Posts tagged with "AIA":

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AIA announces 2018 Diversity Recognition Program honorees

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced the 2018 honorees of its Diversity Recognition Program, now in its 10th year. The program seeks to recognize those who have substantially committed to increasing diversity in the field of architecture, as well as those who have challenged the traditional ways of doing things. This year’s honorees are the Maryland-based Architecture, Construction, Engineering Mentor Program (ACE), and the organization, Iowa Women in Architecture (iaWia). The ACE Mentor Program, founded in 1994 in Rockville, Maryland, is a workforce development program created by AEC industry members as a way of getting high school students interested in a career in design or construction. The program supplies students with scholarships, mentorship opportunities, and support as they pursue an education in an AEC field. To date, over 1,000 schools and 9,000 students participate in the program annually, and ACE has awarded over $15 million in grants and scholarships since its founding. Iowa Women in Architecture was co-founded by four women in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2011 as a nonprofit that would support women in architecture and serve as a resource for every stage of the profession. The group’s mission is to increase the visibility of women in design, advocate for women in design fields, and to help advance women to leadership positions. This year’s AIA jurors included:
  • Steven Spurlock, FAIA,
  • Linsey Graff, Assoc. AIA, and
  • Jonathan Penndorf, FAIA
Both honorees will be recognized at the 2018 AIA Conference on Architecture in New York City this June. Past honorees have included AIA San Francisco – Equity by Design (2017) and The Alberti Program: Architecture for Young People (2016).
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AIA awards $100,000 in research initiatives grants

The winners of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 11th annual Upjohn Research Initiative have been announced, and $100,000 in grants will be split among the four recipients. Those chosen will receive funding for 18 months to pursue research projects that push the boundaries of design, and their results will be published nationally. This year’s grant recipients leaned heavily on designs inspired by nature: Half of the group will study the various benefits of biophilia, while another project will examine how biodiversity impacts a structure’s ecological resilience. The 2018 winners are as follows:
  • The Impact of Biophilic Learning Spaces on Student Success
Principal Investigators: James Determan, FAIA (Hord Coplan Macht) and Mary Anne Akers, PhD (Morgan State University) With help from the Salk Institute and Terrapin Bright Green, the team will create a biophilic classroom using patterns and shapes from nature, as well as improved views and natural lighting. The performance of students in the classroom will be measured over time to examine the relationship between biophilic design and the success of the students using it.
  • Biophilic Architecture: Sustainable Materialization of Microalgae Facades
Principal Investigator: Kyoung-Hee Kim, PhD (University of North Carolina at Charlotte) How can algae be integrated into facade systems? That’s what Kim’s team is trying to find out, and the project will involve prototyping a microalgae facade and codifying best practices for using it in the future. These “live facades” have been used to generate heat and algae biomass in past small-scale projects successfully.
  • Biodiverse Built Environments: High-Performance Passive Systems for Ecologic Resilience
Principal Investigator: Keith Van de Riet, PhD, Assoc. AIA (University of Kansas) What are passive architectural systems that architects and designers can use without needing to expend operational energy? Van de Riet’s team will study the integration of biodiversity requirements into the criteria for high-performance passive systems. In this case, a full-scale living wall panel will be installed over an existing seawall in a tidal estuary. The integration of living systems with the built environment will be monitored for both the health of the panel as well as its performance in a stressful, real-world situation.
  • Tilt Print Lift - Concrete 3D Printing for Precast Assemblies
Principal Investigators: Tsz Yan Ng (University of Michigan) and Wesley McGee (University of Michigan) 3-D printing concrete has been used to great effect in producing boxy structures, but Ng and McGee will be researching how complicated wall panels can be produced in the same way. The process should theoretically allow wall panel systems to be produced in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the novel, geometric designs will need to be performance-tested before they can be used in the field. The team will also be looking into how 3-D printed panels stack up to precast-produced pieces. All of the previously published Upjohn research can be viewed here.
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Trump’s steel tariffs are already squeezing the construction industry

