The American Institute of Architects Richmond was founded in 1976.

Federal Advocacy Update (June 2024)

Here is a snapshot of AIA advocacy initiatives underway at the federal level.

Tax Relief
H.R. 7024, the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act, passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 357–70 at the end of January 2024 and has been sitting in the U.S. Senate ever since. This bill accomplishes two issues important to architects: 

  1. It allows architects to delay the date on which they must begin deducting their domestic research or experimental research costs over a five-year period until 2026. Architects may therefore immediately expense such costs incurred between 2022-2026, and 
  2. It increases the low-income housing tax credit ceiling to 12.5% for calendar years 2023-2025. It also lowers the bond-financing threshold to 30% for projects financed by bonds issued before 2026.

AIA Federal Affairs has taken an active role in urging the Senate to pass this bill. Some of those efforts include nearly 500 AIA members met with House and Senate members as part of Advocacy Day in February; an all-member call-in action alert was organized in March; letters from state components were sent to specific Senators in states representing Alaska, Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, and Oklahoma in April; and nearly 1,000 members emailed their Senators in May.

The bill is ready for action in the Senate and AIA will continue to work with allied organizations and companies in the engineering, technology, and manufacturing sectors to pass this important bill.

For further information or questions, please contact Erin Waldron, Senior Director, Federal Affairs. 

Codes and Standards Policy: 

ICC Codes and Standards 
The International Code Council’s (ICC) 2024-2026 Group A Committee’s Action Hearing (CAH) #1 recently convened; the first hearings were held from 4/7 to 4/15/24. The full report of the committee action hearing, including the proposed code changes and their results, has been posted and is available for viewing. Deirdre Leclair, AIA, SSOE, Chair of the AIA Codes and Standards Committee, serves as the AIA representative to the ICC Fire Code Action Committee (FCAC).

Since the beginning of the year, the AIA’s Codes and Standards committee has dedicated its efforts to reviewing and evaluating the proposals to ICC’s Group A. The process involved thorough analysis, categorizing proposals based on whether AIA would support, oppose, or monitor them. 

The committee members Ron Geren, AIA, RLGA Technical Services; Anthony Floyd, FAIA, City of Scottsdale; and Brendan Smith, AIA, CannonDesign proposed multiple code changes for the IBC Egress, IPC, and IBC Fire Safety. Unfortunately, most of their code changes were denied. One proposed code change for the IPC, P17-24, proposed by committee member Ron Geren, was approved as submitted. This code change (page 1932) regarded the minimum number of required plumbing fixtures. It was approved as submitted, with the ICC Code Development Committee stating the change added needed clarity to the code.

ICC’s Group B Code Action Hearings is scheduled to begin on April 27th, 2025, with ICC accepting proposals starting October 15, 2024, and closing January 10, 2025. The AIA Codes and Standards Committee is focused on code proposals concerning Windowless Bedrooms, in partnership with AIA Austin. AIA Austin’s President, Christy Taylor, has composed a letter to the Mayor and City Council members of Austin, TX, advocating for this code amendment. Currently, Austin’s building code allows for bedrooms without windows, which deprives occupants of natural daylight, crucial for well-being. Several cities, including New York, San Francisco, and Chicago, have revised their building codes to address this issue. AIA Austin advocates for an amendment to the International Building Code (IBC) to ensure natural light in bedrooms, maintaining a balance between design flexibility and affordability, in alignment with the city’s housing priorities. The AIA Codes and Standards Committee created a subgroup to focus on drafting and creating the language for this proposal.

ICC 2024 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 

The AIA Codes and Standards Committee is also closely monitoring the finalization of the ICC’s IECC 2024. ICC is currently editing and preparing IECC 2024 for publication, which is expected within the next 1-2 months. The IECC board has created a subcommittee to deliberate on the scope of the upcoming IECC revision. AIA’s Codes and Standards Committee will submit representatives for the upcoming call for participation of the IECC for commercial and residential. Please reach out to Michele Mihelic, Sr. Director, Codes and Standards if you have any interested members or questions. 

ICC Performance Code (PC)

AIA is actively engaged on the ICC’s Performance Code (PC), with Ron Geren and Joe Jurkiewicz representing AIA. Ron Geren is also serving as the Vice Chairperson to the ICC’s PC consensus committee. Both representatives are soliciting input from the AIA membership and requesting input involving the profession’s role and suggestions on desired inclusions in the PC, identifying key priorities for enhancement, and anticipating the practical application of the code in members’ design scenarios. AIA encourages interested members to participate in the subgroups dedicated to advancing the development of the Performance Code. 

ASHRAE Standards

AIA is actively engaged on several ASHRAE Standards Committees: 

  • International Green Construction Code – ANSI/ASHRAE/ICC/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1, Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings:
    • Full committee meeting on June 25, 2024, in Indianapolis, IN during the ASHRAE Annual Conference, observers are welcome to attend. 
  • ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Sites and Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings
    • Full committee meetings on June 22-24, 2024, in Indianapolis, IN during the ASHRAE Annual Conference, observers are welcome to attend. 
  • ASHRAE 240P: Evaluating Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and Carbon Emissions in Building Design, Construction and Operation
    • The consensus committee is presently undergoing public comment review. Addressing all comments is expected to take a couple of months. This standard aims to establish a methodology for quantifying both embodied and operational GHG emissions associated with buildings and their sites, along with setting minimum requirements for documenting life cycle GHG emissions.

Please reach out to Michele Mihelic, Sr. Director, Codes and Standards or Na’ila Mendonca, Specialist, Codes and Standards if you have any questions or would like additional information. 

