Friday, March 26, 2010
98 Architects joined together to visit the Illinois legislators on March 24th 2010 on behalf of the AIA and the industry advocating for small businesses, energy tax credits, rebuilding communities and freeing up construction loan resources.
Monday, February 15, 2010
We need to capitalize on our success.
Or should I say, “Capitol-ize?” Let me personally invite you to attend AIA Illinois’s 6th Annual Prairie Grassroots Advocacy Day, in Springfield, on March 24, 2010.
We need your help. Even more than usual, every sector is pressuring the Legislature to advance its concerns. With one recent study showing approximately 30% of architects currently unemployed or forced to take temporary, lower paying jobs outside the profession, our needs are among the most urgent. We need the State to focus on moving Federal dollars into building projects ASAP and to clear away the logjams that are keeping the stimulus funds for capital projects from making it to our clients.
Two weeks ago, AIA leaders from across the country met in Washington, DC, to directly lobby our Federal representatives in support of issues of great importance to architects, particularly in this economy.
Before those meetings, however, we met for the annual State Government Network session. I had the great privilege to hear from our colleagues from across the US. Although we were meeting in DC, their most urgent concerns related to the need for their State legislators back home to act, and quickly.
This is where you come in.
Every year for the past five years a couple of busloads’ worth of architects have taken a day from their individual professional efforts to stand up for the rest of us, in person, in Springfield. Last year, we arrived just in time to help convince the Legislature to re-authorize our Licensing Act, ahead of its automatic “sunset” this year. The year before, we were able to help turn back the reinstatement of the Structural Work Act that returned from the grave just a few days before we arrived. The challenges this year, however, and the need for you to speak directly with your elected representatives, are even more urgent.
Besides – it’s great fun. You meet other, terrific professionals from across Illinois and you get to learn firsthand what it’s like to lobby for a bill, to help make better, fairer laws (Did you know there really is an actual lobby in the Capitol where you stand and do it?).
So register today! Fill out the enclosed form and fax it to 217-522-5370 or go to the Events Section at www.aiail.org. Working together, we can make a difference. I look forward to seeing each of you as citizen architects in Springfield on March 24th. Remember: decisions are made by those who show up.
Eric Davis, AIA
2010 AIA Illinois Advocacy Chair
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
The Blog is meant to allow all architects across the entire state access and opportunity to contribute in the comprehensive policy development process. We absolutely seek the contributions of the best, most-informed and most-passionate architects, allies and subject matter experts for the relevant issues that need to be addressed. This includes you!
It is intended to capture your best thoughts and opinions whenever they might come to you. With the understanding that everyone has peaks and valleys in workloads and may not be available at any given time or any regular interval for group discussions, this Blog provides available access 24 hrs/365 days for your convenience.
The Blog provides a place for posting big ideas as well as small commentary or critiques. All are important and welcome. Feel free to be creative but please be sincere, respectful and thoughtful.
Features of the Blog:
NEW POLICY TOPICS UNDER DEVELOPMENT (right side margin)
-This a list of the Priority Issues for 2007 policy development
EXISTING POLICY TOPICS (right side margin)
-This is a list of topics addressed in opening policy statements as developed and adopted in 2006. You may scroll down the left side postings to read these entire statements and make comments.
BLOG CONTENTS/INDEX (right side margin)
-This is an index of postings on this Blog. You may select the white arrows to see the postings for each month. You may then select any posting to read or comment on it.
FEATURED LINK LIST (right side margin)
-Links to relevant websites are included. Just select the link to visit the website.
PHOTOS (right side margin)
-Photos of Illinois architects in advocacy action are featured.
FEATURED ANNOUNCEMENTS, NEWS or INSTRUCTIONS (left side postings)
-Posting of previously adopted materials
-Flowchart of the Policy Initiative
-Posting of “work in progress” and proposals for input and critique
-Posting of a Sample/Mock Policy Format
-A variety of timely writings, photos and graphics
While anyone may comment on these posts only the website author may add or delete any posts. Any proposed new postings must be initially submitted as a comment or emailed to the website author for inclusion as a feature post.
1. Browse the site. Scroll down from top to bottom and see briefly what is posted. Browse the flowchart graphic. Select it to zoom in. Print it if you need to. This chart will help you see how the relevant issues can be addressed through the policy development process. Get a grasp of the potential impact that comprehensive policies, best practices and supportive information produced by architects can ultimately have on the local, state and national levels.
2. Take a look at the current Priority Topics for development during 2007 in the right-hand margin. We look to have some positions on these issues stated for the record. We will continue to study all and refine our policy on all of the relevant issues listed but it is especially important to initiate positions on the priority list as soon as possible.
3. Browse the Existing Policy Topics List. Understand that AIA Illinois has adopted these statements after 2006 development. Existing policies are subject to revision as needed at the close of each year. Additional input, research and posted comments during the year can become the basis for such revisions.
4. Determine how you can contribute. Here are several ways:
-Spread the word about the initiative and the Blog.
-Identify and submit a list of the best contributors you can think of to address these issues.
-Collect, study, and submit information that is important or supportive to a position architects should have on an issue.
-research legislation, local ordinances, and best practices impacting key issues.
-Post comments, opinions and critiques on this Blog concerning the issues. You will only need to establish a free Google password to get registered first or You may simply send your information or feedback by email to: email@example.com
-Join a “Work Group” focused on particular issues. (Scroll below for a post that further explains the work groups.
-Serve as a writer/editor of the position statements for a work group or for a particular issue. (Scroll below for posted example of a work group “deliverable” ). It gives a suggested model format to follow).
-Advocate the principles, goals and Call to Action of AIA Illinois policies and positions to empowered or influential individuals and entities.
5. Make it happen, starting today!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Adopted January 2009
Just over 130 years ago in 1878, formal academic training became a requirement to the traditional apprenticeship system for architects in the United States. Prior to the nineteenth century, architects had studios or ateliers and education varied from formal settings such as that at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in France to the informal draftsmen/apprenticeship system that would occur in the architect’s office or studio. Also of note, primarily in England during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, were gentlemen architects, who were architects with private means.
Today the career of an American architect occurs in three distinctive phases, although overlap occurs in the transition between the phases as the individual develops from student to practicing professional. The phases are: Education, Internship, (which includes Examination and Licensure), and Practice (which includes Mentorship and Continuing Education).
Compared to other countries like England, France and Germany, in the United States there is a gap between professional and the academic or educational requirements.(1) In the United States, often the academics are criticized by those in practice for not preparing the students for the “real world.” The reason for this criticism is complicated, but at its root is the fact that the professional associations in the United States as compared to those in Europe are not as well integrated into the architectural education process. In Europe the professional associations simply have more say in how architects are trained at the university level. (England is an extreme example of this where the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) handles both licensure and the credentialing of schools.)
The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture in the United States. NAAB is comprised of the following collateral organizations, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), American Institute of Architects (AIA), American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). NAAB sets the criteria for the schools and is thus the current vehicle for improvement and change.
The five collateral organizations work together in a relationship that is most easily described as a system of checks and balances. Each organization oversees its particular interest, while containing members and liaison representatives of other organizations on its Board of Directors. While AIA Illinois realizes the need to oversee the credentials of licensure and academic accreditation, we believe these duties should be held by separate governing entities. In this way, the collaterals must work together to agree upon the greatest outcomes to the entire education, experience, and examination processes.
