WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Consultative Council has issued its 2020 Moving Forward Report, making new recommendations targeted at achieving healthier buildings.
The report examines how buildings can protect and promote public health, providing recommendations for President Joe Biden and policymakers on three components of healthy buildings: indoor environmental quality, the importance of design in promoting health, and promoting knowledge transfer between building owners and public health officials, stated a July 13 release.
“Ensuring that the spaces where we live and work are healthy and safe for continued occupancy is critical to overcoming the pandemic,” said Lakisha Woods, president and CEO of NIBS, in a statement. “This is a fundamental pillar of public health and community resilience. The concept of healthy buildings goes well beyond continual sanitation of a building’s indoor environment to eliminate pathogens.”
Among the recommendations in the report:
- The Biden administration, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other relevant federal agencies should increase investment into research on the impacts of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and resilience on health and productivity. Of particular importance is research into how retrofits to the nation’s existing building stock can be used to improve IEQ.
- Federal agencies, including DOE, NIST, EPA, General Services Administration and United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), should support research aimed at identifying improvements to building codes and other criteria that can provide cost-effective approaches to enhanced building performance.
- Congress, U.S. Department of Transportation, HUD, DOE, Federal Emergency Management Agency and EPA, with input from the community-based organizations, advocates and the private sector, should identify and enact policies that encourage building owners and operators to invest in critical activities that promote healthy IEQ.