Architecture 2030 Press Release

For Immediate Release:
February 14, 2011

Contact: Peter Chapman, Kate Hawthorne, 505.988.5309,

To download a .pdf of this press release, click here.
To learn more about the 2030 Challenge for Products, click here.
Architecture 2030

Unleashing the Power of the Pen with the 2030 Challenge for Products

SANTA FE, NM (February 14, Valentine’s Day) – Today, Architecture 2030 continues to lay the foundation for a critical transformation of the Building Sector by issuing the 2030 Challenge for Products, a plan to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from the manufacturing and transportation of building products.

It is well known that the Building Sector is currently responsible for almost half of the energy –consumption (49%) and GHG emissions (47%) in the U.S. While the majority of the energy consumption, and their associated emissions, come from building operations (such as heating, cooling, and lighting), the embodied energy and emissions of building products are also becoming increasingly significant. Approximately 5% to 8% of total annual U.S. energy consumption and associated emissions is for building products and construction. When including all products for the built environment (furniture, movable equipment, appliances, etc.), the percentage is even greater.

The 2030 Challenge for Products specifically asks the global architecture, planning, design, and building community to specify, design, and manufacture products for new developments, buildings, and renovations to meet a maximum carbon-equivalent footprint of 30% below the product category average through 2014. The embodied carbon-equivalent footprint reduction will be increased to 35% in 2015, 40% in 2020, 45% in 2025, and 50% by 2030. A two-year period, from 2011 to 2013, has been established for the development of industry standards and product averages, and for product – manufacturers to move to meet the 30% reduction based on a Life Cycle Assessment.

In 2006, Architecture 2030 issued the 2030 Challenge, calling for the operation of all new buildings and major renovations to be carbon neutral by 2030. As the building and design community moves to actively implement the 2030 Challenge, it can now begin to address the embodied energy and emissions in building products, including everything from structural materials to equipment, paint, and carpet. “With the stroke of a pen, the design and building community can transform the Industrial Sector in the U.S. by specifying building elements that meet the 2030 Challenge for Products,” said Architecture 2030 founder Edward Mazria. “This presents a huge opportunity to spur competition for cost-effective, low-carbon building products.”

The widespread adoption and implementation of the original 2030 Challenge illustrates that the building community will act to significantly reduce the energy consumption and carbon emissions of their projects. The products challenge will simultaneously reduce emissions in the Industrial and Transportation Sectors as well as restore and expand the U.S. manufacturing job base by favoring local industries. On this particular day – Valentine’s Day – we take another bold step forward.

What Building and Design Industry Leaders are Saying:

“Clearly the 2030 Challenge has been a game-changer in the way people think about climate change. Architecture 2030 drives change in any segment it focuses on. The new 2030 Challenge for Products appropriately uses LCA as a scientific methodology for holistic thinking, and that’s an excellent way to reduce the environmental impact from building products.”
– Rick Fedrizzi, President and CEO, U.S. Green Building Council

“It is exciting to see the past success of the 2030 Challenge from the designers of our buildings, but this will take our impact to a whole new level by including building materials and products.”
– H. Ralph Hawkins, FAIA, FACHA, LEED AP, Chariman and CEO, HKS

“Too often manufacturers and specifiers aren't giving enough attention to the carbon footprint of green products. In many cases we're hobbled by a lack of data. This new challenge will focus attention on this critical issue, and our company will actively support it. By 2013 we will feature carbon footprint data in our GreenSpec database, and through our link to Pharos.”
– Alex Wilson, Founder, BuildingGreen

“The 2030 Challenge for Products will motivate the development of low-carbon industries and shape development of rigorous and relevant environmental performance standards.”
– Kathrina Simonen, Director, Carbon Leadership Forum

“Architecture 2030 continues to drill in on the critical issues that impact the carbon contributions of the built environment. Their new focus on reducing carbon in building products will bring much needed attention and resources to a major area that has, so far, been outside the grasp of most design and construction projects. It’s terrific!”
– Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Vice President, HOK

