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. 

Design Guidance Feature in Sefaira Powered by the 2030 Palette

Sefaira’s Design Guidance connects real-time analysis with the 2030 Palette’s library of high-performance design strategies.

Architecture 2030 and Sefaira (a Trimble Company) today announced Design Guidance, a new functionality in Sefaira Architecture. Design Guidance uses real-time analysis results in Sefaira Architecture to deliver customized guidance on how to improve a building’s performance, and points the designer to relevant passive design strategies collated in Architecture 2030’s 2030 Palette. Design Guidance was showcased at Greenbuild 2016, taking place this year in Los Angeles.

The 2030 Palette is Architecture 2030’s innovative online resource for the design of low-carbon and adaptable built environments worldwide. This free tool informs the design and planning process at the point of inspiration, presenting the best information and practices through powerful visuals and straightforward language.

“Design tools that enable architects and engineers to make informed decisions on energy use during the critical early phases of design are key to meeting the 2030 Challenge targets, but information to support the analysis tools is just as important.” said Ed Mazria, Founder and CEO of Architecture 2030.

Sefaira Architecture already integrates the 2030 Challenge benchmarks directly into its real-time energy analysis, and now the integration of the 2030 Palette into Sefaira’s Design Guidance feature connects designers with the most appropriate passive design strategies, based on the energy-use profile of a given design.

Connecting Insight with Action

Since 2012, the Sefaira software for high-performance building design has enabled architects to quickly analyze building performance at the earliest stages of design. “We’re taking our support for Performance-Based Design a step further by providing users with project-specific design guidance,” said Sefaira’s Product Manager Kerger Truesdell. “Let’s say the biggest driver of energy use in your building is cooling, followed by lighting. Design Guidance will surface relevant links to the 2030 Palette identifying passive strategies to reduce cooling load and strategies to reduce lighting loads.”

Following the relevant links provided, users can explore the 2030 Palette’s online library of strategies, called Swatches, and decide which ones they want to test in their concept. The Swatches give users sound passive design principles supported by built precedents and questions to guide the refinement of their design. Not only does Design Guidance enable a project to achieve stronger performance, but it also increases designers’ understanding and mastery of Performance-Based Design solutions.

Available Now

Sefaira’s Design Guidance functionality is now available within Sefaira Architecture and will be demonstrated at Greenbuild in Los Angeles this week.

> Learn More

The New Standard: Zero Carbon

Representatives from ten Green Building Councils (GBCs) worldwide – Canada, Germany, United States, China, India, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, The Netherlands and Sweden – together with the World Green Building Council (WGBC) and lead partner Architecture 2030, met in New York City last week for a 3-day workshop to define a common approach towards creating net zero certification pathways.

“It’s extremely important that GBCs worldwide align their net zero building certifications with the global emissions reductions goals established by the international community in the climate agreement reached in Paris last December.”

Edward Mazria, Founder and CEO, Architecture 2030

At COP21 in Paris, nearly 200 countries forged an unprecedented agreement to phase out fossil fuel CO2 emissions from the built environment by mid-century.  In a rapidly urbanizing world, plans to meet this commitment must focus on urban development and building design to meet zero emissions performance standards. Adding Zero Net Carbon (ZNC) certifications sends a strong signal to the global marketplace and establishes ZNC as standard practice for all new construction and major renovations by 2030.

Two key long-term goals were agreed at the Advancing Net Zero workshop:

  • All new buildings and major renovations are built to a ZNC standard starting in 2030, and
  • 100% of buildings achieve zero emissions by 2050

The ten national GBCs present at the three-day workshop are taking the lead in meeting these goals as they represent countries with some of the highest projected growth in construction over the next three decades.  Certification pathways developed by this group are also intended to lead the way for other GBCs to follow.



Zero Net Carbon Definition

A priority for the workshop attendees was to establish a shared definition for net zero that would form a basis for their certification pathways. Architecture 2030 led the discussion by putting forward the ZNC definition they developed in collaboration with Rocky Mountain Institute and New Buildings Institute.

A ZNC building is defined as:

a highly energy efficient building that produces on-site, or procures, enough carbon-free renewable energy to meet building operations energy consumption annually.

Positive Outcomes

The GBCs committed to align their ZNC definitions and programs to achieve a common carbon goal, one that will drive significant momentum in shifting industry and regulation towards substantial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions.

