The National Institute of Building Sciences, AIA, Strengthen Focus on Building Enclosures with new MOA


Washington, D.C. – May 23, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — The National Institute of Building Sciences (the Institute) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) showed their commitment to the importance of building enclosures May 18 when they signed a new Memorandum of Agreement to support existing Building Enclosure Councils (BECs) and develop new ones in cities across the United States.

BECs are a network of affiliated architects, engineers, contractors, manufacturers and other professionals located in major cities around the country. The Councils provide a forum for the construction industry to address building enclosures—the exterior systems of buildings that play such a critical role in building performance and energy efficiency.

“The building enclosure is a key element when it comes to achieving high-performance buildings, especially when it comes to reducing energy bills and ensuring the safety and security of building occupants,” said National Institute of Building Sciences Chairman Jim. W. Sealy, FAIA, following the signing. “The Institute is pleased to continue working with AIA and its members to improve the performance of building enclosures and provide a forum to share best practices with practitioners.”

The Institute, through its Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC), and the AIA established the initiative in 2004 to offer industry professionals an opportunity to exchange valuable information relating to successful building enclosure design through meetings and sharing of resources. BECs are now active in 25 cities nationwide.

“The AIA is committed to providing access to the tools, resources, knowledge and professional collaborations, that will better prepare AIA members to meet the ever evolving challenges of high performance design and construction and to the requirements high performance buildings codes, like those in the current draft of the forthcoming International Green Construction Code (IGCC),” said AIA EVP/Chief Executive Officer, Robert Ivy, FAIA. “The BECs represent a powerful building science knowledge resource that is critical if architects, as a profession, are to succeed at working collaboratively to design and construct truly high performing buildings.”

The Councils promote information exchange and encourage discussion on matters concerning building enclosures and related science, such as training, education, technology transfer, weather conditions and local issues and cases.

In addition to Chairman Sealy, Vice-Chairman RK Stewart, FAIA and President Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA, represented the National Institute of Building Sciences at the signing. AIA President Clark D. Manus, FAIA, President-Elect Jeffery Potter, FAIA and AIA EVP/Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA, represented the American Institute of Architects. The two organizations work on a number of collaborative efforts and are currently exploring several additional opportunities.

About The National Institute of Building Sciences
The National Institute of Building Sciences, authorized by public law 93-383 in 1974, is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that brings together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests to identify and resolve building process and facility performance problems. The Institute serves as an authoritative source of advice for both the private and public sectors with respect to the use of building science and technology.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit

Scott Frank

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