The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is praising Congressional passage today of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA), which paves the way for communities to better utilize architects during disaster recovery efforts.

“Architects understand all aspects of the buildings that make up our communities,” said 2018 AIA President Carl Elefante, FAIA. “After a disaster strikes, architects play a critical role conducting building-safety assessments, which help people to return to their homes and businesses to reopen their doors more quickly. This legislation is critical as it allows architects to improve the quality of building-safety assessments and enhance the resiliency of our communities.”

Provisions of DRRA will require the Federal Emergency Management Agency, architects and engineers to develop standardized best practices for building-safety assessments that focus on a building’s structural integrity and livability post disaster. Additionally, the legislation ensures that local and state officials understand the role of architect volunteers, which are a vital resource to the recovery of communities.   

Since 1972, the AIA and its thousands of architect volunteers nation-wide have been helping communities recover from disasters through the AIA Disaster Assistance Program. As part of the program, trained architects assist local and state officials in conducting building-safety assessments.  

The DRRA is a component of the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, which was passed by the U.S. Senate today and House of Representatives last week. The legislation is now subject to the approval of the President of the United States.

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