Frequently Asked Questions

Architecture 2030

Are Architecture 2030 and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) part of the same organization?

No, Architecture 2030 is a separate, non-profit, 501(c)(3) research organization. Architecture 2030 issued the 2030 Challenge which was adopted by the American Institute of Architects in 2006, and forms the basis of the AIA’s 2030 Commitment.

Learn more.

When did Architecture 2030 issue the 2030 Challenge?

In response to its research, Architecture 2030 developed and then issued the 2030 Challenge in January of 2006.

How widely adopted is the 2030 Challenge?

Shortly after Architecture 2030 issued the 2030 Challenge, it found its first adopter in the over 80,000 member American Institute of Architects. In May 2006, Architecture 2030 worked with the Mayors of Chicago, Miami, Seattle and Albuquerque to introduce a resolution (Resolution #50) to the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopting the 2030 Challenge. In June 2006, the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously approved the resolution. To date, the 2030 Challenge has made a significant national impact and has been taken by many organizations including: The U.S. Green Building Council, The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Ontario Association of Architects, Congress for the New Urbanism, American Solar Energy Society, Society of Building Science Educators, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, National Wildlife Federation, Union Internationale des Architectes, American Society of Interior Designers, and numerous universities, businesses, professional offices, and organizations nationwide.

Government at all levels has also risen to the 2030 Challenge. In August 2006, the U.S. EPA Target Finder incorporated the 2030 Challenge targets for building energy reduction into their web-based calculator (update, March 2017: we now recommend using our own Zero Tool for calculating building energy performance). In December 2007, after being passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Energy Independence and Security Act became law with the President’s signature. Section 433 of this bill requires that all federal buildings meet the energy performance standards of the 2030 Challenge. California’s Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan released in September 2008 includes two “Big Bold” strategies in line with the 2030 Challenge: to have all residential buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2020, and to have all commercial buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2030. The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and contains language shaped by the 2030 Challenge. Other governmental adopters include: The National Governors Association, The National Association of Counties, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, the states of Minnesota, Illinois, New Mexico, Washington State, and numerous cities and counties.

Seventy-three percent (73%) of the 20 largest Architecture / Engineering (A/E) firms, responsible for over $100 billion in construction annually, have now adopted and are implementing the 2030 Challenge. According to a recent poll of design industry leaders by the Design Futures Council, approximately forty percent (40%) of all U.S. architecture firms have adopted the Challenge.

The adoption of the 2030 Challenge by large A/E firms has global implications. Since most of these firms are multinational, the shift towards building to the Challenge carries important economic implications, representing a significant, stable global market for high-performance building materials, products, and on-site renewable energy systems.

See adopters

Is the 2030 Challenge the same thing as the AIA 2030 Commitment?

No, the main difference between adoption of the 2030 Challenge and that of the AIA 2030 Commitment is one of scope. The 2030 Challenge is specifically focused on lowering building energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Although the 2030 Challenge is at the core of the AIA 2030 Commitment, the Commitment – which only applies to AIA members – encompasses other issues as well, such as incorporating water and indoor air quality requirements in every design and outlining internal policies within the firm with regards to recycling, green product purchasing and energy conservation, among others.

In addition, the AIA’s Commitment asks for actions plans and implementation steps to be documented and submitted to the AIA by committed firms “for posting on the website and subsequent dissemination.” Although Architecture 2030 encourages 2030 Challenge adopters to keep them informed about their process and progress, it is not required.

The 2030 Challenge is a stand-alone commitment and Architecture 2030 encourages all firms to become official adopters here, and to begin using the 2030 Challenge Adopter’s logo to indicate that your firm is committed to designing buildings that meet the 2030 Challenge targets.

Those wishing to incorporate the additional steps required by the AIA 2030 Commitment should also sign on to the Commitment. However, if you have signed on to the Commitment and have not yet become an official adopter of the 2030 Challenge, we ask that you do so because, in order to fulfill the requirements of the AIA 2030 Commitment, the buildings your firm designs must meet the 2030 Challenge.

But, there are so many buildings our there - how can we change the pattern?

