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The Angle

May 19, 2011
Convention 2011 – a recap of the advocacy activities in New Orleans and the takeaways for the rest of 2011.

Contact | Federal Relations | State Relations | Local Relations |Codes Advocacy | Communities by Design | Advocacy365


In this issue:

Convention Wrap-Up: Highlights from New Orleans

AIA Members Getting Involved


Last week, from May 12 to May 14, AIA members, exhibitors, and affiliated professionals came together in "The Big Easy" for the Institute's 2011 National Convention and Design Exposition. Beyond the Expo floor, architect-advocate members networked, discussed pressing issues for the profession, received training, and learned how to further the AIA’s advocacy efforts. For those AIA members who couldn’t be there, below is a summary of advocacy’s activities, along with information on how to get more information.


AIA Testifies on SBA Size Standard Proposed Changes, Comment Deadline Extended

On May 5, AIA member Walter J. Hainsfurther, FAIA, testified in front of the House Committee on Small Business regarding the impact of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) size standard proposed changes. The SBA has proposed changing the current size standard for a small business of $4.5 million in net receipts to $19 million.

Representing the AIA in his testimony, Hainsfurther spoke about the differences between architecture firms and other related construction organizations.  He requested a time extension for the comments, as the AIA continued to receive an influx of comments from AIA members as the May 16 comment deadline approached.  While in New Orleans, the AIA received word of a 30-day extension due to our testimony, which allows our members to make additional comments up until June 16.

In addition to the extension, the AIA Board of Directors voted at their meeting in New Orleans to oppose any change to the current size standards and asked that the AIA continue to work with the SBA on sharing more information about the practice of architecture.  Currently, the AIA is providing information regarding the current size of architecture firms and the effect of the proposed change to $19M will have on architects.  AIA staff are also working with Congress and the SBA to outline other potential methods to determine small business requirements.  line

Congressional Honor Bestowed on Former AIA President, WWII Veteran

Stephen Scott Ferebee, FAIA, the oldest living former AIA president and a parachutist who took part in the 1944 D-Day invasion, was honored by the AIA and his Congressman at the AIA National Convention in New Orleans last week.

Introducing Ferebee to a standing ovation at Friday’s general session, AIA President Clark D. Manus, FAIA, read from a tribute entered into the Congressional Record by Rep. Larry Kissell (D-NC) earlier that week:

    “Stephen’s personal impact within the architectural profession represents a remarkable and unmatched legacy of selfless service. Stephen’s contributions to the advancement of community, education, and architecture have impacted countless others. Stephen was a man who inspired others by leading through example and his life was a commendable example for future generations of architects, community leaders, and educators.”

Ferebee, under the command of U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, was part of the largest military invasion in history with over 5,000 ships, 10,000 airplanes, and 250,000 service men landing in northern France. Wounded in action and subsequently evacuated to England, Ferebee later received the French Croix de Guerre with Palm, the Belgian Croix de Guerre, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Service Medal. The World War II veteran left active military service in 1946. He received a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering in 1948 from North Carolina State College (now North Carolina State University), and remained in the active reserve, rising to the rank of major general.

Ferebee became an AIA Fellow in 1968, was the AIA National President in 1972-1973, and was chancellor of the College of Fellows in 1987. He officiated at the opening dedication of the AIA headquarters building in Washington, DC, in 1973. In 1995, he retired from a 50-year architecture practice upon the completion of his last major design project—the new Charlotte Convention Center.


Federal Agency Connection Helps Thousands of Architects Find Public Sector Work

During the 2011 AIA National Convention and Design Expo in New Orleans, architects had the opportunity to meet with various agency personnel and discuss working with the federal government at the Federal Agency Connection (FAC). The FAC offered 15 courses aimed to demystify the federal procurement process and highlight opportunities within the agencies. And, while the classroom doubled in size from 2010, it was still standing room only. Eight agencies also hosted booths and offered one-on-one consultations.

If you weren’t able to attend Convention or just could not make it to the sessions, you can still get much of the information shared by agency personnel by viewing the presentations.


Local Leaders in Sustainability: Special Report from Sundance Released at Green Schools Salon

Local Leaders in Sustainability: Special Report from Sundance, co-authored by the American Institute of Architects, U.S. Green Building Council, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, and the Redford Center, was released on the Friday of Convention at the Green Schools Salon: From Design to Policy. This report provides a national action plan for greening America’s schools.

Special Report from Sundance explores how green schools are transforming local communities across America and details the action plans created at the Greening of America's School Summit in Sundance, UT, last November. In addition, the report provides a comprehensive research review of the economic and social benefits of green schools; the policy solutions being adopted at the local, state, and federal level; and case studies of successful, cost-effective, well-designed green schools.

The importance of designing green schools for our nation's students was explored during the Design Salon, which centered on ways to create schools that are healthier, more conducive to learning, and more sustainable. The panel included Ronald Bogle, President/CEO, American Architectural Foundation; Martin Chavez, former Albuquerque Mayor and Executive Director, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability; Lona Hankins, Director of Capitol Projects, New Orleans Recovery District; Jason Hartke, Vice President, National Policy, US Green Building Council; and Paul Hutton, AIA, LEED AP, Chair of the AIA Committee on Architecture Education.

The panelists provided a broad range of green schools policy and design examples. State and local green schools policy initiatives were presented, with case study examples of green schools policies discussed. The panel also focused on the importance of designing green schools and the move toward net zero schools. A prominent focus was also placed on the innovative policy choices being made to green the city of New Orleans schools.

Read AIArchitect to learn more about the panel and the Special Report from Sundance.

