Building Sciences

In This Issue 

Dates to Know

October 30-November 6
ICC 2011 Annual Conference

Phoenix, AZ

November 12-15
AHRI Annual Meeting

Bonita Springs, FL

November 15
2011 Beyond GreenTM High-Performance Building Award Entries Due

November 18
AIA/BEC Webinar: Roofing Considerations

December 5-7
Advanced Laboratory Design for Health, Safety and the Environment
Boston, MA

December 5-9
National Institute of Building Sciences Annual Meeting/Ecobuild America
Washington, DC

December 5-9
buildingSMART alliance Conference

Washington, DC

December 6
Building Enclosure Technology & Environment Council Symposium

Washington, DC

December 6
FEDCon® ‘11
Washington, DC

December 8
Consultative Council Meeting
Washington, DC

December 8
Coordinating Council Meeting
Washington, DC

December 9
Board of Directors Meeting
Washington, DC

January 23-25, 2012
AHR Expo
Chicago, IL

March 14-17, 2012
International Equipment EXPO
San Antonio, TX

March 18-20, 2012
GANA BEC Conference & Tradeshow

Las Vegas, NV

April 2-4, 2012
BEST3 Conference

Atlanta, GA

October 24-26, 2012
ATC&SEI Advances in Hurricane Engineering Conference
Miami, FL

The Journals

Journal of Building Information Modeling (JBIM)

NEW! Journal of Building Enclosure Design (JBED)

Journal of Advanced and High-Performance Materials (JMAT)

Journal of Hazard Mitigation and Risk Assessment (JHAZ)

What's On WBDG

The Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) recently updated the Extensive Vegetative "Green" Roofs Resource Page. The WBDG page, which provides information regarding the state of the art of vegetated roof design and construction, has undergone a significant revision by the chairs of the Building Enclosure Councils with assistance from other national experts. The page describes the benefits of vegetated roofs, including controlling storm water runoff and energy conservation, and includes sources for design and analysis tools.



October 2011

The Institute in Action 

Obama Nominates Timberlake to Institute Board

President Barack Obama has announced his intent to nominate James Timberlake, FAIA, to a key Administration post as a member of the National Institute of Building Sciences Board of Directors. Timberlake was one of three intended appointees announced by the White House on October 3 and the Administration’s fourth intended nominee to the Institute Board.

A founding partner of a Philadelphia-based architecture firm, Timberlake is co-author of five books, has taught at a number of universities and is an award-winning architect. Learn more about this nominee.

Institute Presents at UN Environment Programme

The National Institute of Building Sciences was among the organizations who presented at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative (SBCI) Fall Symposium last week in Philadelphia, Pa. This high-profile, yearly event brings together international business, academic and non-profit organizations involved with sustainable building practices.

UNEP established the SBCI to present a common voice of building sector stakeholders on buildings and climate change, drawing on UNEP’s unique capacity to provide a global platform for collective action. This year’s event included industry and technology presentations and panel discussions, along with governmental and policy contributions from local, national and international perspectives. Institute Presidential Advisor Ryan Colker presented on "Environmental Performance of Buildings: Linking Research to Policymaking." Results from the symposium will serve as recommendations for the upcoming UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP-17) and the UN Commission on Sustainable Development’s RIO+20 conference. View the symposium agenda.

Shannon Receives Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award

Jim Shannon (left) addresses the audience at the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day Dinner upon receiving the Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award.

The U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day Planning Committee recognized James M. Shannon, president of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), as the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award. Named for the late U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the award recognizes demonstrated leadership in promoting the important role of standardization in eliminating global barriers to trade. Shannon was nominated for his outstanding contributions to improving the safety of citizens and the built environment worldwide.

Shannon received the honor in front of more than 275 members of the U.S. standardization community during the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day on October 13, at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C. The Institute serves on the event’s planning committee. Read more about the event.

AAAS Report Focuses on Advancing Science for Haiti

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has released a report focusing on advancing science in Haiti. The report, Science for Haiti: A Report on Advancing Haiti’s Science and Science Education Capacity, presents a set of strategic goals that would cultivate scientific expertise in areas that match Haiti’s sustainable development plans, rebuild and strengthen science education, and increase the nation’s ties to the international science and engineering community. The report offers more than three dozen specific recommendations.

Following the devastating January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti, AAAS brought together science and education experts from Haiti, the United States and around the world. Representing the U.S. building community, the National Institute of Building Sciences provided input on how building sciences and engineering capacity can develop as Haiti is rebuilt. View the initial AAAS report.

FEDCon® ‘11 Offers Inside Look at Federal Building Plans and Budgets

Attend FEDCon® 2011—The Market Outlook Conference on Federal Construction, to get the most authoritative, up-to-date information on federal agency building and infrastructure budgets, construction forecasts and regulatory updates. Presented by the National Institute of Building Sciences, FEDCon® ‘11 will take place Tuesday, December 6, at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., alongside the Institute’s Annual Meeting and the Ecobuild America conference and exhibition.

FEDCon® ‘11 gives private-sector architects, engineers, general and specialty contractors, and manufacturers insight on what they need to know to deliver services and products to the U.S. federal government—the world's largest facility owner and procurer of design and construction services. Check out this year’s keynote speaker and presenters.

Security and Disaster Preparedness

New DHS Publication Addresses Structural Collapse

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released a new publication as part of its Buildings and Infrastructure Protection Series (BIPS). Preventing Structures from Collapsing to Limit Damage to Adjacent Structures and Additional Loss of Life when Explosives Devices Impact Highly Populated Urban Centers (BIPS 05/June 2011) is available through the Whole Building Design Guide. View the publication.

