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Indy’s Insights: Chronicling an Internship with AIA Advocacy

Building Safety Month!

This week I got to work with Stephanie in Codes Advocacy as well as Cooper in Community Resilience. To say I learned a lot would be a huge understatement. This week has been extremely insightful and completely changed my view on codes. It began with a reception for Building Codes Safety at AIA National, where I got to hear some great thoughts from Robert Ivy, the International Code Council, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Air Movement & Control. The reception was a great introduction to understanding how codes contribute to building safety.

One highlight of the week was going to a webinar with Stephanie at the Alliance to Save Energy, where I got an unexpected perspective from manufacturers on the importance of adopting new codes and the role of business in codes. The other highlight was going to the first BuildStrong Coalition forum on ‘Building Codes for a Stronger and Safer America’ with Cooper. I got to hear some great thoughts from two panels, as well as some really amazing keynote speakers. The most notable of these speakers was Thad Allen, who is best known for his performance directing the federal response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and for his work as National Incident Commander of the Unified Command for the Deep-Water Horizon oil spill.

All these events involved different perspectives they shared a common message: it is important to have strong building codes that are adopted state-wide because, not only do they build safer, more resilient communities, but they also save lives. This has definitely become apparent during recent national disasters. I also learned about the cost and economic benefits of building codes to homeowners and the government, supported by strong scientific evidence. Look out for a narrative by me to see a more detailed analysis of the insights I gained this week in the world of codes. It was definitely an interesting and welcomed surprise!

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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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