A National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) initiative has released its 2014 report, “Moving Forward: Findings and Recommendations from the Consultative Council,” making suggestions in three areas: buildings-related workforce, resilience and changing climate, and the need to align government and business to deliver a cost-effective, high-performance built environment.
Every year, the Consultative Council—consisting of representative organizations from across the building industry—prepares recommendations to the President of the United States and the U.S. Congress. The focus is on policies and practices that, if implemented, would help advance the industry and the nation in realizing many goals.
The report was unveiled during NIBS’ annual meeting, held as part of Building Innovation 2015 in Washington, D.C., during the first week of January. Its suggestions include:
- all building industry sectors establish mentoring programs and all representatives should reach out to the education community and to parents, teachers, business leaders, and decision-makers to support technical/vocational curriculum meeting the needs of today’s workplace;
- U.S. Global Change Research Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and others create an ongoing program bringing together building and climate scientists to produce modeling results that support effective decision-making;
- various federal bodies work with industry partners, including insurance companies, to develop a program supporting adoption, administration, and enforcement of building codes;
- Congress and the White House work with NIST to reopen its plumbing research facility, identifying important water-related metrics and collecting data on water use; and
- all levels of government agencies should incorporate requirements for information interoperability throughout the building lifecycle into their contracts (and to extent practicable, provide building-level data in an accessible format to national, regional, and local data sets).
The report also recommends the federal government work through NIBS to develop a scientific methodology for measurement, verification, and documentation of actual building performance across all high-performance building attributes. Further, it suggests all federally funded construction projects and operations contracts include clearly enumerated performance requirements, including methods for verification and procedures, in order to rectify non-achievement of performance targets.