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The Angle

December 2, 2010
Possible Movement on 1099 Repeal; New Resources, Activity on Green Schools; Report from Greenbuild; Lone Star and South Atlantic Components Out in Front in ArchiPAC Challenge; and more…
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Contact | Federal Relations | State Relations | Local Relations |Codes Advocacy | Communities by Design | Advocacy365

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In this issue:

    Washington Report

    State and Local Update

    Codes Advocacy

    AIA Members Getting Involved

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Washington Report

Senate Finance Chair Reaches Across Aisle after 1099 Repeal Stalls
   

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) announced that he is working with Nebraska Republican Mike Johanns in an effort to strike the 1099 reporting requirement for businesses a day after the Senate rejected two proposals to repeal it.

Johanns and Baucus each offered amendments Monday (November 29) to repeal the measure requiring businesses to file a 1099 form for purchases of $600 or more, but neither received the votes needed to pass.

Repealing the requirement has become one of the biggest issues before Congress in its lame duck session, and members of both parties have pledged to eliminate it. However, efforts to repeal the measure in the past have failed because of disagreements over how to pay for it. Baucus, who introduced his amendment with no offsets, appears to be willing now to concede on some spending cuts in order to get the votes needed for the repeal.

The AIA supports a bipartisan approach and continues to voice its concerns to Members of Congress. AIA members sent more than 5.000 e-mails to the Senate Monday to urge it to repeal the requirement. line

 
Obama Meets with Congressional Leaders, Sets Lame Duck Tax Agenda
   

President Obama met with Congressional leaders at the White House Tuesday (November 30) to discuss policy issues, including tax policy. The meeting included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), as well as other Democratic and Republican leaders. They announced after the meeting that there is a “sincere effort” to compromise on the Bush 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and extenders package. The President was hopeful that there will be progress soon.

In an effort to expedite the compromise, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and White House budget director Jack Lew will be negotiating on behalf of the Administration with Congressional leaders. They hope to compromise before the Bush-era tax cuts expire January 1, 2011.

There was no word of whether an increase in the energy efficient commercial building tax deduction or S-corporation payroll taxes will make an appearance in the lame duck. However, the AIA continues to monitor upcoming legislation for proposals that impact architects and the built environment.

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House Honors Andrea Palladio
   

The House approved a resolution backed by the AIA last week to honor architect Andrea Palladio. The resolution, authored by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), honors the 500th anniversary of Palladio’s birth in 2008. It notes that “Palladio's designs for public works, churches, mansions, and villas rank among the most outstanding architectural achievements of the Italian Renaissance,” and that his Four Books of Architecture “rank as the most influential publication on architecture ever produced and has shaped much of the architectural image of Western civilization.”

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Green Schools Issue Brief Released
   

The Government and Community Relations team is developing a unified issue agenda focused on advocacy goals important to the profession. These issues include a wide range of topics such as business practice, licensing, building codes, and sustainability. With the forthcoming Local Leaders in Sustainability report on green schools set to be released early next year, the first issue brief focuses on that topic.

Green schools improve student performance; promote the health and well-being of students; and save money. Architects are designing superior learning environments with daylighting, improved acoustics, thermal comfort, and many other improvements for our students.

This issue brief urges federal, state, and local governments to support funding to school districts for the design, construction, and renovation of high-performance K-12 public schools.

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AIA and USGBC Green Schools Workshop at National League of Cities Congress of Cities Conference
   

The AIA and USGBC are convening a green schools workshop at the National League of Cities Congress of Cities on December 3. The discussion will focus on opportunities for communities to incorporate green schools practices into their school districts and the value of designing green schools for America's students.

The AIA and USGBC will present findings from the soon-to-be-released Local Leaders in Sustainability joint report on green schools, including case studies, outcomes from the Sundance Green Schools Summit, and proposed strategies for future greening. The panel will include Paul Mendelsohn, the AIA's vice president of Government and Community Relations; Aaron Lande of USGBC; Mayor Ralph Becker of Salt Lake City; and Councilman Michael Sesma from Gaithersburg, Maryland. Mayor Becker and Councilman Sesma will discuss the successful strategies that they have employed to advance green schools in their communities. A facilitated discussion, including youth delegates at the conference, will follow the presentations.

