National Institute of Building Sciences
Congressional findings and declaration of purpose
(1) The Congress finds (A) that the lack of an authoritative national source to make findings and to advise both the public and private sectors of the economy with respect to the use of building science and technology in achieving nationally acceptable standards and other technical provision for use in Federal, State, and local housing and building regulations is an obstacle to efforts by and imposes severe burdens upon all those who procure, design, construct, use, operate, maintain, and retire physical facilities, and frequently results in the failure to take full advantage of new and useful developments in technology which could improve our living environment; (B) that the establishment of model buildings codes or of a single national building code will not completely resolve the problem because of the difficulty at all levels of government in updating their housing and building regulations to reflect new developments in technology, as well as the irregularities and inconsistencies which arise in applying such requirements to particular localities or special local conditions; (C) that the lack of uniform housing and building regulatory provisions increases the costs of construction and thereby reduces the amount of housing and other community facilities which can be provided; and (D) that the existence of a single authoritative nationally recognized institution to provide for the evaluation of new technology could facilitate introduction of such innovations and their acceptance at the Federal, State, and local levels.
(2) The Congress further finds, however, that while an authoritative source of technical findings is needed, various private organizations and institutions, private industry, labor, and Federal and other governmental agencies and entities are presently engaged in building research, technology development, testing, and evaluation, standards and model code development and promulgation, and information dissemination. These existing activities should be encouraged and these capabilities effectively utilized wherever possible and appropriate to the purposes of this section.
(3) The Congress declares that an authoritative nongovernmental instrument needs to be created to address the problems and issues described in paragraph (1), that the creation of such an instrument should be initiated by the Government, with the advice and assistance of the National Academy of Sciences-National Academy of Engineering-National Research Council (hereinafter referred to as the “Academies-Research Council”) and of the various sectors of the building community, including labor and management, technical experts in building science and technology, and the various levels of government.
Establishment; advice and assistance of Academies-Research Council and other agencies and organizations knowledgeable in building technology
(1) There is authorized to be established, for the purposes described in subsection (a)(3), an appropriate nonprofit, nongovernmental instrument to be known as the National Institute of Building Sciences (hereinafter referred to as the “Institute”), which shall not be an agency or establishment of the United States Government. The Institute shall be subject to the provisions of this section and, to the extent consistent with this section, to a charter of the Congress if such a charter is requested and issued or to the District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act if that is deemed preferable.
(2) The Academies-Research Council, along with other agencies and organizations which are knowledgeable in the field of building technology, shall advise and assist in (A) the establishment of the Institute; (B) the development of an organizational framework to encourage and provide for the maximum feasible participation of public and private scientific, technical, and financial organizations, institutions, and agencies now engaged in activities pertinent to the development, promulgation, and maintenance of performance criteria, standards, and other technical provisions for building codes and other regulations; and (C) the promulgation of appropriate organizational rules and procedures including those for the selection and operation of a technical staff, such rules and procedures to be based upon the primary object of promoting the public interest and insuring that the widest possible variety of interests and experience essential to the functions of the Institute are represented in the Institute’s operations. Recommendations of the Academies-Research Council shall be based upon consultations with and recommendations from various private organizations and institutions, labor, private industry, and governmental agencies entities operating in the field, and the Consultative Council as provided for under subsection (c)(8).
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as expressing the intent of the Congress that the Academies-Research Council itself be required to assume any function or operation vested in the Institute by or under this section.
