A voice for the profession

As the only organization that represents the interests of architects at state-level policymaking, the Georgia Association, American Institute of Architects is the voice of the architectural profession in Georgia.

Georgia architects can have significant influence at the Georgia Capitol when lawmakers are considering bills that will govern the way architecture is practiced in Georgia. Regulatory issues that affect the architectural profession are broad and far-reaching, including issues ranging from licensure and liability to public safety and taxation. To accomplish its advocacy goals, the AIA Georgia maintains a registered lobbyist on staff as well as several contract lobbyists.

What we do

AIA Georgia recognizes that its members face daily challenges relating to legislative and regulatory issues and strives to address those concerns in the following ways:

  • monitoring and reviewing legislators, regulators, and judges
  • reviewing and tracking bills
  • attending meetings of the Georgia Legislature and relative regulatory agencies
  • monitoring opinions of the State Attorney General
  • monitoring court actions
  • drafting position papers
  • testifying before legislative, regulatory, and judicial bodies regarding AIA Georgia’s positions
  • coordinating AIA Georgia architect member testimony before legislative and regulatory bodies
  • coordinating advocacy efforts with allied professional groups
  • creating issue-specific materials to guide architect members overseeing the Political Action Committee (PAC)

Advocacy Priorities for 2024-2028

  • Architect Selection– AIA supports the use of a qualifications-based selection (QBS) process for procuring architectural services for public building projects, including those from state agencies, Board of Regents, local governments and school district facilities.  Additionally, AIA supports state policies that provide competitive opportunities for design firms of all sizes, as well as those owned by female and minority stakeholders.
  • Building Codes and Permitting– Through the leadership of the Department of Community Affairs and its industry partners, Georgia has one of the most respected building code processes in the country.  AIA supports maintaining this system, and keeping building codes separate from the legislative process.   AIA supports a gradual strengthening of residential and commercial codes in order to maintain a building inventory that meets changing business, residential and energy needs.  Additionally, AIA advocates for local governments to streamline their permit review processes and reward firms with an accelerated review path that consistently adhere to local and state code requirements in design documents.
  • Education and Workforce Development: Like many industries, architecture is experiencing a systemic shortage of professionals.   AIA is actively working to build and mentor a larger, and more diverse, inclusive, and equitable pipeline of talent into the AEC industry.  We seek partners in state and local governments to encourage K-12 students to pursue an education and career in the design and construction professions, and to remain in Georgia to practice after university graduation.
  • Fair Business Practices in the Profession – AIA supports state and local policies that prohibit the use of exploitative requests for proposals that demand “free work” from design firms in exchange for consideration, or that require design professionals to transfer ownership of their work to the public entity as a condition of consideration.
  • Historic Building Preservation – Existing buildings are often important symbols of community character, as well as potential engines of economic development. Moreover, the greenest building is the one that is already standing.   AIA supports state policies and tax credits that encourage the preservation and adaptive reuse of high quality existing building stocks.
  • Housing– Architects understand the challenges of providing safe, healthy and sustainable housing for all.  AIA supports state policies and programs to promote the design, construction, renovation, rehabilitation, preservation and stabilization of affordable housing within the means of all people.  Most specifically, AIA supports state and local policies that streamline the permitting process – allowing for an acceleration of the growth of overall housing stock, especially affordable and high-performance units.
  • Professional Licensing AIA supports state licensing of architects to protect public health, safety and welfare (HSW).  Architects are licensed by every state.  AIA supports state policy that allows the Architecture Licensing Board to keep a greater share of the fees paid by architects, and to use it to fulfill its HSW obligations and keep board members up to date on key issues in professional licensing.
  • Resiliency– AIA supports state policies that promote equitable and sustainable communities, durable infrastructure systems and high-performance buildings.  Architects play a vital role in pre-disaster planning and support efforts to encourage resilient environments that can absorb and recover from adverse events and a changing climate.
  • State Capitol Improvements and Maintenance Projects – AIA supports a robust state budget that protects existing investments in state buildings, while also allocating appropriate funding for new high-performance properties.


David Southerland
Executive Director
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Sophia Tarkhan, AIA
2024 President
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