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Architect of the Capitol Keynotes National Institute of Building Sciences Conference Day One

Monday, January 7, 2013  
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Highlights Fenestration of Capitol Facilities

Stephen Ayers, Architect of the Capitol

Today, the National Institute of Building Sciences kicked off Day One of Building Innovation 2013—its first independent conference in decades—with a number of council and committee meetings and the first symposium of the week-long event.

The theme of the Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC) SymposiumFenestration: A World of Change—carried through to the day's keynote luncheon address, delivered by Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, Architect of the Capitol.

Ayers talked about the role of his office and the kinds of fenestration challenges and opportunities the Architect of the Capitol and his staff oversee on a daily basis. From renovating the beautiful historic lay lights of the Library of Congress and addressing migratory bird patterns at the Thurgood Marshal Federal Judiciary Building to installing security glass over the windows at the U.S. Capitol and refurbishing the first-growth pine forest wood doors at the Cannon House Office Building, the Architect of the Capitol oversees numerous initiatives that impact fenestration at the Capitol and related facilities.

Ayers was followed by U.S. Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary of Policy David Heyman, who announced a new DHS initiative at the luncheon. The Department is kicking off a new voluntary program, entitled Resiliency Star®. Similar to the U.S. Department of Energy's successful Energy Star® program, Resiliency Star® will specifically address the resiliency of building projects.

The BETEC Symposium itself had more than a dozen speakers, all well-respected in their field; among them Richard Karney, Energy Star Product Program Manager at the U.S. Department of Energy; Steve Selkowithz, Lead of the Windows and Daylighting Group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Jim Benney, Executive Director of the National Fenestration Rating Council.

Other scheduled activities during the day included meetings of the Consultative Council, Coordinating Council and the buildingSMART alliance, as well as meetings of the National Building Information Modeling Standard (NBIMS) Planning and Project Committees and the United States National CAD Standard Project Committee.

Day Two of the conference will include the buildingSMART alliance Conference—"Integrating BIM: Moving the Industry Forward” and the Multihazard Mitigation Council (MMC) Symposium—"Large Scale Mitigation Planning and Strategies,” as well as meetings of the Institute Board of Directors, Building Enclosure (BEC) National, High Performance Building Council (HPBC), BETEC Board of Direction and the National Council of Governments on Building Codes & Standards (NCGBCS).

Walk-on registration is still available (with limited seating for some events). To see a full list of conference activities, visit

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