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.

U.S. Building Sector Emissions Down – The Driving Force: You!

We begin the New Year with good news!

Projected U.S. building sector energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the year 2030 have declined for eleven straight years since the 2030 Challenge was issued in 2005.

The driving force behind the dramatic decline is the architecture and planning community and our colleagues in the building sector. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook 2016, projections to the year 2030 for building sector energy consumption (building operations) have declined by 18.5 Quadrillion BTUs since 2005 (or the equivalent of 1,209 coal-fired 250 MW power plants).


With building sector energy consumption continuing to decrease slightly each year, together with the addition of new renewable energy generation and the substitution of lower emissions fuels for coal, total U.S. building sector GHG emissions are dropping dramatically.

emissions_1000According to the EIA, U.S. building sector emissions in 2030 are projected to be 29% below 2005 levels.

Of course, we have been exceeding EIA projections for energy consumption and emissions reductions each year since 2005 – all without any significant congressional legislation for the past 11 years, and with limited state adoption of advanced building energy codes. So, if the past is any indication, we can expect to see building sector emissions drop 35% to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030.

This is all good news as the building sector continues to lead the way in U.S. fossil fuel and emissions reductions.

It is clear that an unshakable and independent foundation for resilient and zero carbon planning, building design, and materials and construction is now well established, and as a result, is becoming a worldwide movement unto itself.

“Together we have been, and remain, the driving force behind an evolution to the highest form of design – addressing a new and unprecedented problem, that of climate change and its impact on all of Earth’s life forms.”
– Edward Mazria

As we enter the New Year, we are confident this global phenomenon is here to stay. And the force our community has created will continue to grow through innovation, education, and practice… thanks to all of you!

Life During Trump: Progress on Climate Change Will Come From the Bottom Up


“We are facing two very different and defining moments in history, the ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement and the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Should the U.S. government fail to honor or withdraw from the Paris Agreement, this will be completely inconsistent with our core values and professional and civic responsibilities. 

The U.S. and global architecture and planning community, along with our colleagues in the building sector and sub-national governments, will continue to lead the effort to implement the objectives contained in the Paris Agreement and drive progress toward an equitable, sustainable, resilient, and carbon-neutral built environment.” 

          Edward Mazria, Founder and CEO, Architecture 2030


Dear colleagues and friends,

As many are left feeling fearful and uncertain in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, it is important to remember that we have been, and continue to be, far from powerless to continue to effect meaningful change. After the 2012 elections, when Congressional gridlock set in, it became evident that change in the built environment would not happen from the top down. It had to happen from the bottom up.

With the election results last week, this has not changed. Our work is now more important than ever. For some time now, real and measurable progress has been made at the state and local levels, and in the private sector where building design and planning, innovation, equity, policy, business, and climate change intersect. This broad base of momentum is firmly established and will continue to accelerate, regardless of last week’s election.

Worldwide, 533 cities are now reporting their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a 70% increase in reporting since the Paris Agreement. To date, 30% of these cities have GHG emissions reduction targets. In North America, 56% of the cities reporting have GHG emissions reduction targets, many declaring zero emissions or an 80% reduction by 2050 or earlier.

The International Union of Architects with member organizations representing over 1.3 million architects in 124 countries worldwide has unanimously adopted the 2050 Imperative, a declaration to eliminate CO2 emissions in the built environment by 2050. Individual architecture, engineering, and planning firms continue to make a commitment to design to carbon neutral standards by 2030, including top international and Chinese architecture and planning firms that have signed the China Accord and are now working to implement it. Over 350 firms have joined the AIA 2030 Commitment.

Ten Green Building Councils worldwide – Canada, Germany, United States, China, India, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, The Netherlands and Sweden – are now creating zero net carbon building certification pathways. The 2030 Districts Network continues to grow throughout North America, and is poised to go international.

As important, the market has spoken. At the utility scale, flattening electricity demand (due to building efficiency gains) in the U.S. will make the need for new fossil fuel fired power plants unlikely. Photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy production is cheaper and more feasible than ever. Residential and community solar installations and financing mechanisms are increasing dramatically, providing affordable energy and access to homeowners and renters at all income levels.  There are now 300,000 solar jobs in the U.S., a number that has doubled in the last 12 months.

The emergence of new PV products and battery storage is likely to transform the housing market, while LED lighting has already had a huge impact in lowering energy consumption and emissions in the commercial building sector. Wind energy is growing rapidly and is another bright spot in our economy with wind jobs increasing 20% in 2015. We are seeing a similar growth in efficient equipment, appliances, and products, which gives us competitiveness in international markets. U.S. manufacturers of building products throughout the world are reducing their carbon footprint, and have committed to achieving, or are already meeting, the goal of zero carbon.

