States and localities across the United States play a very important role—they serve as the front line, protecting the health, safety and welfare of citizens by adopting and enforcing building codes. Unfortunately, protecting the public is not always easy, especially when government budgets are being cut, employees are being laid off and education and training funds are non-existent. The National Institute of Building Sciences recently established the National Council of Governments on Building Codes and Standards (NCGBCS) to help state and local jurisdictions enhance the public's social and economic well-being by coordinating efforts across geographic boundaries to make technical findings, improve performance criteria and promote standards to ensure safe, durable, accessible and efficient buildings.
The Institute's enabling legislation requires the engagement of states and localities:
The Institute shall establish and carry on a specific and continuing program of cooperation with the States and their political subdivisions designed to encourage their acceptance of its technical findings and of nationally recognized performance criteria, standards, and other technical provisions for building regulations brought about by the Institute. Such program shall include (A) efforts to encourage any changes in existing State and local law to utilize or embody such findings and regulatory provisions; and (B) assistance to States in the development of in-service training programs for building officials, and in the establishment of fully staffed and qualified State technical agencies to advise local officials on questions of technical interpretation. 12 U.S.C. §1701j-2(g)(4).
The National Council of Governments on Building Codes and Standards (NCGBCS) has developed a comprehensive agenda to help state and local jurisdictions address challenges associated with building code adoption, enforcement and administration. NCGBCS is tasked with identifying and providing resources needed to conduct, coordinate, promote and sponsor research and development activities related to information exchange, education and training. The Council will conduct forums and workshops. It will manage research and research-related projects. It will disseminate information and review work performed by other groups. The Council also may develop (or support the development of) and recommend standards, guidelines and conformity assessment programs. It will work to stimulate innovation in states and within the building industry. NCGBCS also will promote increased understanding and communications among architects and engineers, builders, manufacturers, product vendors, voluntary standards organizations, users, government agencies and other sectors of the building community.
For further details on the Council, please contact:
Director, Consultative Council/Presidential Advisor
National Institute of Building Sciences
1090 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 289-1092 Fax
Institute Board Liaison
Cindy L. Davis, CBO
Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development