AIA Illinois believes education and practice should be a seamless continuum for assuring that the future of our profession is in capable hands.
The AIA supports the interdependence of practice and education as elements of the profession that, when integrated, enable students, educators, and practitioners to obtain and maintain the knowledge and skills needed to enter and fully participate in the profession, and to achieve design excellence in service to society.
Further the profession should be regulated. The privileges and responsibilities of practice should be extended only to those architects who demonstrate through education, experience, and examination that they are ethically, intellectually and technically prepared.
AIA Illinois supports a professional degree from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) as the most appropriate minimum threshold for educational training. Alternative educational pathways in lieu of a NAAB accredited degree should be considered to fulfill educational prerequisites to licensure on an individual candidate basis. (2)
Phase 1: Education
AIA Illinois applauds Universities and Institutions that are working toward curricula that seek to emphasize and complement the many facets of the dynamic world of architectural practice. (3)
AIA Illinois supports programs that formally include curricula for the allied professionals required by the ever increasingly complex field of architecture.
Sustainable Design and Practices:
In keeping with AIA Illinois’ mission to “advocate a livable built environment by advancing the profession of architecture in Illinois” we support Universities and Institutions that are integrating sustainability into their curricula.
AIA Illinois encourages Universities and Institutions to be clear when recruiting students, in regards to their own accreditation, explaining the path towards licensure and how their program fits in that path.
Phase 2; Internship (Encompassing Intern Development Program, Examination and Licensure)
Intern Development Program
AIA Illinois supports a comprehensive internship program with measurable qualitative training criteria. The Intern Development Program (IDP) should provide interns with the diverse training and experience in architecture essential to the preparation for licensure. (4)
AIA Illinois supports a system that is reasonable and expeditious for documenting the intern experience.
AIA Illinois supports initiatives that will encourage architecture professional degree graduates to complete the IDP process and sit for the examination without delay.
Internship Compensation AIA Illinois supports the concept that firms should properly compensate all employees (including students) in compliance with federal wage laws.(5)
Architect Registration Examination (ARE)
AIA Illinois maintains that passing of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) is the only acceptable threshold for fulfillment of the examination requirement for licensure. The ARE should test candidates for public protection competencies gained through a combination of professional degree education and practical experience, once the candidates meet the licensing requirements of the local jurisdiction. The AIA, through its members and chapters, should encourage emerging professionals to complete the examination.
Timing of Exam
AIA Illinois supports regulations allowing architectural graduates with professional degrees to sit for the ARE upon graduation from an accredited program and currently enrolled in the Internship Development Program.
The AIA maintains that passing of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) is the only acceptable threshold for fulfillment of the examination requirement for licensure. The ARE should test for public protection competencies gained through a combination of professional degree education and practical experience, of candidates once they meet the licensing requirements of the local jurisdiction. The AIA, through its members, should encourage emerging professionals to complete the examination. The profession and society will be best served by a growing number of licensed architects. (2)
The AIA IL supports protecting the public by reserving the use of the term “architect” and its derivative forms to those individuals licensed as architects in accordance with the Architectural Practice Act of Illinois. In addition, the AIA supports the term “architectural intern” for students and graduates of NAAB-accredited degree programs.
Phase 3: Practice
Mentoring by the Licensed Professional
AIA Illinois encourages its members to recognize and nurture emerging professionals as they advance through all stages of their professional experience, beginning with professional education and progressing through internship and licensure.
AIA Illinois supports Firms that formalize the mentorship program within their offices.
Mandatory Continuing Education
AIA IL endorses AIA Nationals position that maintains that each jurisdiction should mandate a minimum amount of continuing education for architectural licensure renewal. The American Institute of Architects further advocates that any jurisdiction considering continuing education for re-licensure accept The American Institute of Architects continuing education requirement for membership and record keeping system as a means of fulfilling the jurisdiction’s requirement. (2) The Illinois Department of Professional Regulations conforms to this policy.
1. Have a diverse group composed of people with passion and potential pursue the profession of architecture.
2. Provide clear and reliable process for the development of talented architects who at the end of the process are qualified to impact the built environment in a positive way.
3. Education, internship and practice be integrated, so as to produce a steady resource of well trained architects.
A. Have educational institutions offer a balance of quality educational programs that provide the appropriate role in the overall development of future design professionals and community shapers.
B. Improve the internship documentation process, so that it produces well rounded examination candidates and is not burdened in bureaucracy.
4. Have individuals, members and firms make on-going contributions to the development of quality architectural professionals through mentoring others and continuing their own education efforts.
Calls to Action: (In no order of preference)
1. Call to Architects/AIA Membership:
-Members of the Profession to consistently address a diverse group of youths, providing exposure, advocacy of architecture, design and inspiration for those interested in it.
-Professionals to create a culture of respect and nurturing for students and interns in professional offices.
-Professionals, when proximity allows to participate in academic programs, teach or critique
-Individual professionals to provide mentorship to architectural interns, a key factor in their development.
-Students and interns to approach the pursuit of licensure with diligence and perseverance.
2. Call to Legislature/Regulating Authorities:
-The Department of Professional Regulations and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to advance the measures allowing degree holders with National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB) applications to sit for the Architectural Registration Examination
-National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB) to provide a system for efficiently and reliably documenting the intern experience.
3. Call to Academia / Allies / Collaterals
-Educational Institutions to provide clarity of their architectural program and its role in the professional quest.
-Colleges and universities within the state to include the topic of integrated practice as part of their curriculum.
-Promote diversity within schools to foster a foundation for greater diversity in the profession
-Integrate sustainable practices into the architecture curricula
1. A History of Architectural Education in the West
2. Language directly from National AIA Policy statement
3 Programs that “close the gap”:
University of Cincinnati: http://www.uc.edu/propractice/
University of Illinois – Chicago (Circle)
4 NAAB does not require the internship
5. Background: From AIAS - It had been considered, in the past, appropriate to "hire" students or recent architecture graduates to work for an architecture firm for little or no compensation until they had obtained a sufficient amount of experience. This practice ignores and belittles the contribution that each participant adds to an architecture project. Each team member deserves to be paid or given academic credit for all work performed at a firm or office. The AIAS denounces those firms that do not properly compensate their employees. The AIAS supports the efforts of interns who refuse to work for a firm that knowingly does not compensate interns in full compliance with the law. Further, AIAS will not invite partners of such firms to speak at national or chapter AIAS events nor participate in competition juries. History: Adopted 7/93, Amended 7/04
1. History of Architectural Education:
*A History of Architectural Education in the West
Informational Note: (Illinois was the first state to require licensure in 1897.)
