Category Archives: News
Do you know that an architect is running for mayor of Seattle, one of the major cities in the United States?
This should be of significant pride and importance to everyone in our profession, everywhere. Peter Steinbrueck, FAIA, needs your support and he needs it now. As architects, we all know the need for consensus building to move projects forward. With the issues Seattle has faced in recent years: traffic gridlock, struggling schools, homelessness and public safety concerns, the need for a thoughtful, skilled, consensus builder, coupled with strong leadership in the mayor’s office is greater than ever.
Message from Stan Bowman at AIA National Convention 2013:
Today, Peter Steinbrueck, FAIA, was recognized at the AIA 2013 National Convention for his historic run for the Mayor of Seattle. More than 16,000 architects applauded him for his courageous career in public service.
Peter has been an active member of the AIA serving in leadership roles in the local and national levels. He was a founding supporter the AIA’s Citizen Architect network. The network was created to support and encourage architects in public service roles through elected and appointed government positions.
AIA President Mickey Jacob, FAIA, thanked Peter for his service to the profession and encouraged architects from across the nation to support his run for office.
There is currently no major city in the nation that has an architect serving as its mayor. Yet, architects’ innate skills of collaboration and project management are desperately needed to help solve today’s urban social and environmental challenges.
Peter’s experience as an architect and as a Seattle city council member (for 10 years) make him the most qualified candidate to lead Seattle during this time of change.
Architects from across the nation also came together this morning to support Peter financially at a breakfast fundraiser. These events demonstrate the broad national support for Peter’s run for Seattle Mayor.
For more information about Peter Steinbrueck, FAIA, and his campaign, please visit his website at: www.peterforseattle.com.
Design Activity Hits the Brakes in April
Another extended spring swoon seems unlikely, but architecture firms continue to report problems in keeping projects moving along
By Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA
AIA Chief Economist
Kjell Anderson, AIA practices at LMN in Seattle, with a focus on sustainability. He previously worked at Callison, training employees internationally on energy simulation and modeling. His upcoming book, “Design Energy Simulation for Architects: Guide to 3D Graphics” explores energy use and modeling in architecture.
A five-question interview follows:
Last night saw the Seattle Mayor’s race heat up with its first forum of the season. With one architect in the running, now’s a great time to see which candidate can handle Seattle’s expected growth while balancing sustainability goals.
For those interested:
Seattle Times Article, “Seattle mayoral contenders meet Monday in first big forum”
Like Murray, Steinbrueck enjoys great name recognition. He’s lagging the top candidates in fundraising, but as one campaign strategist for another candidate complained, “He has a park named after him!” Actually, the park is named for his father, Victor Steinbrueck, but the point is made. Steinbrueck, an architect and former City Council member, has also distinguished himself as the only candidate to oppose the Sodo location for the proposed basketball arena, earning him the support of maritime unions and manufacturing interests opposing the project. And he’s widely viewed as a champion of the neighborhoods at a time when McGinn’s Department of Planning and Development has allowed small-lot development in single-family areas and micro-apartment buildings that come with no design or environmental review.
Dear AIA Washington Council Members,
We are down to the closing days if the 105 day regular session. It is not likely, however, that the Washington Legislature will reach agreement on all of the outstanding issue by Midnight on Sunday, April 28.
AIA|WA issued an action alert to our members asking for them to urge contact lawmakers to oppose HB 2038, which extends the 20% B&O tax hike on the profession that was passed in 2010 and set to expire this year.
If you have not done so, please take a moment to contact your legislators through this link and urge them to not increase your taxes. More details are below.
AIA|WA is working with a broad coalition of business groups to advocate for a sustainable state budget that promotes economic recovery. You can find out more at the Recover Washington website: http://www.recoverwashington.com.
To stay up to date on the latest news, follow our blog at: aiawa.blogspot.com.
