Building renewal FAQs

Why is AIA renovating its headquarters?

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.

How much will it cost?

The construction cost for the renovation is expected to be between $50 and $70 million.

Will this affect my dues?

The renovation of the AIA headquarters will not affect members’ dues. 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.

What architectural firms are working on AIA’s building renewal project?

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.

How did AIA choose the architectural firm?

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.

What construction firm was selected for the project?

AIA’s Board of Directors selected Turner Construction Company.

How did AIA choose the construction firm?

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.

What equity considerations were factored into the selection of the design and construction partners?

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.  

Will AIA be 2030 compliant by the end of the renovation?

Yes. 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…
  • Updating the original systems, for cost effective energy efficiency;
  • Electrifying all building systems while incorporating onsite and offsite renewable energy to decarbonize the building and achieve the goals of the AIA 2030 Commitment.

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