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Practice 2.0: Are we ready for the Challenge?

The Blissfully Ignorant group is made up of people that have: a) no idea that any of this is happening, or b) no idea of how much will be entailed to achieve these goals compared to where we are today. The numbers in this group are in rapid decline, given the amount of attention that building energy efficiency is receiving as of late. The Fearfully Aware are those individuals that are more attuned to just how significant of a shift these goals represent from ‘business as usual’ and are generally skeptical that we have the technical and/or political will to achieve them. I would place myself in the latter (although I’m pretty dense at times). While I’m pretty confident in our technical ability, I’m deeply concerned about our ability to collectively roll our sleeves up, cut through the BS and put a plan into action. Without a doubt, the goal of achieving carbon neutrality across a broad segment of the building industry is an enormously complex and difficult undertaking, but one doesn’t have to look very hard to find clear examples of how it could be done. Take The Passive House movement for example. With over 25,000 certified projects as of 2010 and most of the completed projects in Europe showing measured 80-90% reduction in heating energy, compared to standard new construction (which is already better than US standards), the EU passed a resolution in 2008 requiring all new buildings to be constructed to Passive House or equivalent non-residential standards from 2011 onwards. The popular USGBC LEED system, which is admittedly much broader in focus and only really began to tackle energy in LEED 2009, has 7,000 certified projects and 10,000 LEED for Homes certified projects that show better performance compared to baseline energy code as whole, but wide variance between individual buildings. The good news is, the two systems are incredibly complimentary. In fact, if LEED referenced Passive House as the energy standard to meet, then the goals that Mazria outlined would be well within reach for those projects that sought certification. So I’ve made it clear what horse I’m hitching my buggy to, but I’m interested to hear from ArchDaily readers… how are you planning to meet the goals of The 2030 Challenge? Where are your projects now? What standards and best practices are your organizations adopting? What resources are you using? What technologies are you implementing (software or otherwise)? What information do you need, but cannot get? Comments, please… Practice 2.0 is a periodic column by our friends at CASE. CASE exists where building and technology intersect. We are a Virtual Design and Construction (VDC), Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Technology Management consultancy based in New York City. CASE provides strategic advising to building design professionals, contractors and owners seeking to supplant traditional project delivery methods through technology-driven process innovation.

Cite:CASE. "Practice 2.0: Are we ready for the Challenge?" 03 May 2011. ArchDaily. Accesed . <http://www.archdaily.com/132324/practice-2-0-are-we-ready-for-the-challenge/>