2. Collateral Organization Websites:
National Architectural Accrediting Board http://www.naab.org/
3. Other AIA Position Statements on Education:
National AIA Positions on Education: http://www.aia.org/SiteObjects/files/Public_Policy_Directory_revised_1205.pdf
Washington State AIA: Position on Architectural Education: http://www.aiawa.org/ps/ps_arched.html
4. Internship Topics:
-6 Month Rule” http://www.aia.org/nac_n_080807_6monthrule
-ARE+IDP Timing http://blog.aia.org/nac/2007/07/what_will_the_idp_look_like_fo.html
AIA Position on ARE Timing: https://detmail.hedev.com/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.aia.org/SiteObjects/files/ARE%2520Timing%2520Issue%2520Brief%25202007.pdf
Work Group Members/Contributors:
Mike Rogers, AIA, Frank Heitzman, FAIA, Robert Selby, FAIA, Susan King, AIA, Chris Cochran, AIAS, Ryan Murphy, AIAS, Norman Loch, AIA, Meggan Lux, AIA, Michael Newman, AIA, William Worn, AIA, Gaines Hall, AIA, Ameera Ashraf O’Neil
Friday, February 1, 2008
Scheduled Renewal: January 2009
Attainable Housing Options
AIA Illinois Position Statements
Housing is the provision of collective shelter from elements, a place where security is created, and families and broader communities form from a sense of stability. Architecture’s most primitive function is the provision of shelter. A variety of attainable housing opportunities is vital to healthy, livable communities.According to Housing Action Illinois, “nearly 1.66 million renters and homeowners in Illinois, or 35% of all households, are paying more than 30% of their income on housing. This year, Illinois is the most expensive state in the Midwest and the seventeenth most expensive state in the nation for renters with a Housing Wage of $15.95. The National Housing Wage* is $16.31. Lack of attainable housing is the primary cause of homelessness. Homelessness leads to disruptions in family life, education, and employment.” The Chicago Rehab Network also cites that “One out of every five renters in Illinois spends more than 50% of their income on rent.”Homelessness is counter-productive to the creation of healthy, livable communities. AIA Illinois believes that decent housing is a basic human right, but as evidence above indicates, a serious housing crisis is being experienced in Illinois today.
Architect’s are key stakeholders and are committed to correcting this crisis because housing is vital to all sustainable communities.
AIA Illinois supports new incentives and funding for the construction of attainable and workforce housing and related infrastructure, which makes attainable housing more viable financially. (Refer to 2007 Debut Policy #3: Sustainable Design: Issues 6, 7 & 8 Efficient Use of Infrastructure, Transportation Choice and Sense of Place respectively.)
Architects are uniquely trained to advocate for innovation in planning, design and construction techniques that seek to reduce construction costs while providing a sense of community and maintaining standards for life safety.Architects also believe that the definition of “attainable” must consider a building’s operational viability and not be limited to its initial development cost. We recognize that utility costs represent a large portion of housing expenses. Therefore AIA Illinois supports restructuring funding mechanisms for attainable housing so that energy efficiency and durability are recognized in terms of the functional operation of the building. This may mean that an initial cost is slightly higher to provide for a longer lasting material or more efficient equipment which yields improved operating costs.AIA Illinois recognizes the key role of supportive services in the fight to end homelessness for individuals and families with special needs and supports increased budgeting in this area as dollars spent efficiently.Lastly AIA Illinois recognizes the non-traditional structures of families today, and supports the updating of codes to recognize these needs. The continuum of aging populations is one such example and kinship families is yet another.
Goals: (In no particular order of importance)1. Support legislation to restructure construction funding so that developers have an incentive to utilize green and energy efficient technologies to lower building operating costs.
2. Support Legislation or initiatives that require “More Options”.- A Continuum of requirements promoting rental and “for sale” for developments that contributes to healthy communities.-- Recognition of the complete range of family types., ie: Special Needs, Kinship Families and also Workforce Housing.-Support legislation and/or budgets that promote Special Needs Services Funding because there is evidence that spending this money lowers societal costs everywhere else. (ie social services)
3. Support inclusionary zoning and attainable housing set asides.
4. Encourage adoption of building codes that improve energy efficiency and reduce operational or life-cycle costs.
5. Increase Public awareness of the housing crisis, and the basics of what “attainable” housing means today and who benefits.
6. Seek innovative design strategies and solutions with limited budgets. Explore and support cutting–edge project examples including the planning of livable communities, innovative building design, healthy and durable materials, and attainable construction techniques.
Calls to Action:1. AIA Illinois urges State and Local agencies administering design and construction funding for attainable housing to include incentives for:- integrated design process** which results in efficient life cycle considerations and increased building energy efficiencies.
2. AIA Illinois urges State and Local agencies, legislators, architects and planners to collaboratively develop legislation that provides guidelines requiring housing options within multi-family developments.
3. AIA Illinois urges State and Local regulatory bodies to institute inclusionary zoning and attainable housing set asides (20- 25%).
4. AIA Illinois urges State and Local regulatory bodies to adopt building codes that improve energy efficiency and lower operational or life cycle costs.
5. AIA Illinois insists that architects and local AIA Chapters endeavor to increase public and professional awareness of the housing crisis and what “attainable” housing is and can be and the wide variety of people that it can benefit.
6. AIA Illinois encourages Architects, Owners, Developers and Funding Agencies to seek out innovative design strategies and solutions with limited budgets.
* "Housing Wage": Housing wage is defined by the National Low Income Housing Coalition as the amount of money a household must earn in order to afford a rental unit at a range of sizes (0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 bedrooms) at the area’s Fair Market Rent (FMR), based on the generally accepted affordability standard of paying no more than 30% of income for housing costs. From these calculations the hourly wage a worker must earn to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom home is derived
** Integrated Design Process – This refers to the structured process in which a “team works as a collective to understand and develop all aspects of a design, which can then emerge organically, with the full benefit of each experts input. So while each expert plays an essential role, in effective integrated design exercises the best ideas often emerge when participants cross the usual boundaries. An engaged focus group thinking together can create solutions that no individual could produce alone.” (by Nadav Malin, “A Group Effort,” GreenSource Magazine, November 2006.)
AIA-IL Housing Policy Workgroup: Susan King AIA, Steve Montgomery AIA, Jeff Bone AIA, Dick Hastings AIA, Dick Morse AIA, MeMarti Wiles, Amy Wagner, and Peter Levavi.
Housing Action Illinois: http://www.housingactionil.org/
“Out of Reach 2006”: This report provides the Housing Wage and other data for every state, metropolitan area and county in the country. http://www.nlihc.org/oor/oor2006/?CFID=17042410&CFTOKEN=27696643
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless http://www.chicagohomeless.org/
The Chicago Rehab Netork http://www.chicagorehab.org/
Metropolitan Planning Council: Metropolitan Planning Council Media Guide to the 95th General Assembly: Affordable & Workforce Housing, January 24, 2007 http://www.metroplanning.org/resource.asp?objectID=3664&categoryID=2
Supportive Housing Providers Association – January ’07 Report: http://www.supportivehousingproviders.org/SupportiveHousingBrief06v3.pdf
National Low Income Housing Coalition http://www.nlihc.org/template/index.cfmNational AIA : Issue Brief: Affordable Housing/Community Revitalization/Historic Preservation
National AIA – Affordable Housing Position Statement: https://detmail.hedev.com/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.aia.org/SiteObjects/files/Public_Policy_Directory_revised_1205.pdf (the full listing of current board positions) #35 – Affordable Housing
* "Housing Wage": Housing wage is defined by the National Low Income Housing Coalition as the amount of money a household must earn in order to afford a rental unit at a range of sizes (0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 bedrooms) at the area’s Fair Market Rent (FMR), based on the generally accepted affordability standard of paying no more than 30% of income for housing costs. From these calculations the hourly wage a worker must earn to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom home is derived.
