AIA Urges 112th Congress To Set a Pro-Growth, Sustainable Economic Agenda Print
Wednesday, 03 November 2010 09:47

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Congratulates Members on Election/Re-Election and Urges Bipartisanship

On behalf of its 80,000 members nationwide, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) today began sending letters to each member of the new 112th Congress, congratulating them on their election and promising to work with both political parties to foster policies that encourage job creation in the hard-hit design and construction industry.

“As community leaders, architects have seen first-hand the challenges that our nation faces,” wrote AIA President George H. Miller, FAIA. “Since more than 90 percent of AIA architects work for small businesses, they know all too well how the economic crisis has affected Main Street. In fact, the Department of Labor reports that the architecture profession alone has lost a fifth of its workforce since 2008; in some regions, the number is far higher.”

In the letter, Miller ticked off the priorities for the AIA in the new Congress, which include:
Restoring Small Business as the Engine of our Nation’s Economy. Every million dollars invested in design and construction yields 28.5 full-time jobs. And yet the credit crunch has left blueprints on the shelf because building owners and developers cannot get the financing they need. The AIA has worked to enact polices that make financing more available for design and construction projects that will put people back to work rebuilding their communities, and tax and regulatory systems that cut red tape and help small entrepreneurs get ahead. But Congress can and must do more to help the private sector create jobs.

Returning Economic Vitality to Our Communities. Architects know all too well that a 21st century economy cannot thrive with a 19th century infrastructure. Yet in too many of our communities, aging buildings, roads and bridges have left Americans less safe and America lagging behind the infrastructure of its global competitors such as China. Studies have shown that our economy loses $80 billion per year in lost productivity due to congestion on our roadways. Worse, the foreclosure crisis has riddled neighborhoods in urban, suburban and rural areas with abandoned properties and rising crime. The AIA urges Congress to pass legislation that empowers communities to plan more vibrant and sustainable futures that give people real choices about where they live and how they travel.

Improving America’s Energy Independence. Buildings account for 70 percent of electricity use in the United States and nearly half of greenhouse gas emissions. Rising energy prices mean higher bills for homeowners, small businesspeople and taxpayers - who foot the bill for energy costs in government buildings. Architects have solutions that make buildings use significantly less energy. The AIA believes that the next Congress will have an important opportunity to pass legislation to promote energy efficient buildings that cost less to run and are better for the environment.

“America’s architects are Republicans, Democrats and Independents, working in major metropolises and small towns alike,” Miller said. “They are problem solvers who offer common-sense solutions to the challenges our communities and country face. When the 112th Congress convenes in January, we look forward to working with you to address these issues.”