Cities are responsible for over 70 percent of global energy consumption and CO2 emissions, mostly from buildings, marking a significant opportunity to focus climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts on dense urban environments.

In addition to the unprecedented growth in the global building sector, nearly two-thirds of the building area that exist today will still exist in 2050. Therefore, any transition to low-carbon/carbon neutral built environment must address both new construction and existing buildings.

While many cities have made public commitments for carbon emissions reduction, few if any have comprehensive plans for meeting their commitments, nor are they addressing reduction strategies with those that address the pressing issues of resiliency and equity.

The problem lies in how quickly building decarbonization solutions are being deployed.  Even with significant growth in cities, new construction contributes only a small portion of highly efficient buildings to the overall building stock per year.  Similarly, building renovations currently affect only 0.5-1% of the building stock annually, signaling a slow pace of change for the building sector.

In order to achieve the target set by the Paris Agreement ­– to limit the rise in global average temperature to below the 2 degree C threshold – a significant increase in the rate and depth of existing building energy efficiency renovations and the generation and procurement of renewable energy (energy upgrades) is required.


Architecture 2030 partners with policymakers from local governments and stakeholders across the U.S. and international markets to analyze and accelerate the adoption of these critical ZNC policies. These initiatives include the following:

A framework of integrated policies for national and sub-national governments (state, provincial and municipal) to phase out CO2 emissions in the built environment by 2040

> learn more about Achieving Zero

Zero Cities Project is a three-year project supporting cities to develop a policy roadmap to achieve a zero-carbon building sector.

> Learn more about Zero Cities

The Zero Tool is used to compare a building’s design or an existing building’s EUI, understand how a building achieved its EUI, and set EUI targets.

> access the Zero Tool


A carbon neutral built environment starts with design. Architecture 2030 is dedicated to empowering designers to achieve the 2030 Challenge targets and to design carbon neutral built environments.

The CarbonPositive initiative has included three events, the CarbonPositive’19 SUMMIT, the CarbonPositive’20 CONFERENCE and EXPO, and the CarbonPositive RESET! 1.5ºC Global Teach-In. Though aimed at different audiences, each event has focused on the actions needed within the built environment to meet 1.5ºC Paris Agreement goals and phase out carbon emissions by 2040. Recordings from the latest Teach-In are available on the CarbonPositive website.

Access CarbonPositive

The 2030 Palette is an innovative internet platform providing a set of guiding principles and actions for creating low-carbon and adaptable built environments worldwide.

> learn more about the 2030 Palette


Architecture 2030 has partnered with industry organizations, member-based NGO’s, academic institutions, city networks, and private sector leaders to advance the decarbonization of the built environment at scale.

The 2030 Districts Network, founded by Architecture 2030 and now independent organization, has a membership of 18 high performance urban building districts across North America, with over 388 million square feet of commercial building space and 960 member organizations. 2030 Districts are led by the private sector, with local building industry leaders uniting around a shared vision for sustainability and economic growth – while aligning with local community groups and government to achieve significant energy, water, and emissions reductions within our commercial cores.

Architecture 2030 joins the World Green Building Council as a lead partner in a new project, Advancing Net Zero – a global project which aims to promote and support the acceleration of net zero carbon buildings to 100% by 2050. Fifteen Green Building Councils (GCCs) are participating. Programs for net zero carbon standards have be launched by GBCs in France, Canada, Brazil, South Africa and Australia.

learn more about Advancing Net Zero