Tag Archive | "aia"

Look Up and Speak Up

The audience response to the “Look Up” campaign by the AIA has been overwhelmingly positive. Robert Ivy, FAIA, EVP/CEO of the American Institute of Architects asks AIA members to look up and speak up about issues concerning architecture. “We are out there in a way we haven’t been in years,” says Ivy. As awareness about what architects do increases we should view this as an opportunity to “Speak Up” for our profession and industry.

Posted in Membership News

CDC Releases New Resources

Exciting New Community Engagement, Assessment, and Healthy Community Design Resources from the CDC address issues highlighted by AIA’s Decade of Design – Design and Health Initiative

Recently Released/Updated CDC Resources

CDC’s Community Health Status Indicators (CHSI) 2015 is an interactive web application that produces health profiles for all 3,143 counties in the United States. Each profile includes key indicators of health outcomes, which describe the population health status of a county and factors that have the potential to influence health outcomes, such as health care access and quality, health behaviors, social factors (economic and social conditions that may directly or indirectly influence the health of people and communities) and the physical environment (the natural environment (air, water, and soil) and the built environment (safe and affordable housing, transportation, access to nutritious and affordable food.) The social factors and the physical environment are especially important because they represent the conditions in which people are born, live, work, and play. Key features include:

  • Summary Comparison Report – an “at a glance” summary of how a county compares with peer counties on the full set of Primary Indicator.
  • Indicator Description –info describing the significance of the indicator, source/years of data, methodology for creation, and any limitations.
  • Indicator Downloads – indicator values for each group of peer counties can be downloaded for further examination and analysis.
  • Populations – allows users to compare an indicator value for the entire population of a county with sub-populations defined by sex, age groups, and race/ethnicity, where data are available. This feature can be used to assist with identifying potential health disparities.
  • Census Tract Maps –identify vulnerable populations and potential health disparities by examining the geographic distribution of select social factor indicators within a county (by census tract).
  • Associated Indicators – these are indicators that are related to the primary indicator and may provide additional valuable information. For example, the primary indicator for educational attainment is on-time high school graduation rate. Associated Indicators include percent of adults without a high school diploma and percent of adults with an associate level degree or higher.

Working Together: A Training Framework for Public Health and Planning Professionals: As public health professionals and urban planners begin to work more closely, they need the ability to speak each other’s languages in order to work together effectively. Public health professionals and urban planners need a mutual and basic understanding of each other’s concepts, data sources, etc. in order to forge effective partnerships. This toolkit will help both professions get basic training in concepts that will foster this collaboration.

The Built Environment and Public Health Clearinghouse (BEPHC) is a resource for training at both the university and professional levels and a source for relevant news and information at this critical intersection of community design and health. It includes:

  • Professional Training directs professionals to webinars, primers, toolkits, organizations, and other online resources for self-directed learning.
  • Academic Training offers a full academic semester or individual modules for multidisciplinary instruction between public health and architecture, health impact assessment, planning and transportation engineering. It includes learning goals, units, reading, assignments, sample syllabi, and student reports. It also guides students on academic course offerings, specializations, certificates, and dual degree programs at US colleges and universities for architecture, health impact assessment, planning, and public health.
  • A Glossary of over 1,100 terms from architecture, health impact assessment, planning, public health, and transportation engineering.

2014 Bicycling and Walking in the U.S. Benchmarking Report – The Report, a collaboration between CDC and the Alliance for Biking and Walking, includes new data on bicycling and walking in all 50 states, the 52 largest U.S. cities, and a select number of midsized cities. It combines original research with over 20 government data sources to compile data on bicycling and walking levels and demographics, safety, funding, policies, infrastructure, education, public health indicators, and economic impacts.

Coming Later This Year: Transportation & Health Tool – For a long time, public health impacts and benefits were too often overlooked in transportation policy, program and funding decisions. That has begun to change. Many state officials and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) have begun including public health goals and health criteria in transportation planning and policies as well as within the transportation project selection process. And the public health community has begun to partner with the transportation sector to integrate health considerations in transportation work. Transportation decision-makers face enormous budget pressure, so investments that pay off in public health can bring additional community benefits. That means understanding all the issues in play, and then determining what is working well and what needs improvement in a world of limited resources. To this end, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) are partnering to develop a simple-to-use transportation and health tool (THT).

Key New or Upcoming Partner Resources

The Urban Land Institute just released the Building Healthy Places Toolkit: Strategies for Enhancing Health in the Built Environment. Developers, owners, property managers, designers, investors, and others involved in real estate decision making can use the report’s recommendations and strategies to create places that contribute to healthier people and communities. The toolkit builds on previous publications from the larger Building Healthy Places Initiative, which seeks to leverage the power of ULI’s global network of almost 33,000 members through the Toolkit and other projects like the Healthy Corridors Project designed to provide guidance on transforming isolated, auto-dependent roads and commercial strip centers into vibrant, safe, and healthy corridors.

