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Indy’s Insights: Chronicling an Internship with AIA Advocacy

My First Week at the AIA

Hey, my name is Indy Lamba and I am the new AIA Government Advocacy Intern at AIA National. I am a recent graduate of Virginia Tech with a major in Architecture and a minor in Green Energy. I am a huge Washingtonian and just completed my first week at AIA National orienting myself and getting acquainted with everyone around. This has included meeting with the staff and different teams. In addition to getting familiar with AIA policy and issues I have been looking into more detailed information about what each individual team has been working on.

First and foremost the staff at AIA National is extremely friendly and has really helped me this first week. At times it has been a bit overwhelming but everyone has really actively worked to make sure any questions I might have get answered. I have had the opportunity to sit in on various meetings with the different members in the different teams including public policy, codes, state and local and etc. I believe everyone here is just as excited to have me as I am to be here!

The public policy team at AIA I have met includes Tatyana, Brooks and Payton and is extremely passionate. A recent report released by them, which I had the pleasure of reading, was Local Leaders. This report is definitely worth reading and will broaden your scope on how an architect can really have a huge effect of Public health beyond health facilities. I would recommend taking a look at it which is filled with case studies and facts about the health problems facing the United States and presents real ways that an Architect can contribute to the solving America’s health problems and even affecting the economy. The recent commitment AIA has made to the Clinton Global Initiative has begun to spark these new talks within the community and I can see why it is an important discussion for members to take part in.

The Code and Standards department within AIA national is spearheaded by Stephanie who is just as knowledgeable and passionate as everyone else. This was another interesting part of AIA national that I would have otherwise honestly never delved into, but have found extremely interesting, especially in my talks with Stephanie. The recent release of the new IgCC, which just came out last year, is a new and exciting approach to Sustainable Buildings. I would recommend reading the AIA guide to the IgCC as it explains not only what it is, but the importance, and AIA Nationals influential role in developing it. IgCC is unique in ‘green building’ or sustainable design because it is the first ever Green code, not just standard or rating system, and could be pivotal in the success of the 2030 commitment.

The 2030 commitment is another project that really pushes the move towards a more responsible buildings culture in the US. The 2030 commitment asks firms to pledge a program towards full carbon neutrality in the US. It asks firms to essentially walk the walk when it comes to sustainable design by reporting using the AIA tool. This provides a measurable means as well as a source of accountability when it comes to the future of American Buildings. It will be interesting to follow this commitment in the upcoming years to see how it develops.

This upcoming week I will be working with the State Department and will be the first team I get to work with closer. I expect it to be just as exciting, insightful, and interesting as my first week!

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This content is published by the AIA Government and Community Relations Department, 1735 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20006. To contact the AIA’s Government & Community Relations team, send an email to


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