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Members may Declare Candidacy for Election at the 2021 AIA National Convention/Annual Meeting

In accordance with Section 6.412 of the AIA Rules of the Board, “[a]ny Architect member in good standing may declare candidacy for national office as an elected officer of the Institute. Any individual eligible under the Bylaws for selection as an at-large Director by the delegates at convention may declare candidacy for that office. A member or other individual becomes a candidate, and therefore subject to these campaign rules, by announcing candidacy at the Board of Directors annual meeting or by notifying the Institute Secretary in writing, indicating the office sought.”

Please notify Institute Secretary, Jason Winters prior to the start of the joint meeting of the Board and Strategic Council on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, if you intend to declare yourself a candidate for the office of:
• 2022 First Vice President/2023 President-elect, or
• 2022-23 Institute Treasurer, or
• 2022-24 At-large Director on the Institute Board of Directors.

The Institute Secretary will present a list of declared candidates to the Board of Directors and Strategic Council at the joint meeting on Tuesday, December 8, and would like to have as complete a list as possible before then.

These elections will take place at the 2021 AIA Annual Meeting, tentatively scheduled for June 10, 2021.

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This Session is a “Disaster”!

A new webinar from the Academy of Architecture for Health that may be of interest to you and others active in your state disaster assistance program:

This Session is a “Disaster”
This webinar is sponsored by the Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH) and provides 1 HSW credit.


The Facility Guidelines Institute, using a volunteer committee of over 120 professionals in practicing in health care, has developed a White Paper on Emergency Conditions in Health and Residential Care Facilities which includes recommended additional requirements to the 2022 series of Guidelines.  This session explores the key factors that influenced the new recommendations along with an overview of what new standards are being recommended for the new Guidelines on Emergency Conditions.

This effort addressed the need—permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary—to expand patient and resident capacity during pandemics and other manmade disasters and look at facility resiliency to withstand high winds, floods, wildfires, and other weather-related disasters. While many excellent solutions have been deployed over the years for resiliency and the past many months for COVID-19, thousands of hours have gone into coalescing lessons learned into a white paper and recommendations for a new Guidelines document that will support the treatment and care of patients, residents, visitors, and staff members during emergency conditions.  A risk assessment process and emergency condition zone maps have been added to the compliance formula of determining when elements of the recommendations need to be applied.


After participating in this webinar attendees will:

1. Describe how the new Guidelines for Emergency Conditions will influence future facility design to provide flexibility during a surge capacity event, whether man-made or weather related.
2. Apply the risk assessment and zone map concept to regions and areas of the United States to determine facility resiliency and surge capacity.
3. Explain the concepts behind and the physical attributes of alternate care sites critical to providing a satisfactory patient experience and outcome.
4. Use the Guidelines for Emergency Conditions in the project design and delivery period to creating facilities that serve their intended purpose during man-made and weather-related events.

Registration and more info:

Please feel free to share this opportunity with others in your disaster assistance network

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President’s Message, October 2020

AIA Maryland’s annual Educator’s Forum was held earlier this month.  The Educator’s Forum brings together state AIA representatives, primary, secondary and higher education professionals, licensing advisors, and other industry professionals to share ideas, ask and answer questions, and create lines of communication all for the advancement of our profession.  Exclusive of its virtual format, this year was no different.

The two areas of focus for this year’s forum were: Recruitment and Retention and Messaging, Storytelling and Value Proposition.  Attendees engaged in spirited discussions in both large format and small breakout groups.  As tends to be the case, we could have continued the conversations for many more hours.  Thankfully, AIA Maryland intends to add another forum to their annual calendar in the spring of 2021.  Many of our local component members and firms are already committed to making these connections, spending time teaching, mentoring, and training.  That’s why the spring forum will engage an even larger group to create action plans for the two focus areas.

Without giving away too much, we will be reaching out to members to tell their story of ‘why are you an architect?’  This central question can provide the answers to make young students aware of architecture and encourage them to pursue it as a career, expand traditional teaching methods and degrees, address the issues that lead those in architecture to pursue other professional careers, and continue to strengthen our standing with legislators.

So, in the meantime, be thinking about your story – what led you to pursue a career in architecture. Think about who encouraged you, hurdles that you faced and how you overcame them. What would you do differently and, is there something you now know that you wished you had sooner?

Stay safe and be well.

Matthew Ormsby
2020 President
Moseley Architects

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Disaster Assistance Volunteer Opportunities

Want to get more involved in national-level disaster assistance? Here’s your chance!

Every year AIA appoints new members to a wide range of committees and the 2021 call for committee applications is now live! As someone interested in disaster assistance,  hazard mitigation, and building performance you may be most interested in applying to the following groups:

