Last week, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) released a press release stating their opposition to a House proposal to eliminate Section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. Basically, Section 433 is designed to free federal buildings from consuming fossil fuel-generated energy by 2030. Not surprisingly, the proposal is backed by the American Gas Association and the Federal Performance Contracting Coalition (FPCC), which includes members such as Chevron, Ameresco, Honeywell, and many more alike. However, as reported by Martin C. Pedersen on MetropolisMag.com, the surprising fact is that some of the FPCC members are participating in the 2030 challenge and many are considered prominent in the field of energy efficiency.
Continue reading after the break for AIA EVP and Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy’s response.
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.
Some of the players that are beginning to influence the conversation include the US Green Building Council and the US Forest Service, both of whom are advocates for increased regulation and standardization of Environmental Product Declarations. Architecture 2030 has also introduced a new initiative aimed at the reduction of dependency of fossil fuels in the building life cycle, reductions in greenhouse gas embodies products, and an overall reduction in energy consumption to carbon-neutral by 2030. With the latest update to the AIA 2030 Commitment, these new initiatives mark an increasing awareness of the overall building life cycle costs and their impact on our environments.
The AIA has recently updated its 2030 Commitment Reporting Tool, a tool that assists in providing firms a method to track the predicted energy use of their complete design portfolios. Since buildings are the largest contributor to the production of greenhouse gases and represent nearly half of the total annual production, this tool provides an avenue to address and exercise our responsibility in the creation of the built environment.
In order to increase the relevance and better suit the needs of firms, the AIA has expanded the toolset to include additional building types, additional code equivalents, distinctions between new construction/renovation and interior work, and a mixed use calculator.