Carolyn Day – Sustainable Design Leader
Our next session of Communiti Heroes continues with the story of Carolyn Day, a member of the board of the American Institute of Architects, Massachusetts representing the Boston Society of architects. Carolyn and her agenda are responsible for setting policy and agenda for all architects in Massachusetts. Her agenda believes in going up the hill and and fighting for the issues they care about like carbon pricing or net metering or a health and safety issues, things like that.
Communiti(C): Great to sit down for a chat with you Carolyn. To start off, what was the driving force or ideas behind the formation of your agenda?
Carolyn Day (CD): Trump being elected. I decided that I needed to get more involved in organizations than I already was and that I had to become involved in politics and advocacy. That was perfect.
C: Tell us your favorite success story and how it had an impact on you in the company.
CD: So recently, the chapter organization successfully worked with the state organization that sets the rates for all architects and was able to change the pay scale. So for smaller projects, architects were getting paid for the work that they’re doing, so it was not just a percentage of fee and this is going to greatly change the landscape so that smaller municipalities and can afford to have architects to do the work that they need to do for improvements to schools.
C: That’s amazing. So to kind of expand on that, how does what you’re involved in, fit in the grander scheme of the bigger picture of building a better city and a better environment?
CD:So we live in a built environment and the reason I’m in architecture to begin with is that the state of our built environment effects our psyche. We spend eighty percent of our waking hours indoors. So how healthy those buildings are and what resources they use affects us personally and it also affects our planning. So building better buildings that have less embodied carbon and energy to begin with that use less energy over the course of their lives that use less water over the course of their lives that have access to the outdoors and, you know, healthy air, those are all really, really important to have society at large better. And that’s something that every citizen, no matter what their socioeconomic status, no matter their job, should have access to it.
C: And how does your organization integrate into the goodwill of Boston?
CD: I think one of the biggest impacts is that we’re able to work with the fire marshals and people who are setting policy to make sure that everyone’s health and safety and welfare is protected and that’s what we’re licensed to do. So cooperating with them and having us understand each other, our needs from our different perspectives is probably most important with respect to the goodwill of Boston.
C: What criteria do you use to determine if any project is a good fit for your organization?
CD: So what we do at the beginning of the year is, or at the beginning of the legislative session is discuss what our priorities are and what the goals are in generally we’re trying to advocate for the built environment in a, for the health of the environment. So we will look at what the issues are up on the hill and what sort of rules and regulations are being rewritten and choose which ones we’re going to focus on based on that.
C: That is amazing. To wrap up, please tell us about some of the people you work with?
CD:Everyone is really passionate. We all do this because we love to do it. Everyone is volunteering because with a few exception of a few full time positions and all of those positions are paid for by our dues. And um, know I think the amount of work that people put in on top of their day jobs in order to get this done is just really impressive. Some people put in crazy amounts of hours and we’re also a lot of fun to be around.