National Institute of Building Sciences Supports High-Performance Building Standards

The National Institute of Building Sciences testified before the House Committee on Science and Technology Subcommittee on Energy and Environment to promote the development and use of high-performance building standards.

Dr. William J. Coad, P.E., FASHRAE, Chairman of the High Performance Building Task Group and Member of the National Institute of Building Sciences Board of Directors, was one of five witnesses to provide testimony during the Subcommittee hearing, "Pushing the Efficiency Envelope: R&D for High-Performance Buildings, Industries and Consumers."

"Many of the existing standards, guidelines and recommended practices are developed independently, addressing only one aspect of the building, without communicating across disciplines or parties, or looking at the building as a whole," Coad testified. "We now have an organization [the High Performance Building Council] ready to bring the industry together."

Title IX, Subtitle A, Section 914 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT), specifically directed the Institute to explore the potential for accelerating development of standards to set requirements for less resource-intensive, more energy-efficient, high-performance buildings. The Institute established the High Performance Building Council to tackle the task. With the help of standards development organizations, professional societies, governmental agencies and major trade associations, the Council prepared a report for the U.S. Congress and U.S. Department of Energy assessing existing high-performance standards.

"It will take the collective efforts of the building community to set in place the requirements envisioned in Section 914 of EPACT," said Institute President Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA, following the testimony. "This will call for organizations who focus on energy usage, equipment proficiency, design, construction and the acceptable levels of health, life safety, building usability and public welfare to pull together to achieve these goals without sacrificing any individual attribute of a high performance building."

A number of industry organizations, including the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, submitted written comments to the Subcommittee in support of high-performance buildings.


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