  • Disaster Assistance Committee: Established in 2006, members with pre- and post-disaster experience provide leadership and guidance on disaster preparedness and response as well as hazard mitigation and resilient disaster recovery. The ongoing work of the Disaster Assistance Committee includes advising on emergency disaster situations and equipping members and components with the tools and resources they need to lead their own local disaster assistance programs through advocacy, building safety assessment training, and developing volunteer and partner networks. Additionally, the committee provides guidance to mitigate building damage and recover more safely and quickly from disasters. Special focus in 2021 will include authorship of the AIA Disaster Assistance Handbook 4th edition and COVID-19 re-occupancy resources, as well as development of building vulnerability assessment guidance. Members will meet virtually, typically on a monthly basis, be asked to complete 1-4 hours of volunteer efforts per month and attend one 2-day meeting in 2021.
  • Resilience and Adaptation Advisory Group: Members of the Resilience and Adaptation Advisory Group advise and produce guidance for the Institute’s 93,000 members with their expertise in resilience, climate adaptation, risk management, and the intersection of equity with climate change as it pertains to the practice of resilience in architecture. The group will provide guidance and implementation of AIA’s Climate Action Plan, specifically climate adaptation objectives. Projects will focus on AIA’s resilience education, policy and practice resources and will include mentoring the Resilience Network and developing a resilience practice toolkit and community resilience guidance. In your letter of interest, please describe how you’d like to contribute to these projects; highlighting demonstrated interest or experience such as how you or your firm are integrating the above aspects of resilience into your work. The advisors will coordinate with the AIA Disaster Assistance Committee and other AIA member groups as needed. Members will meet virtually, typically on a monthly basis, be asked to complete 1-4 hours of volunteer efforts per month and attend one 2-day meeting in 2021.
  • Re-imagining America: Strategies for Safer Buildings Task Force: In the wake of the pandemic, it is clear America’s buildings will need to be more resilient to future threats in order to keep America’s economy running. Today, many offices across downtown America lay vacant. Many will never return to previously known occupancy levels. What are the new opportunities for these spaces? During the immediate recovery, architects provided a host of strategies to mitigate the risk of transmission. What are the lessons learned from these strategies and what do they mean for the future of design? This cross-disciplinary task force will look ahead to the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on building design to determine the new paradigm in best practices for commercial/retail, multifamily housing, and other public spaces. Additionally, the task force will examine the adaptive reuse of spaces necessitated by changes in demand for facilities and how people share spaces. The task force will develop a series of reports and 3-D graphics detailing their findings by building type. Members will meet virtually once or twice a month and be asked to contribute approximately 2-4 hours of volunteer efforts per month.

Additional committees you may be interested in applying to include:

  • 2030 Working Group: The 2030 Commitment exists to support the 2030 Challenge and transform the practice of architecture in a way that is holistic, firm-wide, project-based, and data-driven. More than 750 companies have joined the program since 2010. The 2030 Commitment Working Group provides strategic direction for the program and may advise on tactical program implementation.
  • Building Performance Advisory Group: The goal of the Building Performance Knowledge Community (BPKC) is to promote architects as leaders in the application of technical design for building performance; in the use of high-performance design criteria, codes, and standards; and in programming, designing and managing building performance. To advance, disseminate, and advocate— to the architecture profession, AIA members, building owners, the construction industry, the academy, and the public—design practices that create buildings that are healthy, energy efficient, and durable.
  • Codes and Standards Committee: First formed in the 1950s to work closely with the three regional model code organizations and participate in the development of each code, the AIA Codes and Standards (C&S) Committee has guided the AIA’s leading role in consolidating the three regional model code groups into the one we know today – the International Code Council (ICC). Architects’ leadership in the development of construction codes and standards and other regulations directly affects the success and prosperity of AIA members, the profession, and our communities. Today’s C&S Committee is a premier example of members leading the way at the AIA, embracing the call to be advocates, and providing a credible and reliable voice to the public policy process. Future committee members can also look forward to helping implement some of the recommendations of the AIA Blue Ribbon Panel on Codes report “Disruption, Evolution, and Change” ( If you have ever wondered how the codes and standards architects use every day are made and used, this is your opportunity to help shape them all across the country
  • Committee on the Environment Advisory Group: The Committee on the Environment (COTE) works to advance, disseminate, and advocate—to the profession, the building industry, the academy, and the public—design practices that integrate built and natural systems and enhance both the design quality and environmental performance of the built environment.
  • Historic Resources Committee Advisory Group: The mission of the Historic Resources Committee (HRC) Knowledge Community is to identify, understand, and preserve architectural heritage, both nationally and internationally.

For more info and to apply, visit the AIA National Committee application site. Applications are due 11/6.

Please feel free to share this message with others that may be interested. 

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Join us Thursday, 9/24 @ 5:30pm

AIA Maryland’s 2020 Excellence in Design awards presentation will debut this Thursday, September 24th at 5:30pm. Set up a happy hour or watch party on your favorite platform and watch with us!

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Architects formally acknowledged in the FEMA Natl Incident Mgmt System

Released September 9, 2020, AIA Disaster Assistance Committee member, Rose Grant, AIA; FEMA Project Technical Committee member, shared this good news. What follows is a very brief overview, you can read the entire special advisory here.

While there is still some work to be done, now that architects are recognized and officially defined by NIMS, their assistance can be requested anywhere in the country (including U.S. territories) through EMAC (Emergency Management Assistance Compact).

AIA’s Disaster Assistance program previously recognized the ICS courses as recommended but not will require them. Credentialing is essential in validating the identity and attributes (e.g., affiliations, skills, or privileges) of emergency personnel. Architects who have already taken SAP training, are encouraged to complete the following ICS courses free online:

  • IS-100: Introduction to the Incident Command System (2 hrs.)
  • IS-200: ICS for Single Resources and initial Action Incidents (4 hrs.)
  • IS-700: National Incident Management System, an introduction (3.5 hrs.)
  • IS-800: National Response Framework, an introduction (3 hrs.)

AIA’s efforts from proposing legislation, to helping write new NIMS resource type definitions, to working to produce the Post-disaster Building Safety Evaluation Guide (P2055) are unlocking opportunities for architects to volunteer to assist our communities. These efforts advance the AIA’s mission and goals to provide a method for members to meet (and exceed) their ethical obligation to “render public interest professional services, including pro bono services … after disasters or in other emergencies.”


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