As an architect with nearly twenty years of experience in this field, A. Alberto Lugo (aka Androsky Lugo) has seen the industry change and adapt in order to face challenges ranging from housing shortages to climate change. He is excited about the potential the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act has to bring about further positive change by promoting the design, development, and construction of sustainable buildings.
A. Alberto Lugo explains that he and other architects concerned about climate change and the need for sustainable construction and development are excited by the fact that the Inflation Reduction Act includes funding for companies to not only create new, eco-friendly construction products but also demonstrate the efficacy of their new inventions via product installation. This, Lugo explains, could revolutionize the industry as companies that are able to successfully show how well their inventions work are more likely to get customers faster than companies that are not able to prove their products are a worthwhile, viable investment. Furthermore, A. Alberto Lugo points out that the IRA promotes the private use and development of existing green technologies, such as ground source heat pumps and devices that can capture carbon emissions and turn them into aggregate for use in future construction projects.
Another aspect of the IRA that inspires A. Alberto Lugo is the attention given to low-income communities. Lugo has long enjoyed his volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity, and he has seen first-hand the devastating effect climate change has had on poor communities, due in part to the unsustainable way in which they are constructed. Structures and surfaces are built using materials that heat up quickly when exposed to intense heat, such as that felt throughout the United States for most of the summer of 2022, leading to rising cooling bills, heat-related sicknesses, and even death. What’s more, many of these communities are vulnerable to natural disasters such as fires and floods. The IRA, Lugo explains, provides funding for programs that will make low-income communities more resilient to fires and flooding while at the same time enabling them to take advantage of affordable renewable energy. However, economically disadvantaged individuals and families aren’t the only ones who will benefit from all the IRA has to offer. Suburban communities can take advantage of the bill’s $9 billion in consumer home energy rebate programs and will benefit from the bill’s emphasis on making forests fire-resistant.
It is clear that the Inflation Reduction Act will affect architects, developers, and construction companies alike, A. Alberto Lugo says. It will not only push companies and professionals to adopt green building processes and materials but give them incentives for doing so. Furthermore, it promotes innovation in green technology to equip architects and engineers with the tools they need to create new, sustainable residential and commercial construction designs. While it remains to be seen how the provisions in the bill will be implemented, Lugo is optimistic that the Inflation Reduction Act will promote sustainability in an industry known for its high level of carbon emissions while at the same time offering needed help and assistance for vulnerable communities that have long paid a high price for unsustainable construction and development.