462 and Counting

To date, 462 AIA member firms have joined the AIA 2030 Commitment. By joining the Commitment, firms connect with a leading group of professionals that are addressing today’s most pressing issues – climate change, sustainability, and energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the built environment.

In 2006, Architecture 2030 issued the 2030 Challenge, calling for all new buildings, developments, and major renovations to be carbon-neutral by 2030. To support this call to action, the American Institute of Architects created the AIA 2030 Commitment in 2010, a national program structured to help firms meet and track progress towards the 2030 Challenge targets.

Today there are nearly 1,200 firms, organizations and individuals that have adopted the 2030 Challenge. The AIA 2030 Commitment builds on the Challenge by providing a mechanism for firms to track and evaluate their current work and progress toward the carbon-neutral goal.

If your firm has not yet joined the AIA 2030 Commitment, we encourage you connect with your peers and sign up today. For a limited time, new Commitment signatories get the first course of the AIA+2030 Series for free. See below for more details.

Together, as we work to meet the AIA 2030 Commitment, we are making a difference – the U.S. building sector is currently on track to meet the reduction target set in the Paris Climate Agreement at 21% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025.

Questions about the AIA 2030 Commitment? Email AIA! 



Empower yourself and your firm with the AIA+2030 Online Series. For a limited time, this 10-course series is available as a Package Discount!

Learn how to design low carbon/carbon neutral projects with AIA’s newest certificate program, the AIA+2030 Online Series.

An AIA and Architecture 2030 co-production, the ten one-hour courses of the Online Series are based on the highly successful AIA+2030 Professional Series that has been offered to over 30% of AIA’s membership in 25 markets throughout the United States. The AIA+2030 Online Series offers the strategies needed to design high-performance buildings that achieve dramatic reductions in building energy use and emissions.

The AIA+2030 Online Series goes beyond theory-based education by providing practitioners with actionable tools and methodologies that directly impact building design and performance. Cumulative courses cover everything from building skins to passive systems, integrated daylighting, rightsizing, and renewable energy. You’ll learn how to design next-generation buildings that save money on energy costs, differentiate your firm in the marketplace, and contribute to a healthier, more sustainable carbon-neutral future.

For a limited time, purchase the ten course series at a 25% discount (automatically applied at checkout). Additionally, new signatories of the AIA 2030 Commitment will also get the first course of the AIA+2030 Online Series for free! Join Today.

INNOVATION 2030: Top Architecture Firms Offer Students Paid Summer Internships

Twenty-eight of the top architecture firms in the U.S and Canada are offering paid summer internships to student winners of COTE Top for Students: INNOVATION 2030, this year’s design and ideas competition. Student winners and faculty will be awarded cash prizes and announced at A’18 – the 2018 AIA Convention in New York City attended by 20,000 to 30,000 architects worldwide. Winning faculty will be awarded $2,000 and invited to participate at the Design Futures Council 2018 Leadership Forum on Education and Talent in New York City.

Most of the firms offering internships are listed in ARCHITECT Magazine’s Architect 50 – the top 50 design firms of 2017 – based on scores measured in three separate categories: business, sustainability, and design.


Registration for the INNOVATION 2030/COTE Top Ten for Students design competition closes December 6th, 2017 with submissions due January 17th, 2018.  

All studio projects designed within 2017 (December 1, 2017 to January 31, 2017) are eligible to submit.


This year’s competition focuses on addressing and designing for the future impacts of climate change.  Designs are encouraged to address the COTE Top Ten 10 sustainable design measures ranging from Community to Water to Wellness, but this year’s competition places special prominence on three key aspects of responsive design:

  • Energy and Emissions: design for zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in building operations and minimize embodied carbon for building materials and construction.
  • Adaptation: research and address projected climate change impacts (increased temperatures, heat island effect, heat waves, sea level rise, drought, flooding, extreme weather, food production, etc.) and population shifts within the project site or context.
  • Resilience: enable continued habitability and rapid recovery after shock events, natural disasters, absence of power, or other projected climatic interruptions.

For more information on the INNOVATION 2030/COTE Top Ten for Students design competition, including internship information, registration information, Jury, eligibility and requirements, and deadlines, visit innovation2030.net.

To register directly, please visit the ACSA Registration Page.


INNOVATION 2030 Organizers: 

INNOVATION 2030 Supporters: 

COTE Top Ten Supporter: 

China ZNC Design Professional Training

China takes the next step on the path toward a carbon neutral built environment by 2050.

On September 20th-22nd, Architecture 2030 and the China Exploration and Design Association Architecture Branch (CEDAAB) co-hosted a Zero Net Carbon (ZNC) professional training workshop in Shanghai, China. The event, put on by the Tongji Architectural Design Group Co. Ltd., was the first training of its kind to prepare architects, planners, building sector professionals, and future trainers from across China to design ZNC developments and buildings.

