NBIMS-US Vice-Chair to Show How the National BIM Standard Improves Project Delivery

Natl Inst of Building ScienceBuilding industry professionals at the ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX), to be held October 28-30 in Boston, Massachusetts, will have the opportunity to learn how building information modeling (BIM) with consensus industry standards can improve project delivery when they attend a workshop presented by Jeffrey W. Ouellette, Assoc. AIA, IES.

Ouellette serves as vice chair of the National BIM Standard-United States® (NBIMS-US™) Version 3Project Committee, the committee responsible for developing that standard for the National Institute of Building Sciences buildingSMART alliance. He will present Better Project Delivery through Implementation of the National BIM Standard-US® on Tuesday, October 28, from 8:00 to 9:30 am.

The Institute will be releasing the NBIMS-US™ Version 3 later this year. The newest edition of the standard will provide design professionals, contractors, facility managers and owners with technology, process and best practice standards to facilitate data for the design, procurement, construction and operation of a building. As the vice-chair of the project committee responsible for the standard’s development, Ouellette will provide an insider’s look at all parts of the standard; what they mean to the design professional, project partners and clients; and how they can be successfully applied to the execution of a particular project or the everyday practices of a design firm.

ABX is produced by the Boston Society of Architects (BSA), founder and long-time co-producer of Build Boston and Residential Design and Construction. The largest building industry event in the Northeast and one of the largest in the country, the ABX conference program hosts more than 175 workshops and tours covering relevant industry issues and projects. A diverse range of topics and ideas attracts the full spectrum of building-industry professionals, including architects, engineers, builders/contractors and owners/clients.

The show floor at ABX is an interactive marketplace featuring more than 400 product and service exhibitors, along with projects and designs from the industry.

Learn more about the NBIMS-US session. 

Register to attend.

Growth in U.S. Entry Door Market to Continue into 2015

door-marketA new study by the Window and Door Manufacturers Association, Window and Entry Door 2014 U.S. Market Study shows continued growth for the entry door market through 2015. The study, prepared, researched and analyzed by Metrostudy and the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech, forecasts modest market growth in the overall entry door market growth of 5.1% for 2014 and 4.9% for 2015. This follows market growth of 5.3% in 2013 with 14.1 million units shipped.

From a product mix standpoint, in 2013 side-hinged entry doors made up 72% of the entry door market, followed by sliding patio doors at 11.4%.

The WDMA report delivers timely, detailed information on residential entry door, and residential and light commercial window market trends and product relationships; historic data for 2011 and 2012, and forecast data for 2014 through 2016. Forecasts are based on projections of construction activity as of May 2014. Also included in the report is data on ENERGY STAR 2013 production and market growth.

The WDMA Window and Entry Door 2014 U.S. Market Study is available for purchase online in the WDMA Bookstore.

ASTM approves standard for intumescent coatings used to protect steel in fire

ASTM LogoIntumescent coatings produce an insulating char when activated by heat or flame. Such coatings are designed to safeguard the structural integrity of steel under fire conditions and to maintain safe temperatures for a specified period of time. A new ASTM standard will cover the specification, application and inspection of intumescent fire-resistant materials to structural steel.

The new standard, ASTM E2924, Practice for Intumescent Coatings, provides recommendations to specify best practices for intumescent coatings. Specifying, manufacturing, testing, labeling, transportation, delivery and storage (including shelf life), installation and inspection are all covered in ASTM E2924.

Architects, specifiers and building owners will now be able to incorporate reference to ASTM E2924 in their building specifications. In addition, engineers, installers and inspection agencies will find the standard to be useful when dealing with intumescent coatings.

ASTM E2924 was developed by Subcommittee E06.21 on Serviceability, part of ASTM InternationalCommittee E06 on Performance of Buildings. All interested parties are invited to participate in the standards developing activities of E06.21.

The nest ASTM Committee E06 meeting will take place October 5-8, 2014, in New Orleans, LA. Contact Philip Mancuso, Isolatek International, 1-800-631-9600, ext. 214; pmancuso@isolatek.com for more information.

NCARB proposal would shorten time it takes foreign architects to become certified

ncarb-logoThe National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) recently proposed an overhaul of the Broadly Experienced Architect (BEA) and Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect (BEFA) Programs. The proposals would maintain appropriate rigor in the programs while significantly reducing completion time. These changes will optimize the process for U.S. and foreign architects who do not currently meet the requirements to earn NCARB certification for reciprocal licensure.

Currently, the BEA process allows architects without a degree from a National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited program to earn the NCARB Certificate by proving they have six to 10 years of licensed practice in responsible control. In addition, they must have their education evaluated by the NAAB to define education deficiencies. Architects prepare a dossier to demonstrate, post-licensure, how they learned through experience to overcome identified education deficiencies. Then, their dossier is reviewed by NCARB’s BEA Committee.

