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AIA Launches New Sustainable Practice Resources for 2012

New practice resources for the IgCC, the 2030 Commitment, sustainable project documents, and energy modeling

In 2012, the AIA will launch a number of resources and tools to raise member awareness and understanding of sustainable practice issues. From the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) to LEED 2012, the practice of architecture is rapidly changing—and greening. The AIA is committed to helping its members succeed in this new practice environment, remaining competitive as code, technology, and legal requirements evolve, pushing the design envelope toward carbon neutrality.

IgCC Guide
The AIA has been involved in the IgCC code development process since 2009. The code was launched on March 28, and is the result of a collaborative effort among the AIA, ICC, ASHRAE, BOMA, and several other building design and construction organizations.

The IgCC represents an important regulatory step toward more sustainable buildings. Until now, there has been no international model code written in mandatory language for green provisions. The ICC is offering a credible, enforceable, and adoptable green code that streamlines the current practice of varying local regulations and the use of optional rating systems, which are not written to be enforced as law.

The AIA formed an IgCC task force of members with different professional specialties to create the AIA Guide to the IgCC, a comprehensive guide which will address the IgCC’s impact from the design, professional practice, implementation, and advocacy perspectives. The guide—an interactive PDF available to download free for AIA members beginning on May 15—provides a high-level overview of the new code as well as chapter-by-chapter summaries. Please check the AIA IgCC website for the latest updates.

2030 Commitment
Meeting the 2030 goals for carbon neutral building design mandates an approach that goes beyond meeting energy targets for the occasional sustainable project. To meet this challenge, sustainability must be imbedded into the way architects practice. The AIA 2030 Commitment is helping member firms drive fundamental change within the practice by focusing on the performance of designs across a firm’s entire portfolio rather than just individual, exemplary projects. To date, more than 200 firms have made the commitment, ranging in size from sole practitioners to multinational practices. As such, the second AIA 2030 Commitment Annual Progress Report will be released next week during the AIA National Convention and Design Expo.

One of the first steps on the road to carbon neutral building design is data collection, and there are valuable lessons to be learned from the firms that have successfully begun mining their work for data, particularly when this kind of information gathering is well-integrated into the design process. To this end, the AIA Committee on the Environment (AIA COTE) will help support the AIA 2030 Commitment through its AIAS/COTE Summer Research Scholar program. The objective of this summer’s research scholar initiative will be to develop a minimum of three case studies evaluating how firms have successfully implemented the AIA 2030 Commitment (including the challenges they have overcome), with the goal of providing a resource for new firms joining the effort. Using the lens of organizational change, the scholar will identify patterns that enhance successful implementation. These case studies will be available for download from the website in the fall of 2012. The AIA is committed to understanding the needs and developing the resources to support firms in this effort. Visit the AIA 2030 Commitment website to download the report next week, and find more information about signing up your firm to commit to sustainable design for the 21st century.

Sustainable Project Documents
As a follow-up to the extremely popular Sustainability Guide, on May 17 the AIA is unveiling five new easy-to-use sustainable project documents and one updated scope of services document for LEED certification. These documents were developed to manage the new risks and opportunities presented by sustainable design. The sustainable project documents will help guide the architect in developing a roadmap of the sustainable design project and allocate the unique risks presented to the appropriate parties involved.

These new sustainable project documents, included in the Conventional (A201) family of AIA Contract Documents, are a coordinated set of agreements that have been developed for use on a wide variety of sustainable projects, including those in which the sustainable objective includes obtaining a sustainability certification such as LEED , or those in which the sustainable objective is based on the incorporation of performance-based sustainable design metric.

The sustainable project documents are:

    • A101™-2007 SP, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor, for use on a sustainable project where the basis of payment is a stipulated sum

    • A201™-2007 SP, General Conditions of the Contract for Construction, for use on a sustainable project

    • A401™-2007 SP, Standard Form of Agreement Between Contractor and Subcontractor, for use on a sustainable project

    • B101™-2007 SP, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect, for use on a sustainable project

    • C401™-2007 SP, Standard Form of Agreement Between Architect and Consultant, for use on a sustainable project

    • B214™-2012, Standard Form of Architect’s Services: LEED Certification

The AIA’s new sustainable project documents website will feature sustainable project document comparatives where users can easily compare and contrast the revised text to the original document it was based on, as well as samples, and frequently asked questions.

Energy Modeling
The Architects’ Guide to Integrating Energy Modeling into the Design Process, will serve to not only demystify energy modeling in general, but also to provide tips and information that will help architects better discuss energy modeling. It will focus on the assumptions of energy modeling, its process, its tools, and what energy modeling outputs mean to potential design decisions. The goal of this document is to encouraging leadership in a collaborative, engaging process with the entire design team--especially engineers, energy modelers, consultants, contractors, code officials, and clients. The anticipated publication of the guide is late summer 2012. Visit the AIA energy modeling webpage for more information.

Looking to the future of sustainable practice
What’s next? Continuing education will be a significant focus in the future, as the AIA works to offer courses on beginner, intermediate, and advanced building performance topics. Additional practice guides are planned on topics such as daylighting, envelope design, passive design, and water use reduction. The AIA is also expanding its organizational relationships related to sustainability and is looking towards new collaborative opportunities with USGBC, ASHRAE, BOMA, and others to bring new opportunities to AIA members in the form of research, practice tools, and educational opportunities. Stay tuned to the AIA’s Sustainability website for the latest information on how to keep up with the ways sustainability is changing the practice of architecture.


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