Tag Archive | "aia"

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

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:

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


Posted in Professional Development News

Architectural Model

Livable Communities Exhibition at VCA

What makes some communities seem like better places to live than others? Ask several neighbors, and you’re likely to get a different answer from each of them. The American Institute of Architects has identified some common elements and created 10 Principles for Livable Communities. Livable Communities for Virginia explores each of the 10 principles using examples from communities all over the state, including Richmond, Fredericksburg, Charlottesville, Newport News, Harrisonburg, Roanoke, Alexandria and more. Attend the opening reception for Livable Communities for Virginia at the Virginia Center for Architecture on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 from 4:30–7 p.m.

For more information, call (804) 644-3041, extension 100 or visit www.architectureva.org.  There is no charge to attend the Opening Reception; however spaces are limited. RSVP online to secure tickets. Livable Communities for Virginia is at the Virginia Center for Architecture through March 23, 2014. There is no charge to visit the exhibition.

Livable Communities for Virginia kicks off a year-long recognition of the centennial anniversary of the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects called Virginia Celebrates Architecture. The exhibition is intended to help citizens, public officials, and others who are actively engaged in civic dialogue, to understand the basic elements of community design. It is a starting point to leverage existing tools, strategies, and synergies at the policy, planning, and design levels so that our communities can reach their full potential.

In addition to the exhibition, the Center will be offering an SOL-correlated educational program for groups each Wednesday through March 20.

Livable Communities for Virginia is sponsored at the Virginia Center for Architecture by Branch & Associates, Inc.

Posted in Membership News

Changes Coming to the AIA and VSAIA

Alert members will have read recently of proposed changes in governance of the American Institute of Architects.  On Sept. 20, the AIA Board of Directors adopted resolutions that are expected to lead to the restructuring of the board, diminishing the Institute’s governing board to an 11-member group charged with overseeing the internal management and finances.  A larger council, with representatives of the diverse makeup of the AIA — regions, knowledge communities, and affiliated groups — will become the “think tank” for the profession, assessing where the profession and its professional society should be moving.

On the same day, the Virginia Society AIA Board of Directors adopted a new strategic plan that will guide its work over the next three years.  Starting, of course, with the members, strategies and tactics will evolve from the fundamental statement that “Member needs, values, and aspirations will inform the Society’s programs and services.” Acknowledging that neither architects nor their professional society work in isolation, “The Society will strengthen and enrich its strategic relationships.” Addressing the profession’s expectations that the Virginia Society will act as advocate for the profession, “The Society will inform the public of its members’ concerns and achievements.” From that single statement, the Society will revisit and revise the way it talks to the public about architects and architecture.  Finally, in order to achieve all that members have come to expect of its statewide society, the Society must revisit and refresh itself as an operating entity.  Thus, “The Society will be structured and financed to ensure operational sustainability.”  In making this statement, the Board of Directors has committed to a rigorous examination of its programs and their effectiveness, of the structure of the board of directors itself, and of the funding mechanisms that are available to provide the wherewithal to fulfill its obligations to Society members.

While much remains to unfold in the AIA’s “repositioning” project, the Virginia Society’s launching of its new strategic plan promises — in the same year it celebrates 100 years of service to the profession and to society — to provide a way for Virginia to share in the careful recalibration of a profession that will continue changing in the 21st century.

Posted in Membership News


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Membership News

  • The Aspen Effect Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA

    The AIA – and the VSAIA – can and should be a nurturing wellspring of support. The connector. The network. The collective.

Professional Development News

  • Lineages and Trajectories at UVa LTTN

    The University of Virginia is hosting a symposium entitled “Lineages and Trajectories: the case of Architecture Pedagogy” on March 28, 2015.

Government Advocacy News

  • Grassroots Roundup Paula J. Loomis, FAIA, R. Corey Clayborne, AIA, and Rhea George brave the D.C. weather at Grassroots last week

    Roundup of the 2015 AIA Grassroots Leadership and Legislative Conference March 4-6 in Washington, D.C.


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.