Sunday, June 4, 2023

AIA Connecticut



Together, with our members, we advocate for architects, the profession and the built environment at the federal, state, and local levels.
Our active representation at the state legislature, and with state agencies, as well as at the national level on issues is vital to architects, such as licensing, architects’ contracts, building code requirements, sales tax, and various design & construction related issues.

Join the AIA Connecticut Governement Affairs Committee! 
The committee a
ssists the Executive Director and our lobbyists focusing on Connecticut legislative and licensing issues and encouraging member participation in local, state and federal government. 

2022 Co-Chairs:
John J. Butkus, AIA, Arcadis, Paolo Campos, AIA Patriquin Architects

Please contact Gina Calabro, Hon. AIACT, Executive Director- for information and to join the Government Affairs Basecamp for all updates and information.

AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF Architects Legislative Brief 2021Cover

AIA Connecticut 2022 PRIORITIES

Disaster Assistance
In 2020, we were working with the Trial Lawyers Association and the Judiciary Committee to update verbiage on the Connecticut "Good Samaritan Law" to include architects and engineers.  Due to Covid, this was put on hold and in 2021, the language was inserted in a another bill that did not pass.  In 2022, the language was in a separate bill, HB 5236: An Act Concerning Architects Who Voluntarily and Without Compensation Assist Public Officials in Evaluating the Safety Elements of Built Environments in the Aftermath of a Major Disaster or Emergency.  The bill was signed into law by Governor Lamont in May 2022.
Energy Efficiency & the 2030 Commitment
Buildings generate nearly 40% of annual global Green House Gas emissions. Approximately two-thirds of the building area that exists today will still exist in 2050. Currently, building renovations affect only 0.5-1% of the building stock annually.
The sustainability, especially the energy efficiency, of the built environment depends on the quality of architectural design and construction.
The energy use of new and renovated structures is primarily governed by the International Energy Code as adopted and modified by each state. States have begun to assess and implement additional energy conservation requirements but achieving them requires measures of compliance and enforcement that are challenging to regulate beyond the established work of CT Codes and Standards Committee. Given these challenges, the AIA 2030 Commitment (toward net zero energy buildings)compels its signatory member firms to design more energy efficient buildings. Architects of AIACT, as such, currently support the work of representatives from the public and private sector (including the Governors Climate Change Council (GC3) and other non-profits)seeking widespread reductions of energy use throughout Connecticut.

Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
The American Institute of Architects, as part of the global community, champions a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion within the profession of architecture to create a better environment for all. Achieving this vision has a direct impact on the relevance of our profession and the world's prosperity, health, and future. Harnessing the passion of our members and the broader design community, AIA is taking steps to advance racial justice and equality in our organization, in our profession, and in our communities.
Locally, we are part of the Desegregate CT Coalition of organizations who believe in creating abundant, diverse housing in service of equity, inclusive prosperity, and a cleaner environment.

AIA National Priorities

A Future Economy

When business thrives, America thrives. Architecture firms lead a $1T building construction industry that catalyzes private investment. Most of these firms meet the federal government’s definition of small business. The administration’s tax policies should support small business, innovation, and talent recruitment. AIA commits to voice strong support for a future economy that advances the success of architecture firms and the profession.

Climate Action

Human activity is warming our climate to dangerous levels and carbon from buildings is a primary culprit. Buildings must consume less energy, use only renewable sources, and contribute power back to the energy grid. AIA is taking action to eliminate all building carbon emissions by 2040.

Healthy and Equitable Communities

In towns and cities across the country, deep inequities exist that prevent access to safe and healthy buildings for many Americans. We as a nation must act to provide shelter—a basic human need. AIA commits to a future built environment that improves individual health and prepares communities to weather a variety of storms.

                                                     Yes In My Backyard Act (YIMBY)

Insufficient affordable housing is a problem in every State in America. The challenge is often exacerbated (or created) by local housing and zoning policies that discourage the development of affordable housing, such as requiring large minimum lot sizes or prohibiting multifamily housing as just two examples of many. Whether by design or not, these policies often discriminate against
housing opportunities for low- and middle-income Americans.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there are only 37 affordable rental homes available for every 100 extremely low-income renting households, equaling a shortage of nearly 7 million affordable homes nationwide.1 More must be done to improve affordable housing opportunities for Americans in need. AIA supports access to housing as a fundamental human right and we urge Congress to support initiatives that mitigate against barriers to affordable housing.

                                                 Democracy in Design Act of 2021

The Democracy in Design Act of 2021 is bipartisan legislation that will ensure that communities across the country maintain a voice in the design of
federal buildings in their areas.
Cosponsored by Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) and Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), the bill would codify the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA)
“1962 Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture,” prohibiting the federal government from mandating any national design style. This ensures that no
architectural style may be preferred nor prohibited by the federal government.

Officially maintaining a style-neutral position respects this country’s regional differences, as various communities may have different preferences,
topographies, and design traditions. It also encourages American architectural innovation.

Additionally, the Democracy in Design Act of 2021 would safeguard the GSA’s Design Excellence Program, which guides the GSA’s process to acquire, design, and construct public buildings. The legislation directs the GSA to undergo enhanced formal rulemaking processes on any proposed changes to the Design Excellence Program, including an opportunity for the public to comment. This would increase transparency in the federal design process, while also allowing the program to evolve for modern needs.