Feature

Architects Action Day 2018

Architects advocate in Harrisburg

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on April 26, 2018

Attendees having some fun in front of the Pennsylvania State Capitol.  Image credit AIA Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, April 17th members of AIA Pittsburgh joined with architects from across the state, led by AIA Pennsylvania, for Architects’ Day 2018.  Nearly 50  architects joined in for this advocacy day in Harrisburg where they met with senators and congressmen from their respective districts.

It was a busy day for Pittsburgh members who met with Senator Randy Vulakovich, Senator Jay Costa’s staff, Senator Wayne Fontana, Representative Jake Wheatley, Representative Paul Costa, Representative Dom Costa, Representative Frank Dermody, Representative Ed Gainey, Representative Harold English, and Representative Michael Turzai.

In order to promote architects’ role in the health, safety, and welfare of the public, attendees dropped off over 200 educational materials including a lego set (pictured left) with key messages about architects and the built environment.

 

KEY MESSAGES:

  • Asked for support of HB 223 and SB 432 to require mandatory continuing education for architects for the health, safety, and welfare of the public.  Pennsylvania is one of only five states that does not require mandatory continuing education for architects.
  • Thanked legislators for establishing the PlanCon Committee and bringing AIA Pennsylvania to the table as a key resource.  The state needs to remain involved in funding K12 construction.  PlanCon is a state-run reimbursement mechanism for local school construction.  There is currently a moratorium on PlanCon funding and the PlanCon Advocacy Committee is working on a PlanCon rewrite.
  • Advocated for updated school facility safety assessments to gain a better understanding of the scope of work that needs to be done to secure our schools.
  • Asked for support of SB 234 to establish Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing (C-PACE), a tool for businesses to invest in cost-saving energy efficiency projects.  C-PACE programs are voluntary and do not require any public funds.
  • Asked for support of SB954 to reduce the Statute of Repose in PA to 6 years (down from 12).  This protects design professionals from unlimited liability.  For example, if an injury is suffered at a building designed many years earlier, an architect could be sued, even if the injury is due to improper maintenance or accomplished renovations.
  • Asked for support for SB459 – The Neighborhood Restoration Act – which would create a program for architecture students to work in underserved areas of the Commonwealth in exchange for assistance with their student loans.

“This has been our best-attended Architects Day in a decade. We had nearly 50 attendees, including students, and visited over 200 legislators’ offices. This goes in hand what has been our best legislative year in a decade, with the passage of two bills for which we advocated – Act 36, which will update our building codes, and Act 40, which will help our renewable energy market,” says Marc Mondor, AIA PA Government Affairs Chair.

Representative Gainey introduced House Resolution 836 recognizing the efforts and contributions that the architectural community and AIA Pennsylvania have made to celebrate and promote equity, diversity, and inclusion within the profession of architecture and in workplaces throughout this Commonwealth. The resolution passed unanimously. The co-sponsor memo and resolution can be found here.

Joseph Adiutori, AIA; Michelle Fanzo; Eric Booth, AIA; Richard Beattie, AIA; Gwen Dakis, AIA in the rotunda.

 

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