Courtesy James Hardie

This week, the AIA announced that James Hardie Building Products will be a new Innovation Partner for the organization. The partnership, created to “bring additional education and resources to design professionals,” will aim to connect architects with residential and commercial building products that James Hardie offers, such as cement fiber, shingle, and panel siding. James Hardie is the AIA’s second Innovation Partner after market data company ConstructConnect.

“James Hardie and the AIA are a natural partnership,” said Sean Gadd, chief marketing officer at James Hardie, in a press release. "Architects look to the organization for resources to grow their business. ... We’re proud to partner with the AIA, which has been serving architects—who are key customers for us—for more than 160 years.”

AIA members will be provided with online educational opportunities and digital resources, though the AIA and James Hardie hope to eventually expand to in-person training or discussions. The partnership has also identified between 10 and 20 local markets for targeted outreach programs to better connect architects, particularly of residential properties, with market and product innovations.

With this and future Innovation Partnerships, the AIA looks to facilitate designer and manufacturer collaboration to promote better design.