Less than two weeks after President Trump signed sweeping 25 percent steel tariffs and 10 percent aluminum tariffs into law, the construction industry is already smarting, according to a report by National Real Estate Investor. Although the tariffs exclude steel coming from Canada and Mexico (at the time of writing), interviews with developers and those in the construction industry suggest that some projects are already seeing steel increase in cost by up to 10 percent. The culprit is speculation about price increases six to twelve months down the line, after the full impact of the tariffs make themselves felt. The panic isn’t without precedent. A 21 percent tariff imposed on imported Canadian timber in November of last year, used in 25 percent of wood-framed projects in the U.S., led to a nationwide rise in construction costs for single and mid-family homes. Contractors were forced to raise their prices, cut back on their use of timber, switch to steel, or change the design of their homes to use less materials. Joe Pecoraro, a project executive at Chicago-based general contractor Skender, told National Real Estate Investor that a client developing affordable housing might be forced to delay their project if steel costs rose any further. “Uncertainty drives people to be very conservative, risk-averse. It is affecting our deals,” said Pecoraro. Ironically, domestic steel fabricators may be hit harder than international firms as a result of the tariffs only targeting raw steel. With costs rising for their raw materials, Engineering News Record has reported that some domestic fabricators have already lost jobs to competitors based in Canada and Mexico. 1.2 million tons of fabricated steel was produced in the U.S. with imported materials in 2017, which went towards building bridges, roads and buildings. Two days before President Trump signed the tariff order, the AIA had released a statement warning that rising material costs would lead to decreased project budgets and potentially stifle architectural innovation. It remains to be seen how the tariffs will affect the country’s building boom in the long term, but those in the steel industry are still onboard.
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AIA speaks out against Trump’s proposed steel and aluminum tariffs

New tariffs on steel and aluminum proposed by President Donald Trump will have negative effects on the American design and construction industries, American Institute of Architects (AIA) leadership has said in a statement. The Trump administration's plan would impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, something that experts say will have wide ranging effects on both trade and the domestic economy. And while the issue is being hotly debated on the national and international stage, the AIA is weighing in with a striking warning that a rise in material costs could mean major losses for the U.S. economy. "The Administration’s announcement of new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports threatens to drastically increase the prices of many building materials specified by architects. These metal products are some of the largest material inputs in the construction of buildings. Structural metal beams, window frames, mechanical systems and exterior cladding are largely derived from these important metals," AIA President Carl Elefante, FAIA, and EVP/Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA, said in a statement in response to the proposed tariffs. “As creative problem solvers, architects rely on a variety of these materials to achieve functional and performance goals for their clients. Inflating the cost of materials will limit the range of options they can use while adhering to budgetary constraints for a building," they said. "By the same token, the Administration’s proposed infrastructure funding will not achieve the same value if critical materials become more expensive. Furthermore, the potential for a trade war risks other building materials and products. Any move that increases building costs will jeopardize domestic design and the construction industry, which is responsible for billions in U.S. Gross Domestic Product, economic growth, and job creation.”
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NCARB responds to concerns about licensing

Over the past several years, there has been an uptick in political activity addressing the value of regulation. It is important to distinguish protective regulations for professions such as architecture from efforts focused on “occupational” regulation, aimed at improving job opportunities for returning veterans, blue-collar workers, and underemployed individuals. Without this distinction, legislative overreach could unintentionally remove important protections to the public’s health, safety, and welfare.

This is why the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) supports the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) “Where We Stand” statement on professional licensure and the important role architecture licensing boards play in ensuring a safe built environment. In fact, NCARB model laws and programs, along with its NCARB Certificate, address many of the core issues such as mobility and inter-state consistency that are inviting criticism of the entire licensure and regulatory spectrum.

It’s important that architects understand how their own regulatory framework functions. NCARB serves as a federation of the country’s 54 jurisdictional boards that license and regulate architecture. These boards contribute several hundred volunteers who regularly develop examination questions, monitor the relevance of national models for education and experience requirements, and develop alternatives to licensure for those taking untraditional paths. The ability to modernize architectural licensure while retaining essential rigor has assured that reasonable regulation equates to public protection.

With mobility and portability a key focal point of current regulatory scrutiny, it is noteworthy that NCARB was created by state licensing board architects who sought a more standardized process along with reciprocity across state boundaries. Today, there are more reciprocal architect licenses issued in the U.S. than resident licenses. Yet despite this proven process, lawmakers continue to consider overreaching bills with negative impact on architecture boards’ ability to protect the public. Most recently, NCARB funded AIA South Dakota to assure that any revamp to regulation would provide an opt out for professions with established paths to reciprocity (including architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, and land surveying) from a “temporary licensing compact” proposal.

Modernizing the Path to Licensure

Similar to medicine and law, architecture is one of roughly 60 professions that is regulated in all states and territories. Each of the 54 boards is legally responsible for issuing licenses and regulating practice within its borders, utilizing NCARB models at their discretion. Each of these jurisdictions, in varying formats, has determined that three essential steps to architectural licensure are required: meet specific requirements for architectural education, earn real-world experience through the Architectural Experience Program™ (AXP™), and pass the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®).

