Working as an architect is about more than just design.
It’s more than delivering a set of construction documents. It’s more than helping a client turn their ideas into spaces and buildings.
You are problem solvers. You are trusted advisors. You are business owners. You are managers. You’re ambassadors to and for the public. And you’re responsible for the health, safety and welfare of the people who inhabit the buildings we design.
Advocating means applying your skills to solve challenges outside the walls of the buildings you design, to protect our profession, to shape public policy and to be leaders in your communities.
Here you’ll find all the ways that AIA Colorado is advocating on behalf of architects, and how you can get involved and make a difference in your community, regardless of your previous civic experience.
There are multiple ways to get involved, from attending an AIA Colorado committee meeting to helping influence federal level policy-making. We’re here to help you find ways to leverage your unique skills as an architect to meaningfully give back.
What does AIA Colorado stand for?
AIA Colorado maintains a directory of policies and position statements to help guide you in advocating on behalf of the organization and the profession.
Every state has a unique political climate and constraints around the ability to affect change. These are based on the state constitution, geography, demographics, industry, agriculture and more. As such, the AIA Colorado Directory of Public Policies and Position Statements covers legislative issues that we see time and time again in our state.
Our policies and positions are modeled after the AIA National Directory of Public Policies and Position Statements.
Whether you want to take an active role in advocating on behalf of AIA Colorado, or just want to know where we stand, this directory offers a succinct overview of issues in the following four categories:
- Architectural Licensing
- Liability and Tort
- Sustainability and Resilience
- Governmental Regulation of the Built Environment.
This document is in effect from December 2017 through December 2019. If you’re interested in offering input on the next iteration of the directory, look for a member comment period in 2019, or join the Government Affairs Committee where recommendations will be developed.
Architects are licensed professionals regulated by the state of Colorado, which signifies that the professional is uniquely qualified to protect public health safety, and welfare through architecture. An architecture license requires specific education, training and testing.
Colorado uses what is called a “sunset” review process for every type of license issued. Every eight to 12 years, the state investigates whether or not a profession truly needs regulatory oversight. The legislature then votes whether or not to continue the license based on the recommendations.
AIA Colorado is at the forefront of every sunset review of the architecture profession. We work closely with our members, state agencies and legislative allies to ensure that the legislature understands the value of our continued licensure. Between sunset reviews, we monitor legislation introduced every year that may negatively affect our licensing, whether specifically targeting architects or pertaining to licensed professions as a whole.
In Colorado, as in most states, the title of “architect” is protected by law. It is illegal in Colorado for unlicensed design professionals to present themselves as architects, or as practicing architecture, or to offer architectural services within the state. An architecture license issued by another state or country is not recognized as a qualification to call oneself an architect or practice architecture in Colorado.
However, there are no restrictions preventing an unlicensed individual from employment with a business that offers architectural services, as long as a licensed architect has responsible control for such services. “Architectural Intern” is a protected title for use by individuals working under the supervision of a licensed architect and in the process of completing required training hours in preparation for the Architect Registration Examination.
For businesses, a majority of a company’s owners or partners must be licensed architects in order to use the term “architect(s)” within the company name, so as not to mislead the public.
For more detailed information on these subjects, please visit Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) website for Architects, Engineers, and Land Surveyors. Here you can find direct links to the Architects Practice Act (Colorado Revised Statute 12-25-3) and DORA’s rules and regulations for architects.