April 21, 2020
As the response to the pandemic continues, we’re still spending our days away from others. And it’s unclear for how long. This week’s roundup includes a link to help get your creativity flowing, along with a few dozen resources and updates to support your work.
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We know many of you are volunteering or will in the future. The Good Samaritan Compendium details each state’s Good Samaritan protections so you can be safe while doing good. Concerned about losing your job-based health insurance? Brookings has guidance on what to do, what to avoid, and subsidies. Existing buildings have never been more valuable thanks to stay-at-home orders. This Thursday, AIAU’s live course Embracing Existing Buildings: The Market and Sustainability Opportunities demonstrates a no-regrets, step-by-step approach to making old buildings perform like new. On April 30, there’s another live course on how DLR Group quickly delivered nearly 1,000 quarantine, assessment, and recovery beds in multiple communities. Experiencing a quarantine rut? These pandemic-related architecture and design competitions will get your creativity flowing. In case you missed it, last week’s resource on construction administration was our most popular piece of content. It includes guidelines and protocols from three firms on construction administration and site visits (PDF).
AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker’s weekly economic impact webinar series has been extremely popular. On Wednesday, April 22, he’ll host his final session, covering the most recent data from the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index. You can still access the first three webinars by signing up. The next full Consensus Construction Forecast won’t be released in July, so AIA surveyed the same forecasters for an early look at the nonresidential construction industry. See the data and analysis here.
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While some in-person activities can continue with social distancing recommendations, what is considered essential varies by state. This frequently updated list shows the architecture activities that may be considered exempt in each state. What local actions is your municipality taking? This COVID-19 local action tracker by The National League of Cities and Bloomberg Philanthropies has collected nearly 1,200 policies in 400 cities (and counting). The International Code Council’s Coronavirus Response Center is compiling aggregated information from the ICC, governments, and fire prevention departments from around the world. Congress is discussing the next COVID-19 relief measure right now, including additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Loan Disaster Program. Join AIA’s efforts and tell Congress to act now. We believe this bill will pass in the next few days and new funds will go quickly. Firms should apply for PPP loans immediately.
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If you’re a business owner struggling with cash flow, workshare programs can help you avoid employee layoffs and high unemployment costs. Offered by most states, workshare programs allow employees to work reduced hours while collecting unemployment to partially replace lost wages. The AIA Career Center’s new staff sharing portal connects firms that need additional workers but are unable to hire with firms that are short of work but want to retain their staff. Harvard Business Review has tips for making sure your customer relationships outlast the COVID-19 crisis. And if you have employees that are working—or will soon resume working—on-site, OSHA created a guide for preparing the workplace for COVID-19 (PDF).
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Let’s rally together to help those entering the job force in a difficult environment. Please share: New college graduates can get a free AIA membership for up to 18 months. Deltek is offering a discount on ERP services. Don’t wait for offers to come to you, AIA’s negotiation resources can help you strike your own deal with current or new partners. The free tab on our COVID-19 response page has more offers and discounts.
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A free webinar from HCD will review everything you need to know about zero-emissions housing. On the PMKC forum, members are discussing the SBA Paycheck Protection Program, business development strategies, and remote work. We’re still looking for architects and firms who have experience designing solutions for healthcare surge and special needs in patient populations. If that’s you, please take our survey to help populate an open database of architecture projects related to COVID-19. AIA Knowledge Communities are another way to stay connected with your peers. Join one or more of the 21 professional communities today.