The AIA has issued the following response to the new stimulus bill:
"Now that the economic stimulus bill is finalized," said Marvin Malecha, FAIA, president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), "architects and design and construction professionals are ready to work closely with state and local officials to help them use these resources effectively."
"We are pleased that Congress listened to the views of thousands of design professionals in passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act with provisions that promote green, energy-efficient buildings and tax relief that helps firms struggling to cope with this recession. The bill funds infrastructure projects to create thousands of jobs—right away—in industries devastated by the economic crisis. And, if executed smartly, the benefits of the investment will last for decades.
Renovating and repairing school buildings ensures that our children will learn in safer, healthy environments. The fact that mobile trailers serve as the primary classroom for as many as one in five American students is a national shame; we need to fix that.
The design and construction of affordable housing funded by this bill will help more hard-working Americans find and keep a place to live. Investments in mass transit will reduce the traffic congestion that is choking our communities. Making our federal buildings more energy efficient will save taxpayers millions of dollars and reduce the effects of carbon dioxide emissions on the earth's climate.
However, we urge our federal government leaders to consider this bill's funding a modest start. With a $2.2 trillion shortfall in infrastructure investment, including a $300 billion need to repair and modernize schools, the work of Congress and the Administration is far from over. This bill is just a down payment, and we will continue fighting for additional investment to make sure our nation has a 21st century infrastructure for a 21st century economy.
Our goal must be not just to build, but to build better: greener buildings, modern schools and a transportation system that strengthens communities. Members of the AIA are prepared to meet the challenge to rebuild and renew. Now, it's time for us all to get to work."