Building renewal FAQs
AIA headquarters is currently undergoing a major renovation. Get your important questions answered about the historic building renewal.
This is the first comprehensive renovation since AIA headquarters was dedicated in 1973 and the first significant renovation to address sustainability goals. Although functional, most of the building’s major systems are original. In addition, single-pane windows and lack of exterior wall insulation make the building inefficient. Renovating 1735 New York Avenue provides an opportunity for AIA to demonstrate the power of positive design solutions.
Over the last five years, AIA has positioned itself as a vocal advocate for addressing climate action and equity in the built environment. The AIA headquarters is a symbol for the kind of equitable, sustainable, and resilient future for which architects advocate. Currently, AIA’s building attributes contrast with the association’s values, policy positions and messaging.
Through the building renewal, AIA is launching the AIA Global Campus for Architecture & Design where AIA members, staff, collaborators, leaders, and the public come together to create a vibrant community for real-world problem solving. We are working toward LEED Platinum and Well certified, which will assist in the building being 2030 compliant. In addition, AIA donated $500,000 to Habitat for Humanity Virginia to help launch a two-year project to install solar energy systems on up to 80 homes in Washington, DC, and Virginia. The donation is the result of the association’s goal to offset the embodied carbon emissions resulting from the renewal project.
In brief, the goals for the Global Campus for Architecture & Design are to educate the public, demonstrate the power of design, and provide inspiring space for leaders to meet and address society’s challenges.
More specifically, our goals are to…
- Illuminate the architecture & design profession’s impact on communities, society, and the world.
- Demonstrate the power of design through the building renewal’s transformative journey and its cutting-edge best practices in design excellence for community and environmental stewardship.
- Harness opportunities to educate and empower the architecture and design profession, students, and the public, fostering advocacy at every level.
- Nurture an environment that radiates inspiration, learning, and collaboration, sparking business, social connections, and engagement within the community.
- Propel the influx of visitors, amplifying meaningful interaction and participation with AIA, its members, and programs.
- Elevate the existing collaboration with The Octagon and Architects Foundation for mutual success and engagement.
- Fund campus programs and community giving through a conference center, events space, and co-working rentals, the AIA Store, exhibits, lectures, and sponsorships to drive long-term growth.
A newly renovated AIA headquarters building will leverage forward-thinking architecture & design to serve as a model of responsible stewardship and sustainability while offering inspired, collaborative work environments for AIA staff, AIA members, peer organizations, and coworking and event space available to the public. Inside the renewed headquarters, a new AIA Gallery will foster dialogue with the public through curated exhibitions and lectures on architects and architecture & design-related projects and issues. The AIA Archives will welcome scholars to delve deep into the history of architecture & design and AIA’s forward-thinking history of advocacy and support for both the architecture & design professions and the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
A new AIA Store will welcome visitors with books and products celebrating architecture & design. Pop-up experiences and events will take place in the courtyard of the campus. The Octagon, the oldest private residence in DC and now a museum and exhibit space on the AIA campus, will connect our design and cultural past with our future while hosting programs demonstrating the societal impact of architects and architecture, and the architect and designer’s potential to create a just and equitable society. Through the design excellence that it exemplifies and the cultural exchanges it fosters, the new AIA Global Campus for Architecture & Design will embody AIA’s mission and values by driving positive change through the power of design.
No, the renovation of the AIA headquarters will not affect members’ dues. The project is being paid for using AIA’s reserves, not its Operating Budget, which includes member dues support. The AIA Board of Directors evaluates member dues annually and makes the decision whether to adjust the National membership dues. If the dues rate is adjusted, the change is usually based on the Consumer Price Index.
AIA’s Board of Directors have selected architectural firm EHDD to lead the project. In addition, the association selected the following firms to consult on the project: Hood Design Studio, Hartman-Cox Architects, and Point Energy Innovations. The project is led by Stephen Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, Former Architect of the Capitol.
After considering more than 60 firms, the AIA chose to invite 11 to compete for this work in a qualifications-based selection process. Firms went through a comprehensive Request for Qualifications stage and a jury selected several firms to proceed to the Request for Proposals stage. A second jury evaluated proposals and interviewed the short-listed firms and recommended EHDD to the AIA Board of Directors based on pre-established criteria. The Board approved the recommendations.
The AIA considered more than 20 construction companies and invited 10 to submit Statements of Qualifications. A jury evaluated those companies and selected four to proceed to the Request for Proposals stage. A second jury reviewed proposals and interviewed the short-listed companies and recommended Turner Construction to the AIA Board of Directors. The Board approved the recommendations.
A range of equity considerations were central to the selection of the design and construction partners. These factors included senior leadership and staff composition, firm policies and practices, and project history. In addition, the architecture and construction firms were required to present and discuss their commitment to EDI and sustainable design practices.
Yes. We are working toward LEED Platinum and Well certified, which will assist in the building being 2030 compliant. The renewal project of the building includes:
- Developing an equitable, high-quality, well-designed workplace and gathering space for staff, members, and the public.
- Creating an inspiring experience that conveys the AIA’s values.
- Providing a building that embodies sustainability measures outlined in the AIA Framework for Design Excellence, which represents the defining principles of good design in the 21st century, that meet the targets of the 2030 Commitment. Some of those measures include…
o Updating the original systems, for cost effective energy efficiency;
o Electrifying all building systems while incorporating onsite and offsite renewable energy to decarbonize the building and achieve the goals of the AIA 2030 Commitment.