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AIA Releases Statement on Paris Climate Accord

Thursday, November 7, 2019

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The American Institute of Architects has spoken out on President Donald J. Trump’s official decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

“The AIA deplores the administration's shortsighted decision,” said AIA 2019 President William Bates, FAIA.

“The economic impact to the United States as a participant in the Paris Agreement is a fraction of the toll we will pay if we do not make climate action a top priority as a nation. The stakes couldn’t be higher—a reversal of this decision is critical.”

AIA EVP/Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA, went on to note in the statement that the U.S. is a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

cgtoolbox / Getty Images

The American Institute of Architects has spoken out on President Donald J. Trump’s official decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

“In order to move the needle on this global crisis, it will take the efforts of every industry, every company and every citizen of the United States as well as the leadership of the United States government,” Ivy said.

“The AIA will continue to prioritize climate action in an effort to support architects—and the entire design and construction field—in this critical role.”


This is just the latest installment of the AIA in terms of climate action.

The AIA kicked off the year by releasing a tool kit that aims to help those tasked with designing sustainable buildings.

Defined from patterns identified through its COTE Top 10 Awards Program—which focuses on sustainable design excellence in the industry—the AIA released a COTE Top Ten Toolkit, which it says can be used as a framework to guide design for all different types of projects.

“The intent is to keep this resource current and to add to it over time,” according to the AIA. “Ultimately, this feedback loop informs refinements to the fundamental measures themselves. Your feedback is incredibly helpful for continuously improving the resource.”

The Top 10 is divided into categories that include:

  • Design for Integration – Looks at the idea behind the project, how sustainability informs the design concept;
  • Design for Community – Looks at how community members inside and outside the building benefit from the project;
  • Design for Ecology – Looks at the larger ecosystem within which the project is located;
  • Design for Water – Looks at how the project uses water and rainfall;
  • Design for Economy – Looks at cost-effectiveness and economic performance;
  • Design for Energy – Looks at energy from renewable sources and carbon impact;
  • Design for Wellness – Looks at how the design supports the comfort and health of the people who inhabit or visit the building;
  • Design for Resources – Looks at the selection of materials and products used in the project;
  • Design for Change – Looks at how the project can be adapted for other uses; and
  • Design for Discovery – Looks at post-occupancy evaluation and performance expectations.

In addition to divvying up the categories, the AIA also released a Toolkit spread sheet.f

pinkomelet / Getty Images

The AIA kicked off the year by releasing a tool kit that aims to help those tasked with designing sustainable buildings.

Then, in early September, the AIA’s Board of Directors approved a climate action initiative that it said “defines immediate and long-term efforts to engage the architectural profession in the fight against climate change.”

The resolution was first introduced by architect Betsy del Monte, FAIA, and 50 members of the organization’s 2019 conference.

With the resolution, the AIA said it’s going to “rally the profession to do more to fight climate change” by building on initiatives such as its COTE Top 10 Framework and its 2030 Commitment.

Most recently, last month, former AIA President Carl Elefante, FAIA testified before the United States House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy, outlining steps for the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gases in the built environment.

“The threat posed by climate change to our homes, cities, nation and the planet require that we fundamentally reexamine how we develop and adapt the built world,” said Elefante.

“We know that new standards of design and construction can be utilized to combat climate change. Success on these initiatives will mean a holistic approach and long-term commitment from every aspect of our society to incorporate these principles into the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the nation’s buildings.”


Tagged categories: American Institute of Architects (AIA); Asia Pacific; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Government; Health & Safety; Latin America; North America; Z-Continents

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