Architecture 2030 estimates that over the next 30 years three-quarters of the built environment will be new or renovated. This is based on typical new construction, demolition and renovation trends. The three-quarters figure is for the next 30 years, not by the year 2030.

Learn more.

Are there any governmental rewards or incentives for energy conserving designers, energy companies, contractors, or any other people directly involved with the construction of buildings?

In the US, some states, counties, and cities provide incentives specifically targeted to builders and developers such as expedited permitting processes for green building, tax rebates and loans. Search by your state at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

What can I do to help?

There are many ways to generate support in your local community for Architecture 2030’s initiatives.

#1. Adopt and implement the 2030 Challenge to show your commitment to reducing energy consumption in the Building Sector.

#2. Stay updated on Architecture 2030’s recent activities, reports and initiatives by subscribing to the Architecture 2030 E-News Bulletin and connecting with us on Twitter and Facebook.

#3. Spread the word. Architecture 2030 welcomes you to provide information, photos, and other content related to major transformations of the built environment in relation to Architecture 2030’s work, the 2030 Challenge, and the 2010 Imperative.

If you are organizing a grassroots effort around the 2030 Challenge,  or any other Architecture 2030 initiative or would like to know about similar efforts in your area, check out, get in touch via email at info@architecture2030.org.

What should I do after adopting the 2030 Challenge?

Architecture 2030 has released 2030 Implementation Guidelines for adopters of the 2030 Challenge.

What is your policy for republishing material?

Please contact Architecture 2030 for permissions information at info@architecture2030.org. All material is protected by copyright and must be designated as such. The term “The 2030 Challenge” is a federally registered trademark, solely owned by Architecture 2030, the organization that solely developed and issued it. According to Federal trademark laws, the term “The 2030 Challenge” cannot be used by any other entity in any manner that would create confusion in the marketplace about its ownership, nor can it be used to promote another entity’s products or services without explicit written authorization by the term’s owner, namely Architecture 2030.

The 2030 Challenge

What is the baseline for the 2030 Challenge?

On May 4, 2007 the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Architecture 2030, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), supported by representatives of the U.S. Department of Energy, agreed to define the baseline starting point for their common target goals as the national average/median energy consumption of existing U.S. commercial buildings as reported by the 2003 Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS). CBECS data is a set of whole-building energy use measurements gathered by the DOE’s Energy Information Administration, which can be used to determine a national energy use intensity using kBtu/sq. ft.-yr as the metric.

See Press Release.

What is the metric for the 2030 Challenge?

The metric for the 2030 Challenge is site Energy Use Intensity (EUI) in kBtu/sq. ft.-yr, not source EUI.

Are the 2030 Challenge targets for the year I start design or for the year the design of the project is expected to be completed?

The 2030 Challenge targets are for the year of the project’s completion of design, not the year that the project begins initial design.

Does the 2030 Challenge call for all new buildings and major renovations to be "net zero energy" buildings by 2030?

No, the 2030 Challenge advocates for “carbon-neutral” buildings in 2030, which is not to be confused with “net-zero energy” buildings. A carbon-neutral building is defined to be a building that uses no fossil fuel, greenhouse-gas-emitting energy to operate. In contrast a net-zero energy building must produce as much energy on site as it consumes.

Can I just buy renewable energy for my project and meet the 2030 Challenge?

No, Architecture 2030 advocates that the 2030 Challenge energy reductions be met firstly through energy-efficient design strategies. These are low-cost and/or no-cost options, which include proper orientation, daylighting and passive heating and cooling strategies, etc. Secondly, Architecture 2030 recommends applying energy-efficient technologies and systems, which include high-efficiency mechanical equipment and on-site renewable energy generation. Once all energy-efficient design strategies and technologies are exhausted, Architecture 2030 recommends purchasing off-site renewable energy and/or renewable energy credits for the project’s remaining energy needs (20% maximum).

The 2030 Challenge allows for 20% maximum of off-site renewable energy and/or renewable energy credits. 20% of what?