Globally, urban environments are responsible for nearly 75% of the world’s GHG emissions. Therefore, in order to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global average temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, it is crucial to reduce the energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the building sector.

“The Chinese government has reiterated on multiple occasions its determination to implement the responsibilities and obligations agreed to in the Paris Agreement. Protecting the environment and Mother Earth is the architects’ professional duty and social responsibility.”

Zhen Chen, Secretary-General of CEDAAB

China is adding roughly two billion square meters (21.5 billion square feet) of new buildings each year in order to accommodate an urban population expected to reach one billion people by 2030. Due to this tremendous growth, it is more important than ever that collaborations be established with Chinese design professionals to share the available principles, tools, and processes that deliver highly efficient, ZNC buildings and developments.

Since October 2015, 62 Chinese local design institutes (LDIs) and international architecture and planning firms have signed the China Accord, setting “carbon neutral or near carbon neutral” as the design standard for all new building projects in China. CEDAAB and Architecture 2030 have since established ZNC as a necessary and achievable goal for Chinese building design practice. In June 2016, CEDAAB established a Zero Carbon Green Building technical committee to further promote ZNC design in China.

The China ZNC training program built on the momentum established by the China Accord, providing a rare opportunity to bring together top international and Chinese professionals in the fields of planning, building energy consumption and emissions, solar analysis, passive heating and cooling, daylighting, and renewable energy systems. Expert speakers from SOM, SmithGroupJJR, NBBJ, DLR Group, University of Massachusetts Amherst, CallisonRTKL, the University of Washington, and Perkins+Will, discussed and presented strategies and methods for sustainable and ZNC design and planning practices applicable to China.

At the training, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, discussed EDGE certification and its incorporation of ZNC into the tool. On September 22nd, Autodesk delivered a half-day workshop on the application of Insight 360, its Revit plug-in, providing a hands-on demonstration on how the tool is used to inform early building design decisions.

The two and a half-day training and workshop were well attended by approximately 200 building professionals from throughout China.

The overarching goal of the ZNC workshop was to empower architects to assume a leadership role in the design of sustainable and carbon neutral buildings and developments, by providing them with applicable and cost-effective methods and case studies. The program ensured that participants understood the rationale behind various strategies, and were able to confidently deploy these strategies to effectively reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.

“Chinese architects must implement zero net carbon design strategies throughout the entire design process, and not design ‘watermelon style green buildings’ – appearing green on the outside only – for the sake of achieving a certification.”

Xueya Che, Director of the Zero Carbon Green Buildings Technical Committee of CEDAAB

Multiple LDIs throughout China have expressed interest in bringing the ZNC training to their offices, to broaden the reach of the knowledge. As each LDI employees hundreds of architects, the impact of the training is expected to be significant. Architecture 2030 has also been invited to meet with various LDIs and Chinese cities in Guangzhou in March 2018, with the goal of introducing and implementing a new international building code standard in China.

With the ongoing collaboration between Chinese LDIs and international firms, China is in a position to provide global leadership on the pathway towards a ZNC built environment. The stone has been cast, and the ripples are beginning to spread. A transformation of the built environment in China is underway.


The 2030 Palette Updated

At the China ZNC Professional Training, Architecture 2030 presented the updated version of the 2030 Palette, an innovative online platform that provides the guiding principles and actions needed to create low-carbon, adaptable, and resilient built environments. This free online tool presents planning, landscape, and building design practices that are global in scale yet local in application. The updated version of the 2030 Palette has new project examples and resources including references to IFC’s EDGE, and is now easily accessible in China. The 2030 Palette is available in English, Spanish and Chinese languages.


Up next: Greenbuild India 

Architecture 2030 is excited to announce that Edward Mazria, founder and CEO of Architecture 2030, will be giving the opening keynote at GreenBuild India: “India Rising: Providing Global Leadership”. Much like China, India now plays a critical global role in addressing climate change and greenhouse gas emissions: by 2050, nearly 15% of global new construction is expected to take place in India. The conference will be held on November 2-5 in Mumbai, India, and will address pressing issues such as air quality, human health, energy use, and global climate change.

Also taking place at Greenbuild India is an EDGE Technical Workshop that covers the tool’s capabilities, the EDGE certification process, and includes a tutorial on using the EDGE software.

INNOVATION 2030: Internships and Jury Announced

Leading design firms across the U.S. and Canada are offering paid summer internships for student winners, and outstanding professionals have been selected to jury the AIA COTE Top Ten for Students Design Competition: INNOVATION 2030.

Architecture 2030, with the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), and in collaboration with Design Intelligence and View Dynamic Glass, has produced this year’s COTE Top Ten for Students – INNOVATION 2030, a student design and ideas competition for adaptable, resilient, and Zero Net Carbon built environments.