Recent Housing Legislation:
Housing Comprehensive Housing Planning Act: Legislation was passed that requires the state to develop and update an annual comprehensive housing plan to address the needs of underserved populations such as low- income families, seniors and people with disabilities. The Comprehensive Housing Planning Act codifies Governor Blagojevich's Executive Order 2003-18 and is the culmination of years of advocacy by housing organizations to encourage the development of affordable housing. This legislation ensures that future governors will follow the example of Governor Blagojevich and prioritize the housing needs of low-income families.
Federally Subsidized Housing Preservation Act: In 2004, legislation was passed which will preserve affordable housing stock by requiring owners of buildings that receive a federal subsidy to notify their tenants of their intention to “opt-out” of the program and give tenants the first right to purchase the building at fair market rates.
Homelessness Prevention: In 1999 legislation was passed to help families experiencing short-term emergencies with grants for delinquent rent, utility payments or security deposits. In the first three years, the program prevented homelessness for more than 5,000 families.
Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention: In 2000, the “Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance and Counseling Program Act” provided financial counseling and short-term mortgage payments to families experiencing an emergency and facing the threat of mortgage foreclosure.
Property Tax Protections for Homeowners: In 2000 legislation was passed to expand protection for homeowners who pay their property taxes on time but, due to bureaucratic error, have their taxes posted to the wrong index number and face losing their homes — inspired by Mrs. Willie Weeks, the Evanston homeowner who experienced this serious problem.
Illinois Housing Initiative: Governor Blagojevich's Executive Order #18 created the Illinois Housing Initiative (IHI), a five-year plan to spur more construction and rehab of affordable housing for our State's most underserved populations -- such as very low-income families and people with disabilities. An interagency task force will develop an annual comprehensive housing plan, and report annually on progress being made to achieve the plan. The IHI will pool a portion of available federal and state resources and streamline the application process.
Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act: This legislation would clarify some of the outstanding issues from the previous version of the law under which local municipalities with less than 10% affordable housing have created housing plans, including: additional tools for local governments to develop more moderately-priced housing; intergovernmental agreements among municipalities as to how the 10% goals will be met; standards for review of appeals by the Housing Appeals Board; restriction on appeals to the Appellate Court to the district in which the local government involved in the appeal is located; creation of the a Housing Appeals Board as of January 1, 2008 rather than 2006.
The Illinois Architecture Practice Act was the first of its kind in the United States. It continues to serve as a model for state practice regulations even today. From time to time this Act has to be updated to keep it relevant to current professional and practical realities. The architects of the American Institute of Architects of Illinois (AIA Illinois) endeavor to collaborate with the Illinois Department of Regulation and the Illinois Architects Licensing Board to administer the Act and uphold its principles.
Illinois is instrumental to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), a non-profit federation of architectural licensing boards in the United States. NCARB features state registration requirements and Intern Development Program (IDP) criteria for those seeking license registration. AIA Illinois has a strong vision of the future of the IDP process as well as the Architectural Registration Exam (ARE). This vision is influenced by its connection with schools of architecture.
One of the major tenants of the Illinois Architecture Practice Act is the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the public. This same tenant is a foundation of AIA Illinois. Therefore AIA Illinois continually engages in the review of principles and regulations for architectural practice in Illinois.
1. The health, safety and welfare of the public as impacted by the built environment are the first priority of practicing architects.
2. The profession of architecture requires a regulating body which must be responsible for upholding the requirements of the Illinois Architectural Practice Act. Among the functions of this body must be a process for hearing and evaluating reports of unqualified practice or violations, abuse and misuse of architectural practice.
3. AIA Illinois generally supports the policies of NCARB and IDP as essential to the preparation of interns seeking to practice as licensed architects in the future.
4. Policies that support Continuing Education encourage and enable architects to sustain and expand the knowledge base that perpetually advances the practice of architecture.
5. Eligibility to begin the Architectural Registration Exam upon obtaining an accredited degree from a National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) program and enrollment in an IDP is important and reasonable.
1. Continually provide and create access to information, educational programs and seminars for all architects as a means of continuing education.
2. Support AIA Illinois Licensing Committee representation at NCARB Meetings.
3. Ensure that the Architectural Registration Exam is available to architectural students upon graduation from accredited programs.
4. Advocate for and participate in updates of the Illinois Practice Act as it becomes necessary.
5. Advocate and provide the perspective of architects to the Illinois Licensing Board.
Call to Action
1. AIA Illinois stresses the urgent need for constant and consistent enforcement of the Illinois Practice Act.
2. AIA Illinois asks that architects continue to maintain and establish lines of communication with DPR and state legislators on licensure issues.
3. AIA Illinois urges continuous mentoring for architectural graduates, associates and college students on the issue of ethical practice.
4. AIA Illinois stresses the need for qualified regulators and adequate regulation at the state level to insure the protection of the public's health, safety & welfare through the use of qualified architects.
Illinois Practice Act of 1989
NCARB “Architects Qualifications” http://www.ncarb.com/
NCARB “Legislative Guidelines and Model Law- Model Regulations”
Monday, December 10, 2007
Prof. Robert I. Selby, FAIA said...
As a candidate for national vice-president I said, “Nothing is more important to AIA than assuring that the future of our profession is in capable hands. For the last two years on the AIA National Board of Directors I’ve helped write AIA policies for architectural education and programs for emerging professionals.”At that time I believed there was (or should not be) a “gap” between practice in education. Rather I believed, and do now, that education and practice is (or should be) a seamless continuum for assuring that the future of our profession is in capable hands.This was my call to action at the national level, and it is my call to action to AIA Illinois to implement the following at the state wide level: • To advocate for a culture of respect and nurturing for students in academic studios and interns in professional offices,• To promote greater diversity in architectural schools so we can achieve greater diversity in AIA, and• To improve IDP and mentoring for emerging professionals.Today I believe that AIA Illinois should seek ways to implement all of the national public policies and position statements I helped write on the national board. They are as follows:Public Policy The practice of architecture should be regulated. The privileges and responsibilities of practice should be extended only to those architects who demonstrate through education, experience, and examination that they are ethically and technically prepared.Position StatementsNAAB Degree The AIA supports a professional degree from a National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited program as the most appropriate minimum threshold for educational training. Alternative educational pathways in lieu of a NAAB accredited degree should be considered to fulfill educational prerequisites to licensure on an individual candidate basis.Internship The AIA supports a comprehensive internship with measurable qualitative training criteria. Further, the AIA supports NCARB’s Intern Development Program (IDP) and its training areas, which provide interns with the diverse training and experience in architectural essential to the preparation for licensure.Examination The AIA maintains that passing of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) is the only acceptable threshold for fulfillment of the examination requirement for licensure. The ARE should test for public protection competencies gained through a combination of professional degree education and practical experience, of candidates once they meet the licensing requirements of the local jurisdiction. The AIA through its members, should encourage emerging professionals to complete the examination. The profession and society will be best served by a growing number of licensed architects.Timing of ARE The AIA supports architectural registration boards’ allowing interns for licensure candidacy to take the ARE following their graduation from a NAAB-accredited degree program and concurrent with enrollment in the Intern Development Program (IDP). Use of Title The AIA supports protecting the public by reserving the use of the term “architect” and its derivative forms to those individuals licensed as architects. In addition, the AIA supports the use of “architectural intern” or “intern architect” for graduate of NAAB-accredited degree programs.Interdependence The AIA supports the interdependence of practice and education as elements of the profession that, when integrated, enable students, educators, and practitioners to obtain and maintain the knowledge and skills needed to enter and fully participate in the profession, and to achieve design excellence in service to society.Public Policy With an obligation to the future of the architecture profession, architects must encourage, recruit, and inspire those who would become architects.Position StatementsMentorship The AIA supports its members to recognize and fulfill their obligation to nurture emerging professionals as they advance through all stages of their professional experience, beginning with professional education and progressing through internship and licensure and continuing throughout their career.Studio Culture The AIA supports a professional practice environment that encourages the essential values of optimism, respect, collaboration, engagement, and innovation. The architectural design studio culture promotes these ideasl and should serve as the foundation of degree education and professional practice.You may view these public policies at http://www.aia.org/ I look forward to your suggestions on implementation of these education/practice public policies at the state or chapter level.
