More Building Designers Embracing Carbon-Reduction Targets

In the quest for achieving greater energy efficiency, buildings have become a primary target, and building designers are jumping on the bandwagon.

According to a recent report released by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), designers are making progress in reaching carbon-reduction goals. The report, “2030 Commitment 2013 Progress Report,” examines the progress made by architects and others in reaching the AIA’s goal of carbon-neutral buildings by 2030.

The report includes a number of key findings, which AIA CEO Robert Ivy calls, “very encouraging data.” For example, 401 design projects are meeting the current 60 percent carbon-reduction target, a 200 percent increase from 2012.

The report also notes that the total number of projects accounted for in the data has grown to 2,464, a 150 percent increase since 2012. The gross square feet (GSF) of building space represented in the data has also increased to 1.6 billion, a 9 percent increase from 2012.

Ivy also notes that “energy modeling must become a standard part of the design practice,” if the ultimate goal of carbon-neutral buildings is to be reached. The data in the report supports that assertion. Energy modeling was used to predict operational energy consumption for 66 percent of the total GSF accounted for in the study, an increase of 14 percent from 2012.

The study did show a decline in the number of firms reporting data. To address this, the AIA is partnering with the Department of Energy to create the 2030 Design Data Exchange, which provides an interface for firms to research how their projects are predicted to perform compared to similar projects in the AIA 2030 Commitment portfolio.

About the Author

Rick Laezman

Freelance Writer

Rick Laezman is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who has been covering renewable power for more than 10 years. He may be reached at

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