By Walt Rossiter
Members of the IIBEC Executive Committee along with staff and other members traveled May 23, 2023, to Gaithersburg, Maryland, the home of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). NIST has chief responsibility for maintaining the US measurement system and enhancing the competitiveness of US industry through scientific and technical support. Chief among the major operational functions of NIST are five laboratories, including its Engineering Laboratory, which hosted IIBEC as part of a meet-and-greet that allowed both parties to discuss how the two organizations could help each other.
The meeting comprised a series of presentations describing major programs within the Engineering Laboratory. IIBEC Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Pallasch provided an overview of IIBEC, highlighting IIBEC’s Registered Roof Observer and Registered Exterior Wall Observer credential programs.
Dr. Joannie Chin, director of the Engineering Laboratory, provided an overview of NIST and the laboratory’s major programs, which focus on fostering construction and US manufacturing industry innovation, productivity, and competitiveness; improving building and fire safety; and reducing the environmental impact of buildings and manufacturing activities.
Other Engineering Laboratory presentations provided an overview of the Materials and Structural Systems Division; a prediction of infrastructure materials service life; the building enclosure impacts on energy efficiency and indoor environments; the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program; design for tornado loads; and disaster and failure studies.
As the visit ended, both parties welcomed further meetings and future cooperation. IIBEC members should expect to hear more about NIST building research results, particularly those involving wind-related research and disaster investigations, in the future.