Sustainability, Resilience, and Climate Action

Sustainability, Resilience, and Climate Action Resources for AIA Components 

If you want to understand where AIA stands on sustainability, resilience, or climate action issues:

    If you want to connect with the AIA Sustainability & Resilience team: 

    If you want to improve your own operational sustainability and resilience: 

    • Architect’s Guide to Business Continuity (2021) - Components are expected to maintain a business continuity plan. Components can use this guide’s step-by-step process and accompanying worksheets to assess and reduce risks associated with disruption. 
    • Creating a Sustainability Action Plan that Works! (2021) - Designed for signatories of the 2030 Commitment, component leaders can use this guide to build their own internal sustainability action plans. Pages 35-37 and 49-50 may be particularly relevant. 
    • ROI: Designing for reduced embodied carbon (2022) - Components can use these talking points to discuss with members the benefits of reducing embodied carbon as architects design for sustainable solutions. 

    If you want to incorporate the Framework for Design Excellence into your awards programs: 

    • Honors & Awards: Integrating the Framework for Design Excellence (2021) - In 2019, the AIA adopted the Framework for Design Excellence as the set of guidelines and requirements to assess project performance. Explore the baseline of technical requirements that have been identified for projects across different AIA National awards programs.   

    If you want to provide climate, sustainability, or resilience education: 

    • Leverage our AIAU certificate series in your in-person programming. 
    Apply for our “Live Action for Climate Action” grant program that offers financial assistance to support component-sponsored group viewing of the first course of the following certificate programs: 
    Additional sustainability and resilience certificate programs, not included in the "Live Action for Climate Action" grant program are: 
        • Connect with AIA’s Sustainability & Resilience team to customize education for your audience. Our semi-customizable content is designed to help you train architects to respond to disaster, grow the 2030 Commitment, and build new skills on your timeline. These programs can be revenue generators for you. 
            • 7-hour virtual training based on State of California’s program to train volunteers to respond to disasters. AIA provides instructor matching, educational materials, and administrative support. Email to get started! 
          • AIA Materials Series 
            • Component-led series of five 4-hour workshops providing intermediate knowledge-building in the rationale and decision-making processes for healthier, more environmentally friendly materials. Email to get started! 
          • AIA 2030 Commitment: Program Essentials Webinar 
            • Our 60-minute introductory course is approved for 1 LU|HSW and covers the basics of our 2030 Commitment program. Our ready-to-go presentation is always led by experienced program staff, but flexible enough to accommodate your specific needs. Email to get started! 
          • AIA Framework for Design Excellence Webinar 
            • Email to coordinate an educational session about the Framework for Design Excellence.  

        If you want to build partnerships to position AIA and architects in climate conversations 

        • Leverage one of AIA’s existing collaborations! These national partnerships pave the way for local collaboration around shared goals. 
          • Resilience Building Coalition – co-developed by AIA in 2014, the Resilience Building Coalition brings together 50+ building industry organizations who have signed-on to the Building Industry Statement on Resilience; each committing to investment in research, education, advocacy, response efforts, and comprehensive planning for more resilient communities.  
          • Joint Call to Action for Healthier Communities – Since 2017, AIA has coordinated with seven built environment and health organizations to promote healthier communities using a four-point framework. More recently, we added 10 discussion guides that highlight examples of cross-sector collaboration across the country. 
          • US Council of Mayors - New policies approved by the United States Conference of Mayors put the built environment front and center. In threeresolutionsapproved at its annual conference in September 2021, the nation’s mayors formalized new commitments to pursue climate and equity priorities, while recognizing the value of partnering with architects. 

        If you want to grow your State Disaster Assistance Program 

        Typically, AIA State Disaster Assistance Program administration is led by AIA state chapters, though in some cases a strong local chapter will take the lead. Click here to access additional resources to help you: 

        • Increase your cadre of trained, engaged volunteers, 
        • Advocate for Good Samaritan Legislation to provide liability protection to architects performing post-disaster building safety assessments, 
        • Build relationships with government officials, and 
        • Develop a Disaster Assistance MOU to facilitate the efficient deployment of SAP-trained architects post disaster. 

         If you want to grow 2030 Commitment participation in your community 

            If you want to connect your members with others 

            • Join an AIA Knowledge Community! These public groups enable members to connect with others who share their passions and commitment. They are open to AIA members and non-members. With twenty-one groups exploring topics including sustainability, emerging technologies, and managing a firm, there is an AIA Knowledge Community for every member. These four KCs are particularly active on sustainability, resilience, and climate action issues: 
              • Support a local COTE® group in your own component. There are several COTE® and related sustainability groups across the country. These groups are often leaders in moving the needle on climate action within the AIA community. Explore the COTE® Chapter Guide for tips on starting—or reinvigorating—your local chapter.  
              • Request to join a private Basecamp group. These private groups support AIA members organizing around key programs: resilience, COTE®, and the 2030 Commitment.  

              If you want to add sustainability resources to your newsletters (or communications) 

              • Follow Blueprint for Better. AIA’s multi-year campaign is a call to action. As the largest design organization in the world, AIA is asking architects, design professionals, civid leaders, and the public in every community to join our efforts. Learn more: AIA Blueprint for Better  
              • Explore a library of technical products developed by AIA. Use the password “AIAClimateAction” to explore our library of published reports, education sessions, and content to help your members advance sustainability, resilience, and climate action in their work. Click on any tile for a brief description and link to the resource. The page is hosted on Roadmunk and updates monthly. Learn more: AIA Sustainability & Resilience Product Inventory 
              • Visit regularly. 

              Need help? 

              Kathleen Lane, AIA
              Managing Director, Sustainability & Resilience

              Lisa Ferretto
              Sr. Director, Sustainable Practice & Knowledge

              Joel Mills
              Sr. Director, Communities by Design

              Erin Simmons
              Sr. Director, Design Assistance

              Melissa Wackerle
              Sr. Director, Resilience & Climate Adaptation

              Melissa Morancy
              Director, Sustainable Knowledge & Engagement

              Paola Capo
              Manager, Communities by Design & Disaster Assistance

              Charlotte Driezen
              Manager, Sustainability Products & Training

              Luz Toro, Assoc. AIA
              Manager, Resilience & Climate Adaptation

              Eana Bacchiocchi
              Specialist, Sustainability & Resilience