In this issue:
· AIA Makes Policy Recommendations to Congress
· Engineers Sue NYC

AIA Makes Policy Recommendations to Congress
The AIA semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast projects an 11% decline in design and construction activity in 2009. To revitalize the building sector, which accounts for about $1 of every $10 of the U.S. GDP, the AIA developed the Rebuild and Renew Plan, which details its recommendations for the allocation of funds in President Obama’s economic recovery plan. The AIA is calling on the new administration and Congress to create policies that ensure these monies are spent on the planning, design, and construction of energy efficient, sustainable buildings and healthy communities. If implemented correctly, the nearly $100 billion plan would create 1.6 million jobs throughout the design and construction industry.

Recent reports estimate that the economic recovery package may total as much as $800 billion, with at least $350 billion dedicated to infrastructure projects. However, the AIA’s recommendations call for longer planning and design periods for projects to help ensure that they are carried out in the most effective, cost-efficient manner, and that funds are not poorly spent due to the projects being hastily planned and executed. Providing funding for projects across 24 months will ensure a steady stream of funds for job creation over the likely life of the recession.

The plan is comprised of five key policy areas for immediate attention: 21st-century schools; green commercial, residential, and institutional buildings; historic preservation projects; transit, mixed-use development, and complete streets projects; and tax relief for businesses. For more information on the AIA’s Rebuild and Renew Plan, or to download the full report, click the link.

Engineers Sue NYC
The NY State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) is bringing a lawsuit against the City of New York to restore the licensure requirement for the Commissioner of Buildings. Recently, the NY City Council passed legislation removing the requirement that the commissioner be a licensed professional engineer or registered architect. The NYSSPE believes that this law not only diminishes and undermines their profession, but more importantly, puts the public at risk. They believe this law is in violation of the NY State Engineering Licensure Statute and hope to reverse it in a court of law.