The proposed change would remove those steps, and instead would ensure that the applicant has completed a state board’s education and experience requirements, passed the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), and practiced for one year. This proposal acknowledges that architects without an accredited degree are required by their original licensing jurisdiction to complete more rigorous experience requirements prior to initial licensure. The streamlining of the submittal process also ensures an objective rather than subjective review.

The BEFA process is in place for architects with a foreign license seeking NCARB certification to facilitate U.S. licensure. It currently requires establishment of an NCARB Record, at least seven years of licensed practice in the foreign country, preparation of a dossier to demonstrate experience in the areas tested in the ARE, and an in-person interview.

The proposal for consideration would remove these steps and instead would require an applicant to establish an NCARB Record, successfully complete the ARE, and document two years of experience either in the applicant’s home country or in the United States after licensure as well as have recognized education and licensing credentials. These changes preserve some of the threshold requirements currently in place, while acknowledging work experience in the United States and requiring passage of the ARE. The addition of the ARE requirement provides assurance as to familiarity with U.S. codes and facility with the English language.

The proposals will be distributed to NCARB’s 54 member jurisdictions for a special comment period. Member Board, collateral, and stakeholder feedback will be used to inform discussions by the Board of Directors in September and December. Depending on the feedback, the Board may move the proposals forward for a vote by the state boards at the next Annual Business Meeting in June 2015.

New approach to energy code compliance clears major hurdle

nibsOwners and design teams working toward high energy performance buildings have a potential new ally in the International Green Construction Code (IgCC). The development committee reviewing new proposals for enhancing the IgCC voted 8-5 on May 4 to approve a proposal that would add a first-ever outcome-based compliance path in a model energy code.

The IgCC, which is updated every three years, defines the requirements that need to be met to be considered green. Local governments can then adopt the IgCC for new construction and deep renovation projects in their jurisdictional area.

Building energy codes by nature are prescriptive, but architects and engineers are finding that prescriptive requirements can limit their ability to use integrated systems and innovative technologies that are necessary to lower a building’s energy needs. The outcome-based compliance path would solve that problem, setting targets for the actual energy use of a building and determining compliance through the building’s achievement of that target once in operation. Unlike existing pathways to address energy use—prescriptive or modeled performance options—the outcome-based pathway allows the design team the greatest flexibility and relies on measured energy-use data that can help communities and building owners meet their energy and carbon emissions reduction goals.

The IgCC is developed by the International Code Council, a group of code officials and local government representatives that will meet for a final vote on the outcome-based compliance pathway and other proposals Oct. 1-5 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. However, this recent approval by the IgCC committee is extremely important because it means a much higher likelihood of ultimate adoption. With the committee’s approval, the proposal (GEW-147) needs only 50% of the voting body to approve.

Testimony submitted by an assortment of industry representatives, including the National Institute of Building Sciences, New Buildings Institute (NBI), Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), Grundfos, Target Corporation and the Colorado Chapter of the ICC, was enough to convince the committee to favor the proposal.

Construction employment up in 40 states and DC

Associated General Contractors of AmericaConstruction firms added jobs in 40 states and the District of Columbia over the past 12 months and in 30 states and D.C. between April and May, according to an analysis today by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data.  Association officials said the employment gains help, but that construction employment remains below peak levels in every state and the District of Columbia, except North Dakota.

Nevada led all states in percentage gains in construction employment (12.5 percent, 7,000 jobs) between May 2013 and May 2014.  Other states adding a high percentage of new construction jobs for the past 12 months included Florida (9.8 percent, 35,300 jobs), Minnesota (9.7 percent, 9,700 jobs) and Kansas (8.9 percent, 5,000 jobs).  California added the most new construction jobs for the year (37,700 jobs, 5.9 percent), followed by Florida, Texas (26,500 jobs, 4.3 percent) and New York (12,000 jobs, 3.7 percent).

Ten states shed construction jobs during the past twelve months, with West Virginia losing the highest percentage, (-6.8 percent, -2,200 jobs).  Other states that lost a high percentage of jobs include New Jersey (-6.2 percent, -8,500 jobs), Montana (-5.7 percent, -1,400 jobs) and New Mexico (-5.0 percent, -2,100 jobs).  New Jersey lost the most construction jobs between May 2013 and May 2014, followed by Arizona (-4,100 jobs, -3.3 percent), Virginia (-2,800 jobs, -1.6 percent) and West Virginia.

Minnesota (3,800 jobs, 3.6 percent) added the most jobs between April and May, followed by New York (3,000 jobs, 0.9 percent), Colorado (2,800 jobs, 2.1 percent) and Pennsylvania (2,200 jobs, 0.9 percent).  Wyoming (4.1 percent, 900 jobs) had the highest percentage increase for the month, followed by Minnesota, Vermont (3.6 percent, 500 jobs) and Kansas (3.2 percent, 1,900 jobs).