“Architecture 2030 drills deeply into the awareness and practice of the architectural and building community. These targets will not only directly improve our GHG emission rates, they will increase awareness of all the linkages from process to product.”
– Peter Calthorpe, Principal, CalthorpeAssociates

“This initiative has the potential to generate the type of credible and transparent carbon information needed to fill an important gap in our understanding of building product impacts on the environment and human health. By scoring products against the 2030 Challenge for Products in Pharos, we will help designers create market demand for products that are healthier for people and the planet.”
– Bill Walsh, Founder, Healthy Building Network

"This initiative has the opportunity to make us all investors in the most human sense as we commit to intelligent choices for the future of the planet."
– James P. Cramer, Chairman, The Design Futures Council

“As we all know well, the making of the built environment is complex and comprehensive and requires a deep and thorough effort. And to make an impact of any type the entire range of the process must be engaged and committed to the cause. For our profession and industry to have that same comprehensive impact on the carbon footprint and GHG emission of our buildings and process, this product awareness and product initiative is critical to the long-term result. I applaud the leadership efforts and this fundamental and forward thinking initiative of the 2030 Challenge for Products.”
– Bryce D. Pearsall, FAIA, DLR Group, Chairman

“The Athena Institute is looking forward to working with Architecture 2030 to advance this important initiative. The climate change implications of building materials are becoming increasingly critical as buildings steadily improve from an operating energy perspective.”
– Wayne Trusty, President, The Athena Institute

“As we drastically reduce energy use in buildings, embodied carbon becomes a much larger part of the impact of our projects. The 2030 Challenge for Products is an important next step in Architecture 2030's efforts to change the way we make and think about buildings.”
– Craig Briscoe, Associate Partner, Integrated Designer, ZGF Architects LLP

“Just as the 2030 Challenge has provided a practical, clear pathway for our industry to address the impact of building energy use on climate change, the 2030 Challenge for Products offers us another tool that all should understand and use. Architecture 2030 understands that cutting energy waste saves money, creates jobs and protects the planet.”
– Dennis Creech, Executive Director, Southface

“The 2030 Challenge for Products is remarkable for using life cycle science to measure the progress of buildings. We know what gets measured, gets done. A commitment to using LCA means that the measurements will be the right ones. I look forward to working with the building industry in support of the challenge.”
– Rita Schenck, Ph.D, LCACP, Executive Director, Institute for Environmental Research and Education & American Center for Life Cycle

“Architecture 2030 has been changing the world of design and construction and this new building sector products initiative is the next logical step in speeding up the transformation to a post carbon economy. Another smart move at just the right time.”
– Bob Berkebile FAIA, Principal, BNIM

“Building professionals stand on the cusp of a huge contribution to a sustainable world which they can realize fully when they commit to the 2030 Challenge for Products. LCA-based Environmental Product Declarations will support their goals, especially when combined with Building Information Modeling (BIM) and green building initiatives.”
– Deborah Dunning, President, The Green Standard; Principal, Sphere E

“The 2030 Challenge for Products is transformative in moving building product manufacturers toward LCA-based Environmental Product Declarations. EPD Program Operators, like the German Institute for Construction & the Environment, The Green Standard and other members of GEDNet will have a critically important role to play, insuring that core principles and processes outlined in ISO Standard 14025 are implemented to meet best global practices in measuring, verifying and reporting all aspects of a product’s environmental performance.”
– Dr. Eva Schmincke, Global LCA/EPD Consultant, Member of the ISO Workgroup for Standard 14025

“The 2030 Challenge for Products will provide the necessary motivation for increased use of LCA-based Environmental Product Declarations that, especially when combined with Building Information Modeling (BIM), will offer us the ability to look at decisions holistically, to take into account the life of the facility and product as well as its impact on the environment.”
– Deke Smith, Executive Director, Building Smart Alliance of the National Institute for Building Sciences


About Architecture 2030 Architecture 2030 is an independent, nonpartisan nonprofit research organization focused on achieving a dramatic reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector by changing the way buildings and developments are planned, designed, constructed, and renovated.


To download a .pdf of this press release, click here.
To learn more about the 2030 Challenge for Products, click here.


The Carbon Leadership Forum