Monday, December 3, 2007
The Advocacy Committee seeks participants for several “Issue Work Groups” as a part of its Policy Development Initiative. The goal is to have several Illinois architects who are among the most- informed, most-involved, most-talented and most-passionate on a given issue (subject) participate in comprehensive discussions which can ultimately evolve into AIA-IL policy, position statements, best practices, model legislation, model ordinances, press releases, and general recommendations. These materials are to be developed for use by empowered authorities who can benefit from such expertise. Additionally, we would like to welcome a few allied professionals, non-architects and others who bring perspective and greater credibility to the discussions and developed materials.
These work groups are a reasonable/manageable-commitment-level way of making an impact. Through the use of resources and technology these groups may have progressive discussions through teleconferencing, web chats, blogs, emails, and/or limited face-to-face gatherings to achieve desired results. These results and deliverables from each work group are to be reported to the Advocacy Committee via a work group designate on occasion.
We are currently seeking participants for the following Work Groups:
Priority New Topics to be Developed in 2007:
1. Architectural Practice (Liability, Project Delivery, Business Practices)
2. Architecture Professional Development (Licensure, Unlicensed Practice/Abuse, Architectural Education)
Continuing General Topics from 2006 :
1. Sustainable Buildings: (Energy Consumption / Material Conservation / Healthier Bldgs)
2. Sustainable Infrastructure :(Site Use/Re-Use, Transportation, Natural Resources/Stormwater Mgmt.)
3. Historical Preservation
4. Sense of Place / Planning / Zoning
5. Affordable Housing
6. Building Codes & Standards
Persons interested in participating are encouraged to respond ASAP. We are challenging each Work Group to produce publishable, comprehensive policy drafts similar to the sample below comfortably in time for consideration of adoption at the AIA Illinois Annual Conference in November:
(Sample format for Work Group “deliverable” )
AIA Illinois Sustainable Building Policy
Sustainability is best defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. AIA Illinois believes that a healthy environment for all life is important. Architects are uniquely trained to be leaders in integration of design disciplines in ways that mirror the interrelationships of natural ecosystems. Whole-systems thinking is required for sustainable design that solves the needs for human habitation while preserving and enhancing environments that support all life.
Sustainable planning and design is good for the architectural profession from business as well as ethical perspectives. AIA Illinois believes that failure to take the necessary steps to achieve a sustainable future is not a viable option. Key policy issue areas to meet this challenge include energy consumption, conservation of material resources, healthy buildings, historic preservation, affordable housing, efficient use of infrastructure, transportation choice, and sense of place.
In order to succeed in this initiative we must reach beyond our traditional purview and develop partnerships with other organizations for pursuing sustainable development.
The architects of AIA Illinois…………...
AIA believes ………….
AIA Architects consider themselves as stewards of………….….
We advocate ………………
AIA Illinois is committed …………..
1. Raise the awareness…..
2. Reduction of Greenhouse …..
3. Mitigate the negative …
4. Utilization of alternate ….
5. Provide for …..
6. Create better built environments through …..
7. Leverage the investment …..
4. Call to Action
Energy Consumption/ Production:
AIA Illinois joins with _____ in challenging ………..…
AIA Illinois urges ……….…
We also call upon…………
Conservation of Material Resources:
AIA Illinois suggests ……………
We encourage architects and other design …..
AIA Illinois calls for……………..
We recommend ……………..
5. Informational References
-AIA “No Cost” Green Building Strategies- 2003 The American Institute of Architects (Best Practices)
-Illinois Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Act- Illinois Public Act 093-0936 (Model Legislation)
-Responsible Energy Management: Leading by Example- 2003 The American Institute of Architects (Best Practices)
-The Business Case for Sustainable Development- World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Sept 2001 (Business Case)
-“City To Participate In Green Building Challenge” (Model Press Release) 2007.
Please leave a comment on this blog, or contact Michael Rogers or Susan King if you are interested in participating in one or several of these work groups.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
-Unlicensed Practice/ License Abuse
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Initial Draft 10 July 2006
Draft Update 17 October 2006
Adopted January 2007
Sunset December 2007
Building codes set a minimum acceptable level of safety and performance to protect public health, safety, and welfare. Regulated components of building construction and occupancy include requirements for structure, egress and fire safety, accessibility, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and energy conservation. To create this integrity, architects, engineers and builders depend on established building codes- accepted industry standards, practices and methods- to guide them in their work. Beyond the minimum requirements, there are examples of government bodies and design practitioners adopting aspirational guidelines to effect a higher quality of life through the expectations they place on all building projects.
Issue 1 – Building Safety
At a minimum, buildings must have structural integrity and stand up to the elements in day-to-day uses. Furthermore, every part of the United States is exposed to natural disasters. Illinois is affected by many types of events – seismic, hail, fire, tornado, severe winter weather and flooding. Building codes provide for minimum requirements for property protection and increased safety for residents on both a daily basis and in a time of disaster.
AIA Illinois supports the adoption of model codes to ensure building safety and timely review and revision to account for changing needs, advances in building methods and available technology.
Issue 2 – Higher Standards
By design, building safety related codes account for human occupancy. To go beyond merely occupying buildings and promoting quality of life, higher standards are needed. Laws for accessibility and energy conservation are just two examples of building requirements that call for more than just a basic level of public protection and implement common, shared values.
AIA Illinois believes that our codes and standards should support, encourage and provide leadership in high performance buildings, the efficient use of our energy resources, and sustainable community design. AIA Illinois believes that we need to encourage the expanded accessibility of buildings to provide for people with disabilities and an aging population.
Issue 3 – Clarity and Consistency
The State of Illinois has no uniform, comprehensive building code that is enforced statewide. The Illinois General Assembly and various state agencies have adopted more that 250 separate laws and administrative rules that control certain aspects of design and construction, but there is no single code that contains or references all of the guidelines and standards used in other parts of the country to help ensure the construction of safe and healthy buildings. The random nature of a disjointed code environment is harder to monitor and enforce and places an additional burden on design professionals.
