Architects have taken to Twitter calling out the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for staying silent on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s recent decision to allow asbestos back into the manufacturing process for building products on a case-by-case basis. People are now wondering why the AIA has yet to speak up in the wake of national buzz, although at least one AIA official has informally responded online.
Architect Donna Sink first brought up the issue of professional ethics:
This raises the question of professional ethics. #architects are part of the construction industry. I’d like my professional organization @AIANational to weigh in on this proposed change. https://t.co/8vIuB5sQkt
— Donna Sink, Architect (@DonnaSinkArch) August 7, 2018
Then the Architecture Lobby, a national nonprofit focused on labor and social issues in the field, responded to Sink’s tweet, which provoked an outcry of criticism against the AIA’s silence:
This — the proposed change, and the @AIANational‘s silence — is not okay and we need to speak out.
Heart or retweet if you agree! https://t.co/LwvYkvZy0f
— The Architecture Lobby (@Arch_Lobby) August 7, 2018
— Eva Hagberg Fisher (@evahagberg) August 7, 2018
— Billy Fleming (@JooBilly) August 7, 2018
Some even went so far as to say that any architects who specify asbestos-containing products for their buildings shouldn’t be licensed:
AND should be stripped of their license
— ProgressiveArchitect (@PrgrsvArchitect) August 7, 2018
Even the firm Brooks + Scarpa weighed in:
— Brooks Scarpa (@BrooksScarpa) August 7, 2018
According to a tweet, 2019 AIA vice-president/2020 president-elect Jane Frederick, FAIA, has spoken with current 2018 President Carl Elefante via email to discuss the organization’s involvement with the discussion on asbestos. The Architect’s Newspaper received word from the AIA as of 1 p.m. today that they will be releasing a comment soon. Stay tuned.
The EPA is taking public comments on the Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) on asbestos through this Friday, August 10. At the time of publication, 154 comments have been submitted. Let the EPA know your thoughts here.