The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and American Institute of Architects (AIA) have signed a memorandum of agreement to support existing building enclosure councils (BECs) and develop new ones in cities across the United States.
BECs are networks of affiliated architects, engineers, contractors, manufacturers, and other professionals in major cities nationwide. The councils provide a forum for the construction industry to address building enclosures, the exterior systems of buildings that are considered to play 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,” NIBS Chairman Jim Sealy said. “We are 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.”
NIBS, through its Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC), and AIA established the initiative in 2004 to offer industry professionals an opportunity to exchange information relating to successful building enclosure design through meetings and the sharing of resources. BECs are 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 of high-performance building codes like those in the current draft of the forthcoming International Green Construction Code (IGCC),” AIA Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy said. “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.