Other fundamental principles agreed by the national GBCs include transparency over how the proposed ZNC pathways are to be used to drive improvement in the building sector. Importantly, all the GBC representatives also championed a level of energy efficiency in their planned certifications, and their initial plans include consideration of a combination of on-site and off-site renewable energy, and in some cases, offsets.

Each participating GBC pledged to adopt a ZNC definition and certification program as soon as possible, with a goal of having those in place by the end of 2017. Each GBC is also committed to developing training materials and educational resources.

The workshop also provided a valuable opportunity for the GBCs to collaborate on approaches and offer each other insight on how to accelerate development of their ZNC programs.

“This commitment lays the foundation by creating common guidelines for each of the parties to follow. The GBCs are leading an important effort towards meeting the Paris Agreement by setting a unique path to successfully address the climate crisis.”

Andrew Lee, Program Manager, Architecture 2030

Flag images from Freepik

Join Ed Mazria at the 2016 Getting to Zero National Forum, October 12-14

Architecture 2030 is proud to support the 2016 Getting to Zero National Forum, held from October 12-14 in Denver. Join us along with leading designers, owners, operators, commercial real estate professionals, policymakers, manufacturers, and others to share perspectives on the growth of zero net energy and high-performance buildings.

The Forum – organized by New Buildings Institute and Rocky Mountain Institute – will also discuss the policies driving new projects, examine best practices for successful outcomes and explore collaboration on opportunities for ZNE to transform the built environment.

Architecture 2030 Founder and CEO Ed Mazria is one of the plenary speakers, and the other program highlights include:

  • Policy sessions to spotlight current rules, incentives and programs that are creating low-energy outcomes and catalyzing projects.
  • Leading cities and states to showcase their action on ZNE to attain carbon mitigation goals.
  • Technical tracks dig in on critical design, construction and operational aspects with added tracks focused on residential and multifamily ZNE buildings as well as grid integration strategies.
  • Business leaders to offer perspectives on the value proposition, cost and financing and share strategize on breaking down the barriers.
  • Interactive sessions will highlight the bright spots and lessons learned.

The preliminary schedule is here,  and you can register here. We look forward to seeing you in Denver!

Take Part in a Climate Ride to Support Our Work

Architecture 2030 has become an official beneficiary of Climate Ride – a fellow nonprofit that organizes charitable events to raise awareness and support sustainability, active transportation, and environmental causes.

ClimateRide_chainring_blackYou can now choose to support our work (and have a great time!) by participating in any of the Climate Rides or Climate Hikes organized throughout the year.

There are fully supported bicycle rides and hikes in several parts of the US and overseas, including California, New York City to Washington DC, and Saigon to Angkor Wat. Alternatively, you can plan your own adventure and receive Climate Ride’s help in fundraising.

Architects David Arkin and Anni Tilt from Arkin Tilt are about to take part in the Pacific Northwest ride with Architecture 2030 as a beneficiary, and we’d welcome other supporters of Architecture 2030 to follow their lead!

“Taking part in a Climate Ride event is a great way to support Architecture 2030 while also enjoying a memorable experience,” said Edward Mazria, Founder and CEO of Architecture 2030.

Registration for Climate Ride events is $100 (which includes a cycling jersey or hiking shirt), with each participant committing to raising at least $2800 to take part. All the rides and hikes are fully supported by a team of experienced leaders, and people who have participated in a Climate Ride event rave about the tours.

You can find out more about Climate Ride by visiting

Urban Land Institute’s Asia Pacific Summit: June 15-17

Architecture 2030 is delighted to be one of the supporting organizations for the Urban Land Institute’s Asia Pacific Summit, which takes place in Shanghai, China from June 15th – 17th.

Announcing the 2030 Curriculum Project – Application Deadline Extended

Architecture 2030 is calling upon educators to submit innovative teaching proposals that expand and fully integrate lessons in energy use, emissions, and resiliency into the widest possible range of projects and topic areas, and across all year levels.

Our Guide to Events at the AIA National Convention 2016

Our guide to Architecture 2030-related events at the 2016 AIA National Convention in Philadelphia.

Edward Mazria Calls on Korean Architects and Building Professionals to Tackle Climate Change

Speaking at the Korean Green Architecture Forum today, Ed Mazria, called for Korean building sector professionals to play a key role in tackling climate change.