Where we stand: Buildings are infrastructure

Architects urge lawmakers to reject rollbacks of building codes; issue seven infrastructure principles


WASHINGTON, D.C., - September 13, 2017 - In light of the damage wrought by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the American Institute of Architects today urged policymakers to reject any weakening of the building codes that have made America's buildings the envy of the world and called for making public buildings a key part of infrastructure renewal.

""Our hearts go out to the people of Texas and Florida as both states work to recover from these massive storms, and the AIA is doing all it can to assist in that recovery," said AIA President Thomas Vonier, FAIA.

""As we look toward eventually rebuilding in Texas and Florida, state and federal legislators must reject attempts to roll back protections that make good design and careful planning the hallmarks of US construction," Vonier said. "Designing buildings to minimize damage from such natural disasters as hurricanes matters not only for public health, safety, and welfare; it also makes complete economic sense.

"In 2016 alone, the nation spent $46 billion in response to natural disasters, and that was just in direct costs. The damage caused by Harvey and Irma will easily eclipse that."

"Policymakers must recognize that well-designed buildings connect people, promote their well-being, stimulate commerce and, most importantly, save lives," Vonier said.

About The American Institute of Architects Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.


John Schneidawind
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