October 9, 2009
  Elithis Tower Rises to New Heights of Sustainability
The Elithis Tower in Dijon, France, has opened to claim its mantle as one of the world’s most sustainable buildings. This 54,000-square-foot, 10-story office tower creates more energy than it uses and cost the same amount ($10 million) that a standard building of this size and type might have.

High-Speed Rail Conference Set for
Oct 22–23 in DC

The goal, as outlined this year by President Obama, is reinvigoration of former manufacturing centers—and, by extension, the economy—through fuel-efficient and timely inter-regional rapid rail. The means to that goal is to connect 17,000 miles of track for trains that travel up to 220 miles per hour and to have it in place by 2030. The newly formed group charged with making this happen is the U.S. High Speed Rail Association. Join them October 22–23 in Washington, D.C., along with partners and sponsors, including the AIA,to hear how lessonslearned from Europe and Japan can be applied here in the U.S.

Michael Graves, FAIA, Nominated to New Jersey Hall of Fame
The New Jersey Hall of Fame announced that Michael Graves, FAIA, of Princeton, N.J., has been nominated for its Class of 2010—the first architect to be so honored. Graves’ nomination, championed by AIA New Jersey, was nominated to the “Enterprise” category.

Solar Decathlon Officially Opens on National Mall in DC

AIA Encouraged by White House Directive on Green Federal Buildings
President Barack Obama signed the Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance Executive Order on October 5 that sets sustainability goals for federal agencies and focuses on making improvements in their environmental, energy, and economic performance. The executive order requires federal agencies to set a 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target within 90 days, increase energy efficiency, reduce fleet petroleum consumption, conserve water, reduce waste, support sustainable communities, and leverage federal purchasing power to promote environmentally responsible products and technologies.

Interschool Design Competition Teams DC-Area Architecture Students to Create Temporary Theater
In the space of just one day, Washington, D.C.-area architecture school students came together for a design competition to create something just as fleeting: a temporary pre-fabricated theater structure on a temporary site.

AIA Releases Long-Term Recovery Plan, AIA Board Member Jacob Testifies Before Congress in Support
As architects and their firms continue to struggle through the most dismal economic climate in more than a generation, this week the AIA unveiled the Rebuild and Renew plan for both short- and long-term economic recovery. Testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee, AIA Board Member Mickey Jacob, FAIA, delivered the AIA’s plan to Congress as he spoke to the committee on the need to pursue policies to loosen the ever-tightening credit markets.

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Welcome to the News Zone
This is where you will find the latest happenings in the Institute, the profession, and the wider world of building design and construction. The News Zone also carries commentary from AIA elected representatives as well as major new commissions, completions, and openings.