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EPA and American Institute of Architects Collaborate on Sustainable Buildings and Communities in New England

Release Date: 11/15/2006
Contact Information: Sheryl Rosner (617) 918-1865

(Boston, Mass. - Nov. 15, 2006) - Regional representatives from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today joined forces to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that promotes green buildings and sustainable living in New England. The agreement is part of a larger, national initiative between the two organizations to advance the knowledge of green design and to promote sustainable development.

    The MOU formalizes an existing informal agreement whereby EPA and AIA are encouraged to work together to share information and expertise to promote green building design. Robert W. Varney, EPA Regional Administrator, Greg Ames, President of AIA New England, Jane Weinzapfel, President of the Boston Society for Architects, Jim Hunt, Boston’s Chief of Environmental and Energy Services and, David Lutes, of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, were on hand for the signing.
    "The future of our environment is dependent on finding new and innovative ways to tread lightly and build sustainability into new development," said Robert W. Varney, Regional Administrator of EPA’s New England Office. "Through cooperation and collaboration, EPA and AIA will make advances to ensure that future designs and buildings in New England focus on energy efficiency and the environment."
      The MOU builds on past environmental achievements of the AIA such as the Environmental Resource Guide (ERG) launched with EPA funding. This publication became a cornerstone in the early green building movement. EPA and the AIA are also working together on the national Smart Growth Network to promote community development that protects the environment while offering intelligent choices in housing, transportation, and neighborhood amenities.
        “The architects of Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts embrace with professional and personal enthusiasm this new opportunity to work with our federal government's most enlightened circuit-rider, the Environmental Protection Agency, to save the earth,” said BSA President Jane Weinzapfel.
          Design and construction, while improving many qualities of human life, have a significant impact on the environment at the local, regional, and global level. These impacts occur during all building stages, from the extraction and manufacturing of building products, through siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and ultimate disposal.
            Green buildings and communities create opportunities to reduce the intensive use of energy, water and materials, leading to less pollution, waste generation, as well as less disruption of wildlife habitat, the hydrologic cycle and the climate. High performance green buildings also create healthy indoor environments with high productivity through enhanced air quality, lighting quality and acoustic quality.
              Learn more about EPA’s Energy Star Challenge for architects visit: or EPA New England’s Green building site at:
                For AIA’s Committee on the Environment visit:

                To view the MOU visit: