Building Sciences

In This Issue 

Dates to Know

March 13-17, 2012
AGC Annual Convention
Honolulu, HI

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

March 18-20, 2012
GANA BEC Conference & Tradeshow

Las Vegas, NV

March 18-23, 2012
buildingSMART International
Oslo, Norway

April 2-4, 2012
BEST3 Conference

Atlanta, GA

April 2-4, 2012
2012 FIATECH Technology Conference

Miami, FA

April 11-13, 2012
IFMA Facility Fusion Conference & Expo
Chicago, IL

April 18-21, 2012
NIA’s 57th Annual Convention
Scottsdale, AZ

April 26-27
2012 Green California Summit and Expo
Sacramento, CA

April 29 - May 8, 2012
2012 ICC Group A Code Development Hearings
Dallas, TX

May 17-19, 2012
AIA 2012 National Convention and Design Exposition
Washington, DC

May 21-25, 2012
buildingSMART International Council
London, England

June 1-6, 2012
ASME 2012 Annual Meeting
Montreal, QB

June 11-14, 2012
NFPA Conference & Expo
Las Vegas, NV

June 24-26, 2012
BOMA 2012 International Conference & Every Building Show
Seattle, WA

June 24-27, 2012
2012 ASHRAE Annual Conference
San Antonio, TX

August 6, 2012
HAZUS User Conference
Philadelphia, PA

September 13-15, 2012
CONSTRUCT2012 & The CSI Annual Convention
Phoenix, AZ

September 23-27, 2012
IAPMO 83rd Annual Education and Business Conference
Hollywood, FL

October 9-11, 2012
2012 METALCON International
Chicago, IL

October 11-13, 2012
IALD Enlighten Americas 2012
Vancouver, BC

October 18-20, 2012
ASCE 142nd Annual Civil Engineering Conference
Montreal, QC

October 21-28
ICC Annual Conference and Group A Final Action Hearings
Portland, OR

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

October 27-31, 2012
2012 ASPE Convention and Engineered Plumbing Exposition
Charlotte, NC

November 11-13, 2012
2012 IES Annual Conference
Minneapolis, MN

January 7-10, 2013
Building Innovation 2013
Washington, DC

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)

Industry News

Institute HPBC Member Appointed Director of Technical Program at NEBB
The National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB) has announced the appointment of Tom Meyer as the Director of Technical Programs. Meyer, a member for the Institute's High Performance Building Council, will be responsible for the quality of NEBB's technical programs, including publications, training, education, advising and testing content. With more than 25 years experience in hydronics, Meyer is the past president of Precision Hydronics Corporation, was the founding executive director of the Green Mechanical Council and former President of Praxis Green Incorporated. Find out more.



March 2012

The Institute in Action

Institute and AIA to Promote Building Industry Research

Robert Ivy, FAIA, Chief Executive Officer of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA, President of the National Institute of Building Sciences recently signed of a Memorandum of Understanding underscoring the two organizations’ mutual interest in the design, construction, operations and maintenance of high-performance buildings and the desire to collaborate on issues surrounding these topics. "Through cooperation and coordination on the issues impacting the entire building community and the pursuit of high-performance buildings, the Institute and AIA can work towards improving our nation’s buildings. We are very pleased to work with AIA on such an important effort," said Green upon signing. One of the first project collaborations is the joint development of an on-line portal for building industry research and knowledge. Intended to be accessible to the public, this initiative will include the participation and contribution of a variety of building science and performance disciplines. The two organizations anticipate this partnership will culminate in providing a centralized location for the knowledge and research efforts underway that are relevant to the building industry. Read the release.

Building Innovation 2013 Conference to Provide Industry Insight

The Institute’s new conference and expo, Building Innovation 2013, will bring together the entire building community to review advancements in science and technology and develop solutions for our built environment. Scheduled for January 7-10, 2013, in Washington, D.C., this event will focus on Improving Resiliency through High Performance and give attendees insight into informative programming from all of the Institute’s councils, committees and projects. This inaugural event will include the Institute’s buildingSMART alliance™ Conference, FEDCon®, the Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC) Symposium, the Multihazard Mitigation Council (MMC) Symposium and innovative technology demonstrations including COBie and SPie. McGraw-Hill Construction has taken the lead role as the Conference sponsor adding their solid reputation as a reliable and trusted industry information resource. Sponsors and exhibitors will have this opportunity to make a lasting impression on conference attendees and gain exposure for their products, services, programs and technologies. To find out more about sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities, download the event prospectus. To sign up for conference updates, visit the Conference website

Institute Hosts Community Roundtable on CBECS

Following recent challenges in the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) and efforts by the Institute and others to support continued availability of this type of information, funding recently became available for EIA to conduct the next version of the survey. To facilitate community engagement and provide information on the survey development process, the Institute hosted a roundtable with Joelle Michaels, CBECS Survey Manager; Eileen O’Brien, Lead, Buildings Surveys Statistics Team; and Tom Leckey, Director, Office of Energy Consumption and Efficiency Statistics to provide interested building community representatives an opportunity to learn about the anticipated schedule and details of the next survey. The EIA presentation is posted on the Institute’s High-Performance Building Data Collection Initiative page. Building industry representatives are encouraged to submit comments and recommendations to EIA on survey development.

