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OCR for page 17
An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1993 2 Comments on Selected Initiatives Individually and collectively, NIST laboratories propose program initiatives each year as a part of NIST's annual planning cycle. The following initiatives were reviewed by the panels (comments, if any, are given in Part II in the panel reports): green buildings, mathematics-based manufacturing, computer-integrated construction, environmental impact of building materials, alternative refrigerants for heat pumps and air conditioning, mercury-free fluorescent lighting, concurrent design, protocols for the building communication and control systems, and sensors. At its 1993 annual meeting, the Board assessed two of the broad initiatives--green buildings and mathematics-based manufacturing. GREEN BUILDINGS INITIATIVE “Green” buildings are designed to be energy efficient; are constructed of materials that have a small environmental impact when being manufactured, used in construction, and disposed of or recycled; and provide for adequate control of the internal environmental (e.g., climate, lighting, and air circulation) with minimal energy use and minimal pollution. NIST's fiscal year 1993 appropriations from Congress included $800,000 for collaborating with external organizations in developing green buildings technology. The state of Minnesota has pioneered in providing private builders with design assurance through a state-supported consulting team in the areas of low-energy use and improved recyclability. Under congressional authorization, NIST's Building and Fire Research Laboratory plans to guide the design of four demonstration buildings, one of which will be constructed on the grounds of NIST's Gaithersburg, Maryland, facility; support the American Society for Testing and Materials in developing a green buildings design guide; and collaborate with a recently formed industrial association, the U.S. Green Buildings Council. Findings and Conclusions Congressional appropriations are well placed. BFRL has the mix of competencies, facilities, relationships with appropriate trade associations and industrial firms, and participation in standards- and code-making bodies required to lead in the development of green buildings technologies for nationwide construction and rehabilitation of buildings. BFRL leadership will involve the development of (1) a national protocol for rating building “greenness”; (2) analytic methodology and software for selecting building designs, energy
OCR for page 18
An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1993 options, materials, and interior air conditioning and lighting systems based on their costs and performance; (3) databases giving information on building materials properties, building design performance, and equipment requirements; and (4) generic technologies for improving the greenness of buildings. Recommendations The Board recommends that BFRL Lead a NIST-wide green buildings initiative that incorporates expertise from across NIST's other laboratories. BFRL should guide the formation of an interlaboratory team in which the Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory contributes to characterizing properties of special materials, the Computing and Applied Mathematics Laboratory shares in developing models and software for predicting economic and design performance, and the Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory provides input for pollution evaluation. Alert industrial partners of the opportunities to participate in NIST's green buildings technology research and development. MATHEMATICS-BASED MANUFACTURING Findings and Conclusions The increasing number of research results attesting to the potential for the use of computer-generated space (virtual reality) to revolutionize design and manufacturing (John A. Adam, “Virtual Reality Is for Real, ” IEEE Spectrum, October 1993, pp. 22-29) underscores the Board's emphasis in its fiscal year 1992 assessment (p. 3) on the utility of mathematics-based manufacturing using computer simulation and modeling. NIST has much to offer in support of the emerging mathematics-based modeling and simulation technology. NIST has the expertise and mission to develop and provide infrastructure services such as standards, databases, sensors, metrology, and generic technology. NIST's potential for contributing to the generation and dissemination of computer-generated-space technology is similar to NIST's proven initial potential for developing and disseminating automation technology. The construction industry is a prime candidate for introducing mathematics-based modeling and simulation in the design and construction of buildings and structures.
OCR for page 19
An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1993 Recommendation NIST's team for generating a proposal for a mathematics-based manufacturing initiative should ascertain (1) whether NIST has a qualified professional who is interested in becoming an in-house champion for mathematics-based manufacturing, (2) whether NIST would establish a competence building project in mathematics-based manufacturing, (3) the pros and cons of using design and construction of buildings and structures, and (4) the feasibility and desirability of alerting entrepreneurs to possible support from NIST's Advanced Technology Program in developing precommercial mathematics-based manufacturing technologies.
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