The 2030 Challenge allows for 20% of the required reduction to come from purchasing renewable energy and/or certified renewable energy credits. [This is also a major difference from a net-zero energy building.] Presently, the Challenge allows for 20% of the 70% reduction, but as the Challenge progresses it will be 20% of the 80% reduction, or 20% of the 90% reduction, and so on. The rest of the reduction should be gained firstly through energy-efficient design and secondly through on-site technology (including on-site renewable energy).

Architecture 2030 does not discourage using utility renewable energy and/or renewable energy credits for the rest of the project’s power; however, only 20% of the reduction can be counted towards meeting the 2030 Challenge targets.

Of the 20% maximum allowed, which types of renewable energy and/or certified renewable energy credits qualify for purchase?

We recommend consulting the Green-e Climate Protocol for Renewable Energy for determining the types of acceptable renewable energy purchases.

Is there a tool I can use to see if my project is meeting the 2030 Challenge?

Yes, Architecture 2030 has developed an online tool, Zero Tool, that enables users to determine the average energy consumption of specific building types in a specific region, as well as to determine energy reduction targets in accordance with the 2030 Challenge. Zero Tool should be the first resource in determining a projects energy consumption target.

What is my project’s country or building type is not available in the Zero Tool?

If a building type or country is not available in the Zero Tool, there are a number of strategies that can be used to establish an appropriate baseline:*

  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory initiative Labs 21 has created an energy-benchmarking tool to determine the average energy consumption of laboratories and associated energy reduction targets.
  2. IFC’s EDGE Software can be used in many international cities to determine an EUI baseline. Architecture 2030 has agreed to adopt EDGE baselines as the official international baselines for the 2030 Challenge and the 2030 Commitment. For more information on the methodology behind EDGE baselines, view this report.
  3. The website degreedays.net can be used to calculate heating degree day and cooling degree day (HDD/CDD) data to input into the Zero Tool instead of a postal code. The total heating degree days and cooling degree days for one year, or the average annual total for multiple years, should be entered.
  4. The American Institute of Architects has developed an International Location to U.S. Equivalent Zip Code table, from which cities around the world can be matched to a U.S. zip code in a comparable climate zone. Zero Tool users can substitute their project’s location data for U.S. equivalent data from this table. Architecture 2030 is also in the process of incorporating international baselines from IFC’s EDGE directly into the Zero Tool.
  5. Local or regional energy consumption databases (e.g. from benchmarking and disclosure ordinance reporting) can be used to assess the performance of similar building types and estimate a baseline.
  6. Firm portfolio data, or data from peer firms, can be used to assess the performance of similar building types and estimate a baseline.
  7. If no appropriate data can be found, projects can target carbon neutrality, which makes establishing a baseline unnecessary.

*Use best practices and professional judgment when estimating a baseline, and be sure to consider all factors that affect energy performance including climate, weather, space type, building size, occupancy, and schedule.

To meet 2030 Challenge guidelines (in the strict sense) is it necessary to include the embodied energy/GHG emissions created during building material production?

Although operating energy is the majority of energy consumed by buildings, the embodied energy of the materials that compose buildings is an important consideration to designers. Embodied energy is the energy used in production and distribution of a product or material. Presently the embodied energy of building materials contributes anywhere from 15 to 20% of the energy used by a building over a 50-year period. Designers have tremendous influence as to what material are used and can specify those materials with low embodied energy, thus reducing the amount of fossil-fuel energy used during production. Also, as the operating energy is reduced through efficient design and technology, embodied energy will become more and more important in reducing a building’s carbon footprint. See:  canadianarchitect

Are there any governmental rewards or incentives for energy conserving designers, energy companies, contractors, or any other people directly involved with the construction of buildings?

Some states, counties, and cities provide incentives specifically targeted to builders and developers such as expedited permitting processes for green building, tax rebates and loans. Search by your state at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

What is considered a "Major Renovation"?

A Major Renovation is any renovation of a building where (a) the total cost of the renovation related to the building envelope or the technical building systems is higher than 25 % of the value of the building, excluding the value of the land upon which the building is situated, or (b) more than 25 % of the surface of the building envelope undergoes renovation.

Is the 2030 Challenge the same thing as the AIA 2030 Commitment?