The potential to implement change and accelerate progress firmly rests with architects, planners, and our colleagues in the building and renewable energy sectors and local governments; that’s as true today as it was before the election.

As Margaret Mead famously stated, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Our ‘small group’ of thoughtful citizens and professionals grows daily, as does our power to achieve our goals.

Now is the time to harness this power and redouble our efforts from the bottom up.

— Architecture 2030

This article also appears on Common Edge.
Image designed by Demetra Mazria.

AIA: Help Save the Federal 2030 Challenge Targets

Section 433 of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act commits new construction and major renovation of U.S. federal buildings to follow the 2030 Challenge targets for the reduction of fossil fuel consumption – the same targets adopted by 70% of the top 20 architecture, engineering, and planning firms in the U.S., as well as the AIA, ASHRAE, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, many state and local governments, and numerous other professional organizations.

However, Congress is in the midst of negotiating the first energy reform package in almost a decade, including language to repeal Section 433 and its requirement to hold federal buildings to the 2030 Challenge targets.

The final stages of the energy policy negotiations will take place when Congress returns to Washington after the November elections. The AIA – which supports the 2030 Challenge targets through its 2030 Commitment program – is arguing forcefully that  “a strong message from the architectural industry on the importance of the 2030 targets will show that businesses can thrive while advancing sustainability.”

“The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its membership have worked with great success to reduce fossil fuel use in the building sector. They are now asking the architecture community to send a message to Congress not to repeal Section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act.” Edward Mazria, CEO, Architecture 2030.

The AIA is asking architecture firms to sign onto a letter that the AIA is sending to members of Congress calling for the retention of Section 433. Firms wishing to sign on should do so by this Monday, October 24th.

> You can sign on and learn more about the AIA’s advocacy work here. 

Section 433 Under Attack, Again

States, cities, businesses, and industries, all with the help of the building sector, have made great progress on the road to zero greenhouse gas emissions in the US, and Section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 has played a major role.

Section 433 puts the weight of the federal government behind the movement to a carbon neutral built environment, by requiring all new federal buildings, and major federal building renovations, to meet the incremental targets of the 2030 Challenge.

However, recent energy legislation passed by both chambers of Congress calls for the elimination of Section 433, threatening this long-standing and important commitment from the federal government.

This is not the first attempt to repeal Section 433, and this time the proposed legislation replaces Section 433 with weaker efficiency standards that fail to address carbon emissions from federal buildings. Section 433 goes beyond energy efficiency gains in new and renovated federal buildings, by establishing a long-term roadmap for continued improvements in building design, construction, and building operations, and cost savings to taxpayers for the life of federal buildings.

What’s more, since 2005, the building sector has dramatically reduced its projected energy consumption to 2030, saving American consumers over $4.5 trillion.  Since the federal government is the largest property owner and energy consumer in the United States, Section 433 leverages the government’s massive purchasing power and influence to bring new technologies and materials to the marketplace, for the benefit of everyone.

“The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its membership have fought long and hard to reduce fossil fuel use in the building sector, and they’ve had great success. The organization has taken a bold step in opposing all attempts to repeal or weaken Section 433.” Edward Mazria, CEO, Architecture 2030

You can read the AIA’s latest thoughts here.

Senate and House Energy Bills

It is important to note that while both the Senate and the House bills shortsightedly call for a repeal of Section 433, the Senate bill’s language on building energy codes is more effective than the House bill’s language.  The Senate bill’s code language describes a life-cycle cost effectiveness assessment, while the House bill limits the cost effectiveness of the code provisions to a 10-year simple payback.

Additionally, the House bill – known as H.R. 8 –  includes code language that prohibits the Department of Energy (DOE) from being able to advocate for code adoption and progressive code development. A statement from the President’s Office Of Management and Budget makes the administration’s views clear:

“H.R. 8 would stifle the Nation’s move toward energy efficiency by severely hampering the Department of Energy’s (DOE) ability to provide technical support for building code development and State implementation. In addition, the bill would undercut DOE’s ability to enforce its appliance standards and would weaken section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which requires a reduction in fossil fuel generated energy in Federal buildings.”

The next step is for Congress to reconcile the two energy bills passed by the House and the Senate. Members of Congress will meet in a conference to negotiate the final text of the legislation before it is sent to the President.

This gives you opportunity to contact your Congressional members and express your concerns.

The following Representatives have already been appointed to take part in the conference (the Senators have not yet been announced):

House Republicans (24): Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (Mich.), Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (Utah), Science Chairman Lamar Smith (Texas), Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway (Texas), and Reps. Joe Barton (Texas), Ed Whitfield (Ky.), John Shimkus (Ill.), Bob Latta (Ohio), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Pete Olson (Texas), David McKinley (W.Va.), Mike Pompeo (Kan.), Morgan Griffith (Va.), Bill Johnson (Ohio), Bill Flores (Texas), Markwayne Mullin (Okla.), Don Young (Alaska), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Jeff Denham (Calif.), Bruce Westerman (Ark.), Randy Weber (Texas), Glenn Thompson (Pa.), Cresent Hardy (Nev.) and Lee Zeldin (N.Y.).