In a continued effort to eliminate unnecessary hurdles for candidates, NCARB membership, through the state boards, has updated and streamlined these programs—without sacrificing the rigor needed to protect the public. Recent changes include: removing the experience program’s elective hours from reporting requirements and allowing an alternative work portfolio option for experienced designers; aligning the licensing exam to the “phases of practice,” eliminating vignette software and introducing case studies; and streamlining alternative paths for those with diverse educational backgrounds. These changes have also reduced the average fees for licensure candidates and NCARB Certificate applicants.

Together, the 54 NCARB Member Boards and over 300 architect volunteers function to ensure architects have the skills and knowledge needed to create safe spaces, striking the right balance between reasonable regulation and protecting the public.

Michael J. Armstrong is the CEO of NCARB, a nonprofit that develops and administers national programs for utilization by the 54 jurisdictions regulating licensure candidates and architects.

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Readers react to AIA’s statement on removing licensing requirements

The AIA has publicly denounced the decision of some states to remove licensure requirements for architects, a move that left some of our readers feeling rather verklempt. When the news broke last month, our comments section hosted a healthy confab on the issue. And dear readers, we hear you! While the debate brews on, here's a well-rounded takeaway of what has been said thus far: "Would you like to have an unregistered doctor? On the other hand removing the costly grip of NCARB would be a positive thing," admitted Caleb Crawford. Erin Walker agreed the licensing process was necessary, but ultimately the tests were are a ploy to make money, not test knowledge: "There should be a practice requirement for people holding roles on state boards, and NCARB. It seems that a lot of these people are just trying to catch a gravy train and have lost touch with doing any actual work." "I'd really like to see examples of how the licensing requirements have changed," fumed Bryan Wick. But Matthew Harmon had an another take on how to solve the problem: "A better idea would be to require prospective architects to actually build something. In my view, designing a building without an understanding of how it gets built is irresponsible, economically, socially, and from an environmental standpoint." Meanwhile, Conrad Skinner felt that the whole process was unnecessary and demeaning, considering that codes dictated best practices and that students at accredited schools were already tested in all major areas: "There is an element of sadism in the architectural credential process. For how long should a person who is good at architecture, or any art, have to prove over and over to bureaucrats that they are worthy of practicing?" On the other hand, Edward Casagrande argued that education- and technology-based curriculums were the real problem: “The need to edify the human spirit has been sacrificed to CAD, tech templates and an arrogant disregard and disrespect to the belief that 'Architecture is the mother of all arts.'" "The idea that Architecture is undervalued comes from a lack of public awareness about what an Architect actually gives them. This I fault the AIA for," quipped an unapologetic Zach Hicks.   Be that as it may, Michael Curtis left us with a simple truth: "Was Michelangelo licensed? Bernini?" Is the AIA "fight(ing) any effort to minimize the requirements for professional licensure in architecture?" Have your say in the comments.
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AIA speaks out against rolling back license requirements

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has issued a statement denouncing the growing trend of states removing architectural licensure requirements. In its first Where We Stand statement of 2018, the AIA came out strongly against a practice that they consider as contrary to their commitment to securing the "health, safety and welfare of all who occupy and visit the structures that they design." The past few years have seen a rollback of professional licensure requirements across the United States, including architecture, in the name of lowering barriers to entry and fostering competition. This is a shortsighted, the AIA argues, as rigorous education and licensing keeps consumers safe. To emphasize their point, the AIA has also produced a map indicating states where through either legislation or executive orders, licensure requirements have been threatened or rolled back from 2015 to 2018. As a counterpoint, the institute has put forth ideas for strengthening license requirements across the country, as well as allowing architects to operate across state lines in times of crisis. While proponents of such rollbacks can cite a few examples of overreach, the AIA has put out this statement to remind the public that licensure requires passing the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) and a familiarity with local conditions and laws. Just last summer, the highly-publicized arrest of an architect who was practicing without a license in upstate New York brought a dose of well-deserved attention to the issue. "The essential purpose of licensing architects is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public and shield consumers from unqualified practitioners," said AIA President Carl Elefante. "This is a responsibility our profession fully accepts and takes quite seriously, and we will fight any effort to minimize the requirements for professional licensure in architecture."
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Here are the winners of the 2018 AIA Honor Awards in regional and urban design

