Open Letter from the AIA Committee on the Environment

Mary Ann Lazarus
Mary Ann Lazarus 115 Comments
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Architects play a critical role in creating a healthy, beautiful, inclusive and environmentally responsible built environment. For the last quarter century, the AIA Committee on the Environment has represented the leading edge of this movement and sets an example for others to follow. We have no intention of stopping now.

Architects are required by law to protect the health and safety of the public.

Architects work under a broad set of principles, which include cultural, social, religious and environmental rights. Our duties encompass the right of equal access, housing rights, worker's rights and the protection of open spaces.

We have an ethical duty and know from experience that it is possible to make buildings that are better for public health and safety while reducing or eliminating their contribution towards climate change—the ultimate public health threat.

Government plays a complementary role to architects in the protection of public health and safety by enforcing minimum standards through building codes and environmental and safety standards on the materials and methods used to construct buildings. Government can also ‘lead by example’ by setting performance standards well above code minimum, helping American building practices stay competitive with those around the world and lowering operational costs for taxpayers for government-owned buildings.

We will work to enable fact-based decision making, advancing policies to help make our buildings the healthiest, the safest, and the greatest in the world.

We are deeply committed to achieving these goals in our practices, our work and with our communities. This commitment is more important now than ever. Now is the time to recommit to the AIA 2030 Commitment. Now is the time to create another net-positive building. Now is the time to become engaged with our local communities. And, now is the time to involve yourself with your Chapter’s COTE Committee as we continue to work toward a healthy, beautiful, equitable, and environmentally responsible built world. Working together we will make a difference.

American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment

2016 Advisory Group

Paula McEvoy, FAIA (Chair)

Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA (Vice Chair)

Rand Ekman, AIA (Past Chair)

Angela Brooks, FAIA

Alison Kwok, Ph.D., AIA

Stephanie Horowitz, AIA

Lance Hosey, FAIA

Andrea Love, AIA

Jon Penndorf, AIA

Z Smith, AIA

Tate Walker, AIA

Bob Berkebile, FAIA, Founding COTE Chair 1990-1992

Harry Gordon, FAIA, COTE Chair 1995

Don Watson, FAIA, COTE Chair 1996

Sandra Mendler, AIA, COTE Chair 2000-2001

Joyce Lee, FAIA, COTE Chair 2002

Dan Williams, FAIA, COTE Chair 2003

Mark Rylander, AIA COTE Chair 2004

Vivian Loftness, FAIA, COTE Chair 2005

James Binkley, FAIA COTE Chair 2006

Kira Gould, Allied AIA, COTE Chair 2007

Henry Siegel, FAIA, COTE Chair 2008

Filo Castore, AIA, COTE Chair 2012

Bill Leddy, FAIA, COTE Chair 2013

Bill Sturm, AIA, COTE Chair 2014

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