Skip to main content
BI2024: NIBS 50th Anniversary Takes Center Stage
Posted By Christine Cube

Just before Memorial Day, NIBS held the Building Innovation 2024 annual meeting in Washington.

Hundreds of built environment professionals descended upon the Capital Hilton to attend educational sessions and network. The NIBS 50th anniversary celebration was highlighted throughout the conference.

NIBS opened the conference May 22, with the NIBS 50th Anniversary General Session. We sat down with many NIBS members and agency partners about our collaboration to advance building sciences in the U.S.

Our panel included Dominic Sims, CEO, International Code Council; Solomon Greene, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Policy Development and Research, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Mike Sebold, VP/GM Tremco CPG/Schul International; Sherri McMillion, Engineering Criteria and Programs Director, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC); Tim Judge, Senior Vice President, Head of Modeling & Chief Climate Officer, Fannie Mae; Charles Hardy, Chief Architect, Public Buildings Service, General Services Administration; and Thom Kurmel, President, TDK Consulting.

“When you combine innovation and evidence, you can really impact communities,” said HUD’s Greene, about NIBS research and work within the built environment.

Hardy, with GSA, offered his congratulations to NIBS on serving the nation for 50 years.

“What the government does well is its power to convene,” Hardy said. “NIBS has got it nailed down … bringing the industry together in a meaningful way. The tools and analysis they bring from an outsider’s look – it’s super powerful.”

ICC’s Sims said if it weren’t for NIBS, some of the built environment’s most unique problems would not be solved.

“NIBS is the bridge to the industry,” he said. “I like to think of it as glue. NIBS has helped the industry solve the biggest problems … most of the problems NIBS works on are the hard ones. They’re not the easy ones, and the public is safer because of NIBS.”

A Look at the Next 50 Years of the Built Environment

On May 23, the opening panel took at a look at the future of the built environment.

Fifty years ago, 60 percent of new single-family homes were one story. High-rise residential structures were completed in an average of 15 months.

Today, our buildings increasingly are sophisticated, sustainable, and resilient – dictated by climate forces, the evolving wants and needs of building occupants, and changes in technology, materials, and construction techniques.

The panel covered climate adaptation and mitigation, transformational technologies, and industry workforce diversification and social equity. Speakers included Christi Powell, Women Business Enterprise Division, 84 Lumber Company; Doug Parsons, Director, America Adapts Media; Amy Marks, Executive Vice President, Global Strategy, Symetri; and Mónika Serrano, Resilience Program Manager, Turner Construction and NIBS Board Member.

“I’m the voice of women in construction,” said Powell, who has spent 26 years in the field. “No one ever gave me the option of construction [as a career] and when I found it, I fell in love with it.”

Parsons answered the question about how we change minds to incorporate more climate adaptation into construction.

“It needs to be embedded into every layer of society,” he said.

Over the course of three days, NIBS hosted sessions along three tracks: Resilience, Technology, and Building Performance/Sustainability.

Building Innovation presentations currently are being added to the site. Check the schedule for individual presentations.

Building Innovation