Buildings Day at the COP21 UN Climate Change Conference

Today marked the first time ever at UN climate change conferences that a day was devoted specifically to the building sector.

As an ‘initiating organization’ of Buildings Day (along with other groups including the French government and the United Nations Environment Programme), Architecture 2030 helped plan the agenda for the day, and Architecture 2030 Founder Edward Mazria delivered a key message with an opening presentation titled “The 2 Degree Path for the Building Sector”. Read more about it:

First Ever Buildings Day: Green Buildings Scale Up,” Eco-Business

UN Climate Change Conference Discusses the Building Sector’s Environmental Impact,” Architect Magazine

Building Efficiency Finally Gets Its Day in the Sun at COP 21,” World Resources Institute

Paris: Zero by 2050 – Architecture 2030 at the UN Climate Change Conference

As the world gathers in Paris from November 30th to December 11th for the COP21 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Conference, addressing the building sector will be essential to secure a positive outcome.

Architecture 2030 is playing a key role in a number of events that will illustrate the importance of architects, planners and designers in achieving decarbonization of the built environment by 2050.

UNFCCC Buildings Day

buildings_dayDecember 3rd, Innovations Gallery, Le Bourget, Paris (La Galerie, free registration required).

UPDATE Dec 3rd: Here’s a summary of the highlights of the day from social media posts and links as the day progressed

Architecture 2030 participated in securing and planning the first ever “Buildings Day” to be held as part of a UNFCCC climate change talks.

The objective of the program is to launch an unprecedented alliance of organizations committed to putting the building sector on the path to zero carbon by the year 2050.

As an ‘initiating organization’ (along with other groups including the French government and the United Nations Environment Programme), Architecture 2030 helped set the agenda for the day, and Architecture 2030 Founder Edward Mazria will be delivering a key message and opening presentation titled “The 2 Degree Path for the Building Sector”.

Speakers at Buildings Day include Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, Deputy Executive Director of U.N. Habitat, Secretary-General Chen Zhen of the China Exploration & Design Association, Architecture Branch (a signatory of the China Accord), and the Mayors of Sydney, Warsaw, Lyon, and Tshwane, South Africa.

> Learn more about the UNFCCC Buildings Day
> Register for La Galerie to gain access to the event

Zero Emissions by 2050

Symposium on December 9, Fédération Française du Bâtiment, Paris (registration required)

zero_emissionsArchitecture 2030 is also organizing a major event at COP21, a Symposium focusing on the how-to of ensuring zero emissions in the built environment by the year 2050.

A high-level panel chaired by Farhana Yamin of Track 0 and featuring Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, and Rachel Kyte, World Bank Group Vice President & Special Envoy for Climate Change, will underline why the Paris talks must signal decarbonization of the global economy and built environment.

Edward Mazria will give a keynote presentation outlining the pathways, programs, and tools available to achieve this goal, and expert panels will address three key areas:

  • City and district building initiatives
  • Innovative building sector financing and building materials
  • Innovative building design and planning tools

Bim World 2016 joins us as event organizers, with the support of Ptolémée, IPEEC, Track 0 and The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group. Mediaconstruct, and batiactu are symposium partners.

> Visit the symposium website to learn more, and to register for the event

“The UNFCCC Climate Change conference will result in historic commitments and pledges to reduce emissions at national and sub-national levels. But these promises simply cannot be kept without engaging the building sector and transforming the built environment,” said Edward Mazria. “Paris affords us a unique opportunity to deliver an integrated and achievable path to zero emissions by 2050.”

Architecture 2030 is officially accredited for the UNFCCC Conference on Climate Change.

International and Chinese Firms Sign Historic Accord to Tackle Climate Change

Firms pledge to design cities, towns, urban developments, new buildings, and major renovations in China to low carbon/carbon neutral standards

Extraordinary times surely give rise to extraordinary events.

One such event took place in Shenyang, China on Thursday 22nd October: an unprecedented meeting initiated by 52 key Chinese and international architecture and planning firms responsible for designing thousands of cities, neighborhoods, and buildings worldwide.

Hosted by the China Exploration and Design Association – Architecture Branch (CEDAAB) and by Architecture 2030, the meeting gathered together influential global design and planning leaders with a common mission: to initiate collaborative efforts to dramatically reduce carbon emissions in the built environment. The historic meeting culminated with 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.

