institute of Building Sciences and Fannie Mae representatives meet to discuss potential opportunities to incentivize mitigation activities.

Mitigation saves, but what is the next step to get building owners to take action? In its continuing work with different stakeholders, the National Institute of Building Sciences is looking at opportunities to increase investment in pre-disaster mitigation.

On October 2, Institute representatives Ryan Colker, Philip Schneider and Jiqiu Yuan, along with Keith Porter, lead author of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2017 Interim Report, met with representatives from Fannie Mae to discuss potential ways to incentivize mitigation activities. Learn more about the Institute’s initiatives on resilience incentivization.

NIST Report on the Need for Buildings to Be Occupiable Post-Disaster

Today’s building codes provide significant life-safety protection. However, a community’s ability to quickly and fully recover from a disaster requires the ongoing functioning and operations of its buildings. In 2017, Congress tasked the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with defining what it would take to achieve immediate occupancy performance codes and standards for all buildings in all types of natural hazards, specifically in terms of fundamental research needs, possible technological applications based on that research and key strategies that could be used to implement any resulting regulations. The result of that effort is the new NIST report, Research Needs to Support Immediate Occupancy Building Performance Objective Following Natural Hazard Events. The publication identifies a large portfolio of research and implementation activities that target enhanced performance objectives for residential and commercial buildings. View the NIST report.  

BSSC Presents at Building Safety & Design Expo

The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) and the latest updates to NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures were the focus of a recent presentation by the Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC). On October 21, BSSC staff Jiqiu Yuan and Philip Schneider gave an overview of the 2020 NEHRP Provisions development process to attendees during the Building Safety & Design Expo, held in conjunction with the International Code Council 2018 Conference in Richmond, Virginia.

Yuan and Schneider addressed the latest development of next-generation seismic design value maps, a joint effort of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), BSSC and the U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS). The speakers also highlighted some potential technical changes to the seismic design provisions in the 2020 NEHRP Provisions, which are expected to be adopted in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)/Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) standard ASCE/SEI 7-22 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures and the 2024 International Building Code. Learn more about BSSC’s activities

Facility Performance and Sustainability

Last Chance to Submit an Entry for the 2018 Beyond Green™ Awards

Today is the last day to enter those cutting-edge projects and activities for a chance to win a National Institute of Building Sciences 2018 Beyond Green™ High-Performance Building and Community Award.

The Beyond Green™ High-Performance Building and Community Awards recognize those buildings, initiatives and innovations that are influencing, informing and inspiring the high-performance planning, design, construction and operations processes.

The Institute will recognize the 2018 award winners on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, during its Annual Awards Banquet. As part of the awards presentation, the Beyond Green™ High-Performance Building and Community Award winners have the opportunity to present their projects and highlight the challenges and opportunities they faced while delivering high-performance buildings. The deadline ends today, October 31, at 5:00 p.m. ET. Don’t miss it! Submit an entry now.

Solar Decathlon Application Deadline Closes November 6, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon continues to “push the envelope” on the design of the most high-performance, efficient, affordable, innovative buildings while leveraging opportunities to showcase student innovation and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, as well as to foster workforce development opportunities.

The Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition that challenges student teams to design and build high-performance, energy-efficient buildings. The winners of the competition are the teams that best blend design excellence and smart energy use with innovation, market potential and building efficiency.

This year’s Solar Decathlon will offer two tracks that build on the strengths of previous DOE student competitions: (1) an annual “Design Challenge” – former Race to Zero Student Design Competition, and (2) a “Build Challenge” – an expansion on the original Solar Decathlon. Each team must submit an application and required fee by 5 p.m. ET on November 6, 2018. Please note that any teams interested in competing in the Build Challenge must also submit a Build Challenge Proposal and supporting materials. Apply now.


Information Resources and Technologies

Institute to Participate in Federal Asset Leadership Forum

National Institute of Building Sciences representatives will participate in the Fifth Federal Asset Leadership Forum, to be held November 14-15, on Capitol Hill, as part of the Asset Leadership Network’s Annual Asset Leadership Week.

The session, “Manage Your Data, Manage Your Assets,” will look at how the Department of State Overseas Building Operations (OBO) is managing its building assets. OBO and the Institute will highlight the OBO’s building information modeling (BIM) road map and discuss how other agencies and owners have and can address similar challenges.

During the Forum, executives from federal agencies, institutions and private companies will discuss the ability for a systematic approach to asset management to provide significant improvements through bi-partisan discussions that lead to measurable, dramatic benefits. Learn more about the Federal Asset Leadership Forum.


The National Institute of Building Sciences, authorized by public law 93-383 in 1974, is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that brings together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests to identify and resolve building process and facility performance problems. The Institute serves as an authoritative source of advice for both the private and public sectors with respect to the use of building science and technology.

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