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BI2020 Resilience: Zero Energy, Housing Affordability and Resilience in a Hospital

Posted By Christine Cube, Wednesday, July 8, 2020

We’re about a month out from Building Innovation 2020: Virtual Edition.

This virtual meeting will be like no other event that we’ve produced. We will bring to you two days of the best information around building technology, resilience, and workforce on August 18-19. BI2020 attendees also will be able to earn up to eight AIA-approved CES/HSW credits for full conference attendance.

Here is the Resilience session lineup:

BI2020 Resilience Track
  •  Zero Energy on a Shoe-String Budget with Marc Clinch, Chief Facilities Officer with the School District of Osceola County in Florida, and Philip Donovan, AIA, Project Architect on NeoCity Academy, and Principal, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting. This presentation will cover lessons learned on a case study of Florida's first zero-energy school, which is expected to save the school district of Osceola County, Florida more than $115,000 annually on energy. Attendees will take away many lessons, including how to champion a zero-energy project effort by leading stakeholders through early key goal-setting exercises, how to choose the right A/E and construction teams, and how and when to utilize energy models and trade-off methodologies for decision-making.
  •  Convergence of Design and Resilience in a Hospital for the Future + Minimally Invasive Laboratories with Judy Ou, Associate Principal, Perkins Eastman Architects, Robin Whitehurst, Technical Principal, Bailey Edward Design, Inc., and Carlos L. Amato, Principal, CannonDesign. The design of the New Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California, sets new standards reflecting state-of-the-art resiliency elements. These elements include cutting-edge architecture, a 40,000 SF rooftop garden, LEED Silver-equivalent sustainability features, patient-centric design details, and hospitality-infused furnishings. This dream project grew to reality with an IPD Big Room strategy as the client, executive/design architect, medical planner, and general contractor co-located onsite using BIM to collaborate on this development.
  •  How We See Now with Billie Faircloth, Partner, KieranTimberlake. Faircloth leads transdisciplinary research, design, and problem-solving processes across fields including environmental management, urban ecology, chemical physics, materials science, and architecture. In this session, Faircloth will discuss resilience through the daily actions and diverse projects of KieranTimberlake.
  •  How to Pay for Mitigation with Kayed I. Lakhia, Director, Hazard Mitigation FEMA/DHS, Sean Kevelighan, President & CEO, Insurance Information Institute, Michael Hernandez, Vice President Housing Access, Affordable Housing Initiatives, Fannie Mae, and Carl Hedde, Principal of CGH Consulting, LLC and Chair, NIBS. The losses due to natural disasters in three of the last 15 years exceed $100 billion, and it’s getting costlier. The discussion panel will focus on how to pay for the mitigation activities through a public/private partnership. The ground-breaking white paper published by NIBS on Developing Pre-Disaster Resilience Based on Public and Private Incentivization calls for a layered cost-sharing approach among many of co-beneficiaries of resilience — owners, lenders, taxing authorities, and possibly others.
  •  Housing Affordability and Resilience with Ryan Colker, Vice President, Innovation with the International Code Council, Laurie Schoeman, Senior National Program Director, Resilience and Disaster Recovery, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., and Christopher Bourne, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Innovation, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This session will examine the importance of including resilience in strategies to address housing affordability, the role of building codes in supporting resilience for low income households, and need to examine total cost of ownership/rental and life-cycle cost as a key metric for affordability.

BI2020: Virtual Edition will feature a host of sessions around resilience, technology, and workforce. It also will cover the challenges that COVID-19 brings to the built environment.

It is open to all within the built environment and features a “pay what you can” registration fee. Registration fees will be used to support the cost of the technology, and the NIBS 501(c)3 non-profit mission to serve the public interest by advancing building science and technology to improve the built environment. Register today!

Want to learn more? We’ll break down the Technology sessions on the BI2020 agenda in our next post. Stay tuned! Also, let’s be social! We’re @bldgsciences on Twitter, or you can find us on Facebook.

Tags:  BI202  resilience 

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Women Executives in Building: Increasing Diversity Starts with Awareness

Posted By Christine Cube, Tuesday, June 30, 2020

When it comes to boosting diversity, equity and inclusion in the building industry, it will require a host of changes, starting with awareness.

Awareness comes at many levels, from minorities and young women entering the workforce seeing diversity in leadership positions, to awareness of how technology has changed women’s views and experience within the construction industry.

