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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of November 20, 2014

Title 15Subtitle BChapter IISubchapter GPart 270 → Subpart B


Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade
PART 270—NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION SAFETY TEAMS


Subpart B—Establishment and Deployment of Teams


Contents
§270.100   General.
§270.101   Preliminary reconnaissance.
§270.102   Conditions for establishment and deployment of a Team.
§270.103   Publication in the Federal Register.
§270.104   Size and composition of a Team.
§270.105   Duties of a Team.
§270.106   Conflicts of interest related to service on a Team.

Source: 68 FR 66704, Nov. 28, 2003, unless otherwise noted.

§270.100   General.

(a) Based on prior NIST experience, NIST expects that the Director will establish and deploy a Team to conduct an investigation at a frequency of approximately once per year or less.

(b) For purposes of this part, a building failure may involve one or more of the following: structural system, fire protection (active or passive) system, air-handling system, and building control system. Teams established under the Act and this part will investigate these technical causes of building failures and will also investigate the technical aspects of evacuation and emergency response procedures, including multiple-occupant behavior or evacuation (egress or access) system, emergency response system, and emergency communication system.

(c) For purposes of this part, the number of fatalities considered to be “substantial” will depend on the nature of the event, its impact, its unusual or unforeseen character, historical norms, and other pertinent factors.

[68 FR 66704, Nov. 28, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 33571, June 16, 2004]

§270.101   Preliminary reconnaissance.

(a) To the extent the Director deems it appropriate, the Director may conduct a preliminary reconnaissance at the site of a building failure. The Director may establish and deploy a Team to conduct the preliminary reconnaissance, as described in §270.102 of this subpart, or may have information gathered at the site of a building failure without establishing a Team.

(b) If the Director establishes and deploys a Team to conduct the preliminary reconnaissance, the Team shall perform all duties pursuant to section 2(b)(2) of the Act, and may perform all activities that Teams are authorized to perform under the Act and these procedures, including gathering and preserving evidence. At the completion of the preliminary reconnaissance, the Team will report its findings to the Director in a timely manner. The Director may either determine that the Team should conduct further investigation, or may direct the Team to prepare its public report immediately.

(c) If the preliminary reconnaissance is conducted without the establishment of a Team, the leader of the initial assessment will report his/her findings to the Director in a timely manner. The Director will decide whether to establish a Team and conduct an investigation using the criteria established in §270.102 of this subpart.

§270.102   Conditions for establishment and deployment of a Team.

(a) The Director may establish a Team for deployment after an event that caused the failure of a building or buildings that resulted in substantial loss of life or posed significant potential for substantial loss of life. The Director will determine the following prior to deploying a Team:

(1) The event was any of the following:

(i) A major failure of one or more buildings or types of buildings due to an extreme natural event (earthquake, hurricane, tornado, flood, etc.);

(ii) A fire that resulted in a building failure of the building of origin and/or spread beyond the building of origin.

(iii) A major building failure at significantly less than its design basis, during construction, or while in active use; or

(iv) An act of terrorism or other event resulting in a Presidential declaration of disaster and activation of the National Response Plan; and

(2) A fact-finding investigation of the building performance and emergency response and evacuation procedures will likely result in significant and new knowledge or building code revision recommendations needed to reduce or mitigate public risk and economic losses from future building failures.

(b) In making the determinations pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, the Director will consider the following:

(1) Whether sufficient financial and personnel resources are available to conduct an investigation; and

(2) Whether an investigation of the building failure warrants the advanced capabilities and experiences of a Team; and

(3) If the technical cause of the failure is readily apparent, whether an investigation is likely to result in relevant knowledge other than reaffirmation of the technical cause; and

(4) Whether deployment of a Team will substantially duplicate local or state resources equal in investigatory and analytical capability and quality to a Team; and

(5) Recommendations resulting from a preliminary reconnaissance of the site of the building failure.

(c) To the maximum extent practicable, the Director will establish and deploy a Team within 48 hours after such an event.

[68 FR 66704, Nov. 28, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 33571, June 16, 2004]

§270.103   Publication in the Federal Register.