Citizen Architect Exchange Celebrates Fifth Anniversary at Convention

The 2011 AIA National Convention marked the fifth anniversary of the Citizen Architect Exchange. To commemorate this major milestone, this year's program focused on the role of leadership and civic engagement as lifetime undertakings.

The Citizen Architect Exchange opened with a panel that included AIAS president-elect Nick Mancusi, who co-chairs the AIAS Civic Engagement Task Force; Erik Heitman, Assoc. AIA (BNIM), who was the 2010 Emerging Professional of the Year; and the 2011 Young Architect Award winner Amy Slattery, AIA (BNIM). The panelists focused on the importance of community engagement, how they first got involved, and the importance of support from their firms in their efforts. Participants also engaged in a lively discussion regarding the current and future implications of civic engagement among architects. Richmond, VA, Councilman Bruce Tyler, AIA, LEED AP and Peter Steinbrueck, FAIA, a former three-term Seattle city council member, led this discussion.

Later in the evening, at the Civic Engagement reception, special guest Thaddeus Cohen, AIA, Director of Community Development for the City of Pensacola, FL, and the former Secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs, gave an inspiring speech on the virtue and importance of architects getting involved and advocating for issues important to the profession.

The AIA Center for Civic for Civic Leadership hopes to continue to develop the Citizen Architect program in the coming year, including the launch of the Center for Civic Leadership Component Assistance Grants. Grant applications are due July 29, 2011.


Sustainable Communities Design Salon Highlights Federal Partnership

The 2011 AIA National Convention treated attendees to a Design Salon featuring representatives from the Federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

Formed in 2009, the Partnership is formally comprised of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Department of Transportation (DOT).

To date, the Partnership has awarded communities more than $2 billion in grants for planning and development projects that are up to the standards of their six Livability Principles. The recently approved 2011 federal budget includes an additional nearly $1 billion more. Application guidelines will go out in the next few months and the speakers expressed a desire to see more participation from design professionals in the grant applications.

Marion Fowlkes, FAIA, principal of Centric Architecture, moderated the session. He asked, “How can architects can participate in the process? It can seem mysterious.”

All three speakers noted that one of the simplest things architects who are not already involved with federal grants can do is to watch the DOTEPA, and HUD Web sites.

Speakers recognize that architecture firms will not be the primary applicants, but the programs are highly competitive.

John Frece, Director of the Office of Sustainable Communities at the EPA, said “For architects in urban areas, the way I would suggest you do it, is to work through your metropolitan planning organization.”

Maria Zimmerman, Deputy Director for Sustainable Communities at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, emphasized that “Architects understand how people use spaces and how they are used and adapted over time. Some of our most successful proposals have had strong architectural firms involved.”

To read the full story from AIArchitect, click here.



    For more information, contact Cooper Martin, manager, Federal Research and Policy Development.

ArchiPAC Surpasses Goal in NOLA; Texas Hits Important Fundraising Milestone

More than 150 AIA members invested in ArchiPAC at last week’s AIA National Convention, raising more than $17,200 for the political activity, well beyond the original $15,000 goal. In addition, Texas surpassed the 50 percent marker for its 2011 ArchiPAC goal, the first AIA region to do so this year

With the goal of increasing AIA members' participation in ArchiPAC, the AIA's only federal political action committee, the ArchiPAC Steering organized a number of activities to get new member involvement. The hope was not to get big donations, but to get big participation. And, already in 2011, ArchiPAC has over 720 members (1,142 invested overall in 2010). As such, ArchiPAC is on track to far exceed its 2010 results.

Check out next week’s regularly scheduled issue of The Angle for an update on AIA Regional Goals and the new edition of the ArchiPAC newsletter.



    To make a contribution to, or to learn more about, ArchiPAC, click here.

    For more information, contact Hannah Wesolowski, manager, Political Programs.

Position Statement Review Underway

A review of many of the AIA’s position statements is currently underway.  The AIA Rules of the Board call for a review of position statements every three years to ensure that each position is still relevant and reflects the consensus viewpoint of AIA members. As a first step in the review process, the Board Advocacy Committee (BAC), in consultation with other stakeholders, determined that 15 position statements were okay as currently drafted and required no revision.  Those 15 statements were forwarded to the Board, which unanimously voted to accept the BAC recommendations and extend their sunset date by another three years.

The BAC also identified 23 statements that it believes need further review and possible revision.  As a next step, the BAC will seek input on revision recommendations from stakeholders who have expertise in a particular knowledge or issue area. While in New Orleans, the BAC took the opportunity to meet face to face with representatives of one of the stakeholder groups, the State Government Network (SGN), to gather their perspective.

Once all stakeholder input has been received, the BAC will consider the recommendations and make revisions where appropriate before distributing the position statements for a 60-day public comment period.  It is expected that the public comment period will occur in July and August.  Finally, the BAC expects to submit the position statements to the Board of Directors for final action during the December Board meeting.



    For more information, contact Angie Taylor, director, State Relations.

AIA Members Getting Involved

Codes Advocates on Ground for IGCC Hearings

After a very full slate of code-related activities in New Orleans, several architect-advocates have moved on this week to Dallas for development hearings to further craft the International Green Construction Code (IGCC). Four architects are representing the AIA on the committees reviewing the more-than-1,500 comments proposed by numerous interested parties -- including the Institute. By following @AIACodes on Twitter, you can keep up -- and interact -- with AIA staff on the ground during these important code development hearings.

And take a look at next week’s Angle for a full run-down of this week’s IGCC happenings.


For more information, contact Mark Wills, manager of Codes Advocacy.


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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


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