The National Institute of Building Sciences Consultative Council released its 2016 report, Moving Forward: Findings and Recommendations from the Consultative Council, during the Building Innovation 2017: The National Institute of Building Sciences Annual Conference and Expo.
Each year, the Council develops a report to identify the policies, practices and trends that hinder achieving the nation’s goals of realizing high-performance buildings and communities and offers how to overcome them. The summarized report goes to the President of the United States and the U.S. Congress.
The availability of a skilled building-related workforce now and into the future, and the importance of potable water and the efficient and healthy use of this limited resource were the two issues of primary focus of the 2016 Moving Forward Report.
All buildings require a connection to a safe, reliable and continuous water supply or normal building functions stop. In the report, the Consultative Council offers recommendations, with the goal of developing a water strategy for the U.S., which include:
- Expanding and adequately funding federal water programs to help utilities improve infrastructure while also meeting federally mandated water quality requirements
- Allowing federal and state government funds to be used for projects relating to water reuse
- Developing best practices for utilities to reference when changing their water treatment processes to reduce unwanted consequences
- Modernizing the existing water pipe-sizing calculations
- Incentivizing the removal of water-guzzling plumbing fixtures and installation high-efficiency models
- Requiring utilities to provide and install smart water meters
- Requiring compliance with standards to mitigate outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease and other waterborne diseases in building water systems
- Issuing uniform water treatment and water quality requirements for the use of non-potable water
Over the past several years, almost all sectors of the U.S. building industry have reported a growing shortage of skilled construction workers. In the 2016 report, the Consultative Council identified causes of this trend and offered how to address them, which include:
- Promoting technical and trade programs in K-12 and technical schools
- Emphasizing the good career opportunities available
- Encouraging women and veterans to enter the construction sector
Download the full Consultative Council’s 2016 Moving Forward Report online.