[Editor’s Note: This the third in a three-part series documenting the winners of the AIA 2018 Honor Awards, which are broken down into three categories: architecture, interior architecture, and urban design. This list covers the regional and urban design awards, but additional segments spotlight winners in architecture and interior architecture.] The American Institute of Architects announced its 2018 recipients of the Institute Honor Awards January 12. The 17 winners were pulled from approximately 500 submissions from across the globe and only three regional and urban design projects took home the prize. The designs range from the double-award winning Chicago Riverwalk, to frameworks for dealing with sea level rise. In one way or another, this year's notable topic was living with water. The five-person jury that selected this year’s AIA Regional and Urban Design Honor Award winners included:
  • Roger Schluntz, FAIA (Chair), School of Architecture and Planning, University of Mexico
  • Lisa Chronister, AIA, City of Oklahoma City Planning Department
  • Suzanne DiGeronimo, FAIA, DiGeronimo Architects
  • Tim Griffin, AIA, Minnesota Design Center
  • Gerry Tierney, AIA, Perkins+Will.
  Project: Chicago Riverwalk Architect: Ross Barney Architects and Sasaki Associates Location: Chicago From the AIA Jury: This is an exemplary urban intervention; the design and execution are perfect. The impact on the community is transformative. Project: Salty Urbanism: Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategies for Urban Areas Architect: Brooks + Scarpa, Florida Atlantic University and University of Southern California Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida From the AIA Jury: What a brilliant strategy that shows thought and sophistication. This is a series of toolboxes and frameworks giving each community a myriad of potential responses that could work for them as they work together. The nuanced, organic approach invites the community to really own a solution. These frameworks could be implemented in any community facing the dilemma of sea level rise. Project: Urban Watershed Framework Plan: A Reconciliation Landscape for Conway, Arkansas Architect: University of Arkansas Community Design Center Location: Conway, Arkansas From the AIA Jury: This was head to tail very rewarding. A thoughtful, sophisticated and holistic response to a recurring problem across the country.
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Here are the winners of the 2018 AIA Honor Awards in architecture