House Democrats (16): Energy and Commerce ranking member Frank Pallone (N.J.), Natural Resources ranking member Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), Agriculture ranking member Collin Peterson (Minn.), Science ranking member Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas), Transportation ranking member Peter DeFazio (Ore.), and Reps. Bobby Rush (Ill.), Lois Capps (Calif.), Doris Matsui (Calif.), Kathy Castor (Fla.), Dave Loebsack (Iowa), John Sarbanes (Md.), Peter Welch (Vt.), Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), Paul Tonko (N.Y.), Jared Huffman (Calif.) and Debbie Dingell (Mich.).

Please consider contacting them, especially if you are their constituents. Alternatively, contact your own senator or representative to let them know your concerns.

Our Guide to Events at the AIA National Convention 2016

Who’s going to the AIA National Convention 2016 in Philadelphia?  If you’re heading to the City of Brotherly Love, we’ve compiled this guide to 2030 Challenge-related events that you can add to your list:

Wednesday, May 18th

The Advanced Energy Design Guides: An Architectural Resource
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Energy Modeling for All: 2030 Commitment for Small Firms! 
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Thursday, May 14th

COTE Top Ten: Performing Beautifully . . . . a Restorative Future
3:30 PM to 4:30 PM

2016 COTE Top Ten Awards Reception
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Friday, May 20th

The Business Case for a Zero Energy Building
7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

Small Firms Achieving Zero Net Energy through Creative Residential Design
7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

2030 Commitment Open Forum
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

An Architect’s Guide to Early Phase Performance and Energy Modeling
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM


Saturday, May 21st

Lessons from the Leading Edge: COTE Top Ten Research Project
7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

Building Energy Literacy: The 2030 Commitment’s Transformation of Firm Culture
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM


— Photo by Jeffrey M. Vinocur, Wikimedia Commons

U.S. and Canadian Target Tables

United States Target Tables

2030 Challenge Targets: U.S. National Medians (.pdf)

2030 Challenge Targets: U.S. Residential Regional Averages (.pdf)

Canadian Target Tables

2030 Challenge Targets: Canadian Commercial Regional Averages (.pdf)

2030 Challenge Targets: Canadian Residential Regional Averages (.pdf)

How to Implement the 2030 Challenge

The 2030 Challenge outlines real and obtainable targets for the building sector to curb global warming. In order to meet the described timeline, Architecture 2030 recommends that each firm or organization adopting The 2030 Challenge prepare a plan of action for implementing the initiative’s targets.

Each implementation plan will be different and unique to suit the adopting firm or organization’s structure and philosophy. However, each plan should contain the following key elements:

  • Inform all partners, employees, consultants and clients that the firm has adopted The 2030 Challenge. Explain what The Challenge entails and why the firm has committed to its targets.
  • Establish energy-efficiency as a central tenet of your firm’s design philosophy. Require energy-wise practices in the firm’s day-to-day activities.
  • Require that all employees become educated in the design of energy-efficient buildings. Outline energy-efficient design strategies, technologies, and opportunities for each project. Organize regularly scheduled meetings to discuss how this information can be applied to all
  • Engage clients in discussions relating to energy efficiency. Explain that reducing carbon emissions from the building sector is now a major focus for the firm and that the firm plans to incorporate cost-effective design strategies that should not increase the overall cost of the work.
    Provide a life-cycle cost analysis for each project and encourage clients to review those costs to ascertain the true cost of each project.
  • Establish a portfolio of the firm’s work that highlights energy efficiency. Demonstrate that the firm’s designers are knowledgeable professionals, with regard to energy-efficient design, who can produce quality projects within an allotted budget that meet an agreed upon schedule.
  • Hire consultants and engineers who have adopted The 2030 Challenge and have a similar implementation plan within their firm. Approach every project with an energy focus and review the project for further energy reductions at every stage of development.
  • Create a database that contains energy-consumption statistics for your projects. Include outside projects as a reference if your firm does not have a portfolio of energy-efficient work yet. Use this information as a tool to analyze strategies that work and those that may need improvement. Share this information with clients and collaborators. Include each completed project’s energy achievements in the database.
  • Verify that your project meets The 2030 Challenge targets, either through a final energy analysis or through post-occupancy measured consumption. Document this data for future reference and in the firm’s portfolio to establish an energy priority.


Download our FULL Implementation Guidelines (.pdf)