Advocacy Update: TBAE to Publish Proposed Rule Changes for Comment

At its February 25 meeting, the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE) approved publishing proposed rule changes regarding reciprocal licensing in the Texas Register. The agency will request public comment within the required 30-day period following publication, which is expected in the March 18 Register. -photo by iStock Photo The issue will also include the formal announcement of rules approved at the February meeting. These recently approved rules deal with registration of military service members, veterans and spouses; eligibility to petition for rulemaking; and reference cleanup related to elimination of the $200 annual license tax, among others. Members are encouraged…

Advocacy Update: 2016 Election — Who We Are Supporting

​ Most elections these days are effectively decided in the primaries; more legislative races are over once the primary winners are determined in the spring than in the November general election. When did this become the case — and why? In Texas, two watershed, off-cycle (non-presidential) elections in 2002 and 2010 confirmed in the House of Representatives what was already evident in the Senate and statewide offices — Texas is now solidly (if not overwhelmingly) Republican. Those Republican landslide elections made the party margins in both chambers about 2-to-1 Republican over Democrat.  ​Texas State Capitol building – photo by istockphoto Both…

Advocacy Update: Getting “Trump-ed” by Negative Politics? Don’t Let It Get You Down.

​ At the most basic level, being an active citizen is really easy — just register and vote.  This year to vote in the Texas primary election you must be registered to vote by next Monday, February 1. Your Texas Primary Election Day is March 1, and early voting begins February 16th through February 26th. You can vote for a candidate, party, or political philosophy — or you can vote against overblown, nasty rhetoric, and bombastic non-responses by those who seek your support without really doing anything to earn it. But since most candidates are effectively elected in party primaries rather…

Advocacy Update: Annual License Renewal Fees Reduced

Thanks to the collaborative effort of numerous professional organizations, including the Texas Society of Architects (TxA), the annual license renewal fees will decrease by $200 starting September 1.  Let me repeat, beginning with those with birthdays in September, the cost to renew your license will be $200 less this year — and next year — and the year after, etc. Working with physicians, realtors, lawyers, and every other professional group whose members had been required to pay $200 per year directly to the state’s General Revenue Fund ($150) and Education Fund ($50). We eliminated this direct professional tax, which when combined…

Update on the Dallas Trinity Toll Road Controversy

By: Bob Meckfessel, FAIA In 1998, Dallas voters approved a $246 million bond program to revitalize the Trinity River Corridor, a 20-mile swath of neglected floodway cutting through the city. The successful referendum promised many enhancements to the floodway in five key areas: recreation, flood protection, environment, economic development, and transportation. This last aspect — transportation — consisting mostly of the “Trinity Parkway,” was pitched to voters with renderings of a context-sensitive road happily coexisting with lakes, trails, promenades, and signature bridges. The bond program was endorsed by AIA Dallas. However, in 1999, as designs began to be made public, AIA Dallas…

Advocacy Day 2015: Recap

Every other year, architects from across Texas convene at the State Capitol to advocate for the profession. On February 10, our Third Biannual Advocates for Architecture Day began at the Blanton Museum of Art for training and concluded at the Capitol with architects visiting state House and Senate offices. Over 130 architecture professionals, associates, and students visited legislators at the State Capitol to explain issues important to the profession. Attendees gave legislators materials explaining what architects do and the impact and elements of design beyond the building and its plans. Each office received a limited-edition print of the Capitol Dome…

Who Will Advocate for Architecture?

Join Us for the Third Biannual Advocates for Architecture Day   The Society's Advocates for Architecture Day will take place on February 10. Architects from across the state will converge on the Texas Capitol to meet with legislators to promote the importance of architectural design for urban planning. Learn more about this event, and register today to help us spread our message. The districts in green to the right already have architect representatives in place for Advocates for Architecture Day 2015. The grey districts are those still in need of architect members to visit. The lists below indicate the legislators that…

NFPA 285 Code Requirements: The Elephant in the Room

Fast Burn –via Flikr; Derek Gavey Did you know that any cavity wall assembly with rigid foam insulation is required by the International Building Code (IBC) to have passed the National Fire Protect Agency (NFPA) code 285 assembly test? If you’re like most architects, contractors, and code officials — the answer is no. Incredibly, NFPA 285 has been in the code books since 1988 (although under different names). There are two reasons that our industry is becoming increasingly aware of this significant code requirement: Rigid foam insulations are now more common in our exterior building assemblies as an effective strategy to…

2017 Architects Day

What is Architects Day? Architects Day (previously known as Advocates for Architecture Day) is a special event hosted by the Texas Society of Architects. Architects from across the state converge on the Texas Capitol to meet with legislators to promote the importance of our profession. The next Architects Day will take place on February 7, 2017. Participants will meet in the morning to receive special training on key issues and messages we wish to share with legislators, as well as tips for conducting successful visits. Legislative meetings will happen in the afternoon. How to Register Online registration for 2017 Architects Day…

Advocacy Update: Understanding Texas’ Political Climate

As many of you know, the Texas Society of Architects (TxA) maintains an active government relations presence through our involvement in the Texas Architects Committee (TAC) and several additional advocacy-charged committees. In my latest meeting with the Government Affairs Steering Committee (GASCOM), Kathy Grant, one of TxA’s contract lobbyists, shared several interesting documents outlining the Texas political landscape. Whether at the state or local level, an understanding of the Texas politics and electoral results is crucial. Those who are elected and hold office determine budget allocations and taxes for the next legislative session. These decision makers dictate regulatory practice, which…