AIA announces Big Move Toward Environmental Stewardship

Submitted by Katherine Flynn on Fri, 09/13/2019 - 12:17
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In conjunction with what the\nAIA has informally nicknamed the Big Move Toward Environmental Stewardship, the\nresolution marks a bold step forward in positioning the architectural\nprofession as key leaders for climate action. It outlines three key areas:\ndeclare an urgent climate imperative for carbon reduction; transform the\nday-to-day built practice of architects to achieve a zero-carbon, equitable,\nresilient and healthy built environment; and leverage support of peers,\nclients, policy makers, and the public at large. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u201cThe Board is energized by their commitment to leadership\nand environmental stewardship,\u201d Ivy says, noting that architects have a long\nhistory of championing sustainable design. The commercial and residential\nbuilding sectors are the largest contributors to greenhouse gases in the United\nStates\u201439 percent per year, according to USGBC\u2014and time is running out to make\nthe necessary impact to meet key goals in emissions reductions by 2040. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u201cNow\nthat the Board has ratified the resolution that the members overwhelmingly supported, the vote was decisive,\u201d says Marsha Maytum, a member of AIA\u2019s\n"],[0,[0],1,"Committee on the Environment"],[0,[],0," (COTE). \u201cThere are all these activities that are\nheaded in the same direction, and the AIA can be really impactful.\u201d "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u201cOn every project we do, architects have direct and\nconsequential impact on climate change,\u201d says Dan Hart, FAIA, a member of AIA\u2019s\nBoard of Directors and Chair of the AIA Board Knowledge Committee. \u201cThe Board\nis committed to progress against climate change in ways that respect the\ndiversity of perspective our membership represents.\u201d "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[1],1,"Changing and transforming practice"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The biggest component in spearheading a decrease in building\nemissions going forward will be transforming how architects practice, a major\nfocus of both the resolution and the Big Move. Based around 10 tenets now known\nas the AIA Framework for Design Excellence (formerly called the COTE Top Ten\nMeasures), the board recognized the holistic nature of the criteria. All\nten design elements matter, from water to wellness. However, for the\nimmediate future, particular emphasis will be placed on three: designing\nfor energy, economy, and equitable communities. The Institute will continue to\nencourage architects and firms to participate in AIA\u2019s "],[0,[2],1,"2030 Commitment"],[0,[],0,", and\nwill develop new programs and resources that will support and educate\narchitects in fighting climate change\u2014and help them translate the urgency and\nimportance to their clients. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u201cClimate change requires a holistic approach, addressing the\ninter-dependencies among people, buildings, infrastructure, and the\nenvironment,\u201d says AIA President William Bates, FAIA. \u201cOur training allows us\nto look for solutions and ways to mitigate climate change comprehensively and\ncreatively, which we do every day.\u201d "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"There\u2019s no question that there\u2019s a lot of work to be done in\na short period of time. \u201cOur profession is well-suited to be in a position of\nleadership on this topic, and so now we have to seize it,\u201d Maytum says. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[1],1,"Taking action "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u201cAll of this is building up to 2020 being a\nredirect of our knowledge, content and resources toward this one message,\u201d says\nTerri Stewart, Senior Vice President of Knowledge and Practice at AIA. Much of\nthe work of AIA over the next several years will involve the association\nunifying all of its work, and focusing the majority of its efforts \u2013 dollars,\nstaff, and volunteers \u2013 on its climate messaging, tools and resources. It will\nalso involve working with components to deepen already-existing grassroots\nefforts. \u201cWe\u2019re building impact in one area rather than 20,\u201d Stewart\nsays. \u201cThis climate action resolution is starting to define the messaging.\u201d "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Architects will make a significant difference to the built\nenvironment. This means not only through mitigation efforts, but also by\nadapting buildings to the adverse effects of climate change. \u201cIt\u2019s both the\nmitigation and the adaptation piece \u2013 how climate is changing communities and\nthe planet, where they build, how they build,\u201d says Stewart. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Stewart points out that in the 1970\u2019s, architects emphasized\nthe \u201ctriple bottom line\u201d of social, economic, and environmental factors when\npromoting green design. Ivy adds, \u201cArchitects were at the forefront of creating\nbuildings that are responsive and responsible.\u201d In many ways, the AIA hopes to\nsteer architects back toward those earlier conversations, while making the\nparameters of the conversations larger. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"In December, the AIA Board of Directors will allocate staff\nand budget to support the initiative\u2019s high-level goals. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"While the Big Move Toward Environmental Sustainability and\nthe concurrent Resolution will guide much of the work of AIA National in the\ncoming decades, they do not reflect a mandate for components \u2013 AIA leadership\nwants to be clear that they represent a request, and that the larger\norganization will be focusing on the plethora of resources and tools already\navailable to AIA members, but also new resources and tools for the economy,\nenergy, and equitable communities for components to draw on, since much of the\nwork will take place at a local level. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"In the coming months, the AIA has a number of programs and\ninitiatives focused on helping architects narrow their focus on reducing carbon\nemissions, including a climate action plan for the organization where members\ncan learn how to engage. \u201cThe hope is that, through measured and consistent\naction, every AIA member will join the effort,\u201d Ivy says. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[3],1,"The American Institute of Architects (AIA) calls on architects around the world to support humanity\u2019s collective call to climate action through an unrelenting commitment to sustainable and resilient design"],[0,[],0,". "],[0,[3],0,"Read AIA\u0027s "],[0,[4],1,"Where We Stand"],[0,[],1," statement on climate action. "]]]]}
AIA will take bold, decisive action on climate change over the coming decades.
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