As the planet warms and storms, flooding, drought, heat waves, and sea level rise intensify, it is essential that students entering the profession have the knowledge and design skills necessary to address and mitigate the effects of climate change.

– Edward Mazria, CEO and Founder of Architecture 2030


The five Jury members selected for the INNOVATION 2030/COTE Top Ten for Students design competition are accomplished leaders in architectural design, education, and professional practice:

Awards and Internships

Ten winning student projects will be awarded $2,000 each and recognized in architectural press and at the A’18 (AIA Conference on Architecture 2018) in New York City, and each student from a winning project team (1 to 3 students per team) will be offered a paid summer internship at a leading design firm in the U.S. or Canada.

Design studio faculty sponsors of the winning projects will be recognized for their leadership and innovative design instruction, awarded $2,000, and invited to participate in the Design Futures Council 2018 Leadership Forum on Design Education in New York City, just prior to A’18.

Top design firms offering one or more summer internships include the following, with more firms signing up every week:

For internship locations and detailed information, visit the INNOVATION 2030 and ASCA websites.


Innovation 2030 Supporters

We would also like to thank the supporters of the INNOVATION 2030 student design competition:


AIA COTE Top Ten for Students Sponsor

On the EDGE of a Global Transformation

International Finance Corporation and Architecture 2030 Collaborate on Zero Net Carbon Buildings for the developing world.

We’re delighted to announce that Architecture 2030 and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, have partnered to support the international architecture and building community in designing zero net carbon (ZNC) buildings worldwide.

IFC created the EDGE program, a green building certification system with free online software for emerging markets. As part of the partnership, EDGE software has been enhanced to include carbon reporting, as well as recognition for the procurement of off-site renewable energy and carbon offsets. This improvement will support building projects in dense urban areas, which first target on-site efficiency strategies and then add or procure renewable energy in order to reach ZNC, as defined by Architecture 2030.

“With the anticipated and unprecedented growth of the building sector in China, India, and other developing countries, it is essential that designers have the capability to measure the energy and emissions impacts of their projects and immediately target ZNC as a viable design strategy.”

– Edward Mazria, CEO and Founder of Architecture 2030


Image Source: app.edgebuildings.com  

2030 Challenge International Benchmarks Set

Architecture 2030 will also be integrating the energy consumption baselines from IFC’s EDGE into its Zero Tool, which is used by architects to estimate building fossil fuel energy consumption baselines and targets. EDGE baselines are sophisticated sets of city-based climate and cost data, consumption patterns, and algorithms for a variety of building types in 131 countries. Achieving ZNC in these fast growing markets will be critical to reaching the targets set by the Paris Agreement. Of the approximately 672 billion square feet estimated to be built worldwide by 2030, 78% will be in EDGE-covered countries (42% in China and India alone).

This announcement also serves to support the growing number of international firms striving to meet the 2030 Challenge targets, including those participating in the American Institute of Architects’ 2030 Commitment. In the 2016 reporting period for the Commitment, over 2.5 billion square feet of projects reported (or 28% of total floor space) were in EDGE-covered countries. The AIA also supports the use of EDGE baselines by encouraging signatories of the 2030 Commitment to use the EDGE software when benchmarking international projects.

“EDGE provides locally relevant baselines for the international design community, and the inclusion of onsite and offsite renewable energy is critical for zero net carbon buildings in rapidly urbanizing areas.”

– Vincent Martinez, COO of Architecture 2030

> see press release here

On Track to Meet the Paris Agreement

The U.S. building sector is on track to meet the greenhouse gas emissions reduction target set by the U.S. in the Paris Agreement.

This month, Donald Trump announced the largely symbolic withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, reaffirming his commitment to resurrecting the waning coal industry and accelerating the production of domestic fossil fuels. The reasons given for withdrawing were the imposition of “draconian financial and economic burdens”, higher energy costs, blocking the development of clean coal and building new coal plants, and leaving “millions and millions of families trapped in poverty and joblessness”.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Paris Agreement Facts

The Paris climate agreement is voluntary, with each country setting its own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets and policies. There are no enforcement mechanisms or penalties for not meeting declared targets, nor is there anything in the agreement that prohibits the building of coal plants, clean coal development or fossil fuel production, or adjusting country targets.

The fact is, coal production and use in the U.S. is declining because:

  1. building sector electricity demand is dropping,
  2. less expensive natural gas and renewable energy are increasingly being used for electricity generation, and
  3. coal exports are falling.

Progress Towards the U.S. Target

The U.S. set its own non-binding GHG emissions reduction target in the Paris agreement at 21% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025 (excluding LULUCF – land use, land use change, and forestry).

The building sector is now on track to meet the Paris reduction targets – reaching a 24.5% reduction below 2005 levels by 2025, and 30.4% by 2030.

