Sustain. Strength. Secure. The 2018 Institute of Building Sciences; Building Innovation Conference

Posted on 2/16/2018 12:09:51 PM By Paul Bertram


2018 started out with the National Institute of Building Sciences; Building Innovation Conference in Washington DC. This year’s theme was Sustain. Strength. Secure.

Those themes were supported by a number of experts that presented current and future trends to these themes.

The Consultative Council

Before the conference started, the Consultative Council met where the attending associations and organizations reported on their respective initiatives. Discussions included: Congressional Briefing by Ryan Colker, regarding NIBS Publications/Outreach including the Consultative 2017 Document: Moving Forward: Findings and Recommendations for the Consultative Council. Key areas of focus include: Building the Industry of the Future; Design & Construction Operations; Policies, Codes and Standards; Shifting the Industry; Technology; Sensors, Controls and the Internet of Things; Cybersecurity; Virtual & Augmented Reality, Drones and Additive Manufacturing; Workforce; Research;Recommendations.  This report will soon be posted on the website.

Another group that was represented at the Consultative Council meeting and had a separate meeting was the Resilient Buildings Coalition headed up by Rachel Minnery of AIA. Resilience. As I have written about this is a topic very relevant to ASC members.

I highly recommend that an ASC representative plan to attend the next Consultative Council meeting March 8th at the Institute office. I believe that some of the ASC initiatives would be of interest to this group and to the next report recommendations. For more information see:

Key sessions of interest from the Building Innovation 2018 Conference

  • Evaluating Resilience and Sustainable buildings
  • Technology- Enabled Facility Life Cycle Data Management
  • Confronting Multiple Dimensions of Resilient and Sustainable Design
  • Whole Building Energy performance; Driving Towards Net-Zero and Energy Security
  • Achieving a High-Performance Air Barrier System: Proper Design, Installation and Field Quality Control
  • Green Building Liability: Considering the Applicable Standard of Care & Strategies Establishing a Different Level by Agreement
  • Climate Resilience: Adaptive Design and Risk Management
  • Climate Change Risk Management for a Robust Relevant Practice
  • Design and Protection of High-Rise Building ER&R Systems for Explosive Events.

Off-Site Construction Council Meeting

"Off-site construction" is 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. 

I had previously mentioned, in my blogs, that there are not clearly defined pathways for developing an “Off-Site” specification. This impact designers i considering these pre-fabricated assemblies as well as specifiers and contractors. In my analysis, the “Fabricator” seems to be the overarching coordinator of specifications. CSI, NIBS, AGC, AIA and the Off-Site Construction Council are forming work groups to take on this topic of Off-Site specifications. The use of UniFormat in describing building elements then moving to MastrerFormat classifications was part of the discussion. Certainly, Adhesives and Sealants have to be written into the specification. If you have interest in participation contact Ryan Colker,, at NIBS.

Why these conference sessions should be considered of interest by ASC members

These topics are indications of how the work is changing in the AEC (Architectural, Engineering, Construction) industries. Resilience and Sustainable design areadvancing strategies in delivering high performance, resilient, low energy building with specific life cycle resilient performance. These influences are also driving code and standard changes.

Adhesives and Sealants are well positioned in this discussion. The Air Barrier association session demonstrated the importance of sealants and adhesives but Building Innovation is also an opportunity for ASC and/or members to present.

Lastly, I will report that NIBS released early findings from the Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves Interim 2017 Report.

The Institute's project team looked at the results of 23 years of federally funded mitigation grants provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and found mitigation funding can save the nation $6 in future disaster costs, for every $1 spent on hazard mitigation. To access the full report, see -

After living through Hurricane Irma last year, it is my humble opinion that the insurance industry will continue to drive for increased code performance requirements buildings and resilience is key in those discussion.

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