AIA Illinois advocates for comprehensive, coordinated, contemporary and consistent building codes and standards through out the State of Illinois and therefore endorses the conclusions of the May 2006 Illinois Task Force on Uniform Building Codes that overwhelmingly recommended that the General Assembly adopt a uniform, comprehensive, statewide code.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Draft Update 22 September 2006
Adopted January 2007
Sunset December 2007
Since 1987, the Local Government Professional Services Selection Act has governed how architects, engineers and land surveyors are hired to design public projects for local governments. The Qualifications Based Selection process makes the qualifications of a design team the first consideration in the selection, followed by a price negotiation. A firm can be rejected if the Contracting Body believes its costs are too high. QBS is the industry standard used in 46 states to ensure that qualified professionals are chosen to design our roads, bridges, schools and all government facilities.
A more qualified professional can better analyze and develop a project scope prior to the beginning of any construction. A more qualified professional can offer the most appropriate concepts in planning, technology, and life safety to the project and potentially save money and money for the community that is being served. Architecture should optimize functional efficiencies and construction techniques, and create a strong relationship to the community being served. The price of services should be considered only after the approach and experience brought to the project are understood. Architecture cannot be considered a commodity driven by the lowest cost.
Professional Services and specifically Architectural Services are investments in both a building and in the community. As a small component of the overall construction cost, the selection of architectural services by the State of Illinois or a local governmental body should be based on finding the most qualified firms for a specific project in order to bring the greatest value to the sizable long term investment in a building’s construction.
AIA Illinois supports the State of Illinois Architectural, Engineering and Land Surveying Qualifications Based Selection Act (Public Act 87-673) that competitively selects architects based on professional qualifications and competence, with negotiated fees for design services. AIA Illinois would encourage the application of this process to all levels of government and community in order to maximize the value of the larger dollar in construction.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Draft Update 17 October 2006
Adopted January 2007
Sunset December 2007
Sustainability is best defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” AIA Illinois believes that a healthy environment for all life is important. Architects are uniquely trained to be leaders in integration of design disciplines in ways that mirror the interrelationships of natural ecosystems. Whole-systems thinking is required for sustainable design that solves the needs for human habitation while preserving and enhancing environments that support all life.
Sustainable planning and design is good for the architectural profession from business as well as ethical perspectives. AIA Illinois believes that failure to take the necessary steps to achieve a sustainable future is not a viable option. Key policy issue areas to meet this challenge include energy consumption, conservation of material resources, healthy buildings, historic preservation, affordable housing, efficient use of infrastructure, transportation choice, and sense of place.
In order to succeed in this initiative we must reach beyond our traditional purview and develop partnerships with other organizations for pursuing sustainable development.
Issue 1 - Energy Consumption/Production
Operation of buildings is the greatest source of energy consumption and related green-house emissions in the world.
AIA Illinois supports policies that provide for continued aggressive energy conservation, including building modifications to promote more efficient energy use and promoting environmentally sound production of alternative energy sources.
Issue 2 - Conservation of Material Resources
Building construction accounts for 40% of the consumption of raw materials, as well as approximately 40% of the total solid waste stream.
AIA Illinois supports policies that reduce the consumption of our natural resources. Recycled and rapidly renewable materials should be incorporated into building designs and construction waste should be managed to allow this material to be recycled and directed away from landfills.
Issue 3 - Healthier Buildings
Americans spend an average of 90% of their time indoors, where levels of pollutants reach up to 100 times-higher than outdoor levels.
AIA Illinois supports policies that promote healthier indoor environments. Improvement in indoor air quality has a positive impact on the health and productivity of the occupants of the building. Building materials should be selected that contain the lowest quantities of toxic chemical and volatile organic compounds available.
Issue 4 – Historic Preservation
Many historically significant structures and places are being razed to make way for new developments. Books like Lost Chicago are filled with pictures of magnificent buildings that no longer exist. Demolished buildings don’t simply leave memories behind, the embodied energy they contain is lost as well.
AIA Illinois supports policies that provide incentives to retain and revitalize existing structures and places that have high architectural and cultural value. These places provide an important benchmark for understanding who we are and show where we came from.
Issue 5 – Affordable Housing
The real cost of housing isn’t limited to a rent or mortgage payment, it also includes utility costs, transportation and commuting expenses, access to essential goods and services and many other factors that impact affordability. Communities without housing for their teachers, police officers, fire fighters, nurses, laborers, and service employees impact not only those workers and their families but growth patterns, traffic congestion and a host of other unintended but avoidable consequences.
AIA Illinois supports incentives for development of affordable housing and related infrastructure. This includes innovation in planning, design and construction techniques that seek to reduce construction costs while providing sense of community and maintaining standards for building safety.
Issue 6 – Efficient Use of Infrastructure
The infrastructure cost of building in undeveloped sites is estimated to be approximately $50,000 per dwelling unit. This compares with $5,000 per dwelling unit at locations that are already served by basic utility, roadway, school and government facilities infrastructure.
AIA Illinois supports policies that redirect subsidies for “greenfield” sites to areas that are already served by existing infrastructure. We cannot afford to use our limited tax dollars to underwrite sprawl.
Issue 7 – Transportation Choice
Approximately 89% of all trips in the U.S. are made in cars. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control found that neighborhood and transportation planning affected obesity rates, asthma and other health concerns.
AIA Illinois supports government policies and funding decisions that promote a wider range of viable transportation choices including walking, biking, buses, and trains, especially for the young and elderly who cannot drive. Each of these travel options promotes more efficient use of fossil fuel energy than cars. Increased transportation choice can be achieved through community planning with close destination proximity connected by pathways or transit lines.
Issue 8 – Sense of Place
Many developing communities have little or no sense of “there” there. Places where people live, work, play and worship are enhanced by a feeling of character, substance and uniqueness.
AIA Illinois supports mixed-use pedestrian/transit oriented development that reduces dependence on roadway infrastructure and increases sense of place in the community. Distinctive, compact communities with good access to open spaces allow for a sustainable, high quality of life for their residents.
Monday, April 30, 2007
Date: April 30, 2007
To: AIA Board Advocacy Committee
From: Tom Wolfe
Subject: Status of Federal Legislative Initiatives
Per the request of the Board Advocacy Committee, I have generated a summary of the status of the various ongoing projects in the works at AIA Federal Affairs. Below I have laid these projects out in a rough order of the resources we are devoting to them and provided the requested status update:
Architect of the Capitol
The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is in charge of the U.S. Capitol buildings and grounds, including the U.S. Supreme Court, the National Botanical Gardens and the Library of Congress. He/she is appointed by the President to a 10-year term from a slate of at least three nominees selected by a congressional selection commission whose membership is determined by law.
The current AOC’s term lapsed in February, although the incumbent – Alan Hantman – announced his intention not to seek a second term in August of 2006. Mr. Hantman’s primary legacy is the Congressional Visitors Center project which will increase the square footage of the Capitol Building by 80%. It has encountered many problems and is over budget and several years behind schedule. This, plus other criticisms of the current AOC office, have colored the opinions of the congressional staff (and some of their principals) associated with the Selection Commission regarding the most important qualifications to be sought in the next AOC.
The AIA has worked with the executive search firm retained by the Commission, as well as Commission staff to suggest qualified candidates and
reinforce the Institute’s primary objective – that the AOC must be a licensed professional architect. Current prevailing opinion among the Commission staff is that facilities management experience trumps all other factors and that credentials as an architect are only secondarily important, if important at all.