This is the first article in a three part series documenting the 2018 AIA Institute Honor Awards. This lists the winners of the architecture category, while additional segments contain the winners in the interior architecture and regional & urban design categories. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced the 2018 winners of the AIA Institute Honor Awards. The list contains projects from all around the world, and of varying programs and uses, and honors firms both large and small. From a girls’ school in Afghanistan to a municipal salt shed, this year’s widely diverse group of winning projects will be recognized at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2018 in New York City, in late June. This year's eight member jury panel included:
  • Lee Becker, FAIA (Chair), Hartman-Cox Architects
  • Anne Marie Decker, FAIA, Duvall Decker Architects
  • Susan Johnson, AIA, Strata; Anna Jones, Assoc. AIA, MOD Design
  • Caitlin Kessler, AIAS Student Representative, University of Arizona
  • Merilee Meacock, AIA, KSS Architects
  • Robert Miller, FAIA, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
  • Sharon Prince, Grace Farms Foundation
  • Rob Rogers, FAIA, Rogers Partners.
  Project: Audain Art Museum Architect: Patkau Architects Inc. Location: Whistler, British Columbia, Canada From the AIA Jury: A beautiful, dynamic project that literally wraps users around nature, blurring the boundaries between man-made and natural. It creates a cultural magnet to help educate not only art, but eco-friendly design. The elegant structure hovers over a floodplain topography in an area that receives a large amount of snowfall, battling the elements through an architectural form that embraces the setting. Opportunity for people to live with art. The typology of the building is a stepping stone for Canada, a new icon, and a monument for British Columbia. It has helped elevate all of us. Project: The Broad Architect: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Associate Firm: Gensler Location: Los Angeles From the AIA Jury: Simultaneously sedate and spectacular. It fits the context of the visually exuberant arts buildings in this neighborhood. More than holding its own as a figure, it also engages and takes the user in. The dark body-like, shapely vault is a beautiful counterpoint to the bright, thick, patterned light veil. The design intention is clear and carried through at every scale. The types of space created are unusual but engaging and composed. Project: Chicago Riverwalk Architect: Ross Barney Architects and Sasaki Associates Location: Chicago From the AIA Jury: A gift to city, it embraces Chicago's layered, diverse history by providing a range of amenities that provide forward looking opportunities. Transforms the once neglected downtown riverfront into a vast public space. Design that touches everyone. Subtle moments of education and insight into the ecology of the river, educating visitors and residents. It is the reinvention of urban life that brings attention back to the waterfront. Project: Gohar Khatoon Girls' School Architect: Robert Hull, FAIA, and the University of Washington, Department of Architecture Location: Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan From the AIA Jury: A beautiful and restrained aesthetic with limited means. Architecture is a modern take on Afghan history and masonry construction. This elevates respect for women and girls overall when state resources are used to this extent and design, adding an intent to create an urban oasis and promote community engagement. This space and the process communicates a new era for girls and women very powerfully. It is remarkably resourceful by integrating natural sustainability measures while operating within a weak infrastructure in the country. Project: Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 & Spring Street Salt Shed Architect: Dattner Architects in association with WXY architecture + urban design Location: New York City From the AIA Jury: The Salt storage building took what is usually an industrial construction built as economically as possible into urban art. It raises the bar significantly for civic infrastructure. Unapologetic platonic shape with beautiful skin with commitment to civic expression, environmental responsibility, and sensitivity to the urban context design solution that successfully integrates critical services into the neighborhood. The pursuit of a visual oxymoron to sanitation, and investment therein, is laudable and uplifting to an entire neighborhood and heavily used city corridor. Highly innovative. Project: Mercer Island Fire Station 92 Architect: Miller Hull Partnership Location: Mercer Island, Washington From the AIA Jury: Operations drives design and the execution is flawless. A necessary renovation turned modern reinterpretation of a traditional civic building into a simple box with layers of transparency that visually and physically connect the functions to the street. Great balance of functionality and warmth of materials make this a beautiful facility. Balanced work and relaxation are desired combo for firefighting facilities and certainly that balance is achieved here. As a public project, it is clearly a labor of love. Super judicious use of materials; great scale, sense of public awareness. Best of all this honors the incredibly hard working firefighters deserving of such a light space. Project: New United States Courthouse Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Location: Los Angeles From the AIA Jury: The design's fascination with natural light and white spaces is nicely contrasted by the golden wood interior figures and floors. The building's form is a representation of site and topography, functionality, environmental performance, civic presence, and public spaces. Traditional materials and architectural elements enliven its civic presence, while modern elements introduced through the glass assembly façade create an iconic image for a 21st Century courthouse building while also providing positive environmental performance. This powerful composition and the generosity of its public spaces gives the project a clear civic presence, separating it from its commercial neighbors. Project: Vol Walker Hall & the Steven L. Anderson Design Center Architect: Marlon Blackwell Architects Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas From the AIA Jury: A complimentary and progressive pairing of modern and traditional forms. Consistent orchestration of natural light and a sparse but powerful use of red to make landmark moments in the building is invigorating. Sets the opportunity for an interesting contrast between the old and new wings. The expanded facility unites all three departments – architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design – under one roof for the first time, reinforcing the School’s identity and creating a cross-disciplinary, collaborative learning environment. The overall design is a didactic model, establishing a tangible discourse between the past and present while providing state-of-the-art-facilities for 21st century architectural and design education. Every space seems equally well resolved, simple, elegant Project: Washington Fruit & Produce Company Headquarters Architect: Graham Baba Architects Location: Yakima, Washington From the AIA Jury: This sits on the landscape beautifully and creates space for meaningful community. The oasis among the warehouses is functional, sustainable, spatial and formal. The design idea is integral and cohesive. An idea with depth. Occupied spaces are oriented towards the heart of the place - the courtyard, avoiding views towards the surrounding freeway and industrial warehouses; earth berms surrounding the building focalize views out to the landscape and blurring the boundary of architecture and site. The owners’ commitment to creating a respite from the industrial environment for their employees led to an exploration of curating views and outdoor spaces. The result is a workspace that encourages quiet contemplation, community and productivity.
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There will be no AIA Twenty-five Year Award winner this year