Board of Directors; number; appointment; membership; terms of office; vacancies; appointment, etc., of Chairman and Vice Chairman; employees of United States; travel and subsistence expenses; appointment and compensation of president and other executive officers and employees; establishment, membership, and functions of Consultative Council
(1) The Institute shall have a Board of Directors (hereinafter referred to as the “Board”) consisting of not less than fifteen nor more than twenty-one members, appointed by the President of the United States by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Board shall be representative of the various segments of the building community, of the various regions of the country, and of the consumers who are or would be affected by actions taken in the exercise of the functions and responsibilities of the Institute, and shall include (A) representatives of the construction industry, including representatives of construction labor organizations, product manufacturers, and builders, housing management experts, and experts in building standards, codes, and fire safety, and (B) members representative of the public interest in such numbers as may be necessary to assure that a majority of the members of the Board represent the public interest and that there is adequate consideration by the Institute of consumer interests in the exercise of its functions and responsibilities. Those representing the public interest on the Board shall include architects, professional engineers, officials of Federal, State, and local agencies, and representatives of consumer organizations. Such members of the Board shall hold no financial interest or membership in, nor be employed by, or receive other compensation from, any company, association, or other group associated with the manufacture, distribution, installation, or maintenance of specialized building products, equipment, systems, subsystems, or other construction materials and techniques for which there are available substitutes.
(2) The members of the initial Board shall serve as incorporators and shall take whatever actions are necessary to establish the Institute as provided for under subsection (b)(1).
(3) The term of office of each member of the initial and succeeding Boards shall be three years; except that (A) any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of such term; and (B) the terms of office of members first taking office shall begin on the date of incorporation and shall expire, as designated at the time of their appointment, one-third at the end of one year, one-third at the end of two years, and one-third at the end of three years. No member shall be eligible to serve in excess of three consecutive terms of three years each. Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this subsection, a member whose term has expired may serve until his successor has qualified.
(4) Any vacancy in the initial and succeeding Boards shall not affect its power, but shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointments were made, or, after the first five years of operation, as provided for by the organizational rules and procedures of the Institute; except that, notwithstanding any such rules and procedures as may be adopted by the Institute, the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint, as representative of the public interest, two of the members of the Board of Directors selected each year for terms commencing in that year.
(5) The President shall designate one of the members appointed to the initial Board as Chairman; thereafter, the members of the initial and succeeding Boards shall annually elect one of their number as Chairman. The members of the Board shall also elect one or more of their Members as Vice Chairman. Terms of the Chairman and Vice Chairman shall be for one year and no individual shall serve as Chairman or Vice Chairman for more than two consecutive terms.
(6) The members of the initial or succeeding Boards shall not, by reason of such membership, be deemed to be employees of the United States Government. They shall, while attending meetings of the Board or while engaged in duties related to such meetings or in other activities of the Board pursuant to this section, be entitled to receive compensation at the rate of $100 per day including traveltime, and while away from their homes or regular places of business they may be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, equal to that authorized under section 5703 of title 5, for persons in the Government service employed intermittently.
(7) The Institute shall have a president and such other executive officers and employees as may be appointed by the Board at rates of compensation fixed by the Board. No such executive officer or employee may receive any salary or other compensation from any source other than the Institute during the period of his employment by the Institute.
(8) The Institute shall establish, with the advice and assistance of the Academies-Research Council and other agencies and organizations which are knowledgeable in the field of building technology, a Consultative Council, membership in which shall be available to representatives of all appropriate private trade, professional, and labor organizations, private and public standards, code, and testing bodies, public regulatory agencies, and consumer groups, so as to insure a direct line of communication between such groups and the Institute and a vehicle for representative hearings on matters before the Institute.
Financial restrictions and prohibitions
(1) The Institute shall have no power to issue any shares of stock, or to declare or pay any dividends.
(2) No part of the income or assets of the Institute shall inure to the benefit of any director, officer, employee, or other individual except as salary or reasonable compensation for services.
(3) The Institute shall not contribute to or otherwise support any political party or candidate for elective public office.
Exercise of functions and responsibilities
The Institute shall exercise its functions and responsibilities in four general areas, relating to building regulations, as follows:
(A) Development, promulgation, and maintenance of nationally recognized performance criteria, standards, and other technical provisions for maintenance of life, safety, health, and public welfare suitable for adoption by building regulating jurisdictions and agencies, including test methods and other evaluative techniques relating to building systems, subsystems, components, products, and materials with due regard for consumer problems.
(B) Evaluation and prequalification of existing and new building technology in accordance with subparagraph (A).
(C) Conduct of needed investigations in direct support of subparagraphs (A) and (B).
