The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), passed into law in November 2021 was the first major infrastructure package that included federal funding to make buildings more energy-efficient and resilient. This Act represented an important victory for architects, as we have been making the case that “buildings are infrastructure” for many years. Why are we still writing about this Act? Much of its funding comes in the form of competitive grants, meaning that state and municipal governments and governmental agencies must apply for it first, and opportunities for these grants are coming out at different times throughout 2022. Here are some of the most important competitive grant opportunities that architects should know about:
- Cost Effective Codes Implementation Grants, which provide funding to state/local governments to update their building codes, working in partnership with architects, engineers, building code officials, and other groups. First grants are expected to be announced at the end of 2022.
- Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in Schools Grants, which provide funding to local education agencies to retrofit their school buildings. Architects working with school districts could help put together these applications to secure funding. The opportunity to apply is expected to be announced in Fall 2022.
- FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Grants, which provide funding for disaster mitigation projects, mitigation planning, and building code activities. Architects working in disaster mitigation should contact their state government, who must apply for these funds, with recommended projects. Applications for funding will open on September 22, 2022.
To get up to date information on grant application dates and processes, check out Build.gov. Also check out this webinar for more information about the grant applications and AIA’s work on this issue, with speakers from AIA National and the US Department of Energy.