Edward Mazria giving expert testimony on building energy reduction before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (February 26, 2009).
To most effectively use remaining TARP funds and directly address the mortgage crisis, Architecture 2030 is urging the White House and Congress to support the The Two-Year, Nine-Million-Jobs Investment Plan (an update to the 2030 Challenge Stimulus Plan). With an investment of $192.47 billion ($96.235 billion each year for two years), this Plan creates, in just two years:
- over 9 million new jobs,
- $1 trillion in direct, non-federal investment and spending, and
- a new $236 billion renovation market that could grow to $2.6 trillion by 2030 and over $5.47 trillion by 2069.
Also critically important:
- the Plan pays for itself annually through the new tax base created,
- this new tax base also provides the needed funding for public infrastructure
and building projects, and
- the Plan can be implemented quickly through existing federal programs.
What can you do?
Architecture 2030 wants you to add your voice to the cause. Please urge your representatives to support the Two-Year, Nine-Million Jobs Investment Plan. A sample letter is available at the Architecture 2030 website, here.
Hope Resides in the Private Building Sector
The Two-Year, Nine-Million-Jobs Investment Plan is so effective because it invests funds directly in the sector that is dragging down the entire economy, i.e. the private building sector. The private building sector represents 93% of total U.S. building stock and affects virtually every industry and sector in the U.S. It also generates substantial private investment and spending, which makes the 9 million jobs possible. Although important, the public building sector accounts for only 7% of total U.S. building stock and, compared to private building, generates very little private investment and spending, resulting in far fewer jobs.
Addressing the foreclosure crisis and the collapse of the private building sector is critical to stabilizing the U.S. economy. The Two-Year, Nine-Million-Jobs Investment Plan addresses both, as well as many other challenges facing the country, including energy independence and climate change. With a single investment, the U.S. can create millions of jobs, strengthen the U.S. economy, reduce CO2 emissions and energy consumption, and save consumers billions of dollars. Investing in the private building sector is the only investment that can accomplish all of these objectives simultaneously.
Cracking the Code: A Much-Awaited Approach for Dramatically Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
In a major announcement today, Edward Mazria and Architecture 2030 have released an unprecedented and much-anticipated guide for every city, county and state in the nation to swiftly meet the greenhouse gas reduction targets of the 2030 Challenge.
Published in a new white paper, titled “Meeting the 2030 Challenge Through Building Codes”, a single chart provides the key to deciphering various building energy codes, standards and rating systems as they relate to the immediate 50% reduction target called for in the 2030 Challenge.
Using the code equivalents provided in the chart below, local governments, states and industry professionals can achieve dramatic reductions and be confident that they are meeting the 2030 Challenge.
A groundbreaking study released by Architecture 2030 this week shows that an investment of just $21.6 billion towards building energy efficiency would replace 22.3 conventional coal-fired plants, reduce CO2 emissions by 86.7 MMT, save 204 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 10.7 million barrels of oil, save consumers $8.46 billion in energy bills and create 216,000 new jobs.
The 2030 Blueprint study gives a comparative analysis of three approaches to addressing climate change – building energy efficiency, ‘clean’ coal (with carbon capture and sequestration) and nuclear power – while laying a new roadmap for solving the global warming and US economic crises.
This plan, the 2030 Blueprint, is generating excitement amongst many diverse industries and groups for its practicality and achievability.
(Excerpt from the article “Beauty and the Beast”, by Ed Mazria which appeared in the April 2006 Issue of Design Intelligence Magazine.)
Throughout most of the twentieth century, contemporary global architecture has been characterized by a reliance on seemingly inexpensive fossil-fuel powered “active” technology to the exclusion of other factors. We are currently dependent on the mechanical control of sealed indoor environments, rather than the designed exploitation of climatic and other natural processes, to satisfy our comfort requirements. As a result, today we can see the same basic building type in all climatic regions throughout the world. And so we have become prisoners of complicated mechanical systems, since a minor power or equipment failure, or fossil fuel delivery disruption, can make many contemporary buildings uninhabitable.
Historically, significant transformations in building design and planning have always followed great world events, and as such serve as a record of the times. In some instances, as with the Industrial Revolution and the grand engineering structures that followed, architecture has reluctantly held on to the past until pushed into the present. There is always a concept, a spark, a significant event that ignites the profession and seems to turn it in another direction, grab its attention. We are, I believe, at one of these moments. Never before in human history has the earth been so threatened, and never before has the design community been challenged to lead the world in a new direction, helping it avert large scale dislocations and setting the tone for international cooperation as we struggle to stem the tide of global warming.
We have all heard the arguments surrounding climate change, from impending doom and draconian GHG reduction measures at one end of the spectrum to the destruction of the global economy and the characterization of global warming as fiction, at the other end. Each extreme cites only the information that suits its cause and ignores the rest. Nevertheless, the latest scientific data recently published confirms that we do have a serious global warming problem, that it is human-caused and that we humans must now take reasonable measures to address the situation. The studies I draw your attention to include:
- June 2, 2005, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, “Scripps-led Global Ocean Warming Research Paper Published in Science”.
- February 16, 2006, NASA, “Greenland Ice Loss Doubles in Past Decade, Raising Sea Level Faster”.
- March 2, 2006, NASA, “NASA Mission Detects Significant Antarctic Ice Mass Loss”.
- March 30, 2006, British Antarctic Survey, “Rapid Temperature Increases above Antarctic”.
The “2030 Challenge” clearly outlines a global strategy to immediately stabilize and begin reducing building sector GHG emissions, with the goal of realizing a 60% to 80% reduction below today’s level by 2050. What makes this strategy unique is that it is mostly achievable through design, through creative problem solving and the application of information and innovation, the very elements that are the foundation of the design professions.
There is no short-term or long-term GHG reduction solution possible without involving the global design community. To date, this community has not been invited to participate in meetings, policy setting sessions or UN and IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) gatherings regarding climate change. This illustrates that the scientific community, government and general public do not really understand what architects, planners and designers do and how central their role is in crafting meaningful mitigation strategies. With time running short, and abrupt rather than gradual climate change looming as a distinct possibility, the design community must be quickly engaged.