We are adding about 1.5 million people to cities every week for the foreseeable future.

By 2060, the world is projected to add 230 billion m2 (2.5 trillion ft2) of buildings, or an area equal to the entire current global building stock*. This is the equivalent of adding an entire New York City to the planet every 34 days for the next 40 years.
*UN Environment, Global Status Report 2017

The world is currently undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in human history. More than half of the global population is now concentrated in urban areas, and by 2060 two thirds of the expected population of 10 billion will live in cities.

These new city dwellers will need housing and services, from schools, offices, and health facilities to airports and train stations.

While there have been worldwide improvements in building sector energy efficiency, as well as growth in renewable energy generating capacity, these have not been nearly enough to offset the increase in emissions from new construction. As a result, building sector CO2 emissions have continued to rise by nearly 1% per year since 2010.

We now have a critical window of opportunity, as well as the necessary tools needed to address this massive amount of new construction before its operating emissions are locked-in for decades to come.

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 – all new construction must be designed to high energy efficiency standards and use no CO2-emitting fossil fuel energy to operate.


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

A national and international zero-carbon building standard that applies to commercial, institutional, and mid- to high-rise residential buildings.

> Access the ZERO Code

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


Architecture 2030 is committed to empowering educators to shape the next generation of architect by providing educational content, tools, resources, competitions, and programs, including the following:

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 AIA+2030 Online Series is an educational program aimed at providing design professionals with the high-performance building knowledge necessary to meet the 2030 Challenge Targets.

Access the AIA+2030 Online Series 

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.

> Access the 2030 Palette

The 2030 Curriculum Project supports courses that ‘fully integrate lessons in energy use, emissions, and resiliency into the widest possible range of projects and topic areas, and across all year levels.’

> Learn more about the 2030 Curriculum Project

INNOVATION 2030 seeks to transform design studio education and professional practice through a design and ideas competition.

> Learn more about INNOVATION 2030


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.

To support the 2030 Challenge, AIA created the 2030 Commitment—a national framework with simple metrics and a standardized reporting format—to provide a structure for tracking progress and help design firms meet the challenge. Over 400 A/E/P firms have adopted the 2030 Commitment and firms have been tracking and reporting projects since 2010, with over 2.6 billion sq ft of project work reported in 2015 alone.

> Learn more about the AIA 2030 Commitment 

> Sign the AIA 2030 Commitment 

The China Exploration and Design Association – Architecture Branch (CEDAAB) and Architecture 2030, facilitated the the signing of the China Accord – a commitment to plan and design cities, towns, developments, and buildings in China to low carbon/carbon neutral standards. 62 key Chinese and international architecture and planning firms have signed the Accord.

> Learn more about the China Accord

Architecture 2030 and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, have partnered to support the international architecture and building community in designing zero net carbon (ZNC) buildings worldwide.

> Learn more about EDGE’s new Zero Net Carbon certification

Architecture 2030 joins WorldGBC as the lead partner in a new project, Advancing Net Zero, to deliver net zero carbon building certification pathways worldwide.

> Learn more about Advancing Net Zero