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      American Institute of Architects Joins BuildStrong Coalition; Throws Support Behind Safe Building Code Legislation

      Contact: John Schneidawind
      202-626-7457
      johnschneidawind@aia.org

      http://twitter.com/AIA_Media

      For immediate release:
      Washington, D.C. – July 11, 2011 –
      The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today announced its support for the federal "Safe Building Code Incentive Act" (H.R.2069), introduced by U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., which would make states with national model building codes in place eligible for an additional four percent in relief funding after natural disasters. If enacted, the bill would serve to encourage states to head off disaster damage before it happens by requiring that homes meet nationally recognized standards.

      To that end, the AIA has joined the BuildStrong Coalition, a partnership of national business and consumer organizations, corporations, and emergency management officials dedicated to stronger building codes, in order to protect homes and buildings, and the primary private-sector proponent of the Diaz-Balart bill.

      “Rep. Diaz-Balart’s bill deserves swift approval in Congress — especially with catastrophic wind damage and accompanying disasters throughout large swaths of the south and Midwest.,” said AIA President Clark Manus, FAIA. “The incentives contained in this legislation would go a long way toward ensuring that structures have a better chance of surviving when disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes occur. We must continue to find effective means in making our cities, communities and regions more resilient."

      For example, the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center estimates that up-to-date building codes -- had they been in place in 2005 -- would have reduced wind damage from Hurricane Katrina by 80 percent. Furthermore, the adoption and enforcement of modern model codes is a money saver as well as a life and building saver. The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) -- a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization authorized by Congress -- estimates that for every $1 spent to make buildings stronger, taxpayers save $4 in federal assistance.

      About The American Institute of Architects
      For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.

 

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