McCabe Named Deputy Director of NEHRP

The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) has a new deputy director. Steven McCabe manages NEHRP research that is conducted or supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) through its Earthquake Risk Mitigation R&D Program. He also assists in cooperative work involving the NEHRP agencies and other federal, state and public domains.

Prior to joining NIST, McCabe was Chief Executive Officer of NEES Consortium, Inc. There he was responsible for management and operation of the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), which was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with an annual budget of $22 million. Read about McCabe.

Website Offers Easy Access to NIST Disaster and Failure Study Data

For more than 40 years, scientists and engineers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have studied structural failures caused by natural disasters, fires and man-made factors, and used the lessons learned to improve building and fire codes, standards and practices. With the launch of the Disaster and Failure Events Data Repository, NIST has begun to make this valuable information more easily accessible online.

The repository will ensure that data collected during and after a disaster or failure event, as well as data generated from related research, is organized and maintained to enable study, analysis and comparison with future severe disaster events. It also will serve as a national archival database where other organizations can store the research, findings and outcomes of their disaster and failure studies. Read the full NIST article. View the new website.

MMC Spotlighted at GCC Quarterly Meeting

The Institute’s Multihazard Mitigation Council (MMC) was one of several programs highlighted during the Government Coordinating Council meeting held October 26 at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Crystal City offices in Arlington, Virginia.

Convened by the Commercial Facilities Sector-Specific Agency (CF SSA) within the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection, GCC meetings are held quarterly to build collaborative relationships with the owners and operators of sector assets and facilities in order to promote information-sharing and risk mitigation.

At last week’s meeting, MMC Director Philip Schneider spoke about MMC’s mission, provided a general overview of the DHS Integrated Rapid Visual Screening (IRVS) and Owners Performance Requirements (OPR) tools, and discussed the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazus program. Read about the GCC meeting.

Facility Performance and Sustainability

November AIA/BEC Webinar Considers Roofing

Learn the latest about "Roofing Design Considerations" during the next webinar hosted by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Building Enclosure Council-National (BEC). With the industry focus on environmental responsibility, energy concerns and increased regulations, designers have what could arguably be considered a more restricted approach to roof design. The webinar, to be held November 18 from 2:00 pm–3:30 pm EST, will explore some of those restrictions and help designers understand how to balance those outside requirements to achieve expected roof performance. Topics will include commonly misunderstood reference standards, the creation of project-specific designs and how to meet quality control expectations. Register now.

SBIC Calls for Beyond GreenTM Entries

The Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) is calling for entries for its 2011 Beyond GreenTM High-Performance Building Awards. This unique program, of which the National Institute of Building Sciences is a sponsor, recognizes buildings, initiatives and products that shape, inform and catalyze the high-performance building market. Entries are due November 15. Winning projects will be published on the Whole Building Design Guide. Get more details.

Importance of Building Codes in Preparing for Disasters

A recent Congressional briefing held by the High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition and the Hazards Caucus Alliance focused on "Building Safety in the Face of Disasters." Hosted by the BuildStrong Coalition and led by one of its member organizations, the National Institute of Building Sciences, the event was especially appropriate in light of the growing prevalence of natural disasters across the country.

Representative Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.), the High-Performance Building Caucus Co-Chair, kicked off the briefing by highlighting the importance of a resilient community and the experiences of Joplin, Missouri. Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety President Julie Rochman discussed the importance of research and investigation in understanding how buildings respond to particular hazards. National Institute of Building Sciences President Henry Green talked about incorporating lessons learned into building codes to protect communities from future risks. International Code Council Board Member and Codes Specialist for Fairfax County, Virginia, Guy Tomberlin, addressed how codes are utilized at the local level. Ryan Colker, Presidential Advisor at the Institute, moderated the event.

The BuildStrong Coalition advocates for the adoption of building codes as a mitigation tool. Learn more about the Coalition.

DOE Seeks Comment on Job Task Analysis for Building Personnel

Following the establishment of the Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act of 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) set out to develop job classifications applicable to the commercial buildings credentialing sector and the commercial buildings workforce. DOE is now seeking comment on a draft set of six Job/Task Analyses (JTA), including: Commercial Building Energy Auditor, Commercial Building Energy Modeler, Commissioning/Retro-Commissioning Authority, Energy/Sustainability Manager, Facility Manager and Operating Engineer/Building Technician. These documents are intended for voluntary use by federal, state, municipal and utility ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs and private sector commercial building contractors, as well as any other organization, company or individual involved or concerned with the training of persons in the commercial building space.

Additionally, the JTAs created through this project will be used by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to help meet the requirements of the Act. Comments on the six Job/Task Analyses must be received by November 28, 2011. Review the six Job/Task Analyses.

Information Resources and Technologies


Common BIM Files Help Verify Exchange of Building Information

Several new tools are available through the National Institute of Building Sciences buildingSMART alliance™ to help building practitioners and software vendors improve their use and performance of open-standard building information models (BIMs).

Developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), the Common BIM Files are a free set of three building models: an apartment building, a medical clinic and an office building. Each model includes architectural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing information. (The clinic even comes with design drawings.)

The Common BIM Files can be used in the COBie Facility Maintenance (FM) Handover Challenge, which will be held as part of the National Institute of Building Sciences Annual Meeting, Wednesday, December 7, in Washington, D.C. View the COBie Challenge information. Learn more about Common BIM Files.

A Pakol, Shemagh and the WBDG

Richard Paradis (right of center, wearing hat) models the pakol and shemagh (the traditional Afghan hat and scarf) that was given to him by this delegation of construction contractors from Afghanistan. Paradis gave a presentation on the Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) website to the delegation, which was visiting the United States under the Department of Commerce’s Special American Business Internship Training (SABIT) program. The group was particularly interested in the facilities operations and maintenance aspects of WBDG.

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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© 2011 National Institute of Building Sciences. All Rights Reserved. 
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