“It’s not the old ‘You have to lift 100 pounds’ anymore,” says Angie Simon, CEO with Western Allied Mechanical and SMACNA National President. “We need to get that word out there, so more people want to be involved. Technology has changed the industry.”

Simon joined a host of participants in the June 25 Women Executives in Building (WEB): Virtual Leadership Series. The meeting was hosted by Lakisha A. Woods, CAE, President and CEO of NIBS, and featured Nancy Novak, Chief Innovation Officer with Compass Datacenters.

It’s no secret the construction industry is dominated mostly by men.

WEB podium

WEB aims to help bring diversity to the field, starting with leaders at the top. These women in construction dare to confront the stereotypes that are holding women back in the built environment. It’s more important than ever to see women and diverse leaders at the top, if we’re going to reach a more diverse audience who may be considering this career path.

“We’ve said it before – it’s going to take women in this space to make change, to help this space diversify and help it grow,” Woods says.

Some of the diversity and inclusion solutions discussed during the virtual meeting:

  •  Creating incentives for companies or organizations to seek out diverse candidates
  •  Recognizing and awarding talent
  •  Showcasing success stories
  •  Working with community colleges to apply credits to built environment programs
  •  Building an online mentorship program to help employees achieve professional goals

The next Women Executives in Building virtual meeting is July 30. That discussion will be centered around balancing work and life outside of the office.

Want to learn more? Check out the whole WEB leadership series here. Also, let’s be social! We’re @bldgsciences on Twitter, or you can find us on Facebook.

 

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BI2020 Keynotes: 3D Printing Technology, Resilience and Diverse Workforce Recruitment

Posted By Christine Cube, Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Building Innovation 2020: Virtual Edition is less than two months away. 

We're hard at work, combing through the virtual technology that will bring you two days of the best information around building technology, resilience, and workforce on August 18-19. Attendees also will be able to earn up to 8 AIA-approved CES/HSW credits, over two days, for full conference attendance.

Speaker highlights include these keynote presentations:

BI2020 Technology Track
Dell Technologies

3D Printing as a New Paradigm for Affordable, Resilient Housing, with Evan Loomis, Co-Founder and Chairman, ICON. In 2018, ICON delivered the first 3D-printed home to receive a building permit in the U.S. Loomis' presentation will cover how ICON is using robotics, software and advanced materials to bring affordable and dignified housing to people affected by disasters, while solving for a plurality of problems, including homelessness, affordability and resiliency of homes.

BI2020 Resilience Track

 How We See Now, with Billie Faircloth, Partner, KieranTimberlake. Faircloth leads transdisciplinary research, design, and problem-solving processes across fields including environmental management, urban ecology, chemical physics, materials science, and architecture. In this session, Faircloth will discuss resilience through the daily actions and diverse projects of KieranTimberlake.

BI2020 Workforce Track

Improving Construction Safety to Recruit a Stronger and More Diverse Workforce, with Nancy Novak, Chief Innovation Officer, Compass Datacenters, and Doug Mouton, General Manager, Global Datacenter Procurement and Construction at Microsoft. Presented by the Women Executives in Building Summit, this keynote will explore how the topic of safety in the construction industry and the need for efficiency and better production are closely related. Among the takeaways: How an enduring safety culture creates safe workers and jobsites, and how adopting and enforcing safety practices eliminates project disruptions.

BI2020: Virtual Edition will feature 16 sessions, covering topics like zero energy, building performance, design and resilience, mitigation, green jobs, workforce development, and the challenges that COVID-19 brings to the built environment.

It is open to all within the built environment and features a “pay what you can” registration fee. Registration fees will be used to support the cost of the technology, and the NIBS 501(c)3 non-profit mission to serve the public interest by advancing building science and technology to improve the built environment. Register today!

Want to learn more? We'll break down the Resilience sessions on the BI2020 agenda in our next post. Stay tuned! Also, let's be social! We're @bldgsciences on Twitter, or you can find us on Facebook.

Tags:  BI2020  Resilience  Workforce 

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Building Innovation 2020 Moves Online

Posted By Christine Cube, Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, June 17, 2020

It’s not easy when plans change.

But the coronavirus forced a lot of new territory on the world and its global community, requiring change in many ways, especially with regard to health and safety.

