|Councils & Projects|
The National Institute of Building Sciences accomplishes its mission to serve the nation and public interest through the following councils and programs that work to support advances in building sciences and technology:
Industry Leadership and Advocacy
Consultative Council – The Consultative Council brings together leading organizations from across the building industry to develop findings and recommendations for presentation to the President of the United States and the U.S. Congress. The Council and its members work to disseminate the report and get the recommendations implemented.
Coordinating Council – The Coordinating Council serves as the venue for representatives from each of the Institute’s standing councils and committees to come together to communicate about projects and activities, share ideas for potential collaboration and facilitate outcomes to advance the building community.
Commercial Workforce Credentialing Council (CWCC) – The CWCC works to advance the development and recognition of quality building industry credentials. The CWCC developed and is helping the U.S. Department of Energy deploy the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines (BBWG), voluntary national guidelines to ensure the quality and consistency of energy-related workforce credentials. The CWCC has also developed and is helping the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security deploy guidelines for ensuring the quality of blast protection specialists.
Council on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (CFIRE) – Banks, insurance companies and real estate firms all play a significant role in how buildings are procured, designed and constructed. Despite its impact on long-term decisions relating to buildings, this sector of the building industry has largely been disconnected from the design and construction sector. CFIRE works to promote collaboration and buy-in across these sectors to better address the challenges of evaluating risks, benefits, technologies and practices associated with the achievement of cost-effective high-performance buildings.
National Council on Building Codes and Standards (NCBCS) – NCBCS brings together representatives from state, local and regional government bodies; individuals engaged in the administration and enforcement of codes and standards; and other organizations and individuals that share the same goals to advance the administration of building codes and standards through sharing of best practices, education and training, and dissemination of information. NCBCS serves as the reincarnation of the National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards (NCSBCS), but for a wider, more inclusive audience.
Off-Site Construction Council (OSCC) – Defined as the planning, design, fabrication and assembly of building elements at a location other than their final installed location to support the rapid and efficient construction of a permanent structure, “off-site construction” increasingly is being used in the building industry. OSCC serves as a research, education and outreach center to develop relevant and current information on off-site design and construction for commercial, institutional and multifamily facilities.
Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Education Program (STEM) – This joint initiative of the National Institute of Building Sciences, Total Learning Research Institute (TLRI) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is aimed at attracting students to building science-related careers. The team developed the Mars City Facility Operations Challenge, a virtual reality platform to educate students about facility operations through a series of space-based challenges, and the Building Sciences Career Center online platform to educate students about various industry disciplines.
Low Vision Design Committee (LVDC) – LVDC works to address the needs of all occupants of the built environment, including those with low vision, through improvements in designs and operational procedures for new and existing facilities to enhance the function, safety and quality of life. The LVDC works to share relevant knowledge through the creation of design guidelines and building standards, such as its Design Guidelines for the Visual Environment.
Academy for Healthcare Infrastructure (AHI) – A collaborative research program that brings together leading healthcare professionals to address industry challenges at a national level, AHI focuses on improving the processes to create and maintain the complex built environment required to support America’s healthcare mission.
Security and Disaster Preparedness Programs
Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC) – BSSC works to enhance public safety by improving earthquake-resistant design and construction throughout the United States. Consisting of volunteer subject matter experts and member organizations, BSSC represents a variety of interests related to seismic safety. The Council develops seismic safety provisions for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program; promotes their adoption in voluntary standards and model codes; and develops training and educational courses and materials for use by members of the building community and the public.
Integrated Resilient Design Program (IRDP) – The Institute established this program to focus on innovative approaches to the design, construction and operation of buildings and infrastructures that are resilient to natural and man-made disasters. IRDP projects are currently sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate, whose High Performance Integrated Design Resilience program develops tools and resources so users can integrate resilience to reduce the impact of disruptive events and the duration of their effects.
Multihazard Mitigation Council (MMC) – MMC serves as a focal point of credible information to inform decision making to overcome a number of real-world barriers to implementing disaster resilience and mitigation measures in the United States. The MMC promotes collaboration among homeowners, commercial and industrial property owners, researchers, finance and insurance representatives, the public sector and many others to achieve resilience objectives.
Facility Performance and Sustainability Programs
Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC) – BETEC encourages the optimization of building performance through a better understanding of how building components interact with each other and with the environment. BETEC hosts the BEST Building Enclosure Science and Technology™ Conference and develops the Building Envelope Design Guide, available on the WBDG Whole Building Design Guide® web portal at www.wbdg.org. Through a cooperative agreement with the American Institute of Architects, BETEC has formed and organized Building Enclosure Councils in numerous U.S. cities.
Building Enclosure Council (BEC) National – BEC National facilitates a network of affiliated architects, engineers, contractors, manufacturers and others located in major cities across the United States. A joint initiative of the National Institute of Building Sciences Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC) and the American Institute of Architects, the local BECs provide a forum for the construction industry to address building enclosures, which play such a critical role in building performance and energy efficiency.
National Mechanical Insulation Committee (NMIC) – The NMIC provides a forum to address the performance, use, testing and standardization of mechanical insulation in buildings and industrial facilities. The NMIC develops the Mechanical Insulation Design Guide (MIDG), available on the WBDG Whole Building Design Guide® web portal.
Commissioning Industry Leaders Council (CxILC) – The CxILC serves to advance the performance of buildings through the use of whole building and building system commissioning by providing education and training; public outreach; publications; and knowledge sharing.
Facility Maintenance and Operations Committee (FMOC) – The FMOC works within the industry to improve the performance and longevity of buildings and building systems through consistent, effective and proper facility maintenance and operation. The committee provides industry-wide, public and private support for the creation of high-quality facilities. It promotes the sharing and integration of procedures and disseminates best practices. FMOC also actively provides feedback on a number of National Institute of Building Sciences programs and interacts with outside agencies to improve facility maintenance.
Information Resources and Technologies Programs
buildingSMART alliance® – This council offers industry-wide, public and private leadership and support for the development, standardization and integration of building information modeling (BIM) technologies to support the full automation of the entire life cycle of buildings. In association with the American Institute of Architects and the Construction Specifications Institute, the Alliance, develops and publishes the consensus-based United States National CAD Standard®. It also sustains the consensus-based National BIM Standard – United States®.
WBDG Whole Building Design Guide® – WBDG is a comprehensive, internet-based portal to a wide range of federal- and private-sector building-related guidance criteria and technology. It creatively links information across traditional professional disciplines to encourage integrated thinking and “whole building” performance. Users can access WBDG information through a series of “levels” by way of three major categories: 1) Design Guidance; 2) Project Management; and 3) Operation and Maintenance. The WBDG includes a comprehensive library of over 12,000 design criteria, other construction documents and executable programs from federal and private organizations.
ProjNetSM – Project extranet (ProjNetSM) is an internet-based service that allows the secure exchange and processing of design and construction information among authorized business partners. ProjNetSM offers a suite of tools to manage owner-related business processes, including design reviews, bidder inquiry, requests for information and construction submittal reviews. ProjNetSM facilitates the formal oversight, control, review, management and secure exchange of complex project documents among and between all project stakeholders.
Building Research Information Knowledgebase (BRIK) – The National Institute of Building Sciences and the American Institute of Architects collaborate on the development of BRIK, an interactive portal to support incorporation of multidisciplinary research in the design, construction and operation of high-performance buildings. BRIK offers online access to peer-reviewed research and case studies in all facets of building, from predesign through occupancy and reuse.