The Director will promptly publish in the Federal Register notice of the establishment of each Team.

§270.104   Size and composition of a Team.

(a) Size of a Team. The size of a Team will depend upon the likely scope and complexity of the investigation. A Team may consist of five or less members if the investigation is narrowly focused, or a Team may consist of twenty or more members divided into groups if the breadth of the investigation spans a number of technical issues. In addition, Teams may be supported by others at NIST, in other federal agencies, and in the private sector, who may conduct supporting experiments, analysis, interviews witnesses, and/or examine the response of first responders, occupants, etc.

(b) Composition of a Team. (1) A Team will be composed of individuals selected by the Director and led by a Lead Investigator designated by the Director.

(2) The Lead Investigator will be a NIST employee, selected based on his/her technical qualifications, ability to mobilize and lead a multi-disciplinary investigative team, and ability to deal with sensitive issues and the media.

(3) Team members will include at least one employee of NIST and will include experts who are not employees of NIST, who may include private sector experts, university experts, representatives of professional organizations with appropriate expertise, and appropriate Federal, State, or local officials.

(4) Team members who are not Federal employees will be Federal Government contractors.

(5) Teams may include members who are experts in one or more of the following disciplines: civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, fire, forensic, safety, architectural, and materials engineering, and specialists in emergency response, human behavior, and evacuation.

(c) Duration of a Team. A Team's term will end 3 months after the Team's final public report is published, but the term may be extended or terminated earlier by the Director.

[68 FR 66704, Nov. 28, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 33571, June 16, 2004]

§270.105   Duties of a Team.

(a) A Team's Lead Investigator will organize, conduct, and control all technical aspects of the investigation, up to and including the completion of the final investigation public report and any subsequent actions that may be required. The Lead Investigator has the responsibility and authority to supervise and coordinate all resources and activities of NIST personnel involved in the investigation. The Lead Investigator may be the Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR) on any contract for service on the Team or in support of the Team; while the COTR remains the technical representative of the Contracting Officer for purposes of contract administration, the Lead Investigator will oversee all NIST personnel acting as COTRs for contracts for service on the Team or in support of the Team. The Lead Investigator's duties will terminate upon termination of the Team. The Lead Investigator will keep the Director and the NCST Advisory Committee informed about the status of investigations.

(b) A Team will:

(1) Establish the likely technical cause or causes of the building failure;

(2) Evaluate the technical aspects of evacuation and emergency response procedures;

(3) Recommend, as necessary, specific improvements to building standards, codes, and practices based on the findings made pursuant to paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section;

(4) Recommend any research and other appropriate actions needed to improve the structural safety of buildings, and improve evacuation and emergency response procedures, based on the findings of the investigation; and

(5) Not later than 90 days after completing an investigation, issue a public report in accordance with §270.205 of this subpart.

(c) In performing these duties, a Team will:

(1) Not interfere unnecessarily with services provided by the owner or operator of the buildings, building components, materials, artifacts, property, records, or facility;

(2) Preserve evidence related to the building failure consistent with the ongoing needs of the investigation;

(3) Preserve evidence related to a criminal act that may have caused the building failure;

(4) Not impede and coordinate its investigation with any search and rescue efforts being undertaken at the site of the building failure;

(5) Coordinate its investigation with qualified researchers who are conducting engineering or scientific research (including social science) relating to the building failure;

(6) Cooperate with State and local authorities carrying out any activities related to a Team's investigation;

(d) In performing these duties, in a manner consistent with the procedures set forth in this part, a Team may:

(1) Enter property where a building failure being investigated has occurred and take necessary, appropriate, and reasonable action to carry out the duties described in paragraph (b) of this section;

(2) Inspect any record, process, or facility related to the investigation during reasonable hours;

(3) Inspect and test any building components, materials, and artifacts related to the building failure; and

(4) Move records, components, materials, and artifacts related to the building failure.

§270.106   Conflicts of interest related to service on a Team.

(a) Team members who are not Federal employees will be Federal Government contractors.

(b) Contracts between NIST and Team members will include appropriate provisions to ensure that potential conflicts of interest that arise prior to award or during the contract are identified and resolved.



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