So, when it came to planning for our annual meeting – Building Innovation 2020 – it became pretty clear that moving the meeting online would best serve everyone, particularly our members and audience. It would allow for a much broader built environment audience as well as provide a richer experience for those looking for information around building technology, resilience, and workforce.

Plus, it keeps everyone safe, with folks joining from the safety of their homes and offices.

Building Innovation: Virtual Edition

BI2020: Virtual Edition will be a powerfully compact event on August 18-19. Over the course of two days, the meeting will include 16 sessions, covering topics like zero energy, building performance, 3D printing, design and resilience, mitigation, green jobs, workforce development, and the challenges that COVID-19 brings to the built environment.

BI2020 also will feature a “pay what you can” registration fee, ranging from free to a maximum of $395. All registration fees will be used to support the cost of the technology, and the NIBS 501(c)3 non-profit mission to serve the public interest by advancing building science and technology to improve the built environment.

Join us and the architects, engineers, code officials, manufacturers, innovators, public and private sector representatives, officials from building and construction, and local, state and government leaders – who keep and maintain this powerful industry. Register today!

Want to learn more? We’ll be breaking down what’s new for this year’s conference in our next post. Stay tuned! Also, let’s be social! We’re @bldgsciences on Twitter, or you can find us on Facebook.

Tags:  BI2020 

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Traveling for Work? Hospitality Veterans Discuss How Meetings, Conventions and Hotels Will Change Around COVID-19

Posted By Christine Cube, Wednesday, May 27, 2020

COVID-19 Webinar

As states begin to reopen in phases, it’s important to psychologically prepare your staff to go back to work and attend meetings again.

There’s a lot of anxiety around the future of work, and one industry that’s been particularly affected is tourism and hospitality.

Experts say consistency will be critical toward building trust and credibility.

Arthur C. Evans, Jr., PhD, CEO of the American Psychological Association, says it’s important to communicate with employees and provide ample notice of plans.

Evans was one of the panelists from the second COVID-19 virtual town hall of the National Institute of Building Sciences.

“Your staff needs to know that you have their health and safety at heart,” said Lakisha A. Woods, CAE, President and CEO of NIBS. “Proper sanitization efforts are key. Employees, employers and future attendees should research what is being done to keep them safe.”

NIBS hosted the COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall: Mental Health and Sanitation of COVID-19 Facilities on May 19. It featured more than 800 registrants.

In addition to Evans, the panel included Michael (Mike) Schultz, SES, Chief of Interagency and International Services, United States Army Corps of Engineers; Mac Campbell, CTA, CVP, Deputy Director, Baltimore Convention Center; Shari L. Solomon, President and Founder, CleanHealth Environmental, LLC; and John Hogan, Vice President of Design and Project Management, Marriott Hotels. The town hall was moderated by Mark Dorsey, FASAE, CAE, CEO, Construction Specifications Institute.

Bringing Hotels, Meetings and Conventions Back Online

Marriott Hotels is using a multi-pronged platform to elevate its global cleanliness standard. The effort is being overseen by the Marriott Global Cleanliness Council, which maintains a number of experts and scientists, including epidemiology, and hygiene and technology experts.

The ultimate goal is to keep employees and guests safe.

The aim is to identify and deploy scientifically-supported practices. This includes an intensive deep clean after every guest stay, and more frequent cleanings and disinfection of high-touch areas, elevator buttons, escalator handrails, and public spaces, especially during peak usage.

Other things being considered include the removal of nonessential items from guest rooms, such as throw pillows.

With meetings and conventions, the Baltimore Convention Center is relying heavily on communication with staff and now is working through its plan for future meetings and events.

In March, the 1.2-million-square-foot center was contracted to become a medical station for 250 beds, serving COVID-19 convalescents. It currently has 1,500 medical personnel under its roof.

To keep everyone safe, the center has been able to isolate the building to serve this purpose, with separate systems for everything – air han­dlers, trash facilities, loading docks, and staff entrances for medical personnel.

Details for its future plan include revisiting front-of-the-house standards; food and beverage, which may be pre-packaged or boxed at the start; and event technologies to support meeting attrition or supplement social distancing.

On Sanitation: Creating a Permanent Cleaning and Disinfection Program

Proper cleaning and disinfection is key to bringing people back into the nation’s facilities.

Whereas in healthcare this always has been a focus, the rest of the world is catching up: We must clean and disinfect all different types of facilities and spaces.