Ed Mazria, Architecture 2030, and Chen Zhen, Secretary-General of the CEDAAB, sign the China Accord

Ed Mazria, Architecture 2030, and Chen Zhen, Secretary-General of the CEDAAB, sign the China Accord

Among the international firm signatories were DLR Group, Skidmore Owings & Merrill, ARUP, Gensler, CallisonRTKL, HKS Architects, Perkins+Will, HDR, and Glumac. Key signatories among the Local Design Institutes from various regions in China included Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd., China Architecture Design & Research Group, Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd., and the Shenzhen Institute of Building Research Co., Ltd. (The complete list of signatories is included below.)

“We understand our moral and professional responsibility to address the issue of greenhouse gas emissions if we are to stay within the 2° C threshold established by the international scientific community, and the Accord is just the beginning of our joint efforts. We have a long and exciting road ahead of us to decarbonize the built environment.”
– Ed Mazria, Architecture 2030 Founder and CEO

The significance of the China Accord, and the important meeting which gave rise to it, cannot be overstated. A grand paradigm shift has been set in motion, as profound as the Modern Movement of the 1920s and 30s, in how we shape and develop the global built environment over the next 20 years.

During this period, the world is projected to build 80 billion square meters of new buildings in cities worldwide, an area equal to 60% of the entire current global building stock. Since more than half of all global construction will take place in China (38%) and North America (the U.S. and Canada 15%), it is incumbent upon the professional design communities in these countries to take a leadership role in planning for a carbon-free and truly sustainable future by middle of this century.

In order to avoid catastrophic climate change, the world must completely phase out fossil fuel greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment by 2050. The signatories pledged to work diligently to do just that, creating cities, towns, and buildings that are models of economic and urban sustainability.

“The signing of the Accord demonstrates the determination and moral obligation by architects and planners, both Chinese and internationally, to shoulder this huge responsibility to tackle climate change by reducing carbon emissions and moving toward zero.”
– Chen Zhen, Secretary-General, CEDAAB

The China Accord is the private sector’s response to the Chinese government’s efforts to tackle climate change and achieve sustainable growth. It supports the national government’s targets to peak and begin reducing carbon emissions, as well as the State Council’s Green Buildings Action Plan and the most recent China-US Joint Presidential Statement on Climate Change.

A number of initiatives will support the implementation of the Accord, including professional training, knowledge sharing events and programs, a broad-based stakeholders’ forum, and the localization of design and planning strategies utilizing real-time simulation tools.


“There are a huge number of low-cost and cost saving design and planning strategies that can be implemented to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions,” said Mr Mazria, clarifying a common misunderstanding that greener buildings must cost more. “The signatories of the China Accord will collaborate on achieving this through training and employing advanced design tools.”

The alliance of the distinguished firms behind the China Accord, and the power of the collaborative efforts to implement it, hold great promise for us all in the ongoing battle to tackle climate change.

You can download and read the China Accord here

China Accord Signatories:

  • China Exploration and Design Association – Architecture Branch
  • Architecture 2030
International Firms: Chinese Firms:
ARUP Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd
CallisonRTKL China Architecture Design & Research Group
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd.
Perkins Eastman China Southwest Architectural Design and Research Institute Corp. Ltd
Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc. China Northwest Architecture Design and Research Institute Co. Ltd
DLR Group China Northeast Architectural Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd
FENTRESS Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tsinghua University Co. Ltd
Perkins + Will Tongji Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd
Gensler Central-South Architectural Design Institute Co., Ltd
GLUMAC Tianjin Architecture Design Institute
HDR, Inc. Dalian Architectural Design & Research Co., Ltd.
HKS Architects Architectural Design and Research Institute of Guangdong Province
KMD Shenzhen General Institute of Architectural Design and Research Co., Ltd
NBBJ The Architectural Design and Research Institute of HIT
Leo A Daly China IPPR International Engineering Co., Ltd
Moore Ruble Yudell Shandong Provincial Architectural Design Institute
Mott MacDonald Jiangsu Provincial Architectural D&R Institute Ltd.
Lake|Flato Sichuan Provincial Architectural Design and Research Institute
CBT Architects Zhejiang Prov. Institute of Architectural Design and Research
FKP Architects Jiangxi Province Architectural Design & Research General Institute
Calthorpe Associates Shandong Tong Yuan Design Group Co. Ltd
tvsdesign Heilongjiang Institute of Architectural Design
Cannon Design Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Architectural Design & Research Institute
VOA Anhui Provincial Architectural Design and Research Institute Co., Ltd
Fujian Provincial Institute of Architectural Design and Research
Guangxi Hualan Design and Consulting Group
Jilin Provincial Architecture Design Institute Co., Ltd
Shenzhen Institute of Building Research Co. Ltd

