AIA Lobbies for LEED Justice Rating System

WASHINGTON — The American Institute of Architects established a Sustainable Justice Committee to promote sustainability in criminal justice facility planning, design and construction.

Operating within the AIA’s Academy of Architecture in Justice, the committee will propose a LEED for Justice rating system to the U.S. Green Building Council.

“We would like to see designers, government decision-makers and the USGBC acknowledge the systemic nature of sustainability as it relates to justice facilities,” says committee co-chair Ken Ricci, FAIA.

For Ricci, the quest for sustainable justice begins with the adoption of new perspectives by stakeholders within the justice market and the development of innovative interventions that require a management rather than facility response.

“For example, government officials can reduce the building footprint by asking themselves not how large their new jail should be, but how small it can be without compromising public safety,” Ricci says.

The committee also plans to develop an industry-oriented best-practices guide to sustainable justice.

“Our mission is to increase practitioners’ awareness of this subject by organizing lectures and conferences,” says committee co-chair Susan Oldroyd, AIA, LEED AP.

The 2008 AAJ conference in San Francisco, Nov. 5-7, will feature tours of justice facilities that have been successful in rethinking sustainable approaches to design, construction and operation.

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