State and local issues


Texas State Capitol building, Austin, TX. Designed in 1881 by architect Elijah E. Myers, it was constructed from 1882 to 1888 under the direction of civil engineer Reuben Lindsay Walker.

The voice of AIA architects, as thought and action leaders, is essential to designing a better future for our states, cities, townships and neighborhoods.

State and Local Policy Agenda

Architects must have a seat at the table when important civic decisions are made and must play a vital role in crafting public policy solutions that address the most prominent issues facing states and cities. By advocating solutions within the built environment to address issues like school safety, climate change, and affordable housing, architects are at the forefront of solving these critical challenges. The more architects work with state and local elected officials, the greater the positive impact on these and other important issues facing the profession, the business, and our communities.

More about the AIA proactive state and local policy agenda >

More state and local issues

Building codes & permitting

Up-to-date codes help save lives, improve building performance and prevent damage from disaster. We work with our industry partners to develop model codes and assist in their adoption.

In 2007, we helped establish the federal 2030 net zero energy goals. Today, we continue to push for ways to achieve meaningful energy conservation.  On the state and local levels, we are working with state governments and local communities to reduce energy use in new and existing buildings.

The permit review process can often cause unneeded and costly delays to projects. We provide models that can help reduce delays and advocate for legislation that streamlines the permitting processes.

Professional licensing

Architects are ethically and professionally responsible for protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public in the built environment. We oppose efforts to weaken rigorous standards for architectural licensing, and work to ensure that architectural services are only provided by individuals who have demonstrated competency through examinations, experience and education.

Architects face encroachment from many individuals looking to carve out a piece of the design business for themselves. We provide resources to defend the value of our profession.

Qualifications-based selection

Would you choose your surgeon based on price alone? Of course not. Unlike procuring discrete products, selecting a skilled professional like an architect requires looking beyond just the price. We support a Qualifications-Based Selection process, which keeps the focus on quality and limits design competitions that force architects to provide services and expertise for free.

Strong, resilient communities

We champion livable communities. Places where it is easy to walk or bike to schools and grocery stores and where there is room for wildlife, culture and sports. We support transportation and housing policies that repair crumbling infrastructure, revive historic neighborhoods and create healthier places to live.

We work with communities and elected officials to protect what is unique, and we assist in resiliency planning and disaster recovery to ensure they can rise up again if the worst happens.

Taxes on architectural services

We work to create a business environment that helps firms focus on design. Over the years we’ve defeated tax hikes that hurt architects, pushed for reforms that treat small design firms fairly, and worked to create an economic environment that allows members’ firms to grow.

Learn more about other top issues

Where architects stand: A statement of our values

The AIA works to advance our nation’s quality of life and protect the public’s health, safety and welfare, as it has done for 160 years.

Directory of AIA public policies and position statements

Learn about the public policies and position statements of the AIA.

Social impact

State and Local Policy Agenda

State and Local Policy Agenda


Architects in Action 2020: AIA Legislative Exchange

A virtual event

State and local government network conference

Best Practices

The architect in the political process

Chapter 4.04

Participation in legislative affairs is one way an architect can benefit the profession.


AIA announces Big Move Toward Environmental Stewardship

AIA will take bold, decisive action on climate change over the coming decades.

How To

Guides for Equitable Practice

In partnership with the University of Minnesota, AIA has published the first three chapters of the Guides for Equitable Practice focusing on workplace culture, implicit bias, and compensation.

Building codes

Disruption, evolution, change

The American Institute of Architects is committed to improving the environmental stewardship of the design, construction, and preservation of buildings and spaces. Disruption, Evolution, Change: AIA’s vision for the future of building codes, design and construction

Social impact

A guide to engaging with civic leaders

This toolkit will teach you to position yourself as a trusted advisor, and as a result, demonstrate the value architects bring to their community.

Arizona School Design Primer


Qualifications-Based Selection

AIAW assists public owners establish a qualifications-based selection (QBS) process to find the most qualified architect for their building project

Image credits


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