AIA, groups meet with Capitol Hill lawmakers on resilience strategies

AIA's Rachel Minnery on how to build community resilience

On Wednesday, June 9, the American Institute of Architects took part in the BuildStrong National Thought Leaders Forum, held in the U.S. Capitol Building. A leading expert on resilience, the American Institute of Architects' Senior Director of Sustainable Development Policy Rachel Minnery, FAIA, represented the Institute on an industry stakeholder panel, which explored critical questions around how to build community resilience.

Minnery pointed out the need for access to forward-looking risk data, including climate change projections, to allow designers to help clients understand the challenges their buildings may face over their decades-long service life. Also participating were representatives from the American Society of Civil Engineers, Congressional Fire Services Institute, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Insurance Information Institute, Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Code Council, and Reinsurance Association of America.

In addition to industry stakeholders, several Members of Congress stopped by to offer their support. Participants heard words of encouragement from Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.), and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wi.), all of whom sit on critical committees with jurisdiction over federal infrastructure and emergency management programs. These policymakers understand the importance of investing in community resilience and mitigating the impacts of disasters while the sun is still shining to save lives, property, and taxpayer dollars when the next disaster strikes.

This event was organized by the BuildStrong Coalition. AIA is a member of BuildStrong, along with groups representing other design professionals, the insurance industry, the first responder community, as well as codes and standards organizations. The Coalition’s mission is to build community resilience by promoting better construction practices through the adoption of strong building codes and to move federal disaster policies from a reactive to a proactive model.

Ian McTiernan is AIA's manager of federal relations.

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AIA's Rachel Minnery on how to build community resilience

AIA

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