(D) Assembly, storage, and dissemination of technical data and other information directly related to subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C).
(2) The Institute in exercising its functions and responsibilities described in paragraph (1) shall assign and delegate, to the maximum extent possible, responsibility for conducting each of the needed activities described in paragraph (1) to one or more of the private organizations, institutions, agencies, and Federal and other governmental entities with a capacity to exercise or contribute to the exercise of such responsibility, monitor the performance achieved through assignment and delegation, and, when deemed necessary, reassign and delegate such responsibility.
(3) The Institute in exercising its functions and responsibilities under paragraphs (1) and (2) shall (A) give particular attention to the development of methods for encouraging all sectors of the economy to cooperate with the Institute and to accept and use its technical findings, and to accept and use the nationally recognized performance criteria, standards, and other technical provisions developed for use in Federal, State, and local building codes and other regulations which result from the program of the Institute; (B) seek to assure that its actions are coordinated with related requirements which are imposed in connection with community and environmental development generally; and (C) consult with the Department of Justice and other agencies of government to the extent necessary to insure that the national interest is protected and promoted in the exercise of its functions and responsibilities.
Contract and grant authorization; donations; fees; amounts received in addition to amounts appropriated
(1) The Institute is authorized to accept contracts and grants from Federal, State, and local governmental agencies and other entities, and grants and donations from private organizations, institutions, and individuals.
(2) The Institute may, in accordance with rates and schedules established with guidance as provided under subsection (b)(2), establish fees and other charges for services provided by the Institute or under its authorization.
(3) Amounts received by the Institute under this section shall be in addition to any amounts which may be appropriated to provide its initial operating capital under subsection (h).
Technical findings and performance criteria and standards; applicability and use by Federal departments, agencies, and establishments, and State and local governments; supporting grants and contracts
(1) Every department, agency, and establishment of the Federal Government, in carrying out any building or construction, or any building- or construction-related programs, which involves direct expenditures, and in developing technical requirements for any such building or construction, shall be encouraged to accept the technical findings of the Institute, or any nationally recognized performance criteria, standards, and other technical provisions for building regulations brought about by the Institute, which may be applicable.
(2) All projects and programs involving Federal assistance in the form of loans, grants, guarantees, insurance, or technical aid, or in any other form, shall be encouraged to accept, use, and comply with any of the technical findings of the Institute, or any nationally recognized performance criteria, standards, and other technical provisions for building codes and other regulations brought about by the Institute, which may be applicable to the purposes for which the assistance is to be used.
(3) Every department, agency, and establishment of the Federal Government having responsibility for building or construction, or for building- or construction-related programs, is authorized and encouraged to request authorization and appropriations for grants to the Institute for its general support, and is authorized to contract with and accept contracts from the Institute for specific services where deemed appropriate by the responsible Federal official involved.
(4) The Institute shall establish and carry on a specific and continuing program of cooperation with the States and their political subdivisions designed to encourage their acceptance of its technical findings and of nationally recognized performance criteria, standards, and other technical provisions for building regulations brought about by the Institute. Such program shall include (A) efforts to encourage any changes in existing State and local law to utilize or embody such findings and regulatory provisions; and (B) assistance to States in the development of inservice training programs for building officials, and in the establishment of fully staffed and qualified State technical agencies to advise local officials on questions of technical interpretation.
Advanced Building Technology Program
Establishment of Advanced Building Technology Council
There is established within the Institute, the Advanced Building Technology Council (hereafter referred to as the “Council”).
The Council shall carry out an Advanced Building Technology Program for the purposes of—
(A) identifying, selecting, and evaluating existing and new building technologies, including energy cost savings technologies, that conform to recognized performance criteria and meet applicable test standards for maintenance of life, safety, health, and public welfare when used in occupied buildings;
(B) to the extent necessary, developing criteria for the use of such technology;
(C) conducting economic analyses of proposed new technologies when produced and installed in buildings at volumes associated with comparable conventional technologies;
(D) in cooperation with the appropriate Federal agencies, advising building designers, installers, subcontractors, contractors and supervisory officials on the appropriate design and use of new building technology incorporated in federally owned or operated buildings;
(E) in cooperation with the appropriate Federal agencies, monitoring and evaluating the performance of new building technologies for at least 1 year after installation and building occupancy; and
(F) disseminating resulting data to affected parties through automated information management systems.