Security and Disaster Preparedness

Hazus 2.1 Now Available

A new version of Hazus, a geographic information system (GIS)-based software program that uses state-of-the-art technology to estimate damage and loss from potential earthquake, flood and hurricane events, is now available. The Institute’s Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) program provided reviews of Hazus versions to support its development. IV&V is responsible for establishing a baseline of quality, functionality and accuracy for the Hazus flood, earthquake and hurricane models. IV&V also seeks to improve Hazus performance by identifying its deficiencies and by finding ways to integrate Hazus with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (MAP) program and other FEMA efforts. Decision makers use the free program to prepare shelters, evacuation routes, zoning development and emergency mitigation plans to protect their communities from future losses and to organize an emergency response when a disaster event occurs. Hazus version 2.1 is available from the FEMA website. Read about the improvements and functionality available in Version 2.1

Institute Programs Highlighted in Infrastructure Protection Journal

The February issue of the CIP Report published by the George Mason University School of Law features articles on the Institute’s work for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in support of two important programs aimed at improving the safety and security of critical infrastructure. The CIP Report is a monthly, electronic newsletter for professionals in industry, government and academia who have an interest in critical infrastructure protection (CIP). The articles highlight two important DHS programs: Integrated Rapid Visual Screening (IRVS) that the Institute has recently become involved with; and the Owners Performance Requirements (OPR) Tool that the Institute has developed in partnership with DHS Science and Technology Directorate. The articles describe how both tools work and their role in protecting our nation’s infrastructure. You can access the February report as well as past issues online at the CIP Report website. Find out more about the Institute’s Integrated Resilient Design Program and the DHS programs that include the IRVS and OPR Tools.

Beta Version of OPR Tool Released for Use and Comment

The culmination of the first phase of the High Performance Based Design for Buildings project performed by the Institute in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, Infrastructure Protection and Disaster Management Division, is now available to the building industry for use. The OPR Tool, accompanying documentation and report that describes the methodology employed in its development, are available at The Beta Version of the OPR Tool helps a building owner or designer establish high-performance targets for new and renovation projects that take into account all aspects of enclosure performance. Limited in this phase to office buildings, the tool helps planners evaluate Risk, Resilience and Operational performance through an integrated approach. Currently under review by the High Performance Building Council, comments on the use of the tool are welcome from all Institute members and will be incorporated into the whole building version currently under development. Additional information about the Project and Tool are available on the High Performance Based Design for Building Enclosures page on the Institute website.

Facility Performance and Sustainability

SOPREMA Takes on Prominent Role as BEST3 Conference Sponsor

SOPREMA, Inc., a world-wide leading manufacturer in the commercial roofing and waterproofing industry, has taken on the prominent role of overall conference sponsor for the BEST3 Conference. The Conference, themed High Performance Buildings - Combining Field Experience with Innovation, will take place April 2-4 in Atlanta, Georgia. As lead sponsor, SOPREMA joins the distinguished list of other companies who have generously agreed to support the conference and related events. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about SOPREMA and all of the other sponsors and exhibitors during the BEST3 products exhibition, which will run all three days of the Conference. The BEST3 Conference will provide three days of technical sessions in two concurrent tracks (Energy Efficiency/Fenestration and Whole Building Design) allowing attendees a chance to earn 18 AIA-approved continuing education credits (health/safety/welfare and sustainable design). A special dinner scheduled for Tuesday evening, April 3, at the High Museum of Art sponsored by STO Corp. and Georgia Pacific Gypsum will feature a lecture by renowned building scientist Chris Mathis. There still is time to register to attend the BEST3 Conference and save $100 off the on-site registration. Visit the Conference web site for more information, to register and to make hotel reservations.

2011 Beyond Green™ High Performance Building Awards

The Institute’s Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) recently announced the six recipients of the 2011 Beyond Green™ High Performance Building Awards. These unique awards recognize initiatives that shape, inform and catalyze the high-performance building market, as well as the real-world application of high-performance construction practices. With awards in three entry categories: High Performance Initiatives, High Performance Buildings and High Performance Products, the winners will be honored at a luncheon ceremony before Members of Congress and staff on March 22, 2012. Additional presentations will be made to students of architecture at Catholic University of America. And the winners are . . .

