AIA MA Latest News

02.07.2020  New 2018 IECC with MA Amendment Now in Effect and Available

 

On Tuesday, January 14, 2020, the Board of Building f Regulations and Standards (BBRS) held their monthly meeting. The agenda included an update regarding the implementation date for the 2018 IECC with MA amendments. BBRS staff reported that paperwork was submitted to the Secretary of State’s (SoS) office, and February 7, 2020 has been assigned as the effective date. In addition, the BBRS confirmed that August 7, 2020 will mark the end of the concurrency period.

 

Other changes to the 9th edition 780 CMR state building code pertaining to Chapter 12: Interior Environments (Micro Units); Chapter 26: Plastics; Adoption of the 2018 International Residential Code Appendix Q – Tiny Houses; Chapter 110: Special Regulations and Chapter 110 R.3: Approving Manufactured Buildings are still awaiting final approval from the Baker Administration to move to final promulgation.

 

A copy of the newly effective MA amendments is available HERE.

 

02.05.2020  White House Orders Return to Federal Architecture

 

The AIA is aware that there is a draft executive order circulating for consideration by White House officials that would officially designate “classical” architecture as the preferred style for the following building types: federal courthouses, all federal public buildings in the Capital region, and all other federal public buildings whose cost exceed $50 million dollars. AIA has been actively addressing this. The AIA strongly and unequivocally opposes this change in policy to promote any style of architecture over another for these types of federal buildings across the country. 

The draft executive order defines “classical architectural style” to mean architectural features derived from classical Greek and Roman architecture. There are some allowances for “traditional architectural style” which is defined to mean classical architecture along with Gothic, Romanesque, and Spanish colonial. The draft executive order specifically prohibits the use of Brutalist architecture, or its derivatives.

Except for Brutalism, there is some language in the draft executive order that would allow for other architectural styles to be used in cases where it could be conclusively proven that a different style is necessary. However, the high bar required to satisfy the process described within the executive order would all but restrict the ability to design the federal buildings under this order in anything but the preferred style. The process would include a personal written justification from the Administrator, which cannot be delegated to staff, and which is still subject to review by the White House.

The AIA strongly condemns the move to enforce a top-down directive on architectural style. All architectural styles have value and all communities have the right to weigh in on the government buildings meant to serve them.

The AIA has been communicating with White House staff on this issue. We urge you to add your voice to reiterate our fervent belief that design decisions should be left to the designer and the community, not bureaucrats in Washington, DC. Click here to email President Trump

 

02.01.2020  MA Supreme Judicial Court supports position taken by AIA MA

 

AIA MA is pleased to report that the Supreme Judicial Court has found in support of the position taken by AIA MA in Rawan v Continental Casualty Company, a recent professional liability case with important implications for professional architects and engineers. 

           

The case involved a structural engineer who was sued by its client over designs that resulted in additional costs to the client.  The errors & omissions insurer proposed a settlement with the client that the engineer opposed.  The engineer maintained that the settlement, although deemed fair by both the client and the insurance company, would negatively affect its reputation.  Both AIA MA and the ACEC (American Council of Engineering Companies) took the position that the insured engineer had a right to review and approve any settlement even though it was the insurance company which was making the financial offer.  On behalf of ACEC and AIA MA the legal firm Donovan Hatem prepare an amicus brief on the matter.

           

The SJC supported our position that the E&O policy explicitly stated that the insured professional had a right to “consent to settle” a claim.  The court found that consent to settle provisions “are both significant safeguards for insureds to defend their professional reputations and important incentives for the purchase of such insurance.”

           

This important outcome maintains our right to have a say in settlement decisions.  It’s important to note that this is not a right independent of the language of an insurance contract, however.  We encourage our members to ask about this important provision.  It may be the difference between an E&O policy that you want, and one that you want to pass on.

      

Attached is a more detailed summary prepared by Donovan Hatem attorney Jon Cowan, Esq., with links to the full amicus brief and SJC decision.

 

 

 

 

 

  

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