In light of the damage brought about by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) recently urged policymakers to reject any weakening of the building codes and called for making public buildings a key part of infrastructure renewal. According to AIA, in 2016 alone, the nation spent $46 billion in response to natural disasters, and that was just in direct costs. The damage caused by Harvey and Irma will easily surpass that.
"Our hearts go out to the people of Texas and Florida as both states work to recover from these massive storms, and the AIA is doing all it can to assist in that recovery," said AIA President Thomas Vonier, FAIA. "As we look toward eventually rebuilding in Texas and Florida, state and federal legislators must reject attempts to roll back protections that make good design and careful planning the hallmarks of U.S. construction. Designing buildings to minimize damage from such natural disasters as hurricanes matters not only for public health, safety, and welfare; it also makes complete economic sense.”
In keeping with this mindset, Vonier and the AIA maintain that policymakers must recognize well-designed buildings connect people, promote their well-being, stimulate commerce, and, most importantly, save lives. Read the entire list of principles AIA believes architects and designers should uphold.