Thursday, May 13, 2010

AIA and USGBC Announce Plans For Collaboration

The The American Institute of Architects and the U.S. Green Building Council recently announced plans for collaboration between the two organizations. The following a a joint letter released by the two organizations detailing the relationship.

Last year, the boards of The American Institute of Architects and the U.S. Green Building Council established a Joint Task Force to explore how our organizations could work more closely together to advance our respective missions and give stronger voice to our shared values. The desire to use our interdependence as a catalyst for stronger collaboration was the platform from which a strategic framework for this effort was developed.

We offer a special note of gratitude for the leadership of the Joint Task Force co-chairs Gail Vittori, Immediate Past Board Chair, U.S. Green Building Council, and Clark Manus, FAIA, 2010 AIA First Vice President / 2011 President, The American Institute of Architects, who helped us identify opportunities where collaboration would yield the greatest benefit in advancing the mission of a more sustainable built environment.

In January, our senior staffs met to define a three-year action plan that includes: Collaboration around Haiti Relief: Both organizations and our members have significant expertise to offer Haiti as it begins to rebuild. Our ongoing collaboration will help inform how to proceed and how, together, we can best respond to future disasters.

Unified Sustainability Advocacy Agenda: In each of the next three years, we will develop a joint advocacy and communications plan that can be championed in conjunction with the President’s State of the Union address, including development of “issue briefs” as well as ongoing joint action on other topics of common concern, such as green affordable housing, green schools, and green healthcare facilities.

Coordinated Educational Activity: The action plan addresses the need to expand the market’s capacity to implement sustainable design practices. As such, we are moving quickly toward “reciprocal credit” for educational sessions that support each group’s credentials, the creation of a joint speakers registry, providing links to each other’s education web pages related to sustainable design, creating a common calendar, and jointly utilizing AIA’s upcoming 2010 convention in Miami as well as USGBC’s 2010 Greenbuild in Chicago as educational platforms.

As a note of progress on this effort, we are pleased to share that 107 LU/HSW/SD hours from 64
courses on sustainable design being offered at the AIA Convention in Miami are approved for
credit towards maintaining the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP specialty credentials.

Coordinated Research Opportunities: Identifying and jointly soliciting funding for research of
interest that supports our common agenda is another key action area.

Underpinning all of the specifics of the action plan is recognition of the importance of open and
ongoing communications in support of this collaborative initiative. And, to that end, we anticipate
making brief appearances at each other’s Board meetings and holding an annual joint
leadership meeting to report on our progress and discuss other strategic opportunities. These
more formal initiatives will be augmented by ongoing work between our staffs on each of the
action items.

Also, we will look for ways to highlight our collaboration with external audiences through joint
announcements and statements in newsletters, on web sites, and in other visible ways.

Both organizations are significantly strengthened through this focused collaboration and we
believe that working together advances both of our missions. We’re very excited about this new
initiative, and look forward to sharing with you the fruits of our positive engagement.