American Institute of Architects

AIA24 – Takeaways from the National Conference of the American Institute of Architects

Marc Mondor, AIA, 2024-26 Pennsylvania Strategic Council Representative and 2020 AIA PA President

Over 15,000 people gathered in Washington DC for the AIA national conference, taking part in  a full expo hall, quality sessions, engaging keynotes and terrific networking among peers and practitioners.  

As Delegate for the Strategic Council, I took part in the election voting, where several bylaws changes and resolutions were accepted. Among these were the ability for members to lose AIA membership for misconduct and the addition of health and wellbeing considerations into the Framework for Design Excellence.  President Kimberly Dowdell addressed national leadership topics, declaring that issues raised in recent national forums are being investigated by an external counsel.  The elections also yielded new officers.  Illya Azaroff FAIA was elected as AIA 2026 President and 2025 President-Elect.  I have worked closely with Illya on the Committee on Climate Action and Design Excellence and have always admired his ability to see the global picture with regards to sustainability resilience, culture and funding.  


Marc Mondor AIA with Illya Azaroff FAIA at the 2024 convention

Marc Mondor AIA with Illya Azaroff FAIA at the 2024 convention


Also elected was Josh Flowers, FAIA as 2025-26 Secretary.  I have known Josh as a co-Moderator of the Strategic Council and find him to be a thoughtful listener able to identify issues very quickly.  Also selected to the Board at large was Matt Toddy, whom I don’t know well, but I feel confident that these three new leaders will provide good leadership.

One notable speaker was Ali Zaidi, Climate Advisor for the While House, who spoke of the three policy goals of the White House:  energy efficiency in the built environment, the elimination of emissions in buildings and a clean grid. Aside from reducing the impacts of climate change, the benefits will be increased health and jobs.  

A notable session was a Q&A regarding the White House definition of Net Zero Emissions Buildings, wth representatives from the DEP, the DOE, the EPA and the AIA.  The COTE and Strategic Council had a hand in helping define this critical standard earlier this year.  This standard described energy efficiency in relation to current ASHRAE standards, described clean energy as being free of emissions, and that net zero buildings be free of on-site emissions.  This working definition will be instrumental in determining allocation of significant federal IRA and BIL energy investments.

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