For the first time since the Twenty-Five Year award program was opened in 1971, the AIA has decided that there is no winner. The award honors a building that has "stood the test of time for 25-35 years and continues to set standards of excellence for its architectural design and significance," according to the AIA. Moreover, the building must completed, in good shape, and not be significantly changed from its intended design. In 2017, the Twenty-five Year Award went to the Grand Louvre – Phase 1, by I.M.Pei & Partners (Pei Cobb Freed & Partners). According to a statement released by the AIA to AN, the jury "felt that there were submissions that appeal to architects and there were those that appeal to the public. The consensus was that the Twenty-five Year Award should appeal to both. Unfortunately, this year the jury did not find a submission that it felt achieved twenty-five years of exceptional aesthetic and cultural relevance while also representing the timelessness and positive impact the profession aspires to achieve." Needless to say, this is quite a snub to any buildings completed between 1983 and 1993. While it's hard to speculate what the top contenders would have been, perhaps this is also a comment on the speed of demolition and the challenges of preserving outstanding buildings from this decade. The 2018 jury included Lee Becker, FAIA, Hartman-Cox Architects (Washington, D.C.); Anne Marie Decker, FAIA, Duvall Decker Architects (Jackson, Miss.); Susan Johnson, AIA, Strata Architecture + Preservation (Kansas City, Mo.); Anna Jones, Assoc. AIA, Shyft Collective (Johnston, Iowa); Merilee Meacock, AIA, KSS Architects (Princeton, N.J.); Robert Miller, FAIA, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (Seattle); Sharon Prince, Grace Farms Foundation (New Canaan, Conn.); Rob Rogers, FAIA, Rogers Partners (New York); student representative Caitlin Jean Kessler, the University of Arizona.
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Here’s how Congress’s tax plan could impact architects

After raising the alarm on provisions in Congress's tax plan that would negatively affect architects, the AIA is "encouraged" by revisions that were announced Friday night. The amendments arose during the reconciliation of the Senate and House tax bills that began on December 4. Notably, the changes keep the Historic Tax Credit (HTC), an incentive that spurs revitalization of older buildings in both blue and red states. Originally, the Senate's plan kept the HTC but spread the current 20 percent credit for recognized historic structures over five years, a move that would have diluted the credit's impact. (The bill also would have nixed the ten percent credit for buildings erected before 1936.) The House's version would have eliminated the HTC entirely. The reconciled, final bill, officially known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, gives architects more flexibility to use the 20 percent credit. The revised bill also allows a 20 percent deduction for what are known as pass-though businesses. These include S-corps, sole proprietorships, and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) and are  often (but not always) small businesses. Due in part to the AIA's lobbying, the bill also exempts architecture and engineering firms from restrictions on deductions that apply to other service-oriented businesses.
In a prepared statement on the changes, AIA 2018 President Carl Elefante thanked members for their support in opposing key provision of the bill, and explained the outcome of the AIA's advocacy: "The AIA lobbied hard and successfully to improve this bill, and to ensure that architects continue to be major job creators in the American economy. Gaining tax relief for architects who organize as pass through companies—which includes the majority of U.S. architecture firms—is a significant improvement over earlier drafts. So is preserving at least in part the Historic Tax Credit, which was totally abolished by the original House tax reform bill."
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Here’s how the AIA is fighting Congress’s tax plan

The AIA is gearing up to fight the House's and Senate's tax plan, both of which eviscerate historic tax credits and disadvantage architecture firms, especially smaller ones. In a statement released last night, the professional organization said it would lobby hard against provisions in both versions of the bill, which is officially known as Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The House's plan eliminates the Historic Tax Credit (HTC), an incentive that's key to revitalizing buildings along historic main streets and downtowns. The Senate's rules, meanwhile, would spread out the current 20 percent credit for recognized historic structures over five years, and eliminate the ten percent credit for buildings erected before 1936. The legislation goes into conference today. The HTC is an important revitalization tool for municipalities across the country. A 2015 report by the National Park Service and Rutgers University showed the HTC preserved more than 42,000 buildings nationwide and generated $131 billion in private investment since they were introduced in 1981. By offsetting the design and construction services needed to rehab older, often blighted buildings, the credits have created 2.4 million jobs in construction and administration. "By weakening the Historic Tax Credits, Congress and the Administration will hurt historic rehabilitation projects all across the country—something to which architects have been committed for decades," said Thomas Vonier, the AIA's 2017 president. "Since 1976, the HTCs have generated some $132 billion in private investment, involving nearly 43,000 projects. The Historic Tax Credit is fundamental to maintaining America's architectural heritage." "Our members across the country are already mobilized to make sure their Congressional delegations know these views. In the coming days, we will spare no effort to make sure members of the House-Senate conference committee know the views of the AIA's more than 90,000 members on the inequities in both pieces of legislation," he said. "So far, this legislation still falls well short of these goals. If passed, Congress would be making a terrible mistake." On the operations side, for all small firms (regardless of industry), the Senate bill permits some ("pass through" businesses) to take a 23 percent tax deduction. Bills from both sides of Congress, however, exclude certain professional categories from these benefits; under the proposed rules, only the tiniest architecture firms would receive tax relief.