National Architecture Week on Facebook
Starting today, April 13, National Architecture Week offers a presence on Facebook. Through Sunday, April 19, the AIA will host a series of public forums and discussions on architecture issues, beginning with community revitalization (find the scheduled topic for all seven days here). To view or participate in the forums, you must be registered on Facebook. Asked what the goal of the effort is, AIA spokesman Matthew Tinder told ARCHITECT in an e-mail: "To foster a discussion about the current state of architecture, but moreover how it impacts schools, historic buildings, sustainability, the future of the profession, communities, and affordable housing—and of course educate both architects and the general public about what is going on in architecture."
GSA to Purchase U.S. Efficiency
The White House announced last week that the General Services Administration (GSA) will use $285 million in stimulus money provided by the Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 to buy fuel-efficient and hybrid cars from U.S. automakers. The GSA plans to buy 17,600 fuel-efficient vehicles by June 1. By replacing older federal cars with new, fuel-efficient vehicles, the move is expected to reduce gasoline consumption by 1.3 million gallons per year and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 26 million pounds. The White House also announced an additional $15 million to fund a pilot program of advanced-technology vehicles, with a focus on commercially available compressed natural gas and hybrid buses and electric vehicles.
The Housing Mess ... and More
The Washington Post has posted the transcript of an interview with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan. In addition to questions about plans to address the housing crisis, Donovan was asked about the commercial sector. This was his response: "Clearly, the biggest focus has been on the single-family market ... but the commercial market is very important as well. ... [Treasury] Secretary Geithner, as part of the Financial Stability Plan, has been very clear that we have a range of credit markets that ... are critical to the functioning of the commercial markets: apartment buildings, office buildings ... and so, more broadly, we have been focused across the administration on ways that we can begin to get those credit markets flowing again, and commercial lending is a very important part of that."