No, the main difference between adoption of the 2030 Challenge and that of the AIA 2030 Commitment is one of scope. The 2030 Challenge is specifically focused on lowering building energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Although the 2030 Challenge is at the core of the AIA 2030 Commitment, the Commitment – which only applies to AIA members – encompasses other issues as well, such as incorporating water and indoor air quality requirements in every design and outlining internal policies within the firm with regards to recycling, green product purchasing and energy conservation, among others.

In addition, the AIA’s Commitment asks for actions plans and implementation steps to be documented and submitted to the AIA by committed firms “for posting on the website and subsequent dissemination.” Although Architecture 2030 encourages 2030 Challenge adopters to keep them informed about their process and progress, it is not required.

The 2030 Challenge is a stand-alone commitment and Architecture 2030 encourages all firms to become official adopters here, and to begin using the 2030 Challenge Adopter’s logo to indicate that your firm is committed to designing buildings that meet the 2030 Challenge targets.

Those wishing to incorporate the additional steps required by the AIA 2030 Commitment should also sign on to the Commitment. However, if you have signed on to the Commitment and have not yet become an official adopter of the 2030 Challenge, we ask that you do so because, in order to fulfill the requirements of the AIA 2030 Commitment, the buildings your firm designs must meet the 2030 Challenge.

The 2030 Challenge for Products

Why building products?

The Building Sector is responsible for almost half of the energy consumption (49%) and greenhouse gas (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 materials and products are also becoming increasingly significant. Approximately 5.5% to 8% of the total annual U.S. energy consumption is from building products and construction. The raw resource extraction, manufacturing, transportation, construction, usage, and end-of-life stages of building products consume significant amounts of energy, and each generate associated GHG emissions. When including all products for the built environment (furniture, movable equipment, appliances, etc.), the percentage is even greater.

What is the metric for the 2030 Challenge for Products?

The metric for the 2030 Challenge for Products is kilogram carbon dioxide equivalent (kg CO2-Equivalent) per functional unit depending on whether a given assessment is cradle-to-grave or cradle-to-gate (see What life stages should be included in a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)?).

How do I adopt the 2030 Challenge for Products?

If you are a design professional, firm, or company working in the Building Sector (architects, designers, planners, interior designers, landscape architects, builders, and/or developers, etc.), Architecture 2030 encourages you to adopt the 2030 Challenge for Products and pledge to request third party expert verified Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and, where possible, Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), results from product manufacturers and specify low-carbon building products that meet the Challenge targets. Architecture 2030 has developed a Request for Information (RFI) letter that can be sent to product manufacturers, asking for embodied carbon content of their building products and information on the underlying LCA, PCR and/or EPD, and third-party verifier. Please contact forproducts@architecture2030.org to be listed as an adopter.

If you are a product manufacturer, Architecture 2030 does not certify products. We encourage you to adopt the 2030 Challenge for Products and pledge to conduct and publish third party expert verified LCAs and, where possible, EPDs, for your products and commit to reducing the carbon-equivalent footprint of your products to meet the Challenge targets. If you have a published LCA or EPD that shows the carbon-equivalent footprint of your product, please contact forproducts@architecture2030.org to be listed as an adopter.

If you would like to support the 2030 Challenge for Products as an organization or individual, Architecture 2030 encourages you to do so by pledging to commit your resources to helping the Building Sector meet the Challenge targets. Please contact forproducts@architecture2030.org to be listed as a supporter.

How does a product meet the 2030 Challenge for Products?

Architecture 2030 does not certify products. To meet the 2030 Challenge for Products, a product manufacturer should have completed an ISO-compliant Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) or, at minimum, a third party expert verified Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which calculates the carbon-equivalent footprint of a product and which has been verified (EPD) or peer-reviewed (LCA) by an expert or panel with knowledge of LCA methodology and experience in the relevant sector. The product manufacturer must also be committed to reducing the carbon-equivalent footprint of the product to meet the Challenge targets.