The China Accord meeting and signing ceremony was organized by the China Northeast Architectural Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd, a member of CEDAAB in Shenyang, China on October 22, 2015.

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

Speaking at the Korean Green Architecture Forum (녹색건축 한마당) today, Ed Mazria, Founder and CEO of Architecture 2030, called for Korean building sector professionals to play a key role in tackling climate change. Mazria delivered the keynote address at the Forum sponsored by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation (MOLIT).

Highlighting the dual challenges of urbanization and climate change, he underlined the call from the scientific community that the world must phase out all carbon dioxide emissions by mid-century in order to have a good chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change. Cities account for 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and in Seoul, buildings are responsible for 68% of the city’s total carbon dioxide emissions.

To address climate change, buildings must be part of the solution, and the latest Seoul Action Plan for the Compact of Mayors states the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s commitment to reduce emissions by 25% and 40% by 2020 and 2030 respectively with 2005 as the baseline year.

The South Korean national government has set a target to have all new multifamily housing achieve zero net energy by 2025, with the Seoul Metropolitan Government going further to set 2023 as its target year. “What the Seoul government has committed to is commendable and sets an important example for other cities worldwide. Building professionals in Korea can shoulder the responsibility and use their creativity to implement these targets,” said Mazria. He also stressed that Seoul can go further and commit to a long term goal of zero CO2 building sector emissions by 2050.

Architecture 2030 and Korea Green Building Council Partner to Develop the Korea 2030 Professional Education Program

In order to support Korean architects and other building professionals to pursue lower and zero-carbon designs, Architecture 2030 and the Korea Green Building Council yesterday  signed a Memorandum of Understanding yesterday to develop the Korea 2030 professional education series. The series builds on the success and experience of the AIA+2030 Series that has been offered to over 30% of the American Institute of Architects’ membership in 25 markets throughout the United States and is now being produced in an online version.


“We are excited about this partnership. South Korea will be the first country in Asia to launch a 2030 Series. The series will provide not just design strategies but practical, actionable tools and methodologies that directly impact building design and performance,” said Mazria, who is set to hold a private meeting with Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon tomorrow. “There are many low-cost and no-cost design strategies that can increase a buildings’ performance and reduce its energy consumption and carbon emissions. Moving to zero does not need to be expensive,” he said.

This event and announcement come as countries, regions, cities, communities, businesses and civil society all ramp up their commitments and actions to tackle climate change before the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Paris in December.


(Seoul photo: Gary Craig, Flickr)


Launching the AIA+2030 Online Series: Education to Meet the 2030 Challenge Targets

New Online Education Series is based on the successful in-person AIA+2030 Professional Series

We’re delighted to announce the launch of the first course in the new AIA+2030 Online Series, an educational program aimed at providing American Institute of Architects (AIA) members and other design professionals with the high-performance building knowledge necessary to meet the 2030 Challenge targets.

The AIA and Architecture 2030 co-production (in partnership with AIA Seattle) is sponsored by Autodesk and delivered through AIAU, the AIA’s online education portal. The ten one-hour courses of the Online Series are based on the highly successful AIA+2030 Professional Series that has been offered to over 30% of AIA’s membership in 27 markets throughout the United States and Canada.


The AIA+2030 Online Series helps design professionals create buildings that meet the energy efficiency targets of the 2030 Challenge, offering strategies to reach a minimum of a 70% reduction in building energy consumption and fossil fuel greenhouse gas emissions today, increasing to carbon neutral for new building designs by 2030.

These energy consumption reductions result in significant savings in energy costs, and the ability to design such high-performing buildings provides firms with capabilities that will set them apart in the marketplace.