Special Session Likely
If the legislature does not finish its work by Sunday, then it will need to be called into a special session by the Governor. The Washington Constitution states that a special session may last no more than 30 calendar days. But, there is no limit on the number of special sessions which may be called.
It is likely that only the budget negotiators will remain in Olympia and that the official special session will be called only after an agreement is reached on the state budget. That would mean most legislators will return to their district and come back to Olympia for the few days needed to pass the bills necessary to implement the budget.
The Operating Budget
The House and the Senate are more than a billion dollars apart in their efforts to agree on an operating budget. Negotiators have met, but many basic parts of the budget have not passed either body.
Revenues for the 2013-15 biennium are projected to be $2 billion more than for the current biennium. It is expected that lawmakers add about $1 billion to K-12 education and higher education programs.
Taxes, Diversions & Transfers
The House budget assumes about $1.3 billion in new taxes. Many of the tax increases are included in Substitute House Bill 2038.
The House announced this week that they are removing several tax increases, but not the 20% tax hike on architects and other service professions. In 2010, lawmakers passed a temporary B&O tax increase on service professions, pledging to let it expire this year. But, House lawmakers are poised to break that promise with SHB 2038 enacting the higher tax rate permanently.
The House passed the tax increase yesterday on a vote of 50-47, with Democrats providing the 50 votes and 5 Democrats voting with Republicans against the bill.
The State Senate did not include any new taxes in its budget. However, the Senate relies upon roughly $600 million dollars in revenues to be permanently diverted from construction programs to the operating budget. They also would remove about $2 billion from the definition of general state revenues, which lowers the state’s borrowing capacity for capital projects. The House budget transfers about $100 million from construction programs.
Neither body has passed their capital budget, yet. In the House there is bipartisan support for the capital budget, but it is being held up by Republicans as leverage in the operating budget negotiations.
The AIA|WA is working on some provisions in the capital budget regarding building performance requirements. A provision was added to two projects requiring additional value engineering, in an effort to curb costs. AIA|WA is concerned that value engineering has already been performed on the projects and another review late in the project would delay projects and not provide the expected cost savings.
Another project requires a design-build team to guarantee 5 years of energy performance. AIA|WA supports more efficient buildings, but is concerned that such a guarantee is unprecedented in our state and needs further evaluation to see if it would limit competition on the project.
The House and Senate are not far apart for the total amount of money budgeted for capital projects. However, there are some major differences in the specific projects as well as the funding sources being used for projects. It is likely that the Capital Budget will not pass either body until after an agreement is reached on the operating budget
Alternative Public Works
Substitute House Bill 1466 reauthorizes the states alternative public works laws (design-build, construction manager and job order contracting). The final bill includes a study of methods to improve building performance and lower life-cycle costs through alternative public works projects.
The AIA|WA also asked the legislature to address abuses of the job order contracting process which is intended for small construction projects. An amendment was included in one version of the bill, but was dropped before the bill passed the legislature. AIA|WA will continue to work to ensure that JOC is used only for construction purposes and not for design contracts.
Celebrate the Best of WA Public Architecture
On May 23, the AIA will celebrate the best of public architecture in Washington State. The AIA|WA Civic Design Awards brings together architects, public agency clients, consultants and the public. This is the only architecture award program in our state that focuses solely on projects with public funds. By promoting design excellence, the AIA|WA Civic Design Awards seeks to recognize public agencies that work with their architects to achieve a great project.
Thank you for your continued support of the AIA and our advocacy efforts in Washington State. If you have any questions about these or other issues, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Stan L. Bowman, Hon. AIA|WA
American Institute of Architects Washington Council
Tacoma architect Peter Rasmussen, FAIA testified on Friday, April 19 regarding the B&O tax on service professions, specifically citing the double-dipping of service taxes on primary service professionals and then their consultants. He was joined by AIA|WA Executive Director Stan Bowman, who also testified on the state of architectural design in Washington. Watch below: