In this issue:
·AIA NY State Convention Needs Volunteers
·AIA Calls for Issues for 2008 Legislative Agenda
·Students Hunt Governor’s Island’s Past
·Survey Shows Americans Lost in Sea of Green
AIA NY State Convention Needs Volunteers
Marking the 150th anniversary of the AIA’s founding, Manhattan (home to the oldest chapter) will host this year’s AIA New York State Convention from October 4-6, 2007. In order for events to run smoothly and out-of-town guests to feel comfortable, volunteers are needed throughout the three-day period.
Volunteer positions include:
1. Introducing speakers.
2. Distributing and collecting CES credit registration cards for lectures/keynote luncheons.
3. Escorting tour participants from the Grand Hyatt Hotel to various walking tour sites.
4. Checking in staff and guests at the Host Chapter Party or President’s Dinner.
Volunteers must also participate in web-based orientation program on September 25 from 8:00-9:00 AM. Those who commit to a three-hour period may audit one CES seminar or class of their choice during the convention (course selection may be limited based on prior enrollment). If you are interested, please contact Suzanne Mecs by September 20. Please indicate the days and hours you are available.
AIA Calls for Issues for 2008 Legislative Agenda
As the AIA prepares its legislative agenda for 2008, it wants to hear from you about important and pressing concerns. AIA leadership and staff will examine the feedback and match proposed issues to legislative and regulatory opportunities at the federal, state, and local levels for action next year.
AIA Vice President, Government and Community Relations, Paul Mendelsohn notes that of the three top priorities for the AIA in 2007, two of them — requiring new Federal buildings to meet the 2030 Challenge, and an energy efficient commercial buildings tax deduction extension — have been passed by one or both chambers of Congress, while the third — supporting green infrastructure — was included in the House’s report on legislation passed this past spring. Adds Mendelsohn, “It is only with the support of our 80,000 members that the AIA can remain a credible voice before government at all levels.”
Students Hunt Governor’s Island’s Past
This month’s FamilyDay@theCenter took to the road and across the East River to Governor’s Island for an architectural scavenger hunt. Center for Architecture Foundation members Erin McCluskey, Jerry Maltz, and I (Tim Hayduk) met our group at the Battery Maritime Building. Participants were given clipboards, historic maps, pencils, and crayons — documentation tools — and instructed to design their own park on the defunct residential portion of the island.
We made the swift crossing to Governor’s Island and began our tour of the Park at the Center of the World exhibition, featuring the designs put forth by five finalists of an international competition proposing plans for a public park at the island’s southern 100 acres. We then traversed the island, seeking out military landmarks and witnessing first-hand the changes to the island over time. Many of the forts on the island served as defenses, prisons, and even housing for the military elite. Participants of all ages were intrigued by the Burger King, which closed when the Coast Guard gave custody of the island to NY State. We were treated to Revolutionary War reenactments along the ramparts of Fort Jay, and peeked inside the newly restored Admiral’s House. Everyone enjoyed the island’s tranquility — monumental views of the skyscraper city minus automobiles, noise, crowds, and other modern distractions. It is a great place to bring the family.
Special thanks to the Governor’s Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC), which was extremely helpful in assisting us with the planning of this outing.
Survey Shows Americans Lost in Sea of Green
Although buildings produce nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global warming, a survey released by the AIA shows that 40% of the 1,000 representative national voters believe cars and trucks are the highest contributors, compared to just 7% who accurately identified buildings as the top cause of emissions. The Tarrance Group and Lake Research Partners developed the survey for the AIA with a margin of error of +/-3.1%.
Studies show that buildings produce 48% of dangerous greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change, and that they consume 71% of electricity produced at U.S. power plants. Despite these statistics, only aerosol cans (1% of votes) finished behind commercial buildings as being identified as the top source for greenhouse gas emissions. Power plants (19%) and natural causes (15%) were thought to be top contributors.
Although voters may not realize that homes and buildings are responsible for half of the greenhouse gas emissions, most were willing to invest in energy efficient homes. 91% said they would be willing to pay an additional $5,000 for a house that would use less energy and protect the environment. Of the respondents who would not make the extra investment, 69% said they would if they could get their money back through lower electric and gas bills over the next seven to eight years.
The survey emerges as Congress reconvenes to produce energy bills from both the House and the Senate, including the AIA’s Federal Building policy position requiring that all new and significantly renovated buildings owned or leased by the federal government be carbon-neutral by 2030.