Advocacy

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Good News: Congress funds important DOE and EPA programs in Omnibus Bill

Overall, the bill increases funding for energy efficiency programs at the US Department of Energy (DOE) and maintains funding levels for efficiency programs at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Learn more >

COTE Advocacy update: March 2018

By Mike Davis, FAIA

Do you want to support full funding for the DOE and EPA? The opportunity for AIA COTE and AIA Government Relations to “play offense” and advocate on behalf of the federal policies and programs that we value is coming soon. Appropriations Committee work on FY’19 US budget will start in May. Read more >

AIA climate proposal comments for Rep. Tonko

Recently, US Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), the Ranking Member of the Environment Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and Co-Chair of the House’s Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), solicited feedback from the American Institute of Architects and other national stakeholder groups to assist in the development of new federal climate change legislation. Below is the document AIA submitted. Thanks to all of you for spreading the word about this opportunity and for your thoughtful feedback.
Download the AIA comments >

Appropriations Committee advocacy update - Energy Star

By Melissa Wackerle, Sr. Director, Sustainable Practice & Knowledge

Some of you may have seen defunding EPA's Energy Star program for a fee-based system in the news related to the Trump administrations budget recommendation. 

Although this budget recommendation is unlikely to advance, AIA staff are working with a coalition of partners to respond to the budget request. This isn't first time the Energy Star program has been on the chopping block by the current administration. Last year we signed a series of coalition letters, and also provided our own letter to the Appropriations Committee as part of their formal comment process as they developed their appropriations bill. The committee is currently accepting input from other members of Congress but not yet from outside stakeholders – this took place in May of last year. We have not seen our coalitions ramping up letters yet on this yet, but they are discussing it. We expect that soon, both the Alliance to Save Energy and the High Performance Building Coalition will start this process. You can learn more about 2017 efforts to support EPA in this Advocacy blog post from last year: 

In addition to our coalition work, AIA will likely send our own letter in support of Energy Star.

Good news for resilience in bipartisan budget deal

By Ian McTiernan, Manager, Federal Relations

In case you missed it, I wanted to share an update on a couple of the policies included in the budget deal signed into law earlier this month impacting resiliency:
  • The bill includes additional disaster relief funds of nearly $90 billion. Just as importantly, it also includes federal cost share reform incentives that encourage states to invest in resiliency – including incentivizing adoption of current building codes. It allows FEMA to increase the federal cost share after a disaster to be from 75 percent to as high as 85 percent on a sliding scale based on a state’s resiliency. A state’s resilience will be rated on such factors as its state hazard mitigation plan, its investments in hazard mitigation, insurance and community rating systems, and its adoption and enforcement of the latest building codes.
  • Congress also approved $50 million in disaster relief spending for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) to assess and restore historic resources impacted by natural disasters. AIA joined with members of the historic preservation community in requesting this funding in order to mitigate the impacts of disasters on our architectural heritage.
These are products of AIA's advocacy work, along with our coalition partners, to spend disaster relief funds with an eye toward building our nation's resilience.

What we believe

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.

View our 2018 advocacy positions >

Resources

VIDEO: Webinar on AIA COTE Federal Advocacy Strategy
A webinar about the long-term AIA COTE Federal strategy to impact budget decisions on programs and resources at the DOE, EPA, and beyond. Learn how your voice matters and how architects can use their influence as recognized leaders in the built environment.

The Federal Budget Process: 101

Top Ten Reasons Buildings Matter (PDF)

Critical EPA and DOE programs spreadsheet

Past Projects

Letter to the Department of Energy
COTE delivered a letter supported by 654 firms representing 46 states to the DOE.

 

Letter to the Environmental Protection Agency
COTE delivered a letter supported by 775 firms representing 48 states to the EPA.

Open letter from the AIA Committee on the Environment - November 2016

Why advocate

Urgent issues are taking place at the federal level that could have serious consequences to COTE’s mission of advancing high-performing quality design in the built environment, which we know has a profound impact on the future of our communities. Architects and designers work within a framework of local, state and federal policy that is continually changing and we must support efforts to ensure this framework aligns with our core values.
If you are an architect or a design professional who is concerned about

  • the urgency of climate change as a national, state, and local agenda item
  • the role of new and existing buildings in progress towards a carbon neutral future
  • the security of and access to data held by federal agencies (such as DOE, EPA, GSA, etc.)
  • resilience and sustainability as priorities for communities
then you might be looking for a way to plug in to targeted advocacy focused on what you do, who you are, and what you believe is important.

The AIA Committee on the Environment is creating the COTE Advocacy Network: architects and design professionals to advocate for key issues concerning the design of the built environment at the federal, state and local levels. Please join us by completing the form here, and please share this invitation with others.

 

 
 

Sign up >

Resources

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Past Projects

COTE home

Spread the word: bit.ly/COTEadvocacy

Why advocate?

Urgent issues are taking place at the federal level that could have serious consequences to COTE’s mission of advancing high-performing quality design in the built environment, which we know has a profound impact on the future of our communities.

Architects and designers work within a framework of local, state and federal policy that is continually changing and we must support efforts to ensure this framework aligns with our core values. Read more >