Nearly 800 architecture firms call on EPA to preserve key design programs

Letter sent to Administrator Pruitt makes business case against EPA cuts

New leadership in Washington means new priorities. With an administration in place that speaks in terms of jobs and economic growth, it is important to make a business case for the programs that matter to architects. Of high concern to many in the design industry are possible changes on the horizon at the Environmental Protection Agency.

In order to counter the narrative of EPA as a job killer, AIA coordinated a sign on letter for design firms which highlighted the importance of EPA programs to the practice of architecture. The AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) provided critical information about government programs used in sustainable practice as well as outreach to key stakeholders. Ultimately, 775 firms large and small from across the country joined this effort, and the letter was recently transmitted to EPA leadership as well as key Congressional committees.

The letter identified several specific EPA resources of importance to architects. First and foremost, the Energy Star program at EPA has helped the United States to make tremendous strides for energy conservation in the built environment. Of particular interest to the design industry, the Portfolio Manager and Target Finder tools administered by Energy Star help building owners and designers to achieve increased energy performance for building designs and retrofits. The letter also highlights the EPA’s Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Substance Inventory as a resource for materials information, as well as EPA’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) program.

This effort will be followed by an awareness push for Congressional decision makers as agency officials to educate them about the practical importance of these programs. AIA will continue to work to ensure that key programs for architects in EPA and elsewhere across the government are spared from the chopping block.

The entire text of the letter can be found here.  

Ian McTiernan is AIA Manager of Federal Relations

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