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2018 Moving Forward Report Looks at Existing Buildings

Consultative Council Releases Report at Building Innovation 2019

Today, the National Institute of Building Sciences Consultative Council released its 2018 report, Moving Forward: Findings and Recommendations from the Consultative Council, during its Annual Meeting, held as part of Building Innovation 2019: The National Institute of Building Sciences Seventh Annual Conference and Expo.

The Consultative Council brings together representatives from leading organizations that represent all aspects of design, construction, operation and regulation to examine important issues before the industry. Each year, the Council develops a Moving Forward Report to examine some of these challenges and offer findings and recommendations on how to overcome them. The summarized report becomes part of the Institute’s Annual Report, which goes to the President of the United States and the U.S. Congress.

In the 2018 report, the Consultative Council addresses ways to improve the performance of the nation’s existing building stock. The Council outlines efforts undertaken to date and the challenges that still remain. The report is intended to be a starting point for a much broader dialogue across the building industry and with policymakers, and offers a number of recommendations to move forward.

Existing buildings are a key asset to the nation. However, they can become a drag on communities and the economy if they no longer meet the needs of today’s society. Meanwhile, the needs of society are shifting. Policymakers, building tenants and owners are placing increased emphasis on the performance of buildings, including sustainability, health and resilience. The existing building stock must be prepared to respond.

There are over 5.6 million commercial buildings and 118 million housing units in the United States. The average age is 41.7 years old, but most are 15 years or older. The vast majority, both by number and square footage, are small (less than 50,000 square feet.)

When it comes to achieving high-performance buildings, existing buildings present a unique set of challenges. They are highly variable; no two are alike. There are limited opportunities for intervention to improve performance. Varying ownership models exist. Nearly 100,000 properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The electric grid infrastructure is in the process of transforming. In addition, policymakers and citizens have multiple high-performance goals for their communities.

The Council looked at ways to address these challenges, including:

The Consultative Council offers 11 recommendations in the report, among them:

Download the Consultative Council’s 2018 Moving Forward Report.

Learn more about the Consultative Council.

About NIBS

National Institute of Building Sciences brings together labor and consumer interests, government representatives, regulatory agencies, and members of the building industry to identify and resolve problems and potential problems around the construction of housing and commercial buildings. NIBS is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization. It was established by Congress in 1974. For more information, visit or follow @bldgsciences on Twitter and Facebook.

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