Increasing Equity in the Built Environment
Equitable design for the built environment holds the power to remove barriers and burdens, physical or abstract, empowering and enabling people to gather and connect, live, and function to their
Solutions for cities
Before AIA leaders arrived at the U.S. Conference of Mayors 91st Annual Meeting, AIA architects were already serving city leaders by addressing issues on sustainability and resilience in the built
Getting in the Resilience Zone
Many coastal clients have homes and businesses that maximize water views and ocean breezes, but as severe weather increases, architects must guide builders to prioritize design aimed at anticipating hazardous
Smart design is an investment in community and climate.
The greenest buildings are buildings that already exist, which is why The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Board of Directors made the decision to fully renovate–not rebuild–the organization’s 50-year-old headquarters.
How High-Performance Buildings Save Money & Boost Tenant Satisfaction
High-performance buildings are often disregarded by civic leaders and property owners because of a misguided stereotype: They’re too expensive. The truth is that buildings that reduce negative environmental impact save
How Civic Leaders Are Investing in Resilient Design to Create Safer Communities
In September 2022, the first-ever global survey of mayors announced challenges on three fronts: inequality, climate change, and outdated infrastructure. In a questionnaire conducted by the College of Architecture, Art,
How Chief Heat Officers & Other Civic Leaders Are Tackling Climate Change & Strengthening Marginalized Communities
In 2021, Florida’s Miami-Dade County took an innovative approach to addressing how climate change impacts marginalized communities: It created the world’s first chief heat officer. Across the United States, rising
How One Community United Behind Its Mayor’s Sustainable Building Initiative
In April 2022, the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, took a big step in demonstrating its commitment to sustainability, one that may entice more people to move there: For the
Architects boost three cities as part of this year’s Mayors Innovative Design Cohort
By Katherine Flynn The Frosty Morn meat packing factory in Clarksville, Tenn.—all 52,600 square feet of it—has sat vacant since 1977. “Nobody’s ever spent any money to keep the roof
Three Surprising Ways Architects Are Working with Mayors to Build Communities
Architects don’t just design buildings. They design systems that can work equitably for communities, cities, and regions using the same design methodology—just on a larger scale. It's a key reason
The Future of High-Performance Buildings
In January, the White House launched the National Building Performance Standards Coalition, a groundbreaking initiative to increase energy efficiency in existing buildings and improve communities. “New federal actions today, in
How Can Managed Retreat Be Done Equitably?
In 2012, members of the Quinault Indian Nation in Taholah, Washington, finally decided to move their frequently-flooded seaside village to higher ground. Five years later, they had developed a master
How Grassroots Design Is Saving Communities Along the Mississippi River
In 2021, a collection of mayors from the American heartland traveled to Scotland to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). Their mission? To join global leaders like President
What a Day With Renewable Energy Could Look Like
The first thing you notice in your dream of living with renewable energy is the noise—or lack of it. In the future, when solar panels and other innovations have enabled
COP26: AIA Delegation Claims Architects’ Seat at the Table
Billed as our “last best chance” to manage global warming, COP26 in Glasgow brought together signatories to the Paris Climate Agreement and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to accelerate
Shaping the Equitable City
This article is part of the Building Equity series, which explores how architects are working with communities and civic leaders to develop creative, innovative design solutions that fight climate change, systemic
How Wisconsin Is Partnering with Architects to Design a Better Future
As Congress continues to negotiate the most ambitious infrastructure package in the United States in a century, one state is already leading the way. “In 2019, our governor said, ‘Look,
The Groundbreaking New Resource for Going Green
Every year, the built environment produces around 40% of global emissions. But unlike most industries, apart from feedback by communities and civic leaders, the building profession has only a handful
Urban Farms Fuel Future for Once-Forgotten Neighborhoods
This article is part of the Building Equity series, which explores how architects are working with communities and civic leaders to develop creative, innovative design solutions that fight climate change, systemic
How Architects Can Improve America’s Infrastructure
Infrastructure is the foundation of our society, and it’s both crumbling and contributing to global warming. In the wake of the election and crises like the one that recently left
Design Tools to Help Stop Climate Change
In 2008, architect Larry Strain, FAIA, was part of a team designing a town center in Portola Valley, California, when he conducted a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and made a
Architecture’s Carbon Problem
Architects create about 40 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, but they can also help to solve the climate crisis.
Improving Racial Equity Through Greener Design
Climate change affects us all, but doesn’t impact us all equally. This article is part of a new series, Building Equity, that explores how architects are working with communities and civic
What Can COVID-19 Teach Us About Climate Change? Experts Weigh In
While the most urgent challenge now facing the global community is stopping the spread of COVID-19 and mitigating its impacts, the race to fight climate change continues.
Why We Need a ZERO Code Now
To reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, architects are looking beyond their own projects to make a greater difference in a new way—with building codes. By 2060, the world is projected
The Rise of Regenerative Design
At first glance, the concept of regenerative design seems simple. When architects ensure that their projects benefit the community and surrounding environment, everybody wins. But putting this into practice can
Renovating Buildings to Protect the Climate and Rejuvenate Communities
Buildings often create two problems. They contribute nearly 40 percent of the world’s fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), speeding global warming. And, historically, they have contributed to systemic racism
The Future of Green Construction Materials
Building materials—and what’s in them—have been making headlines, and for good reason. As The American Institute of Architects (AIA) raises the bar in response to climate change, architects and design professionals
The Language of Carbon: A Glossary of Terms
Seventeen terms that will help you talk the talk of carbon positive design.
Concrete, Steel, or Wood: Searching for Zero-Net-Carbon Structural Materials
Steel and concrete predominate the U.S. commercial building market for structural materials, while engineered wood—specifically mass timber—is garnering attention for its potential embodied carbon savings and sequestration ability.
Eight Questions You’ll Hear When Proposing Zero-Carbon Design
And, more importantly, tried-and-true responses from seasoned experts who have fielded these FAQS.
Designing a Coastal City
Content used with permission from WIRED Magazine. Robin Seidel, an architect working to save Boston from rising seawater, survived her first flood as a child. “I was nine years old
The Future of Resilience & Sustainability
Content used with permission from WIRED Magazine. In 2012, as Hurricane Sandy battered the east coast, Diane Hellriegel made the most difficult decision of her life—to abandon her home in