Building Industry Falling Short of the AIA's Carbon Reduction Goals

The American Institute of Architects gave a reality check regarding its ambitious and aggressive carbon reductions targets.

October 12, 2016, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Vitaliy Krasovskiy / Shutterstock

"According to the 'AIA 2030 Commitment 2015 Progress Report,' [pdf] released today, the design industry is not on pace to meeting the ambitious goal of having every project designed by a signatory firm achieving carbon neutrality by 2030," according to an article by Wanda Lau.

In a separate post, Kim Slowey puts the findings of the progress report succinctly: "Only 4% of projects so far have met the 70% energy savings target for 2015 building performance, with the average savings coming in at 38%."

Although the building industry is falling short of the goals set forth in the 2030 Commitment, "All told, the energy predicted to be saved from the 2015 reported projects totals 21 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions," explains Lau. "According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, this is the equivalent of powering 2.2 million houses in a year." Participation and the total square footage of projects in the initiative have also increased since 2014.

As part of the article's in-depth coverage of the AIA's progress report, Lau includes an examination of the energy modeling that the report emphasizes for projects to meet "increasingly stringent benchmarks."

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