Issues & AdvocacyFederal
The AIA Federal Agenda
For more than 150 years, the members of the American Institute of Architects have worked to advance our quality of life through design. From designing the next generation of energy-saving buildings to making our communities healthier and more vibrant, from helping neighborhoods rebuild after disasters to exporting American design know-how to the rest of the world, architects turn dreams and aspirations into reality.
Backed by more than 85,000 professionals who are job catalysts in every community, the AIA urges Congress and the White House to put partisanship aside and work together to build our nation’s future.
• Advance policies that help small businesses grow and create jobs. Four years after the AIA blocked an SBA proposal to increase size standards to untenable levels, the AIA will work with Congress and the administration to ensure that the definitions of small businesses reflect the reality of practice.
• Ensure the tax code treats all firms fairly. Nearly four in five architecture firms are pass-throughs, some tax reform proposals will leave them with higher taxes. The AIA is part of a broad coalition to ensure a fair playing field for all businesses.
• Help the profession become more globally competitive. The AIA will continue its partnership with the U.S. Commerce Department to help members open doors to international practice.
The AIA supports policies that promote good design.
• Support federal 2030 targets and pass true consensus energy efficiency legislation. The AIA is leading a 1000-group coalition to protect federal sustainability laws, and will continue to fight for common-sense legislation that provides more tools for architects to design sustainably.
• Restore the 179D Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction. In 2014, the AIA won a one-year extension of this important energy efficiency tool; now the AIA will work to keep it on the books.
• Protect and enhance the historic preservation tax credit. Historic preservation incentives help communities expand and prosper, while preserving their heritage and creating jobs. The AIA and its allies will work to ensure that these incentives are not lost in tax reform.
• Create a national infrastructure bank and restore Build America Bonds. The AIA backs bipartisan, common-sense proposals to finance our nation’s infrastructure, which includes public buildings like schools and libraries.
• Enhance the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. This tool has helped millions of Americans find well-designed, affordable housing; the AIA will work to make it an even more useful tool.
• Promote design excellence across all federal agencies. The AIA will work to educate policymakers on the importance of design and celebrate examples of great public-sector architecture.
The AIA supports policies that help communities prepare for and respond to the challenges they face.
• Support legislation to spur states to adopt better building codes. The AIA is part of a broad coalition to pass legislation that gives states additional FEMA mitigation money if they adopt statewide building codes.
• Enact national Good Samaritan legislation. In many states, architects cannot volunteer after disasters because of a lack of liability protection. A national Good Sam law will ensure that architects can help communities recover after disasters.
• Promote resiliency planning in communities. The AIA is convening resilience officers from across the federal government to facilitate ways of working together to help communities instead of the patchwork of policies that hold back real progress.
• Pass the National Design Services Act. The AIA and the American Institute of Architecture Students will continue their efforts to advance legislation to provide architecture graduates with debt relief in exchange for community design services.
• Foster a regulatory environment that enables architecture firms to invest in research and workforce development. The federal government’s model for compensating architects is based on a New Deal-era law that devalues the work architects do. The AIA is working to explore new models that will ensure that taxpayers receive good value - and architecture firms can lead the way in designing the future.
• Support pro bono and community work in underserved areas. Community design centers are making a difference in underserved communities across the nation. The AIA will work to provide more support to these centers to help bring resilient, sustainable design to those who need it.
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