Healthy Housing Standard – In partnership with the American Public Health Association (with input from two expert committees), the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) developed the National Healthy Housing Standard to inform and deliver housing policy that reflects the latest understanding of the connections between housing conditions and health. The Standard is a living tool for property owners, elected officials, code agency staff, and all who are concerned about housing as a platform for health. The Standard consists of seven chapters with requirements and stretch provisions, a section of definitions, and a section with annotations for each provision that explain the public health rationale and provide references for more information.

AARP is developing a web-based Livability Index, to be released in mid- to late April, which will use nationally available data, incorporate mapping technology, quantitative measures, and public policies to assess the livability of communities. The Index will help users better understand their communities and make decisions about their future needs – informing policy development and community stakeholder participation. A community’s Livability Score will be based on measures of essential attributes in certain categories, also called domains, to determine the location’s degree of livability. Domains will include: 1) Environment, 2) Health, 3) Housing, 4) Neighborhood, 5) Transportation, 6) Civic & Social Engagement, and 7) Economic Opportunity. To receive launch notification sign up here: http://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/livable-community-news-alerts/.

Minimum Elements and Practice Standards for Health Impact Assessment (Version 3): This document represents a revision of the Minimum Elements and Practice Standards for Health Impact Assessment, originally published by the North American HIA Practice Standards Working Group in April 2009 and revised in November, 2010. This document is intended to provide guidance on what is required for a study to be considered an HIA (Minimum Elements) and some benchmarks for effective practice. These Minimum Elements apply to HIA whether conducted independently or integrated within an environmental, social or strategic impact assessment. The Standards can serve HIA practitioners as well as those who request, fund, and evaluate HIA practice.

Existing Tools in Community Engagement and Assessment from CDC

Principles of Community Engagement – Provides public health professionals, health care providers, researchers, and community-based leaders and organizations with both a science base and practical guidance for engaging partners in projects that may affect them. The primer also provides tools for those who are leading efforts to improve population health through community engagement.

Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health (PACE EH) – PACE EH guides local public health officials and communities through a process to explore the broad physical and social environments that impact health and safety. The assessment process engages communities in a series of tasks to investigate the relationships among what they value, how their local environment impacts their health, and what actions are necessary to live safer and healthier lives.

Posted in Professional Development News

Take a Fresh Look at your Membership

Start off the new year by taking a fresh look at your AIA membership.

Increase Your Visibility: Create a detailed profile for your firm, and potential clients can connect with you directly on Architect Finder

Keep in Touch: Stay in touch with Virginia Society AIA on social media. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Connect with the Industry: Connect with colleagues based on similar interests by using AIA Knowledge Communities

Stay Informed: Check out architecture projects in the mid-Atlantic region in Inform magazine, and industry trends in ARCHITECT, the official magazine of the AIA.

Save Money: Redeem member discounts on products and services such as shipping, rental cars, technology, and office supplies

Have a question about your membership? Contact Shanelle Calvin, Membership Manager via email scalvin@aiava.org or phone at (804) 237-1772.

Posted in Membership News

Significant Changes to Federal Design-Build Laws

Despite two years of partisan gridlock, Congress is on the verge of passing legislation by the AIA to help architects design better buildings.

These efforts represent the culmination of years of work by AIA members like you who have written, emailed and visited with your elected representatives in record numbers, showing the power of the profession to advocate.

Here’s what we know so far:

  • The House has passed and the Senate is about to pass legislation that includes the first significant changes to federal design-build laws in years. The bill would limit the number of finalists in the second stage of a military design-build procurement to no more than five in competitions worth more than $4 million, putting the brakes on a practice that leaves firms spending more and more to win work, with worsening odds of actually winning anything. Although the final provision does not go as far as the AIA had pushed, it puts into U.S. law for the first time protections for firms from increasingly expensive and unwinnable competitions.
  • Congress also is about to send to the White House legislation that restores the 179D energy efficient building tax deduction, along with other tax incentives. The 179D deduction expired at the end of 2013; the bill restores it for projects placed into service in 2014. This enables commercial building owners to claim the deduction for work completed in 2014, and design firms to claim the deduction for public buildings placed into service in 2014 when the public entity allocates it. Although a broad coalition of business groups pushed for a longer extension, there already is talk of Congress taking up these provisions again in 2015.

With Congress about to adjourn and go home, it looks like we’ve managed to stop two bills that would have set us back.