Papers Sought for the Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings XII, Abstracts due May 29, 2012

The twelfth international conference on thermal performance of the exterior envelopes of Whole Buildings XII will be held December 1–5, 2013. This conference, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, ASHRAE and the Institute will present two tracks: Principles (devoted to research) and Practices (focusing on practical applications). All are invited to submit abstracts for presentation in either track. A written paper will be required for all presentations. Possible topics for papers include: Air Leakage, Basements/Below-Grade Construction, Building Envelope Commissioning, Building Retrofit, Building Sustainability, Daylighting, Design Tools, Durability and Service Life, Energy Efficient Modular Housing, Envelope Related Indoor Environment, Fenestration, Heritage/Historic Buildings, HVAC-Envelope Integration, Insulation, Air Barriers, Vapor Retarders, Low or Net-Plus Energy Buildings, Moisture Management, Monitoring, Modeling, Simulation, Roofs and Attics, Standards, Codes, Guidelines and Test Procedure Development, Walls and Weatherization. Final papers are due for publication on September 17, 2013. Submit an abstract, not to exceed 250 words, by May 29, 2012, to Teresa Williams via email or by fax to: 865-574-9354. If you have any questions, contact Ms. Williams at 865-574-4345.

Information Resources and Technologies



147 Software Products Now Implement IFC

Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) provide for the exchange and sharing of building information models (BIM) among different software products. Significant progress has been made with IFC, from its acceptance as a full ISO standard (ISO 16739) to the 21 software products currently engaged in the Certification V2 process and IFC implementation in 147 software products. IFC is now clearly at the heart of interoperability and its capabilities are ever maturing with each new release of software. The use of IFCs was discussed by the buildingSMART International Implementers Support Group (ISG) during a bi-annual in-person meeting at the Institutes offices on March 5-6. For more information, visit the Products page at

Florida BIMSmart Summit Kicks Off New Strategy for Interest Groups

The Institute’s buildingSMART alliance™ is beginning to rebuild its interest groups with a more structured organization where the groups continue their networking and educational role with centrally developed educational material and a focus on coordinating with the buildingSMART International Users Group (IUG). A more coordinated approach is intended to improve the quality of information being provided to the international group. The local chapter in Fort Lauderdale will host the 2012 Florida BIMSmart Summit on March 29 as the inaugural event of this new strategy. Find out more and register to attend. The buildingSMART alliance™ will be rolling out this new strategy to all groups over the next several months. If you are interested in setting up an interest group in your area, contact us. See the current list of interest groups.

Version 2 of the National BIM Standard Available Soon

The first consensus version of National BIM Standard-United States (NBIMS-US) Version 2 has now moved into editing phase with a release date soon approaching. The Institute is grateful to each member of the core team of volunteers that has been working extra hours to turn out a quality product. The work includes changes to the rules of governance to insure that valuable lessons learned will be applied at the commencement of Version 3. These requirements, which are subject to change prior to the announcement of Version 3, will provide guidance for development of the three types of ballots: Reference Standards, Information Exchange Standards and Practice Standards.

WBDG’s Visitors and Download Numbers Break Records

The WBDG Whole Building Design Guide website, the world’s largest online portal for building sciences, exceeded records for both visitors and downloads in recent months. In November 2011, the number of visitors passed the 700,000 mark with 746,709 for the first time and in January 2012, WBDG users downloaded 6.4 million documents to exceed the 5 million download record previously set in October 2011.


WBDG Courses Popular with USC School of Architecture Students

According to Charles A. Lagreco, AIA, MacDonald Becket Professorship in Community Design at the University of Southern California (USC), School of Architecture, students benefit from the online courses offered on the WBDG Whole Building Design Guide website. "As part of our upper division Bachelor of Architecture accredited degree program, we are exposing our fourth and fifth year students to the resources available on the web for continuing education and expanding their knowledge of basic responsibilities and resources by introducing them to these non-traditional ways of providing competency in these areas,” says Lagreco who chairs the school’s curriculum committee. "It is hoped that this introduction to post graduate web-based continuing education procedures would establish a pattern that would be used throughout their professional life.” Assigning students to take the online courses is part of the University’s upper division topic studio offerings and designed to reinforce USC’s traditional lectures and assignments. During this last semester, 90 fourth-year USC students took two courses offered on the WBDG site.

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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© 2012 National Institute of Building Sciences. All Rights Reserved. 
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