As the search firm narrows the universe of candidates that the Commission staff will interview, the AIA will meet with all Commission staff and all Commission members to reinforce the need for a licensed professional architect in the position. Some Grassroots assistance from the membership will be called for as well.
Federal Building Legislation
One our Grassroots sustainability “asks” was legislation that would require that all new buildings or major renovations owned or leased by the federal government to meet the AIA Board’s 2030 timetable for reductions in fossil fuel generated energy. RK Stewart testified before the Senate Energy Committee on February 12th on this issue. Subsequently, Senate Energy Committee staff asked the AIA for statutory language to accomplish this goal. We drafted and transmitted that language in March. In addition, throughout March & April we met with staffers for numerous Representatives and Senators seeking a sponsor for this legislation in both the House and Senate. On March 29th, Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) introduced our bill. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) is an original cosponsor. See:
Buidling upon the Clinton bill, on April 16th Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chariman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) introduced comprehensive energy efficieny legisilation which includes the AIA-sponsored federal buildings policy position.
Bingaman’s legislation, the Energy Efficiency Promotion Act of 2007 (S. 1115), includes a provision (Section 506) that requires all new and extensively renovated federal buildings to use significantly less fossil fuel-generated energy than a similar building consumed in 2003. This provision reflects the AIA-recommended reduction targets for fossil fuel-generated energy use in new and renovated buildings, which, if adopted, would result in carbon neutral buildings by 2030.The AIA Government Advocacy team held numerous meetings with Energy and Natural Resources Committee staff in order to have our provision included in this fast-moving legislation. The Bingaman bill already has wide bipartisan support; cosponsors include committee ranking Republican Sen. Pete Domenici (NM), and Sens. Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Larry Craig (R-ID), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), John Kerry (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ken Salazar (D-CO), Bernard Sanders (D-VT) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME). The committee held a hearing on the legislation last week and mark-up will soon follow. It appears likely that this bill could be on the Senate floor before Memorial Day.
To see the bill, please follow this link:
We are currently still seeking House sponsorship and have several very good leads. The House Public Buildings Subcommittee of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing on May 16th to address federal building energy efficiency. The AIA has been asked to testify.
We are also in discussions with Steven Winter Associates to produce an economic study of the costs and benefits to the federal government from attaining the energy reduction goals of the legislation.
Commercial Building Tax Deduction
The second of our Grassroots sustainability “asks” involved a specific bill -H.R. 539. This legislation was introduced in January by Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), as a result of AIA’s issue brief. It’s objective is to extend the tax deduction for builders of commercial buildings that exceed the ASHRAE energy efficiency stand 90.1 by 50% for 5 extra years & deepen the deduction from $1.80 / ft to $2.25 / ft. The bill now has 136 cosponsors including many key members of the Ways & Means Committee.
In late March, Senators Snowe (R-ME) and Feinstein (D-CA) introduced S. 822 and Reps. Markey (D-MA) and McDermott (D-WA) introduced H.R. 1385. These identical bills – called EXTEND legislation - would accomplish our goal for commercial buildings plus extend residential, appliances, solar equipment, etc tax breaks. The AIA supports this legislation as well.
On April 25, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) introduced legislation which closely mirrors the Buildings for the 21st Century Act in the Senate. This legislation, the Green Buildings Act--Giving Reductions to Energy Efficient New Buildings (S. 1207) also extends the tax deduction unti 2013.
AIA Federal Affairs staff also submitted a Statement for the Record for the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures regarding our support of extending and enlarging the Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction. We completed this at the behest of Rep. Schwartz.
In a related matter, the AIA has also met with IRS and DOE staff to press for IRS guidance on how the current tax deduction should be apportioned for public buildings. The law now grants the tax deduction, which cannot be claimed by a governmental entity, to be claimable by “the designer of the energy saving equipment.
The third of our Grassroots sustainability issues involved amending the provisions of the Clean Water Act State Revolving Fund law (SRF) so that it encourages the use of SRF monies to fund “green infrastructure” projects to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff from the built environment on the water quality of adjacent water bodies (bays & rivers). Green infrastructure includes green roofs, parklands, swales, buffering vegetation and permeable pavement that lets stormwater infiltrate back to groundwater rather than runoff quickly and cause surges to combined sewage systems. So far we have spoken with both House & Senate committee staff regarding placing green infrastructure language in SRF reauthorization legislation that’s now moving in Congress.
The House SRF bill – HR 720 - has passed the House with our language in it in February. The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee is currently working on portions of SRF reauthorization. We will meet with committee staff to discuss this issue in greater detail over the next two weeks.
Historic Preservation / Community Enhancement
For the last two Congresses, the AIA has been working in coalition with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to revamp the current historic rehabilitation tax credits to make them work better with the low income tax credit and deepen the credit in “difficult –to-develop” areas. In past years this has been called the “Portman / Jefferson” bill and the “English bill”, in honor of the principal sponsors.
With the new leadership in this Congress, we have sought out Rep. Tubbs-Jones (D-OH) to be our new principal sponsor. Rep. Phil English (R-PA) will still be an aggressive cosponsor on the Republican side. The legislation is now H.R. 1043. It currently has 41 cosponsors.
In early April, I spoke with Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) the chair of the Subcommittee on Select Revenue of the Ways & Means Committee (the subcommittee of jurisdiction) about moving H.R. 1043 in conjunction with the reauthorization of the Low Income Tax Credit, which is due to happen this year. Without making a commitment, he was supportive of the concept.
Federal Tax Matters
Last year’s tax bill created a monumental problem for small firms who contract with government entities. The governments (Fed, state, or local) would be required to withhold 3% of all payments to these entities in anticipation of federal taxes. This provision was created solely as an “offset” for other federal tax relief. No one, including most of the Congress, knew it was in the bill until after it passed.
The provision does not take into account the fact that the payments from which the withholding is to be taken are gross payments to architects are NOT profits. They are used to pay contractors, subcontractors, purchase material, etc. This Congress we will be working with a coalition of similarly situated government contractors to achieve rescission of the provision. Reps. Meek (D- FL) and Herger (R- CA) have introduced legislation (H.R. 1797) to do this. The AIA supports this bill.
In addition, the AIA is an original member of the Government Withholding Relief Coalition (GWRC), which includes more than 50 associations that are fighting to repeal the 3 percent withholding provision. The Coalition’s website is:
In late April, we undertook an AIA Action Alert regarding this issue. Electronic notification of the pending legislation was sent to all AIA members. As a result, more than 2500 AIA members responded and made in excess of 8000 contacts with Members of Congress. AIA members who missed the Action Alert and now desire to respond can do so by visiting https://outlook.aia.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.aia.org/gov and then clicking on Contact Your Members of Congress.
AIA Federal Affairs arranged for concurrent resolutions recognizing the AIA’s 150th birthday to be introduced in both the House (H. Con. Res. 53) & the Senate (S. Con. Res. 9). Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Phil English (R-PA) sponsored the first. Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Norm Coleman (R-MN) sponsored the second.
In addition, we completed the paperwork for transmission to the White House to obtain a Presidential Proclamation recognizing Architecture Week as 2nd week of April. The Proclamation arrived on April 12th – just in time.