"This forum provides an excellent opportunity for the AIA to advocate for the design and construction of innovative and sustainable schools," Mendelsohn said. "Frequently local elected leaders make important decisions related to future school construction, and architects must play an integral role in shaping those discussions. AIA members are well informed on the concept of why good design matters and are essential to any dialogue on the need to build more energy efficient, healthy, and high performing schools in the future."

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Greenbuild 2010: An Advocacy Recap from Chicago
   

The AIA was well-represented -- both in terms of staff presence and member attendance and participation. In one of the expo's early educational sessions, a combination of AIA National staff and industry leaders presented an update on the progress of the Institute's 2030 Commitment Program. This vital initiative, which sprung from the AIA's adoption of sustainable architecture public policies and position statements (see page 16 of this document) -- with a view toward carbon neutrality in the built environment by 2030 -- is a means by which architecture firms use simple and consistent operational benchmarks to demonstrate leadership in sustainable design. As Rand Ekman, AIA, of OWP/P | Cannon Design indicated during the presentation, building to existing building and energy codes will not get firms to the Commitment's 2030 goals, so both firms and the Commitment must be adaptable. To wit, over time and as technology allows, Commitment Program benchmarks will evolve to take into account factors such as water use, regionalized targets, and actual energy use metrics.

A session on Greenbuild's second day tackled the myriad of legal issues arising from the new paradigms arising from "building green" -- from privacy and misrepresentation of performance data to de-certification and/or re-certification of buildings modeled to LEED standards. To that second point, the old "finish line" was having a building LEED-certified and the old lineup of "players" was limited to the owner, design professionals, and contractors. In the new model, however, the new end game is re-certification of a property and numerous new players have emerged, as have new liabilities (e.g., third-party beneficiary damages, loss of tenants, local fines, certification loss or reduction and resulting damages, etc.).

One way of addressing some of these thorny legal concerns is raising the baseline through adoption of a green building code and to allow above-code programs to continue to be aspirational and serve as market differentiators. To that end, at a November 18 press conference, the International Code Council -- along with the AIA and other cooperating sponsors -- launched the second public version of the International Green Construction Code.

"Once and for all, [the IGCC] gives a common platform for really addressing the issues of sustainable design," said George H. Miller, FAIA, the current president of the AIA. (To view Miller's remarks from the press conference, click here.)

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    To learn more about the AIA's involvement in the development of Public Version 2.0 of the International Green Construction Code, click here.

    To comment on Public Version 2.0 of the IGCC, follow this link.

    For more information about Greenbuild 2010, please contact Mark Wills, manager, Codes Advocacy.

    For general information on the AIA's Codes Advocacy program, click here.

Texas, South Atlantic States Take Lead in ArchiPAC Regional Challenge
   

Launched at the beginning of September, the ArchiPAC Regional Challenge is heating up. The Challenge is a peer-to-peer initiative to get more architects engaged in the AIA’s advocacy efforts through ArchiPAC, the AIA’s federal political action committee, which offers the winning region a $1,000 contribution to benefit a charity that aids emerging professionals in architecture.

As of today, Texas -- its own AIA region -- has taken the lead by contributing more than $3,000 to ArchiPAC during the Challenge. The South Atlantic region (composed of Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina) follows closely behind, having raised more than $2,740.

The 112th Congress that comes to Washington in January will face tough, but vital, issues important to the profession and the nation’s future. These include freeing up the credit markets, building a 21st-century national infrastructure system, helping create livable communities, and reducing the tax and regulatory burdens harming small businesses. A strong ArchiPAC will ensure that architects have the relationships on Capitol Hill to be part of the conversation surrounding this legislation.

Each region can get involved and make their money work twice as hard by giving to this important advocacy function and supporting a charity that benefits emerging architecture professionals and architecture students. During the course of the Challenge, AIA members have encouraged their colleagues to do their part through email campaigns, as well as presentations and “passing the hat” at AIA committee, board, and annual meetings.

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    To learn more about the Challenge, visit www.archipac.org.

    For more information on the Challenge or to learn how you can get involved, contact Hannah Wesolowski, manager, Political Programs.

The Angle Archive:

The Angle is published by the AIA Government and Community Relations Department, 1735 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20006. To contact The Angle, send an email to govaffs@aia.org.

 

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