The AIA, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), and the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) announced in July the formation of a collaborative working group to “address and solve problems caused by industry fragmentation, lack of clear communication across professions, and old business models.” The group's leaders are Norman Strong, AIA vice president; Doug Pruitt, AGC vice president nominee; and William Tibbit, former CURT president.

Markku Allison, a resource architect at the AIA and part of the group's staff, says the group has its roots in CURT's Architecture/Engineering Productivity Committee, which includes representatives from the AIA and the AGC. The committee developed two white papers—one analyzing industry inefficiencies, the other suggesting ways to optimize the construction process.

(CURT, created in 2000 by construction and engineering executives of major owner corporations, seeks to improve the cost effectiveness of how construction is planned, carried out, and managed. Member companies have at least $75 million in annual construction and maintenance expenditures.)

Spurred by the white papers, in May the AIA and the AGC held a construction industry summit in Washington; attendees included architects, engineers, contractors and subcontractors, attorneys, insurers, and owners. The event focused on the changes that are necessary to bring about industry transformation. The decision to form the AIA-AGC-CURT working group was one result of the summit.

Allison says that in addition to Strong, Pruitt, and Tibbit, the group, which does not yet have a name and is not expected to be permanent, would include a “thought leader” from each organization, as well as a volunteer and key staff person from each organization. Allison could not comment on what, exactly, the group will produce, except to say that its primary focus will be on creating strategies to bring about industry change.