Some things to consider:

  • A comprehensive sanitation procedure will be necessary to ensure continuous infection prevention.
  • Read the label. The time that a chemical must sit on a surface in order to be effective is a necessary consideration when cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Staff training will ensure employees as well as the work environment remains protected.

CleanHealth Environmental’s Solomon said informing building occupants and employees will create assurance, making them more comfortable with returning to the office or facility.

“You must communicate what you’re doing, and that you’re following industry standards,” she said. 

View the Virtual Town Hall Recording and Download the Recap

To view the recording and see the session notes of the virtual town hall, visit https://www.nibs.org/page/covid-19-virtual-town-hall-051920. The next virtual town hall is scheduled for June 2020.

Want to learn more? NIBS has launched a Building Industry COVID-19 Resource Hub on the WBDG site. Visit https://www.wbdg.org/industry-news. Let’s be social! We’re @bldgsciences on Twitter, or you can find us on Facebook.

 

 

Tags:  COVID-19 

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Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: What Can Business Continuity Planners Learn from this Nationwide Benefit-Cost Analysis?

Posted By Keith Porter, University of Colorado Boulder and SPA Risk LLC, Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Updated: Monday, May 18, 2020

Mitigation Saves: 2019 Report

U.S. disaster losses from floods, wind, earthquakes, and fires average $100 billion per year.

In 2017, losses exceeded $300 billion—25% of the $1.3 trillion building value put in place that year.

Fortunately, there are affordable and highly cost-effective strategies that policymakers, building owners, risk managers, and others can deploy to reduce these impacts. Strategies include adopting and strengthening building codes, upgrading existing buildings, and improving utilities and transportation systems.

The benefits and costs associated with these mitigation measures have been identified through the most exhaustive benefit-cost analysis of natural hazard mitigation to date and documented in Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves. The table summarizes how mitigation can save up to $13 of avoided future losses per $1 invested.

I recently presented a webinar about Mitigation Saves study for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Association of Continuity Professionals.

The study was limited to physical modifications. Planners can learn about these limitations to be more aware of how business continuity planning and disaster recovery can complement engineering mitigation. View the video recording of the webinar at www.sparisk.com/pubs/Porter-2020-RMACP-MSv2.mp4.

For more information about the Mitigation Saves study, visit www.nibs.org/mitigationsaves.

Hurricane and wildfire seasons are right around the corner. Learn more about how you can protect your property and loved ones by visiting nibs.org. Let’s be social! We’re @bldgsciences on Twitter, or you can find us on Facebook.

Tags:  mitigation  mitigation saves 

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NIBS Hosts COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Webinar Series

Posted By Christine Cube, ccube@nibs.org, Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Updated: Monday, May 11, 2020

Bringing America back to work and restarting the economy will take planning and vision.

Any movement in the direction toward reentering and repopulating buildings, businesses, and transportation systems must follow the health and safety guidelines set forth by science and data, the federal government, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and World Health Organization.

On May 7, the National Institute of Building Sciences hosted its first in a series of COVID-19 virtual town halls aimed at placing subject matter experts before a wide audience of built environment professionals. Our panel included Henry H. Chamberlin, President & Chief Operating Officer, Building Owners & Managers Association; Daniel Nichols, Assistant Director of Fire/Life Safety, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Metro-North Railroad; Pete DeMarco, Executive Vice President of Advocacy & Research, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, and Thomas H. Phoenix, Principal, CPL Architects & Engineers, PC; Treasurer, NIBS Board of Directors; Fellow, ASHRAE. The town hall was moderated by Carl Hedde, Head of Insurance Practice, One Concern and Chair of the NIBS Board of Directors.

Some of the key takeaways include:

  • Proper hygiene and handwashing, social distancing, and face coverings in public areas remain critical. Office seating density must be thinned out.
  • Elevators should not exceed more than 4 people at a time, depending on the size of the elevator cab.
  • Companies should perform an audit of the HVAC system, making improvements where necessary. If possible, increase outdoor air ventilation and reduce recycled air flow.
  • Buildings that have sat empty must flush stagnant water and replace it with fresh utility water.
  • When it comes to transportation and transit systems, cleaning must be accomplished in concert with disinfection. Social distancing and face coverings remain the best ways to avoid virus transfer.

We had more than 1,800 registrants for the first town hall. In case you missed it, and you’d like to hear the discussion, view the full recording and session notes here.

