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7 Ways Architects Can Work Toward Carbon Neutral Buildings by 2030

09:30 - 21 April, 2017
7 Ways Architects Can Work Toward Carbon Neutral Buildings by 2030, Image composite by Micke Tong
Image composite by Micke Tong

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "7 Tactics for Meeting the Architecture 2030 Challenge and Beyond."

As the impacts of global climate change escalate, forward-thinking architecture firms have committed to being part of the solution. Increasingly, these firms are signing on to the 2030 Challenge and American Institute of Architects’ supporting initiative, AIA 2030 Commitment, which provide a framework to reduce fossil-fuel dependence and make all buildings, developments, and major renovations carbon neutral by 2030.

The 2030 Challenge has been adopted by 80 percent of the top 10 and 65 percent of the top 20 architecture, engineering, and planning firms in the United States, as well as many state and local government agencies. Among these are Eskew+Dumez+Ripple (EDR), a New Orleans–based architecture and planning firm; HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering, and planning firm; and CTA Architects Engineers, an integrated design, engineering, and architecture firm with offices throughout the Western United States and Canada. Here, five professionals from EDR, HOK, and CTA share seven key tactics they’ve employed to move toward the 2030 target—and a sustainable future for the planet.

When It Comes to Sustainable Design, Architects Still Don't Get It

09:30 - 29 February, 2016
When It Comes to Sustainable Design, Architects Still Don't Get It, Perkins + Will's Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, which won the RAIC's Green Building Award last year. Image © Martin Tessler
Perkins + Will's Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, which won the RAIC's Green Building Award last year. Image © Martin Tessler

In the face of global doomsday predictions, sustainability has become one of the most crucial aspects of the 21st century, now playing a huge role in everything from politics to the way you dispose of your trash. Fortunately, most architects understand sustainability implicitly, and have adopted it into their lives and work. Or have they? In this article, originally published on Common Edge as "Why Architects Don't Get It," green building expert Lance Hosey highlights the failures of the architecture community in reaching their stated sustainability goals, and argues for a new conception of architecture in which good design and sustainable design are integrated.

A few years ago, the American Institute of Architects, the self-declared “voice of the architecture profession,” announced that "AIA members will no longer need to complete the sustainable design requirement to fulfill their AIA continuing education." Why? Because “sustainable design practices have become a mainstream design intention.” Hooray! If sustainability is “mainstream” now, and knowledge about it is no longer necessary “to maintain competency” and “to advance and improve the profession”—the purpose of continuing education, according to the AIA—then the profession must have met its environmental goals, and there’s nothing left to improve. Mission accomplished.

If only.

AIA Report Finds Increasing Acceptance of Carbon Reduction Targets

00:00 - 27 October, 2014
AIA Report Finds Increasing Acceptance of Carbon Reduction Targets, Courtesy of the AIA
Courtesy of the AIA

The 2030 Progress Report for the American Institute of Architects (AIA)'s 2030 Commitment - a voluntary program for architects who want to commit their practice to advancing the AIA's goal of carbon neutral buildings by the year 2030 - has found a significant increase in the number of projects that meet its current targets for a 60% reduction in carbon emissions, with over 400 buildings in the program meeting the goal. "There is some very encouraging data in this report that shows how architects are making measurable progress towards reducing the carbon emissions in their design projects," said AIA Chief Executive Officer, Robert Ivy, FAIA. Read on after the break for more results of the report.

New Commitments for Environmental Transparency

13:00 - 22 October, 2011
© 2010 2030, Inc. / Architecture 2030
© 2010 2030, Inc. / Architecture 2030

An increasing trend towards sustainable construction within the building industry has resulted in a steady stream of “green” products into the marketplace. It is not uncommon to see products labeled with numerous claims that are certified by previously unheard of governing bodies. Industry leaders recently gathered in Toronto at Greenbuild to focus on avenues to increase the transparency of such claims made in the marketplace, and develop an integrated information source to reduce confusion and increase reliability.