Nineteen states lost construction jobs for the month, with Florida (-6,100 jobs, -1.5 percent) losing the most.  Other states experiencing large monthly declines in total construction employment included Arizona (-4,400 jobs, -3.6 percent), Ohio (-3,600 jobs, -1.9 percent) and Missouri (-3,500 jobs, -3.2 percent).  Arizona experienced the highest monthly percentage decline, followed by Missouri, New Hampshire (-2.7 percent, -600 jobs) and West Virginia (-2.4 percent, -800 jobs).

Association officials emphasized that Washington officials could bring additional security to construction employment levels by passing new legislation to finance highway and transit construction.  By passing a new surface transportation bill that includes the kind of revenue being proposed by Senators Corker and Murphy, a lot of stability would be added to what has been a very uneven construction recovery.

View the state employment data by rank and by state.

Paper connects green infrastructure, health and resiliency

Green Roofs for Healthy CitiiesGreen Roofs for Healthy Cities has published a research paper, “Exploring Connections Between Green Infrastructure & Healthy & Resilient Communities” that discusses the connections between green infrastructure, health and community resiliency. The paper reviews a growing body of literature which illustrates that how we design buildings and communities has profound consequences for our health and happiness.

The paper is part of Grey to Green, A Conference on the Economics of Green Infrastructure – Designing for Health on August 25th-26th, 2014 in Toronto. The Conference will discuss design and policy practices, and will include more than 75 leading thinkers and doers at the intersection of health and living green infrastructure. The multi-disciplinary program will cover project case studies, useful design and analytical tools, and cutting edge research.

Code change will reduce hot water waste, save Americans time and money

iapmoPlumbing inspectors, manufacturers, engineers, contractors, labor representatives and other industry technical experts voted overwhelmingly recently to make a change to plumbing codes that will ensure hot water pipes in new homes and commercial buildings are insulated. Overall, insulation of hot water pipes will shorten the amount of time spent waiting for hot water at showers and faucets, and cut hot water waste by 15 to 30 percent.

The vote took place during the review of proposed changes to the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) Uniform Plumbing Code. The proposal was championed by the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The change stipulates that hot water pipes be insulated for all homes and commercial buildings built after 2015. Since more than a quarter of all hot water draws occur within an hour of each other, insulation can help water sitting in pipes retain its heat long enough for the next use.

A recent modeling study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimated that more than 10 percent of all the hot water drawn for showering in a typical single-family home is not hot enough to use. Americans take more than 200 million showers a day. Using EPA estimates of the amount of water drawn while showering, about 280 million gallons of hot water is being discarded without use every day nationwide – an amount equal to all the water sold on an average day last year by the Las Vegas Valley Water District. This is water that has been heated by a water heater, drawn into a hot water pipe, and then left cooling down in the pipe to a point where it is not hot enough to use the next time hot water is needed. Too often, these hot water pipes are uninsulated, making the cool-down more rapid and more complete.

By incorporating this proposal into the next edition of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials’ model plumbing code, officials bring this change to communities in Nevada, California, Idaho, New Mexico, North Dakota and jurisdictions around the country that use IAPMO’s Uniform Plumbing Code as the model for their own local codes.

Green roof industry grows by 10% in 2013

Green Roofs for Healthy CitiiesGreen Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), the green roof and wall industry association announces a 10 percent growth rate for green roofs in 2013 in its Annual Green Roof Industry Survey.

The Washington DC Metropolitan Region saw the installation of 2,164,926 square feet of green roofs in 2013. Washington has adopted public policies and programs that support green roof investment, including rebates of $7-$15 per square foot per green roof installed and credits that reduce stormwater fees. Public investment in green roofs yields multiple public cost saving benefits.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) mission is to develop the green roof and wall industry across North America. Visit their website for more information about the 2013 Annual Green Roof Industry Survey.

Webcast forecasts growth in nonresidential construction

reed-webinar

Construction spending is predicted to grow in both 2014 and 2015.

A recent webcast featuring economists from Reed Construction Data, American Institute of Architects and the Association of General Contractors of America outlined the economic state of the construction industry in the U.S. They addressed key business opportunities, target growth markets, and the impact of market conditions on the performance of different construction sectors.

During the webcast, one of the economists forecasted economic growth in the nonresidential construction sector with overall spending reaching $320 billion this year and $348 billion in 2015. Rebounding gradually from the recession, he predicted increased construction spending in the hotel, office, commercial, healthcare and particularly manufacturing sector.

According to Reed Construction Data’s latest technology Reed Insight, which shows upcoming projects throughout the country, California, Texas, Florida, and states around the Great Lakes region have the largest share of upcoming manufacturing projects.

Heavy engineering construction spending is also forecasted to grow in 2014 to $280 billion and reach prerecession levels in 2015 at $304 billion.

The archived version of the webcast is available here (after registering).