-Data Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) 2017 projections

Specifically, U.S. building sector emissions are currently 16% below 2005. This is in stark contrast to projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) that were made in 2005. In that year, the EIA projected building energy consumption and GHG emissions in 2016 would rise 43.8% and 52.4% respectively above 2005 levels by 2030.

Since 2005, building sector energy consumption projections have declined each year; consumption levels are 5.1% below 2005 levels today, even though we have added about 30 billion square feet to our building stock over the past decade. Also, American businesses and households have saved over $500 billion in projected energy costs since 2005. That means more money is being distributed throughout the U.S. to create jobs and increase spending on clothing, food, education, travel, electronics, construction, equipment, and housing. The additional savings to Americans will amount to over $2 trillion by 2030.


What does this all mean?

Practically speaking, the train has already left the station on GHG emissions reductions, and the building sector is leading the way. It is on track to meet our Paris 2025 target, with or without President Trump on board.

INNOVATION 2030 – A Student Competition to Transform the Course of Design

The INNOVATION 2030 student design competition has launched. INNOVATION 2030 seeks to transform design studio education and professional practice through a design and ideas competition…

The Wall – A Shameful and Immoral Act

At a time when the White House is demanding Congress allocate billions of dollars to build a wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, it might be wise to reflect on its real impacts. The decision to build a wall is based on fear and demagoguery, and its human and political repercussions are critical, but there are two additional issues that haven’t been adequately brought to the attention of the American public.

First, there are the practical implications of walling off a 1,254-mile border along the Rio Grande River, or the flying distance between Boston and Miami.

A border wall and access road would be built on the U.S. side of the river outside the flood plain of the Rio Grande. Because of the river’s twists and turns, a barrier could not follow the actual border, meaning that some sections of the wall would be miles from the river. If the average width of land from the river to the wall were one mile, the land beyond the wall would roughly equal an area the size of Rhode Island.

Such a wall would cut the entire United States and state of Texas off from 1,254 miles of the Rio Grande River and in effect cede access to the river, its reservoirs, and the land from the river to the wall, to the Mexico side.

People, animals, and livestock on the U.S. side of the wall would not be able to reach the river, its water, recreation areas, reservoirs, or wildlife. Economically speaking, billions of dollars in commerce and wildlife tourism would be lost for towns on both sides of the border. And, according to the MIT Technology Review, building a concrete wall would leave a carbon footprint of 7.2 million metric tons of CO2, or the equivalent annual emissions of the entire city of Washington DC.

Second, and more important, a physical barrier that prevents people from passing through would also disrupt wildlife migration corridors along the Rio Grande border, isolate animal populations, fragment and decimate wildlife and habitats, and threaten one of the most biodiverse areas in the U.S. All this would take place in a hot semi-arid region, expected to get hotter and drier with climate change, where water is a life-sustaining and precious resource.

So, if there are concerns about potential social and security issues posed by unchecked immigration, building a wall or physical barrier that causes irreparable harm to people, communities, ecosystems, and wildlife, is not a solution: it is in fact a shameful and immoral act that ironically will destroy that which it purports to protect.

— Edward Mazria, Founder and CEO, Architecture 2030

(photo courtesy of Northern Jaguar Project – used under licence)

Demonstrate Your Building’s Performance with the ILFI Reveal Label

The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) has collaborated with Architecture 2030 to update their Reveal label – an easy-to-understand method of displaying the energy performance of a building.

Reveal is designed for owners, managers, architects, 2030 Challenge adopters, and AIA 2030 Commitment signatories who want the validation and confirmation of third-party verification for their building’s energy performance.

The Reveal label displays a building’s:

  • Energy use intensity
  • Zero Energy Performance Index (ZEPI) score
  • Reduction in energy use from the 2030 Challenge baseline
  • Onsite and offsite renewable energy generation (if applicable)

The Reveal label provides a clear, third-party verified program for validating reaching the 2030 Challenge targets or achieving a Zero Net Carbon building.

– Edward Mazria, Founder and CEO, Architecture 2030.

Reveal – Using the Architecture 2030 Zero Tool

2030 Commitment signatories and 2030 Challenge adopters can use Architecture 2030’s new Zero Tool to generate post-occupancy building data and submit that data to the Reveal program for third-party verification that a project meets the Challenge targets.

2030 District members can also demonstrate that their buildings meet the 2030 Challenge targets through the Zero Tool, and have their building’s performance third-party verified by submitting data from the Zero Tool to the Reveal program.


More Information

For more details on the Reveal label and how to apply for a label, visit the ILFI website.

You can learn more about the Zero Tool here.

The Zero Tool Is Here!

Architecture 2030 introduces the Zero Tool, a free innovative online application that allows architects, designers, engineers, building owners and managers, and policymakers to calculate building energy consumption baselines and targets.