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Our Golden Anniversary: NIBS Turns 50 in 2024
Posted By Christine Cube

2024 is a big year for the National Institute of Building Sciences.

NIBS officially was established in August 1974, by the U.S. Congress in the Housing and Community Development Act, Public Law 93-383. At that time, Congress recognized the need for an organization to serve as an authoritative source supporting government and private sector building science research, code/standards development, and innovative technology integration.

“We are planning to celebrate this important milestone throughout the year,” said Stephen T. Ayers, Interim President & CEO, in a press release. “This is our chance to honor the relationships we have formed, research we have developed, and stakeholders we continue to serve. Our work is far from over.”

Several special events are planned throughout the year, including the release of a 50th Anniversary Report, launch of new online resources reflecting NIBS achievements, and a Golden Anniversary celebration during Building Innovation 2024 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC in May.

NIBS: Our Beginnings to Today

In the late 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson launched a ‘War on Poverty’ that included the formation of the National Commission on Urban Problems to research U.S. housing and building development focusing on model codes, standards, zoning, and taxes. Two years later, the commission revealed a national labyrinth of building codes and standards lacking uniformity and modernization and identified the need for a national resource to provide solutions.

NIBS was established as that resource in 1974.

Some examples of NIBS contributions over the years include:

  • Supporting U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development programs and initiatives, producing guidelines and studies to promote energy-efficient homes, abatement of toxic materials, off-site construction solutions, and building rehabilitation criteria.
  • Coordinating the development and maintenance of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures for over 40 years through NIBS’ Building Seismic Safety Council under a contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
  • Serving as a trusted distributor and curator to the U.S. Department of Defense and other federal building specifications/criteria for over 40 years through the Construction Criteria Base (the first building industry electronic library produced on CD-ROM) and later through the Whole Building Design Guide (the first comprehensive online portal providing access to federal sector building criteria and subject matter expert authored resources).
  • Establishing the Multi-Hazard Mitigation Council through support from federal partners and industry volunteers that has produced numerous resources promoting resilience-based design to address the threats of climate change to our structures, including the Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves study.
  • Promoting the advancement and standardization of digital design technology in the U.S. for more than 30 years by convening industry experts across sectors resulting in the development of the U.S. National CAD Standard (now in its sixth edition) and the development of the National BIM Standard – United States, which is about to release its fourth edition.

Today, NIBS focuses on four strategic areas addressing national building industry objectives: climate adaption, mitigation, and resiliency; transformational building sciences and technologies; industry development and diversification; and visibility and recognition.

Join us! Learn more about becoming a NIBS member or partner and supporting events and programs.

Building Innovation
BIM/CAD Design