AIA National and Covid-19

We are sharing AIA National resources and updates from this week. In addition, please contribute to this national database of best practices from state to state, the COVID-10 ArchMap – how architects can help communities adapt hospitals and related facilities to support mobilization efforts for COVID-19 treatment. If you are an architect and have a story to share, please click here and upload a story, or simply review these ideas to see how you may help your community. 

Board outreach:

  • Jane, Emily, and Robert speaking on Friday, 4/3, with leadership of AIAS, NAC, and YAF
  • Leadership calls to components ongoing

EVP/CEO Outreach:

  • Robert spoke with chief staff executive of RIBA this week; will be conducting calls with other global CEOS net week
  • Five Executives (of AIA, AIAS, ACSA, NAAB and NCARB) met virtually, to share news and prepare for Five Presidents (virtual) meeting on April 7

Task Forces:

  • COVID-19 Business Practices Task Force
    • First meeting on 4/2/2020. Anticipate breaking up into smaller teams to complete the work. Identifying key questions and themes, and also what “mission accomplished” would look like
    • Focus on both immediate needs and long-term at issues: expanding the agency of members, providing information on future design implications, and the transformation of what it looks like to run a business (teleworking, accounts receivable/cash flow, client conversations).
    • Next steps: help AIA categorize current resources according to how the architect thinks, and identify gaps to help provide direction
  • Rapid Response Safety Space Assessment Task Force
    • Alternative Care Sites (ACS): Developing a set of findings to be used now, and to create a database of evolving examples of ACS development
    • Creating two tools for evaluation of ACS for adaptive reuse over the next 30–90 days (or less)
      • Assessment Tool (to be released on 4/6/2020)
      • COVID-19 project survey and database
    • Future work to include:
      • Issues of technology for telemedicine and video communication as a bridge to manage the isolation mandates resulting from COVID-19
      • Management of patients who may present with comorbidities including mental and behavioral health conditions
      • Reflection from frontline workers who face risks of infection as well as mental anguish and physical exhaustion
  • Implementation and Community Outreach Task Force
    • Conducting weekly open forums for member leaders to share ideas, challenges, experiences, etc. (Approximately 50-60 attend)
    • Materials released on multiple platforms (AIA State Disaster Basecamp site, Component Connect (CACE and presidents), and State/Local Government Network)
    • Suite of tools for components to use for outreach, vetting of assistance requests
      • Developed two survey forms: one to assess component outreach interests and needs; the second a form to gather and document component stories, examples

  • Continue to refer members to dedicated resources round up page dedicated to members’ needs.
    • Pushing out this resource now to all members via email blast; positive feedback thus far

Continuing Education:

  • CARES Act webinar had more than 1100 registrants, with more than 60% actually signing in, day-of. The PPT used in the webinar is here.


  • AIA is co-signatory to letter to Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin
  • Recording of 3/31 briefing call with Paul Tonko (D-NY) for ArchiPAC contributors
  • Testimony on environmental/energy efficiency testimony submitted to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee – requested in writing, after cancellation of a hearing originally scheduled on energy efficiency.
  • The AIA issued memos which influenced the first two federal bills in response to the COVID-1i crisis, the Coronavirus Preparedness Response Supplemental Appropriations Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • A second memo and letter from Robert Ivy and President Frederick went to capital hill as we signed on to the CARES Act. The CARES Act provides a broad range of assistance to small businesses, including very favorable terms for SBA loans, deferred payroll tax opportunities, modifications to policies related to business losses, a qualified improvement property (QIP) cost write off, and temporary relief from troubled debt restructuring. The bill also allows employers to provide a student loan repayment benefit to employees on a tax-free basis (can contribute up to $5,250 annually to an employee and this would be excluded from their income).
  • A bi-partisan House companion bill to the Retirement Parity for Student Loans Act has been released and we are monitoring it closely. This bill would permit treatment of student loan payments as elective deferrals for purposes of employer matching contributions.
  • A clearinghouse of information to assist with the design of safer schools has been activated and the AIA submissions are under review for inclusion.


  • The AIA Risk Management and documents team is helping architects considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the architect standard of care relative to site visits, as well as what to do if contracts are terminated or suspended. Recent articles begin to address these concerns.


  • The EQFA Board Committee has been asked to redirect their work to immediately consider and address the needs of architecture students and emerging professionals. As quickly as this week, the AIA’s emerging professionals team is organizing with AIAS leaders, the Young Architects Forum, and the National Associates Committee to mobilize support.


  • BSA published Firms Best Practice Guide
  • Jane is participating in component town halls upon request (AIA Vermont on 4/7)
  • Jane, Robert, and Abigail participated in AIA New York/AIA New York States Unified Coronavirus Task Force conference call


  • UIA Congress and Assembly postponed to July 2021
  • 2020 UN Climate Summit, also known as COP26, has been postponed (was to be 11/9-20/2020; no new date announced but still planned to take place in Glasgow)
  • Architecture Week postponed from April 20 – 26; new date TBA
  • MEMBERSHIP: Renewals were at expected levels when the COVID-19 crisis began but have slowed. The 2020 dues renewal deadline of March 31 has been extended to June 30, 2020. A dues installment plan is also available for members who need assistance.
  • STRATEGIC PLAN: The Institute’s strategic planning committee has completed its final recommendation on the 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. The plan has been submitted to the Board of Directors for consideration at its April board meeting. There is a December 2020 deadline for adoption of this plan. The highlights of the plan include the adoption of a mindset of “revolution” with strategies to mobilize for impact, educate and prepare, advance knowledge, and broaden the tent. Climate Action is elevated as our priority.

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