The High Performance Buildings Caucus, recognizing the unique nature of the publication, recently announced the National Institute of Building Sciences Consultative Council 2012 Report, “Moving Forward: Findings and Recommendations from the Consultative Council.”
The Consultative Council, a representative council of the nation’s building community, prepares the report annually, as required by the Institute’s enabling legislation. This year’s report is a pathway toward high-performance buildings. It offers specific recommendations, implementable in the near term, which can serve as the basis for a national buildings policy.
Representatives David McKinley (W.Va.) and Peter Welch (Vt.), co-chairs of the High Performance Buildings Caucus, hosted the briefing on Capitol Hill May 13, 2013, as the kickoff event for High Performance Building Week.
Ron King, immediate past chair and National Insulation Association representative for the Consultative Council, moderated the event, which included presentations by Pete DeMarco, chair of the Council’s Energy and Water Efficiency Topical Committee and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials’ Council representative; Richard Wright, chair of the Council’s Sustainability Topical Committee and a representative of the American Society of Civil Engineers; Sara Yerkes, Consultative Council vice chair and the International Code Council’s representative; and Ryan Colker, director of the Consultative Council.
Findings & Recommendations
Key findings and recommendations from the report are as follows:
- The building industry and policymakers should identify baseline metrics to measure the achievement of high performance and coordinate existing efforts in this area.
- The building community must engage with climate and weather scientists to help identify the information required to adapt buildings to climate change, and to develop the practices, standards, codes and guidelines needed to implement that adaptation into the built environment.
- All stakeholders should work to identify areas for streamlining the regulatory process and finding and applying solutions that eliminate overlap, duplication, inconsistencies and inefficiencies in the application of regulations, processes and procedures applied to the built environment.
- The building industry and regulatory community should identify ways to improve the current process of code compliance, as well as look for alternative processes—particularly as state and local governments are faced with shrinking budgets.
- Building owners must recognize the value of retro-commissioning and the importance of well-qualified retro-commissioning authorities.
- Policymakers should support the building industry in quantifying the impact of retroactive application of requirements on the existing building stock.
- Policymakers, foundations and research institutions should provide financial, political and technical support for multi-disciplinary research that supports achievement of high-performance buildings.
- Utilities, policymakers, code developers and the industry at large should focus on developing an approach to time-dependent valuation of energy, conducting research to support guidance on proper pipe sizing to save resources and protect human health, and determining how thermal insulation on potable and other hot water delivery systems impacts both energy and water use.
The Institute’s 2012 Annual Report, which is submitted to the President of the United States, contains a summary of the Consultative Council Report.