May 22, 2014. Today, the National Institute of Building Sciences Consultative Council released its 2013 report, Moving Forward: Findings and Recommendations from the Consultative Council, during a briefing of the High Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition in celebration of High-Performance Building Week.
Each year, the Consultative Council prepares the report, as required by the Institute’s enabling legislation, which is then submitted as part of the Institute’s Annual Report to the President of the United States. The Council, which consists of organizations representing the nation’s building community, offers specific recommendations, implementable in the near term, which can serve as the basis for a national buildings policy.
The 2013 report includes findings and recommendations in five key areas: The Building Workforce; Guidance on the Use of Non-Potable Water; Understanding the Energy/Water Nexus; Supporting the Existing State and Local Building Regulatory Infrastructure; and Developing the Business Case for Private Sector Investment in Hazard Mitigation.
Below are some of the recommendations from the new report:
- Industry associations should develop and support Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education programs to prepare students for careers in the 21st century building industry
- The U.S. Departments of Labor and Education, in consultation with building industry representatives and other construction community stakeholders, should develop a comprehensive national workforce plan
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should set uniform national water quality criteria for end uses of non-potable water
- The National Institute of Standards and Technology should develop water and energy industry-accepted evaluation, measurement and verification (EM&V) protocols that standards developers can utilize to help make determinations on provisions where water and energy tradeoffs exist
- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) should compile a national database of embedded energy in water, as well as embedded water in energy, with a focus on developing regional and local estimates needed for planning purposes
- DOE; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, including the Federal Emergency Management Administration; the U.S. Department of Commerce, including the Economic Development Administration; the EPA; and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development should work together, and with the private sector, to identify economic, social and environmental benefits to communities that adopt and verify compliance with construction codes
- All federal agencies should ensure that any grants they give to states and localities in support of community development, resilience, housing, planning, transportation and other related functions include prerequisites or other requirements focused on the adoption and compliance with up-to-date building codes
- Community ratings conducted for various purposes should be integrated and expanded to include development of community-wide resilience ratings that can be used to identify best practices; assist in awarding federal and state grants; and support private-sector decision making, including insurance underwriting and financial investments.
- The National Institute of Building Sciences Multihazard Mitigation Council, with support from the public and private sectors, should update the report, Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves, to address current savings and the benefits that accrue to state and local governments and the private sector
The 2013 report also re-emphasizes specific recommendations from past reports, addressing such topics as building energy and water data; high-performance metrics; climate change and buildings; performance-based codes; and more.
The briefing included presentations by Consultative Council Chair Sara Yerkes, who represents the International Code Council; Dain Hansen, one of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials’ representatives to the Council; Tom Meyer, representing NEBB on the Council; and Neil Blais, Chair of the Institute’s Multihazard Mitigation Council. Consultative Council Director Ryan Colker moderated the event.