“This is the first comprehensive program in the U.S. that educates the architectural profession in specific design and technology applications to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions,” said Edward Mazria, Architecture 2030 Founder and CEO.

“In order to make significant progress towards energy reduction targets, we’re acting to increase energy literacy within the profession,” said AIA EVP / CEO, Robert Ivy, FAIA. “This series will help showcase the power that early conceptual analysis has to increase the ability of architects to build bottom-line value into their design projects.”


25 AIA Chapters and organizations from across North America have currently offered the in­-person AIA+2030 Professional Series, which was created by the American Institute of Architects Seattle and Architecture 2030, with support from the City of Seattle and Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.

The AIA+2030 Online Series will have the potential to reach more than 80,000 professionals in geographically diverse regions in all 286 AIA Chapters worldwide, providing them with the knowledge needed to achieve the 2030 Challenge targets.

The second and third courses of the AIA+2030 Online Series will be released this fall, with the full series available by the end of 2016.

> AIA Members and Non-members can access the first course here.

The 2030 Palette Goes Multilingual

2030 Palette expands into Chinese and Spanish

The 2030 Palette – the online platform for planning and designing decarbonized, resilient, and sustainable built environments worldwide – is global in scope and local in application, including worldwide approaches and built examples. Now we’ve taken that global scope further, releasing translations of the core 2030 Palette Swatches in Chinese and Spanish.

Over the next two decades over 60% of the world’s projected 900 billion square feet of new building will take place in the Americas and China, so expanding the Palette’s reach to Chinese and Latin American audiences is essential. And, with Chinese or Spanish being the first languages of more than 1.5 billion people worldwide, the 2030 Palette translations play an important role in extending the global reach of the platform.

“It’s key that as many architects, planners, engineers, and designers as possible have access to the 2030 Palette’s education and information. The Chinese and Spanish translations mark the next step in our ongoing efforts to provide building sector professionals around the world the skills they need to address the climate change crisis”.
– Ed Mazria, Architecture 2030 Founder and CEO

The Chinese and Spanish versions of the 2030 Palette include all the rich visuals, advice, and concise rules of thumb of the English version and can be accessed using the links at the top of every page of the Palette.

Our next steps will be to translate the extra information pages into Spanish and Chinese, and we’re also working on Portuguese and French language versions of the core swatches.


Additional 2030 Palette Content

In addition, we’ve expanded the breadth of content available in the 2030 Palette (in English), adding detailed information on passive solar heating and urban infill strategies, and addressing the subject of earth-sheltered buildings for the first time.

Direct Gain: Heat Storage – Masonry Thermal Mass

The Direct Gain: Heat Storage swatch in the 2030 Palette now includes an In-depth Information page on Masonry Thermal Mass, detailing the design and sizing procedure for incorporating masonry thermal mass in passive solar heating building applications. Diagrams and graphs explain the concepts and heat transfer mechanisms of masonry thermal mass, and include detailed rules of thumb for incorporating mass into various building configurations.


Urban Infill – Urban Infill for City Growth

This new In-depth Information page on Urban Infill for City Growth explores urban infill, a key strategy for city growth as an alternative to urban sprawl.  The section provides a historical perspective of infill growth, delivers examples of how it’s been imaginatively implemented in metropolitan areas in a variety of climates, and offers advice for both architects and planners on approaching new infill projects.


New Swatch – Earth Sheltering

In addition to new In-Depth Information pages, we’ve also included a new swatch on Earth Sheltering – a design strategy that updates traditional earth-sheltered building forms, making this application useful for adapting to rapidly changing climates. The swatch includes examples of a variety of earth-sheltered buildings illustrating contemporary architectural applications of this ancient form of building.


Together, this new material expands the 2030 Palette to 56 swatches and 11 In-Depth Information sections. Look for additional new content in the months to come.

Achieving 80×50 – Transforming New York City’s Building Stock

achieving80x50_coverRenovating New York City’s buildings to high-performance standards when they change hands is crucial to the City reaching its ambitious goal of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

That’s the key finding in the latest Architecture 2030 report Achieving 80×50: Reducing Energy Use, Creating Jobs, and Phasing Out Carbon Emissions in New York City’s Buildings, presented by Founder and CEO Edward Mazria last week at a major event in New York City hosted by coalition and community-building organization ALIGN: The Alliance for a Greater New York.