Our goal is to share as much information as possible so decision-makers and government officials can safely reopen the economy and nation’s business community.

The next town hall is scheduled for Tuesday, May 19.

Want to learn more? NIBS has launched a Building Industry COVID-19 Resource Hub on the WBDG site. Visit https://www.wbdg.org/industry-news. Let’s be social! We’re @bldgsciences on Twitter, or you can find us on Facebook.

Tags:  COVID-19 

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Building Safety Month: Keeping the built environment safe, during this critical time

Posted By Christine Cube, Monday, April 27, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, April 28, 2020

May is Building Safety Month.

In this coronavirus world, building safety has taken on greater meaning as the nation’s leaders figure out how to keep citizens safe, while reopening the parts of the economy to business again.

The International Code Council is readying for its 40th annual Building Safety Month, which includes a host of virtual resources to promote building safety in our communities.  

This year’s theme is “Safer Buildings, Safer Communities, Safer World.” It highlights the importance of building codes and regularly updated codes to ensure the safety and resilience of the built environment.

“Safety in the built environment is an essential component of maintaining public health, making Building Safety Month more relevant now than ever,” ICC says.

Building Safety Month

Available tools and resources

The code council has broken down the month of May into specific sub-themes. They include disaster preparedness, water safety, resiliency and sustainability, and training the next generation.

To address safety on a broad scale, ICC is offering a variety of online resources to help promote building safety within the community.

These include a letter to the editor that can be used and sent to a local newspaper on behalf of a company or department, and the code council’s Safety Toolkit with brochures and worksheets on several topics, including alarm safety, permitting, electricity and appliances, and yard/pool tips.

Parents also are invited to educate children on building safety with free, downloadable materials from the Kids Corner.

Building Safety Month 2

Launching the building industry COVID-19 hub

Building safety remains our top priority.

NIBS recently developed a resource for those looking for recent developments, financial assistance information, webinars and events, continuing education, and other impacts of the coronavirus on the building sector.

The Building Industry COVID-19 Resource Hub lives on the Whole Building Design Guide site, and it regularly is updated as new information becomes available. It is personally curated by our team.

WBDG is our comprehensive, web-based portal to a range of federal- and private-sector building-related guidance criteria and technology. It links information across professional disciplines to encourage integrated thinking and “whole building” performance.

Mitigation investment will help keep our communities safe

With the Atlantic Hurricane Season right around the corner, starting June 1, now’s the time to start making preparations to keep homes and buildings safe.

NIBS just released the Natural Hazards Mitigation Saves 2019 Report -- the most comprehensive benefit-cost analysis of natural hazard mitigation, from adopting up-to-date building codes and exceeding codes to the upgrade of utility and transportation infrastructure.

New to this year's report is the extensive coverage – more than 100 pages – addressing the strengthening of existing buildings to prepare for hazards like floods, high winds, fires, and earthquakes. This was funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

When it comes to reducing the impact of natural disasters, mitigation improves safety, prevents property loss, and keeps disruption to a minimum.

Want to learn more? Visit https://www.nibs.org/. Let’s be social! We’re @bldgsciences on Twitter, or you can find us on Facebook.

Tags:  Safety 

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The building industry has responded in many ways to COVID-19. We’ve compiled information – and it continues to grow.

Posted By Christine Cube, Wednesday, April 15, 2020

WBDG

The global pandemic has changed much of how we live, work, and operate.

So, the National Institute of Building Sciences has developed a resource for those looking for recent developments, financial assistance information, webinars and events, continuing education, and other impacts of the coronavirus on the building sector.

The Building Industry COVID-19 Resource Hub lives on the Whole Building Design Guide site, and it regularly is updated as new information becomes available. It is personally curated by our team.

Why the Whole Building Design Guide?COVID-19 HUB

WBDG is the largest repository of building information.

It’s our comprehensive, web-based portal to a range of federal- and private-sector building-related guidance criteria and technology. It links information across professional disciplines to encourage integrated thinking and “whole building” performance.

WBDG also features a library of more than 12,000 design criteria, construction documents, and executable programs from federal and private organizations.

Send us a news item!

COVID-19 is affecting millions of Americans. This includes our members and member organizations, whether it’s been to cease business operations, lay off workers, shelter at home, physically battle this difficult illness – or some combination of all of the above.