The Council shall be comprised of not less than 6 and not more than 11 members selected by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from among representatives of the various segments of the nationwide building community that have extensive experience in building industries, including, but not limited to—
(A) product manufacturers;
(B) experts in the fields of health, fire hazards, and safety; and
(C) independent representatives of the public interest such as architects, professional engineers, and representatives of consumer organizations,
except that serving members of the National Institute of Building Sciences Advisory Council shall not be eligible to serve simultaneously on the Council.
Any agency of the Federal Government involved in any building or construction may participate in the Advanced Building Technology Program with the Council to develop and implement programs to incorporate one or more of the recommended new technologies in a new or existing building within the agency.
Upon agreement between a participating Federal agency and the Council, with respect to the selection of the appropriate technology and the schedule of necessary work, the Council shall—
provide the Federal agency with a 5-year guarantee from the technology manufacturer that—(I) all necessary corrections to the technology will be made in the design, installation, and maintenance of the technology;(II) all malfunctions will be repaired without delay; and(III) the technology manufacturer will be responsible for removal of the technology in the event of its failure to perform as required;
(ii) provide the Federal agency and its officials responsible for constructing or renovating buildings utilizing the new technology, as well as the designers, installers, subcontractors, and contractors responsible for the design, construction, or renovation of the buildings utilizing such technology with the technical information necessary to ensure its most appropriate use,
(iii) in cooperation with the Federal agency, monitor and evaluate the performance of the new technology, and
(iv) prepare reports to be made available to public agencies at all levels of government, the industry, and the public on the performance of the new technology.
Report to the Institute
The Council shall submit to the Institute annually a description of its activities under the Advanced Building Technology Program for inclusion in the Institute’s annual report to the Congress under subsection (j).
Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to the Institute not to exceed $5,000,000 for the fiscal year 1975, and $5,000,000 for the fiscal year 1976, and $5,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 1977 and 1978, and any amounts not appropriated in fiscal years 1977 and 1978 may be appropriated in any fiscal year through 1984 (with not more than $500,000 to be appropriated for each of the fiscal years 1982, 1983, and 1984 and with each appropriation to be available until expended), to provide the Institute with initial capital adequate for the exercise of its functions and responsibilities during such years; and thereafter the Institute shall be financially self-sustaining through the means described in subsection (f). In addition to the amounts authorized to be appropriated under the first sentence of this section, there are authorized to be appropriated to the Institute to carry out the provisions of this section not to exceed $512,000 for fiscal year 1991 and $534,000 for fiscal year 1992. Any amount appropriated under the preceding sentence shall be made available for expenditure or obligation by the Institute only to the extent of an equal amount received by the Institute after November 30, 1983, from persons or entities other than the Federal Government.
Annual report to President for transmittal to Congress; contents
The Institute shall submit an annual report for the preceding fiscal year to the President for transmittal to the Congress within sixty days of its receipt. The report shall include a comprehensive and detailed report of the Institute’s operations, activities, financial condition, and accomplishments under this section and may include such recommendations as the Institute deems appropriate.
(Pub. L. 93–383, title VIII, § 809, Aug. 22, 1974, 88 Stat. 729; Pub. L. 94–375, § 24, Aug. 3, 1976, 90 Stat. 1078; Pub. L. 95–557, title III, § 319, Oct. 31, 1978, 92 Stat. 2101; Pub. L. 97–35, title III, § 339E, Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 417; Pub. L. 98–181, title I [title IV, § 462], Nov. 30, 1983, 97 Stat. 1232; Pub. L. 100–242, title V, § 570(f), Feb. 5, 1988, 101 Stat. 1950; Pub. L. 101–625, title IX, § 952(a), Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 4418; Pub. L. 102–550, title IX, § 904(a), Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 3868.)