New York City contains about one million buildings comprising 5.75 billion square feet of building stock. Its buildings are responsible for 71% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and 94% of its electricity consumption.

While requiring new buildings to become more efficient and renovating city-owned buildings are both important, in order to meet the city’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction target by the year 2050, most of the city’s existing building stock must also be renovated to high-performance standards over the next 35 years.

Tying Renovation to the Purchase of Buildings

The key to addressing New York’s existing building stock is private sector building purchases.

There are about 26,000 buildings bought and sold in New York City each year, meaning approximately 900,000 buildings will change hands over the next 35 years.

Achieving 80×50 calls for building buyers to improve the greenhouse gas emissions from their new property by choosing one of the following options:

  1. Upgrade their newly-purchased building to high-performance standards and/or incorporate renewable energy systems. (This is particularly attractive as many owners will already be renovating these buildings upon purchase prior to occupancy.)Or: 
  2. Conduct non-intrusive efficiency upgrades (the ‘low-hanging fruit’ that does not disturb building occupants) and purchase non-GHG emitting renewable energy (from new renewable energy generation installed within the metropolitan area) to meet the City’s emissions reduction targets.

The first option creates additional efficiency construction investment, and the second creates minimum efficiency upgrades and weatherization, and a robust market for renewable energy generation, both leading to long-term investment, job growth, and emissions reductions.

The emissions reduction standards and efficiency requirements would be administered primarily through New York City’s building energy code, which would be updated every three years to more stringent emissions reduction (fossil fuel energy consumption) requirements.

Since buyers are likely to finance or invest funds for building purchases (and in many cases planning to renovate), the additional expense to renovate to high-performance standards is minimal when compared to the purchase and renovation cost.

Economic Benefits and Job Creation

In addition to ensuring that the city meets its 80×50 emissions reduction target, adopting the recommendations in Achieving 80×50, New York City will:

  • create over 80,000 new jobs,
  • receive about $500 million in new tax revenue (to renovate public housing, create training programs, offer incentives for even greater efficiency renovations, etc.),and
  • reduce energy consumption and energy bills.

“Achieving 80×50 is a practical and powerful plan to ensure that New York City can reach its bold and necessary emissions reduction targets,” said Edward Mazria.


Download the Achieving 80×50 Report

Top in Sustainable Design Leadership

This year, Architecture 2030 Founder and CEO Edward Mazria ranked #1 as the top ‘role model in sustainable or high-performance design’ in DesignIntelligence’s 2015 Sustainable Design & Leadership Survey.

For the fifth year in a row, the architecture and design community has again recognized the important role Architecture 2030 plays in transforming to a sustainable and carbon neutral built environment.

Architecture 2030 is listed in the top three organizations for ‘sustainability qualifications and certifications for projects/buildings’, and in the top five as ‘sustainable design organizational role models’. Sixty-one percent of firms surveyed believe the 2030 Challenge targets, issued by Architecture 2030, can be realized.

The full DesignIntelligence 2015 Sustainable Design & Leadership Survey report is available in July/August issue of DesignIntelligence.

Ed Mazria Receives the Kemper Award and Addresses the AIA National Convention

At the AIA National Convention in Atlanta, GA, Architecture 2030 Founder and CEO Ed Mazria was officially presented with the Kemper Award.

In his acceptance speech to a packed audience of more than 7,000 architects, Mazria told his colleagues, “Because of your critical role in all this [addressing climate change], because you have a moral imagination and see a purpose in what you’re doing, you have given the world the courage to take bold actions to address the defining issue of our time.”

Above, you can watch the video piece the AIA created to celebrate Mazria’s work, and his full acceptance speech.

Architecture 2030 Endorses NBI’s Advanced Buildings New Construction Guide to meet the 2030 Challenge

New Buildings Institute (NBI) and Architecture 2030 are excited to announce that Architecture 2030 has endorsed a prescriptive path to meet the current 2030 Challenge goal based on NBI’s Advanced Buildings® New Construction Guide. With this path, design teams now have another tool when seeking to meet the 2030 Challenge.