The National Institute of Building Sciences was established by the U.S. Congress in the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, Public Law 93-383. NIBS is an authoritative voice that supports advances in building science and technology to improve the built environment.
Congress recognized the need for an organization to serve as an interface between government and the private sector – one that brings together local, state, and federal representatives, the professions, industry, and labor and consumer interests to identify and resolve problems that hamper the construction of safe and affordable housing and commercial structures. NIBS is a resource to those who plan, design, procure, construct, use, operate, maintain, renovate, and retire physical facilities.
NIBS is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that provides the opportunity for free and open discussion of issues and problems. By working with legislators, regulatory agencies, and officials within the construction industry, NIBS aims to engage all parties and seek consensus solutions to mutual problems of concern.
The organization is based in Washington, D.C. and has a professional staff that provides technical, managerial, and administrative support for a variety of programs. NIBS is directed by a 21-member Board of Directors. Fifteen members are elected, and 6 members are appointed by the President of the United States, subject to the approval of the U.S. Senate.
NIBS operates a number of councils, including the Consultative Council; Coordinating Council; Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC); Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC); buildingSMART Alliance; Multihazard Mitigation Council (MMC); Council on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (CFIRE); National Council on Building Codes and Standards (NCBCS); National Mechanical Insulation Committee (NMIC); and Facility Maintenance and Operations Committee (FMOC). Each council retains a special focus and is governed by a voluntary board with nationally recognized leaders in appropriate disciplines.
A balanced blend of public and private financing supports NIBS' mission. Private sector contributions, membership dues, and publication sales are augmented with contracts and grants from federal and state agencies. These funds make possible many programs that have brought together the nation's finest expertise from the public and private sectors to identify and resolve issues affecting the building process. These programs include the Women Executives in Building Summit, which brings together female leaders from across the nonprofit world and built environment to network and discuss industry issues, diversity, and thought leadership, and the NIBS annual meeting – Building Innovation Conference & Expo. Building Innovation seeks to optimize building performance and sustainability by gathering all who impact the built environment for the sharing of ideas, initiatives, policies, and best practices.