  • The end of the Congress means the end (for now) of legislation repealing federal 2030 targets. Despite a strong lobbying push by the fossil fuel industry, an AIA-led coalition of more than 1000 companies and organizations blocked the effort. Although the provision may come under attack again in 2015, the AIA and its allies showed the power of grassroots engagement in protecting sensible sustainability policy.
  • For the fifth year running, the AIA and its allies knocked down a proposal to raise taxes on architecture and other professional services firms that organize as S corporations. Although the provision may return to life next year, the AIA and its allies have succeeded in building a collation on Capitol Hill that stands with architects against punitive tax increases.’

These victories show that when AIA members like you work together, we can get things done – even in an extremely difficult political environment.

December 15, 2014 UPDATE: Congress has passed this legislation. see this update.

Posted in Advocacy News

New AIA Board Structure Approved

At the National Convention in Chicago, the membership of the AIA took a key step toward creating a leadership structure that is more nimble and better able to respond to the Institute’s challenges and opportunities.“This new governance structure will make sure the AIA can speak with a clearer voice, move quicker to address its members’ concerns, and better represent its membership,” said 2014 AIA President Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA. “It paves the way for more Repositioning the AIA efforts to take root, helping us better serve all AIA members.”

Convention delegates gave final approval to a plan that restructures the Institute’s governance on Saturday, the last day of AIA Convention 2014 in Chicago. Bylaw amendments adopted by them will reduce the size of the Institute’s Board of Directors and augment the AIA’s governance structure by adding a new body, the Strategic Council, which will inform the Board and other Institute bodies of important professional issues. Read more>>

Posted in Membership News

AIA Offers Streaming Content from Convention

convention2014-banner_new-1The AIA is offering content from the June 26–28, 2014, convention in Chicago. ConventionLIVE! brings provocative keynoters, new products, and career-enhancing seminars to a screen near you—and it’s easy on any device.

Purchase educational content to earn AIA/CES learning units. Take up to 10 seminars (and earn up to 12.5 LUs) from specially selected packages. There is also an option for on-demand viewing.

Stream free content, including keynoters, exciting ARCHITECT Live discussions, and interviews from the Expo floor.

Free or paid content, every ConventionLive! visitor has to register. Want to check it out? Sign in here or through your Facebook, LinkedIn, or AIA account.

Posted in Professional Development News

NCARB Endorses New Path to Licensure

© 2006, The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved.

© 2006, The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved.

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Board of Directors has announced their endorsement of the concept of an additional, structured path that leads to licensure in a U.S. jurisdiction. The new path—licensure upon graduation from an accredited program—would integrate the rigorous internship and examination requirements that aspiring architects must fulfill into the years spent completing a professional degree in architecture.

The concept was designed by a distinguished group of volunteers convened by NCARB, which recommends national architect registration standards, called the Licensure Task Force. This group, which was initially formed in mid-2013, is headed by NCARB’s Immediate Past President Ron Blitch of Louisiana, and it includes former and current leaders of NCARB, the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Association of Colleges and Schools of Architecture (ACSA), and the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), as well as interns, recently licensed architects, program deans and instructors, and jurisdictional licensing board representatives.

Describing the work of the Licensure Task Force, NCARB CEO Michael Armstrong said, “NCARB is engaged in streamlining and simplifying the licensing process for aspiring architects, and we are actively re-engineering all elements of the architectural licensing process—education, experience and examination—to focus on facilitation of licensing.”

“This additional path to licensure is another concrete step to reimagining and reconfiguring each part of the process while upholding the rigorous standards needed to protect the public’s health, safety and welfare,” he said.

This progressive concept was borne of research and development efforts by the Licensure Task Force, with leaders from diverse segments of the architectural community to analyze each component of the licensure process to identify overlaps and redundancies to existing programs.

Now beginning the second year, the Licensure Task Force will start to identify schools interested in participating in the program. NCARB expects to issue schools Requests for Information later in the year, followed by a Request for Proposal process in 2015.

In addition to the licensure work, NCARB also announced this month that a transition plan is underway to guide the implementation of major improvements and changes to the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®), the test that all prospective architects must take to get their licenses. The new ARE 5.0 will launch in late 2016, while ARE 4.0 will remain available for at least 18 months after the launch.

The exam is required by all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands for initial architectural licensure by assessing candidates for their knowledge, skills, and ability to provide all services required in the practice of architecture.

Posted in Featured

AIA Unveils New Leading Indicator

By measuring the movement of design contracts in the monthly Architecture Billings Index (ABI), the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is now able to trace the path of resources into the design and construction industry from the earliest conceptualization until it results in finished projects. This new indicator is being spotlighted in an AIA economic research white paper, Designing the Construction Future.

“We have been tracking new project inquiries – bids, general solicitations, interview invitations – which tend to be rather subjective, so we began looking for a more precise way of estimating future levels of billings activity at architecture firms,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “We determined that the most accurate predictor of future design workloads is the monthly change in the volume of new design contracts.”