We also arranged for Rep. Blumenauer to serve as keynote speaker at the 150th celebration dinner of the Board at Delmonico’s in NYC on April 13th.
For the second Congress, the AIA has taken a leading position on the need for a “cap & trade” system for regulating greenhouse gases. Clearly this issue is much more popular in this Congress than the last, but legislation has still been slow to develop. This is because there is potential for such legislation to have a significant negative impact on economy if it is not well thought out. In addition, the Administration opposes this approach. The AIA is working with several groups interested in the issue – one composed mostly of members of the environmental community and one composed mostly of industry representatives.
The federal tax code allows only professional services corporations, like architectural firms, that are 95% owned by those in the profession they represent (i.e. architects) or have gross receipts below $5 million to use cash accounting for tax purposes. All others must use accrual accounting. Cash accounting is far more advantageous. AIA supported bills in last Congress to relax the 95% ownership test. These bills were sponsored by Republicans and found most of their support among Republicans. We worked in coalition on this issue with the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).
This year we are again working with ACEC and will seek Democratic sponsorship for reintroducing cash accounting legislation this Congress. They have extra funds from last year and are hiring a consultant to help place the bill with an appropriate sponsor. They will lead – we will follow.
Last fall’s AIA Call for Issues demonstrateded a substantial interest among AIA members in a federal good samaritan law. This type of legislation would provide relief from negligence liability for architects who volunteer without pay to assist in times of national or regional emergency. Twenty four states have such laws
Last Congress, Rep. David Reichert (R-WA) introduced legislation to provide such relief for contractors. He is willing to modify that legislation to include architects and engineers in this Congress. Our allies include Asso. Gen’l Contractors, and ACEC. However, the new leadership in this Congress makes success on this issue much more difficult politically. The trial lawyers oppose this type of liability reform and have strong a relationship with the Democratic Party. To date, we haven’t been able to get Democrats on House Judiciary Committee interested in cosponsoring Rep. Reichert’s bill.
The AIA is beginning to put together a coalition with Sustainable Business Industries, the American Federation of Teachers and others to advocate the funding of a major section of the No Child Left Behind statute that includes a study of educational benefits of well-designed & sustainable school buildings. The reauthorization of No Child Left Behind is supposed to occur in this Congress.
Last Congress we aggressively supported legislation to allow the AIA and other trade & professional groups to offer nationwide health insurance to their members and their members’ employees. This legislation would preempt state laws that currently make the creation of such large national risk pools impossible.
That legislation passed the House last summer, but the proponents failed to break cloture in the Senate by 4 votes. In the Senate vote, the AIA provided the only Democrat to support the bill. This year, the chances for such legislation are less good. Both proponents and opponents of last year’s bill have refrained from reintroducing competing bills so far in this Congress. It is hoped that some form of compromise can be struck.
Intelligence from an event for Rep. Pomeroy (D-ND) indicates that the Democrats intend to have a bipartisan healthcare bill of some sort in this Congress – out of the Ways & Means Committee. We will follow.
In 2000, the AIA and the Dept. of Energy held a joint design competition for a solar wall to be added to the DOE’s headquarters in DC. This addition would use both passive solar and solar PV to provide hot water, space heating and electricity. The competition won by Solomon Cordwell & Buenz of Chicago.
The project was never funded. In 2005, the AIA worked with Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN) to get money authorized for the Sun Wall in the 2005 Energy Policy Act. Unfortunately, no monies were ever appropriated for the project.
After this fall’s election Mr. Oberstar became new Chairman of House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. This is a big change.
Within six weeks of taking up his chairmanship, the House passed a new $40 million authorization for the Sun Wall to be taken from the GSA’s federal building fund (no appropriation necessary). We have congratulated Rep. Oberstar for his moving the Sun Wall authorization through the House and offered to help him with it in the Senate.
Department of Transportation Study
In 2005 the AIA got an “earmark” in the multi-year transportation bill for a $2 million study of “best practices” for using federal highway funds to enhance communities adjacent to big highway projects. This study was to be done by a “national association representing architects”. We are partnering with the University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies to complete the study. The law requires that the study to be done this summer. In late March, AIA Federal Affairs held three focus groups to let AIA member architects discuss the issue.
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
(State of Illinois)
ADOPTING THE “2030 CHALLENGE”
WHEREAS, the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted the “2030 Challenge” resolution calling for the immediate energy reduction of all new and renovated buildings to one-half the national or country average for that building type, with increased reductions of 10% every five years so that by the year 2030 all buildings designed will be carbon neutral, meaning they will use no fossil fuel energy; and
WHEREAS, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the national professional organization representing architects has also adopted the “2030 Challenge” resolution; and
WHEREAS, the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the international community’s most respected assemblage of scientists, has found that climate disruption is a reality and that human activities are largely responsible for increasing concentrations of global warming pollution; and
WHEREAS, the North American and global Building Sector has been shown to be the major consumer of fossil fuel and producer of global warming causing greenhouse gases; and
WHEREAS, the federal government through programs fostered within many of its key agencies and numerous state governments as well as municipalities across the U.S. have adopted high performance green building principles; and
WHEREAS, a recent study completed by researchers from Capitol E and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the most definitive cost-benefit analysis of green buildings ever conducted, concluded that the financial benefits of green design are between $50 and $70 per square foot, more than 10 times the additional cost associated with building green; and
WHEREAS, the large positive impact on employee productivity and health gains suggests that green building has a cost-effective impact beyond just the utility bill savings; and
WHEREAS, studies have indicated that student attendance and performance is higher in high performance school buildings; and
WHEREAS, recognizing that a building’s initial construction costs represent only 20-30 percent of the building’s entire costs over its 30 to 40 year life, emphasis should be placed on the “life cycle costs” of a public building rather than on solely its initial capital costs; and
WHEREAS, the construction industry in the U.S. represents a significant portion of our economy and a significant portion of the building industry is represented by small business and an increase in sustainable building practices will encourage and promote new and innovative small business development throughout the nation; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that all State of Illinois buildings meet the following targets:
· New construction of buildings shall be designed to and achieve a minimum delivered fossil-fuel greenhouse gas (GHS) emitting energy consumption performance standard of one half the U.S. average for that building type as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the EPA’s Target Finder.
· Renovation building projects shall be designed to and achieve a minimum delivered fossil-fuel GHG emitting energy consumption performance standard of one half the U.S. average for that building type as defined by the EPA’s Target Finder.
· All other new construction, renovation, repairs and replacements of buildings shall employ cost-effective, energy-efficient, green building practices to the maximum extent possible; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the State of Illinois will work to increase the fossil-fuel GHG emitting reduction standard for all new buildings to carbon neutral by 2030, in the following increments:
60% in 2010
70% in 2015
80% in 2020
90% in 2025
Carbon-neutral by 2030 (meaning new buildings will use no fossil fuel GHG emitting energy to operate); and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Illinois Green Government Coordinating Council will develop plans to fully implement the above mentioned targets as part of the procurement and inspection process and by establishing polices to insure compliance and measure results;
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, That the State of Illinois will work in conjunction with other appropriate organizations to join this effort to develop plans to fully implement similar targets as mentioned above.