If a Program Operator has developed or adopted Product Category Rules (PCRs) for a product category, Architecture 2030 strongly recommends that the manufacturer conduct the assessment in accordance with the PCRs, thereby ensuring that all manufacturers within a given category are using the same rules with regard to data sources, functional unit definitions, cut-off rules, metrics and calculation procedures.

Once benchmarks are established (2013 target date), those products that achieve the relevant carbon-equivalent reduction from the average will be recognized as meeting the associated 2030 Challenge for Products target. In the interim, Architecture 2030 recommends that manufacturers actively engage in reducing their product’s carbon-equivalent footprint and work with their industry associations to develop generic EPDs for their product category.

What are the product benchmarks for the 2030 Challenge for Products?

Architecture 2030 has designated the time period between 2011 and 2013 for the development of benchmarks and will be working with leading organizations and experts around the globe on this process. At this stage, it is anticipated that benchmarks will initially be developed on the basis of representative, Life Cycle Inventory data published in national databases, such as the U.S. LCI Database. Eventually, the benchmarks will be set by generic, or representative, Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for each product category.

Architecture 2030 encourages product manufacturers to work with their industry associations to develop Product Category Rules (PCR) (if not already developed) and a generic EPD that can serve as an example and benchmark for their product. Once benchmarks have been established (2013 target date), Architecture 2030 will link to these benchmarks.

Where can I find products that meet the 2030 Challenge for Products?

Architecture 2030 does not certify products. A list of manufacturers who have adopted the 2030 Challenge for Products will be posted on the Architecture 2030 website. These manufacturers have conducted and published a third party expert verified Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and/or an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for at least one of their products, and have committed to reduce their carbon-equivalent footprints to meet the Challenge targets. For those products that have an EPD, you should contact the manufacturer to find out in which EPD Program their verified EPD is posted (which should also provide details with regard to the Product Category Rules (PCR) that were used). Once benchmarks are established (2013 target date), those products that achieve the relevant carbon-equivalent reduction will be recognized as meeting the associated 2030 Challenge for Products target.

Architecture 2030 has developed a Request for Information (RFI) letter that can be sent to product manufacturers, asking for embodied carbon content of their building products and information on the underlying LCA, PCR and/or EPD, and third-party verifier.

What if there are no products within a product category that meet the required reduction target?

If no products within a category meet the required carbon-equivalent footprint reduction, then those products with the smallest carbon-equivalent footprints that meet the required product performance criteria should be specified. However, it is critical that products being compared are assessed following the same Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) procedures (e.g. boundaries, cut-off rules, impact measure characterization factors, etc.), as is the case when Product Category Rules (PCR) are used.

What is a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for carbon?

A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an evaluation of the ecological impact of a product over its expected life: including the life stages of raw material extraction, manufacture, transportation, product use, and/or disposal. A measure of Global Warming Potential (GWP) is one of several impacts measured under ISO LCA standards, including the ISO 21930 standard for Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for building products. GWP is calculated in terms of the CO2 equivalent releases of greenhouses gases per product. LCAs can evaluate other impacts such as resource depletion, acidification, and eutrophication. An LCA should, at a minimum, be compliant with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14040 series of standards and be third party expert reviewed. If an LCA is conducted in accordance with Product Category Rules (PCR), the PCR should be clearly posted with the results of the LCA.

What life stages should be considered in a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)?

Architecture 2030 recommends that all life stages, from raw material extraction (‘cradle’) to disposal (‘grave’) be included in a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and/or Environmental Product Declaration. If, for certain product categories, this full cradle-to-grave assessment (also called a business-to-consumer assessment) is not feasible, then at a minimum the LCA and/or EPD should be a cradle-to-gate assessment (‘cradle’ to the ‘gate’ of the manufacturing plant, also called a business-to-business assessment). If life stages are omitted, a statement on omissions should be included in the EPD or LCA results. The life stages for a product category should be clearly defined in the Product Category Rules (PCR) and, if the PCR has not yet been written, the life stages included in an LCA should reflect any previous LCAs in that product category.

What is a "product category"?

A “product category” is a group of building products that can fulfill equivalent functions (ISO 14025). For example, in the Master Format numbering system, the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) lists products by broad category divisions such as doors and windows and then by more specific categories such as skylights. A Program Operator defines the various product categories.

