Interested Party Testimony regarding Sub. HB 487

AIA Ohio (a component of the American Institute of Architects)
AIA Ohio President, Judson A. Kline, FAIA, LEED AP
May 9, 2012

 Mr. Chairman and Members of the Finance Committee, my name is Judson A. Kline, FAIA, LEED AP, Senior Director of Herschman Architects in Cleveland, Ohio and president of AIA Ohio.  I am appearing today as an interested party on behalf of AIA Ohio, the state component of the American Institute of Architects, the professional organization of architectural practice. AIA Ohio represents nearly 2,200 architects and design professionals who live and practice in Ohio.

We thank you for the opportunity to address the proposed merger of the State Architect’s Office (SAO) with the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) into the proposed Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC).

AIA Ohio recognizes the need for and supports the effort to create more efficiency in government. We understand the economic realities that are encouraging a variety of governmental consolidations and agree that construction efficiencies will assure that our state remains economically competitive and that our citizens receive the highest value built environment.

Our focus today is on the structure of the proposed OFCC.

For Ohio to maximize the benefits from the OFCC, we believe involving AIA architects at the highest level in the proposed organization is essential to achieving the intended results. Here are the reasons:

  1. AIA architects are specifically educated, trained and examined in building design, integration of building engineering systems, sustainability and health, safety and welfare requirements for buildings. We believe this expertise should be imbedded at the highest level of the OFCC in optimizing the outcomes in the design, construction and performance of Ohio’s public buildings.
  2. AIA architects are experienced in the processes and practices now being implemented as part of Ohio’s recent construction reform legislation. AIA architects should be engaged in the OFCC at the level where this understanding will ensure quality design services, fiduciary responsibility and the fullest potential project value when applying these new delivery methods.
  3. AIA architects, through contributing their knowledge and expertise in planning, developing and organizing processes and programs have played an important role in the design, management and construction of Ohio’s public and private architecture for decades. At an OFCC leadership level, AIA architects will have the standing to assure the most efficient use of resources and technologies for Ohio.

We understand that a formal OFCC organizational chart has yet to be determined.  AIA Ohio would like to be involved in this reorganization process and have offered our input to Director Hickman. We hope to work with this General Assembly and the leadership of the proposed OFCC to help insure the creation of the most efficient, responsive and productive agency possible.  As stewards of the built environment and leaders in Ohio’s design and construction industry, it would be a privilege to assist in this important effort.

We request that Sub. HB 487 includes AIA architects in occupying leadership positions within the OFCC where their unique and relevant talents can produce the desired outcomes for design and construction of public projects in Ohio.

On behalf of AIA Ohio, we thank you for allowing AIA architects an opportunity to provide input into this consolidation process.