State Architect and Climate-Safe Infrastructure Working Group Meet for First Time

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photo-MelissaBartonThe first of a series of ambitious meetings commenced on Thursday, January 18th for the Climate-Safe Infrastructure Working Group. The well-appointed committee formed as directed in the AIACC-supported AB 2800, legislation signed into law by Governor Brown in 2016.  The law requires the California Natural Resources Agency to establish the Working Group to, among other things, develop practicable guidelines for planning and designing state infrastructure that is more resilient to the expected impacts of climate change.  The working group consisting of 16 appointees, has until July 1, 2018 to examine how to integrate scientific data concerning projected climate change impacts into the design of state infrastructure and to report their findings to the legislature and the state’s Strategic Growth Council.

Chet Widom, FAIA / California State Architect and James Deane, AIA, CDT, LEED AP, PMP, California High Speed Rail Authority; Parsons Brinckerhoff were appointed to the Climate Safe Working Group and provide design and architectural dynamic to committee of civil and structural engineers, resource management experts, environmental scientists, energy and sustainability experts, and UC professors.   The AIACC lobbied the author of AB 2800 to include architects on the Working Group; before the AIACC amendment was accepted, the Working Group comprised only engineers and state scientists.

Throughout the next six months, the group will continue to meet to determine project goals, and refine their objectives. Tasks will include identifying infrastructure and design standards, climate sensitivity, and determine informational needs by linking progressive climate science to standards, codes, and regulations; and strategies for project delivery methods.

Contact Melissa Barton, Government Affairs Program Coordinator 916-642-1711/


Melissa Barton

Melissa Barton is the Government Affairs Program Coordinator for the AIA California Council. She worked for the AIACC previously as a program coordinator for the California Architectural Foundation. After leaving the Council she worked for the Local Government Commission, coordinating events and programs. That experience coupled with her time working with local prominent lobbyist groups, serves her role well when on monitoring regulatory agencies for issues impacting the architectural profession.

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