What are Product Category Rules (PCR)?

Product Category Rules (PCR) define how a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)should be conducted for a particular product category, as well as the specifications for the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), thereby standardizing the methodology and enabling products within that category to be compared to each other. By defining the specific rules for collecting, analyzing and reporting data on a given product type, PCRs ensure manufacturers of a level playing field and ensure purchasers of a reliable basis for comparing product performance data. A PCR document can also be used as the basis for a generic, or representative, EPD for a particular product category with benchmarks to be met to state that a given product has met the standard set forth in that representative EPD.

When developing an LCA, first search national and international libraries to find a relevant PCR. The most comprehensive PCR libraries available at this point in time can be found at the International EPD System and GEDNet, but there are also other Program Operators all of which are required under the standards to publish their PCRs and EPDs. The American Center for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA) is currently developing a PCR repository for the U.S. For an initial list of building product PCRs, listed by CSI Division, you can consult the compiled list of Building Product PCRs.

PCRs should comply with all relevant ISO standards, be produced by a Program Operator, include open consultation and input from all interested parties, be based on at least one LCA from the relevant product category, be harmonized across different EPD programs, and be reviewed by an expert or panel with knowledge of LCA methodology and experience in the relevant sector.

For reliable information on development and use of PCRs and EPDs, consult the following:

What is an Environmental Product Declaration?

An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a type III environmental label declaring the environmental impacts of a product over its expected life. An EPD is the result of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) providing results for a set of pre-defined parameters and following pre-defined Product Category Rules (PCR). EPDs can be thought of as the environmental equivalent to nutrition labels for products, stating a product’s carbon-equivalent footprint and other environmental impacts such as resource depletion, acidification, and eutrophication. An EPD should be independently, e.g. third party, verified and publicly published upon completion. An EPD and the respective PCR should, at a minimum, be compliant with the ISO 14025 and 21930 standards and be posted in their entirety.

If a Program Operator has developed, or adopted, a PCR for a product category, it is recommended that the manufacturer consider developing an EPD, or at least conducting the LCA in accordance with the PCR, thereby ensuring that all manufacturers from a given product category are using the same rules with regard to data sources, functional unit definitions, cut-off rules, metrics and calculation procedures. The benefit to manufacturers of issuing a verified EPD is that is meets requirements and expectations in all global markets and can lead to sizable cost savings.

For reliable information on development and use of PCRs and EPDs, consult the following:

What is an EPD Program Operator?

An EPD Program Operator is a body (or bodies) that is responsible for administrating a type III Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) program. A Program Operator is responsible for setting specific program instructions and establishing procedures for the development of Product Category Rules (PCRs) and EPDs, all in compliance with ISO standards. Program Operators define product categories, provide for open consultation, ensure the selection of competent independent verifiers, publish PCRs and EPDs, harmonize these documents between other programs, and maintain a transparent and available library of their PCRs and EPDs.

What standards should be followed when calculating the carbon-equivalent footprint of a product?

To calculate a carbon-equivalent footprint of a product, Architecture 2030 recommends using either the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14000 standards or the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol Scope III and Product Life Cycle standards for carbon footprints (currently under development by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development). The ISO 14000 series are the international standards for environmental management. In particular, the ISO 14040 series are for conducting a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and the ISO 14025 standard is for developing an LCA-based Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). In addition, the ISO 21930 standard deals with EPDs specifically for building products. The GHG Protocol’s Scope III and Product Life Cycle standards are the leading international standards for calculating carbon-equivalent emissions for products. Consult with the ASTM E60 on Sustainability technical committee for other U.S. national standards currently under development.

Why does the 2030 Challenge for Products only consider carbon?

The mission of Architecture 2030 is to achieve a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the Building Sector. If we do not reduce GHG emissions, we risk triggering dangerous climate change. A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and/or Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)measures additional environmental impacts such as resource depletion, acidification, and eutrophication. Organizations that provide additional environmental information on building products include, among others: GreenSpecPharosCSI GreenFormatEcoHome MagazineGreenWizard, and the U.S. Green Building Council.