State and Local Policy: 

In early 2024, we asked all AIA state chapters to share their legislative priorities for the upcoming year. This survey included both state and federal issues, and the feedback we received has been incorporated into our work plan for the year. Based on your responses, we prioritized the following five issues – 1) Multifamily Housing; 2) Building Energy Efficiency/Resilience – Commercial and Multifamily; 3) Building & Zoning Department Inefficiencies, Process Improvements; 4) Adaptive Reuse; 5) Building Codes – Commercial and Multifamily While many, many more policy and advocacy challenges were identified, these five issues were the most common and timely. As a result, we have now focused our monitoring efforts primarily on these issues, so that we can identify emerging trends across states and provide you with a clearer picture of how different states are responding to these issues. Going forward, we will prioritize developing policy and advocacy resources around these five issues, and connecting chapters that are facing similar challenges.

Specifically, we’ve heard from several state and local chapters about the need for more information and resources to push back against efforts to rollback building codes, nominally to encourage more housing. Rethinking our approach allows us to be more responsive to your needs as we gather resources in direct response to this trend. Thank you to everyone who completed the survey this past winter. We will update and resend the survey in late 2024/early 2025, and once again, your responses will inform the issues the state & local team prioritizes in 2025. Please respond and let us know what matters to you! We have also met one-on-one with many chapters this spring and will continue to schedule these check-in calls throughout the year. These calls are critically important because they help us understand your challenges and, if appropriate, provide assistance or celebrate your advocacy wins. We are nearly half-way through these one-on-one calls and look forward to speaking to the remaining chapters soon. If you receive a request from Michael Winn or LaTriece Pleasant, please respond. If we don’t hear from you, we won’t know about your challenges.

Architects in Action – Planning is underway for Architects in Action 2024. Registration opens in June, and the virtual event will take place July 17-18. This year’s sessions will focus on advocacy training and emerging policy issues at the state and local level. Topics covered will include office conversions, artificial intelligence, and effective communication with legislators on both sides of the aisle. This event is primarily targeted at members who are involved in advocacy through the chapter or interested in becoming engaged. In June, you will receive your discount codes for Architects in Action. Once again, there will also be an in-person meeting in Minnesota in November. As with last year, this meeting is intended to provide state chapter directors with a private, informal forum. We are exploring additional options to provide state and local chapters with opportunities to meet in person throughout the year. 

Intergovernmental Affairs (US Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities)

AIA will be participating in the upcoming US Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting in Kansas City in June. CEO Lakisha Ann Woods will be speaking to the mayors from the main stage, encouraging them to partner with the architecture community in their city and hire a Chief Architect. President Kimberly Dowdell will lead a best practices forum on housing issues, including adaptive reuse and the 15-minute city. AIA also recently joined the NLC first-tier suburbs committee to encourage mayors to hire a Chief Architect, and is currently working with Chapel Hill, NC (through the NLC Capstone Challenge) to identify housing opportunities and connect interested parties with architects in the community. We will continue to build on these relationships to encourage mayors to hire a chief architect, and to appoint architects to boards, commissions or other roles in state or local government.

Architecture Conference State and Local Government Happy Hour – Please encourage any members who plan to attend the architecture conference, and who are serving in an appointed or elected position in state or local government, to join our happy hour on Tuesday, June 4 at 5:30 PM. The happy hour will take place at the Marriot Marquis Hotel, in the George Washington University Room. Anyone who is an architect, or AIA member, and serving their city or state, is encouraged to attend. This includes everyone from state senators to members serving on a local board or commission. Members who are contemplating serving and would benefit from networking with colleagues in these positions, are also welcome to attend.

For further information or questions, please contact Michael Winn, Senior Director, State and Local Advocacy Engagement.

To contribute to the ArchiPAC, please visit

Contributions to ArchiPAC are not tax-deductible. Contributions are voluntary and will be used for political purposes; you may refuse to contribute without reprisal. Contribution guidelines are only suggestions; you may contribute more or less than the suggested amounts, and you will not be favored, or disadvantaged based on the amount of your contribution or your decision not to contribute. All contributions must be from U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (e.g., green card holders) from personal funds and may not be made by anyone who is a federal government contractor. Corporate contributions are prohibited by federal law. Federal law requires political committees to use their best efforts to collect and report the name, address, employer, and occupation of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 during a calendar year.

Global Industry: 

AIA has been active not only here in the U.S., but also around the world. Because of AIA’s consistent presence at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, AIA President Kimberly Dowdell was invited to the first-ever ministerial meeting on the nexus of built environment and climate. The Buildings and Climate Global Forum, co-organized by the Government of France and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), took place in March in Paris. The Forum was the first significant milestone since the launch of the Buildings Breakthrough Agenda at COP28 and it focused on international collaboration on decarbonization.

AIA continues to serve as a facilitator of international collaboration. In May, AIA partnered with the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) to co-host the Executive Committee of the Federation of Panamerican Associations of Architects (FPAA) Spring Meeting. The meeting gathered leaders of professional bodies representing 33 countries throughout the Americas to share knowledge about critical issues such as climate, gender, and racial equity. The meeting was marked by the historic appointment of Natalia Brener to the role of Secretary General of FPAA – the first time a woman has served in this role in the organization’s 100-year history. At the event, John Padilla, AIA, was also awarded the Juan Torres Higueras Award in recognition of his service to FPAA and AIA during his term as 2016-2020 FPAA Region North Vice President.

For further information or questions, please contact Derek M. Washam, Sr. Director, Global & Industry Engagement. 

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