Design contracts are the agreements between the client and architecture firm on the scope of, and compensation for, new design projects. Similar to how construction contract awards act as a leading indicator of future construction spending, design contracts are expected to provide a comparable glimpse of future billings and design activity. Trends in the dollar volume of design contracts end up filling an important gap between trends in project inquiries and actual design billings.

The AIA began collecting data on design contracts in October 2010 and with over three years of data there is enough information to seasonally adjust the index. Preliminary analysis suggests that a change in firm billings follows a change in design contacts by approximately six months.

Posted in Membership News

New Edition of Architect’s Handbook on Sale

The new Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice is available in its entirety to AIA members. Members may also download individual chapters to gain access to just those sections most relevant to their practice. The book is currently on sale at the AIA Store for $225 (members may enter the code HANDBOOK to qualify for the special rate of $199).Handbook

Business, legal, and technical trends are rapidly altering the environment in which architecture firms practice. In response, the American Institute of Architects has developed a significantly revised edition of The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice.

The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice continues to be the essential reference for every architect who must meet the challenges of today’s marketplace with insight and confidence. Substantially updated in the 15th edition, this indispensable resource covers all aspects of architectural practice.

Table of Contents (HTMLPDF
Index
 (PDF)

To order a copy, visit the AIA Store or read more at aia.org.

Posted in Uncategorized

NDSA Introduced

The AIA and the AIAS announce the introduction of the National Design Services Act (NDSA), which will give architecture students the same relief from crushing student loan debt, which is already granted young lawyers, doctors and others in return for community service. The bipartisan legislation, H.R. 4205, was introduced  by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and co-sponsored by Rep. Greg Meeks (D-NY), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) on Tuesday, March 11. Please contact your congressman today to support the timely passage of this important legislation.

“Millions of young people aspire to help their communities build a better future – but a lack of opportunity and the crushing cost of education hold them back,” said AIA CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA. “As a result, the design and construction industry faces a severe shortage of talent at exactly the moment America needs to rebuild for the future.

“We commend Congressman Perlmutter for recognizing this issue, for introducing the NDSA and for enlisting his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to work for its ultimate passage,” Ivy said. “I promise that they will have the full resources of the AIA as well as the architecture student community behind them when more than 600 AIA members convene in Washington, D.C. next week as part of the AIA’s annual grassroots conference.”

“The National Design Services Act will help promote sustainable economic development and jobs by ensuring aspiring architects are able to gain valuable experience while giving back to their communities designing public projects such as schools, health clinics, housing facilities and libraries,” said Rep. Perlmutter. “In return, the bill will alleviate some of the barriers new students face as they pursue their dreams in architecture.”

“There is no shortage of enthusiasm in our membership for passing this bill,” said Joshua Caulfield, Chief Executive Officer of AIAS. “And we intend to leverage that enthusiasm to the hilt as we go forward and call on our members of Congress.”

Student debt is one of the most critical issues facing the economy – not to mention the next generation of design professionals. Roughly 40 million Americans owe $1.2 trillion in student-loan debt, an amount that surpasses every other type of household debt except mortgage debt. Architecture student graduates come out of school with approximately $40,000 in student loan debt, ranking architecture as one of the disciplines with the highest loan balances in the country.

The NDSA eases this burden by providing loan assistance to architecture students and recent graduates who contribute their design services to underserved areas. The bill would authorize the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to create a program allowing architecture students to work with Community Design Centers in exchange for assistance with their student loans.

As a result, communities will receive a broad range of architecture services that may not have otherwise been available, and architecture graduates will be induced to stay in the profession.

At a recent meeting of AIAS Milwaukee-Wisconsin where AIA National staff discussed the proposal, architecture students immediately began organizing a phone bank for students to call their members of Congress to urge them to support the bill.

Indeed, enthusiasm for such legislation knows no bounds on the campuses of architecture schools and elsewhere among the emerging professionals community. One young architect, Evan Litvin of Philadelphia, has launched an online petition that enlists the support of architects nationwide for speedy passage of the NDSA. The link to that petition can be found here:
http://www.change.org/petitions/members-of-congress-support-the-national-design-services-act-ndsa?utm_source=supporter_message&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=supporter_message.

For more information on the NDSA and how you can become involved, please visit this link on AIA.org:

http://www.aia.org/advocacy/federal/AIAB099522

Posted in Professional Development News

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Membership News

  • Are You Ready For A Change? app-icon200x200

    In her monthly letter to the membership, Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, talks about the redesign of the annual convention.







Professional Development News

Government Advocacy News

Supporters

Virginia Accord

  • The Virginia Accord VA_ACCORD_150x150

    Bringing together the planning and design disciplines to examine two key themes critical to the future — job creation and environmental sustainability — on Sept. 19-20, 2014 at the Virginia Accord.