The American Institute of Architects was founded in the mid-1800s as a professional organization and has grown to more than 80,000 members. The purpose of AIA is to protect the public safety, enhance the profession of architecture and promote excellence in the built environment. The Springfield chapter was founded in 1964 and has about 170 members, mostly design professions, although other trades and professions can be allied members. Industry role
As design professionals, we are trained problem solvers and our role in the construction industry is two-fold. First, we convert a client’s needs and vision into a design that is functional and relevant, while at the same time meeting code requirements and cost considerations. Second, we convert the design into construction documents that specify the size, relationship and quality building components.Innovation
Building information modeling technology is the process of building a 3-D virtual model in the computer, consisting of smart building components such as doors, walls and windows. This virtual model can be used as a design tool to allow clients to visualize the building before it’s built, and to generate drawings for construction documents.Challenges
Due to the economy, clients are finding it harder to obtain financing to build their projects. And for those who obtain financing, construction costs are escalating at a rapid pace, making projects more expensive. As design professionals, our role is to communicate what we see in the construction industry and guide clients to make appropriate decisions as they relate to cost.2011 accomplishments
One of AIA’s biggest accomplishments was a design charrette aimed at helping Joplin. The Citizen’s Advisory Recovery Team in Joplin had been establishing goals and identifying catalyst projects for redevelopment of the tornado-devastated section of the city. The AIA’s design charrette drew 50 design professionals from a five-state region for a two-day workshop and converted the CART’s goals and ideas into graphics to paint a picture of what Joplin could be. The sketches and rendering that were created during the charrette will be presented by CART to City Council on Nov. 7.2012 outlook
Most of the design professionals I speak with are optimistic about the construction industry in 2012. There is a definite trend toward quality of construction over quantity of construction, which could aid in the stabilization of our built environment. At the same time, we are making huge strides forward in access to new technologies that allow buildings to do things that were once reserved for state of the art/custom construction.Click here for the full Salute to Construction section of the Oct. 31-Nov. 6, 2011, issue.