Policy Change: Why Professional Architecture Programs Should Engage in Regulatory Development within the Built Environment

By Liane Hancock.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 4, 2014 $US5.00

As part of accreditation, professional architecture programs across the United States dedicate a portion of their curriculum to building code instruction, typically limited to introduction to LEED, universal design, and simple code interpretation. This is a vast oversight. Policy changes – through building codes, tax codes, accessibility regulation, and standards on material production – affect the building sector within the United States and substantially influences global construction. In 1958, Mies Van Der Rohe’s design for the Seagram Building acted as a catalyst for changing the New York City building code. Seagram’s simple massing relied upon an inspired reading of the 1916 New York City Zoning Resolution. When planners reformed the building code in 1961, they balanced new restrictions with incentives to encourage buildings with similar massing strategies, affecting the built environment across the city. Now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, it is time for architecture schools to directly engage building design regulation and policy in order to improve the built environment and to expand the relevance of our profession within global economic development.

Keywords: Building Codes, Tax Codes, Universal Design, Global Economic Development, Crossdisciplinary, Architecture, Law, Business

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 4, Issue 3, June 2014, pp.37-42. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 4, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 325.528KB)).

Liane Hancock

Assistant Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture, College of Liberal Arts, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA, USA

Liane Hancock is an assistant professor of architecture at Louisiana Tech University, where she teaches foundation level design studios and elective coursework on building materials. Her research focuses include: building materials and sustainability, in particular emphasizing materials sustainability standards; developing an easily accessible sustainable building materials database; and research on the historic use of reinforced concrete by Le Corbusier and Auguste Perret.