This morning, the AIA released the results of the second year of projected energy use data from firms participating in the 2030 Commitment Program. The 2030 Challenge was initially established by Ed Mazria to set a timeline for net zero use for all new construction by the year 2030. The AIA endorsed the challenge, but created the 2030 Commitment in 2009 as a voluntary way for firms to participate on terms they could control. The first annual report released last year showed progress from some firms but difficulty meeting the commitment from many others. About 52 percent didn’t provide the required data, and many others didn’t engage with the program at all. The second annual report shows encouraging improvement in some areas but the same lack of participation from committed firms.

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Kelly Pickard, director of building science and technology at AIA, and Greg Mella, principal at SmithGroup’s Washington, D.C., office, lead an afternoon session entitled “Measuring Progress toward 2030.” Only 12.8% are currently meeting the 60 percent energy reduction target. (The percentage is from the combined design portfolios, weighted by gross square footage.) There is much work to be done to help firms meet the commitment’s goals, but Pickard pointed out that 104 firms participated in the second annual report (only 56 submitted the required information last year). 

From the report: "By the end of the 2011 calendar year, 197 firms had joined the AIA 2030 Commitment. Of those, 104 firms submitted an annual progress report by April 13, 2012—an approximate 53 percent follow-through rate." 

The AIA strongly encourages all committed firms to participate regardless of their progress. As AIA EVP/Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA, states in the report’s foreword, “The AIA 2030 Commitment is about our collective power to strive for improvement on every project we touch. Incremental change in every firm, as well as understanding best practices and knowledge shared among firms, is going to be the key measure of success for the 2030 Commitment program.” 

According to Pickard, the report also revealed:


  • The importance of connecting energy targets uniformly
  • Consistent energy modeling is crucial to uniform design
  • A need for actual energy use data
  • Provide better resources for participating firms 


Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at the 2nd annual report: Measuring Industry Progress towards 2030.