[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Building the Change: The 2030 Climate Challenge that AIA and USCM adopted
You can subscribe to get this newsletter directly at
the original article (including graph of buildings, transportation and
industry contributions to climate change gases, go to:
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2006 00:20:38
-0400 (EDT)Building the Change: The 2030
From: Gil Friend <firstname.lastname@example.org>
New Bottom Line: Strategic Perspectives on Business and Environment
Ed Mazria presented the opening keynote at the recent
West Coast Green in San Francisco September 28, and offered what was
probably the most compelling, moving and useful global warming
presentation I've heard yet. (No offense, Al, but Ed got more usefully
into what to do for high leverage impact.)
'When the US balked at Kyoto,' he explained, 'the stated concern was
impact on industry and competitiveness. But US industry has held
emissions relatively flat for the last 20 years (partly through
efficiency, partly through export of industry and emissions).'
But the lions share of US emissions -- 48% -- and the fastest growing
sector is emissions from buildings (about 1/6 of that in their
construction, and 5/6 in their operations) The usual energy pies show US
energy yse approximately evenly divided between buildings,
transportation, industry and ommerce. But transportation, industry and
commerce all involve buildings, so slicing the pies differently ties
nearly half of US energy use to buildings. Moveover, building decisions
are long-lived -- They can have impact for decades.
'We are the problem,' Mazria
told 7000 building industry professionals, 'and we are the
The US builds 5 billion square feet of new construction each year,
renovates an equivalent amount, and tears down 1.75 billion, in a total
building stock of some 275 billion square foot. 'In the next 30 years,
we'll take down 52 billion of that, renovate 150 billion, add 150
billion. By 2035, 80% of our built environment will be new or
What a huge opportunity to turn the entire building sector
So Mazria has posed the
2030 challenge. Three steps, clear and simple:
1. All new building projects and major renovations meet a fossil fuel
energy consumption performance standard of 1/2 the national (or country)
average for that building type.
2. A minimum amount of existing building area be renovated to use
one-half the fossil fuel energy they currently consume
This is a win-win-win for everybody, Mazria says. There's no downside. '
If you do that, you don't need the new power plant' -- which is awfully
important, since China alone is building a coal-fired power plant each
3. To bend curve down, take the new building standards down a notch every
10 years; at 2010, the reduction target for new construction and major
renovations would be 60%
2030: carbon neutral, requiring no fossil fuel energy to operate
How hard is this? Mazria answered his own question. 'You can't fail.
We've made it fail proof. You can only get an A. It's simple, with three
ways to play:'
1. Design and innovation
If you think about site, shape, put the glass on right side, shade the
glazing, shape of openings, daylighting, natural ventilation, adjust
materials properties and colors, you should be able to get 50% from low
cost/no cost improvements -- changes that are basically
2. Add technology
Solar hot water (hot water currently accounts for 15% of household energy
consumption), PV, wind, geo, movable insulation, mechanical shading, high
efficiency systems & appliances. These may add cost, but provide an
3. Purchase renewable energy or certified renewable energy credits (RECs)
Since the 2030 Challenge was issued in January 2006, the
American Institute of Architects (with 78,000 members) has adopted it
verbatim, and added education commitments. The US Conference of Mayors --
led by Daley of Chicago, Chavez of Albuquerque, Diaz of Miami and Nickels
of Seattle -- adopted it unanimously, and is calling on all cities to
implement. New Mexico is requiring these criteria of all state buildings.
And efforts are underway to get the US EPA to include these energy
reduction targets in their
building performance benchmarks.
And so the revolution proceeds. Fourteen mayors have formed a coalition
to stop more than a dozen new coal plants planned in Texas. New England
governors & Eastern Canada premiers have pledged by 2010, reduce
emissions to 1990 levels. But their emissions are continuing to increase,
even proclamations proclamations and laws and executive orders. 'We need
to put in practice what we say,' Mazria says. California's cap on GHGs to
1990 levels by 2020 isn't just a target, it's the law. 'The only way to
meet that goal is to get a handle on the building sector.'
There was faint praise, if any, for the
US Green Building Council, home of the LEED? rating system for green
buildings. 'The AIA stepped out ahead of the USGBC, and adopted targets'
Mazria noted. 'The GBC done nothing since, but will develop Standard 189
with ASHRAE to set a minimum benchmark. That's bad news, and years from
The AIA has called on USGBC to incorporate minimal GHG reductions into
Platinum: Carbon neutral
'Ask the GBC to get on this, Mazria ehorted. 'LEED should be leadership;
we have to do this tomorrow, not next year. New Mexico isgoing to require
this in state buildings; ask California to do the same. And ask ASHRAE
189 to establish the 50% benchmark.
Finally, Mazria turned his attention to eduction. ' There are 100,000
architecture, engineering and lansdscape architecture students in the US,
and they're getting very little education in ecology and
So he's also cooked up a '2010 imperative' for professional schools
1. Beginning 2007, add one sentence to curricula and student project
'and within one year,' Mazria asserts,
'the entire education system will be changed.'
- All projects will be designed to engage the environment in way that
dramatically reduces or eliminates the need for fossil fuel
2. Achieve complete ecological literacy in design education by 2012
(though I'll confess I'm not clear how he proposes this to happen that
3. Achieve carbon neutral campuses for all design schools:
- implement sustainable design strategies
- generate on site power
- purchase renewable energy and RECs
Finally Mazria proposed a third challenge -- the 'Feb 2010 Imperative,'
calling for a global design teach in 'some day in February
'An Inconvenient Truth' shakes people loose. The 2030 challenge
offers what I call
sufficient goals -- and provides a doable plan for meeting them.
(c) 2006 Gil Friend. All rights
New Bottom Line is published periodically by Natural Logic, Inc., and is
May be forwarded or cross-posted
intact -- including this notice -- via email as long as no fees are
charged. Publishing -- whether on a Web site or in print -- and
commercial distribution in any form require our advance permission; but
feel free to link to us. Thank you. Our apologies if you receive multiple
Gil Friend, systems ecologist and business strategist, is President and
CEO of Natural Logic, Inc. -- offering advisory services and tools that
help companies and communities prosper by embedding the laws of nature at
the heart of enterprise.
Natural Logic Inc. | PO Box 119 |
Berkeley | CA | 94701