NIBS is Congressionally mandated to assist the built environment. This remains our chief responsibility – bringing experts to the table to discuss and tackle challenges that face our industry. We aim to improve lives through collaboration, and it’s our hope that the COVID-19 resource hub is exactly what you’ve been looking for.

If you have a news item that you would like to share, you can do so on the Whole Building Design Guide website, wbdg.org.

We will continue to stay on top of this situation. For more information, visit https://www.nibs.org/. You can also follow us @bldgsciences on Twitter or on Facebook.

 

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Operating in today’s new “normal” – what you need to know

Posted By Christine Cube, Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Updated: Monday, March 30, 2020

All eyes are on the COVID-19 situation, watching things unfold.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), different parts of the country are seeing different levels of COVID-19 activity.

“The duration and severity of each pandemic phase can vary depending on the characteristics of the virus and the public health response,” the CDC reports, on its situation summary.

The National Institute of Building Sciences continues to closely monitor the situation, particularly as it relates to the built environment and how it affects the industry and our people.

Our chief concerns are those affected – those in self-quarantine, the health care and law enforcement officials on the front lines, critical infrastructure trades officials who must report to work to keep things running smoothly, the businesses whose operations must cease, and the children and students whose institutions have closed.

NIBS will continue to bring experts to the table, as we grapple with this new reality and face head-on what’s needed as it relates to off-site construction and any other resources needed to keep the built environment safe, healthy, and sustainable.

Who’s considered critical infrastructure during this time?

There are 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose assets and systems are considered so vital to the U.S. that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, public health, or safety.

essential


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) identifies these sectors as chemical, commercial facilities, communications, critical manufacturing, dams, defense industrial base, emergency services, and energy, among others.

Bloomberg has reported how power and gas utilities are keeping energy flowing. For example, there’s no working from home for control room staff, who must physically be present to keep systems operating.

Even The Hill reported that the U.S. power industry may ask essential staff to sleep on site, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to grow.

“Electric power plants are considered ‘critical infrastructure’ by the federal government, meaning as local and state governments impose shutdowns, they will still have to go to work,” the Hill reports.

Industry trade groups and electric cooperatives have said that companies are stockpiling beds, blankets, and food for those employees.

Also critical: water and wastewater systems

Safe drinking water is a prerequisite for protecting public health and all human activity, says CISA.  

“Properly treated wastewater is vital for preventing disease and protecting the environment,” it says. “Thus, ensuring the supply of drinking water and wastewater treatment and service is essential to modern life and the nation’s economy.”

The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials recognizes the announcement that plumbers fall into the category of “essential critical infrastructure workers.”

In an initial list of critical infrastructure workers, CISA Director Christopher C. Krebs said these folks would help “state and local officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.”

There are approximately 153,000 public drinking water systems and more than 16,000 publicly owned wastewater treatment systems in the United States, according to CISA. More than 80 percent of the U.S. population receives their potable water from these drinking water systems, and about 75 percent of the U.S. population has its sanitary sewerage treated by these wastewater systems.

Are there small business loans available?

The answer is yes.

The U.S. Small Business Administration provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.

There’s also the Paycheck Protection Program, which prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.

Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

Under this program, eligible recipients may qualify for a loan up to $10 million determined by 8 weeks of prior average payroll plus an additional 25% of that amount. Loan payments will be deferred for 6 months.

Nonprofits eligible for financial help

A coalition of 40 of the nation’s largest charities asked lawmakers for $60 billion in COVID-19 pandemic relief and economic stimulus, The NonProfit Times reports.

On March 27, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was passed by Congress, and it included a universal charitable deduction as part of the COVID-19 stimulus relief.

This creates a new above-the-line deduction that applies to all taxpayers for total charitable contributions of up to $300, The NonProfit Times reports. The incentive applies to donations made in 2020 and would be claimed on tax forms next year.

“Nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees will be eligible for $10 million in Emergency Small Business Loans (emergency SBA 7(a) loans),” the Times reports. “The loans can cover costs of payroll, operations, and debt service, and provides that loans be forgiven in whole or in part under certain circumstances, according to guidance from the National Council of Nonprofits. The loans would be eligible to be turned into grants.”

We will continue to stay on top of this story. For more information, visit https://www.nibs.org/. You can also follow us @bldgsciences on Twitter or on Facebook.

Tags:  COVID-19 

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