Details of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) BOD Meeting and the Building Innovation Conference

Posted on 2/14/2019 11:22:41 AM By Paul Bertram

The New Year started off with the NIBS Board of Directors meeting in January followed by the Building Innovation Conference held in Washington, DC.

Significant news at the NIBS Board meeting included the announcement of the new President and Executive Director Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE, as its new President and Chief Executive Officer.

The Institute had a grand farewell for Henry Green after his 10 years at NIBS as President &Executive Director during the conference annual dinner. Henry created important alliances with ICC (International Code Council) that led to several significant outcomes worth noting such as: The Integrated Resilient Design Program and the continuing work from the Multihazard Mitigation Council.

I am pleased to announce that I was reappointed to BoD for another 3 year term as your “Industry” representative. I am the BoD liaison for the BETEC (Building Enclosure Technology and Environmental Council) and the Off-Ste Constructions Council.

Prior to the conference, the Off-Site Construction Council met where it was proposed to have a more intentional and coordinated effort to develop Guides for Off-Site Constructions. There are many separate efforts underway from AIA, AGC, ICC, and the Modular Building Institute that need to be consolidated into a series of comprehensive Guides. Currently the Council is evaluating what areas of process will be considered in the tasks to develop these guides. If of interest, please contact me (

I am very encouraged with current NIBS Board leadership and their willingness to explore new areas of concentration and how “Industry” can be engaged to advance high performance, low carbon building to grid initiatives and related building science. If there are any new initiatives that you feel NIBS could help with your organization, feel free to contact me. Adhesives and Sealants are critical to the functional performance of buildings and expertise from ASC members is of interest to me in my responsibilities at NIBS.

BETEC leadership met prior to the conference and updates to The Whole Building Design Guide are being addressed. Dave Herron, BETEC Chair, is looking for volunteers to work various sections. If interested in reviewing the adhesives and sealants sections, contact Dave at:

There are lots of opportunities to reach Building Enclosure specialists through National BEC Councils. Check here for a BEC near you:

Optimizing for Tomorrow

The conference theme was “Optimizing for Tomorrow”. These are a few of the sessions and key notes that I thought of interest to ASC members:

Opening Keynote speaker

Eric Wilson, Deputy Director, NYC Mayor’s Office – Office of Recovery and Resiliency spoke about NYC’s over 1 million building stock and respective vulnerability to changing climate and extreme weather events. Additionally, Eric addressed the majority of buildings that were over 100 years and in need major of exterior/interior energy efficiency upgrades. He referred to Energiesrpong and the work RetrofitNY is heading up. Lots of work opportunity in these programs and they are all looking for Industry Partners.  Key solution considerations are Off-Site Constructions.


FEDCon Breakfast

The US DOD (Department of Defense) criteria that incorporates both new technologies and corrosion prevention and control (CPC) was presented. Sheri McMillion, PE, CEM< Criteria Manager – Standards and Specifications NAVFAC Atlantic presented WBDG – (Whole Building Design Guide) CPC Resource Pages led attendees through the design and specification processes required by DOD.

Cast Iron: An Innovative Material in 1850, A Repair Nightmare in 2010 – Restoration of the US Capitol Dome

This session by Richard Kadlubowski, Senior VP and Director of Architecture from Hoffman Architects spoke in great detail about the restoration of the US Capitols Dome and was extremely detailed and had quite a wow factor.

BECx (Building Enclosure Commissioning)

This was one of two BECx workshops that are part of the NIBS BECx education programs

I specifically attended the “In Lab” testing and found it somewhat lacking. Although the session covered specific tests required by ASTM, NRFC (National Fenestration Ratings Council) and AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Association) and reference to ASTM 2813 – Standard practice for Building Commissioning and ASTM E2947 – Standard Guide for Building Enclosure Commissioning; the session did not really discuss the benefits and limits to “In Lab” testing. 

My opinion is that with buildings being designed in BIM and the use of various modeling tools such as: Thermal, Hygrothermal, Daylighting, and Energy Models (to name a few); there is a strong business case for “In Lab” testing to validate systems or adjust models before going to construction and subsequent field testing.

Other topics of interest at the conference included:

  • After the Storm: New Building Codes Increase Wind Resilience Post- Katrina
  • Improving Flood Resistance of Buildings
  • FEMA Mitigation Assessment Team (MAT) Reports
  • Lessons Learned from the 2017 Hurricanes & Mitigation Assessment Reports: A Technical Evaluation of Building Performance & the Impact of Code Adoption and Enforcement
  • Specifying Cladding Attachment Systems: The Holistic Approach
  • Adding Air Barrier and Thermal Improvements to Existing Facilities
  • Air Leakage and Water Penetration Testing of Flanged Window Details


In conclusion:

The 2020 Building Innovation Conference committee will be sending out RFPs for session submittals later this year. It is a great opportunity to position adhesives and sealants as essential components in delivering functional system performance for high performance buildings. Keep on the lookout.