Rapidly accelerating climate change (global warming), which is caused by greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions, is now fueling dangerous regional and global environmental events.
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration illustrates that buildings are
responsible for almost half (48%) of all GHG emissions annually. Seventy-six percent
(76%) of all electricity generated by US power plants goes to supply the Building
Sector. Therefore, immediate action in the Building Sector is essential if we are to
avoid hazardous climate change. Credible scientists give us 10 years to be well on our
way toward global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions in order to avoid
catastrophic climate change.
Architecture 2030, a non-profit, non-partisan and independent organization, was
established in response to the global-warming crisis by architect Edward Mazria
in 2002. 2030’s mission is to rapidly transform the US and global Building Sector
from the major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions to a central part of the
solution to the global-warming crisis.
To accomplish this, Architecture 2030 has issued The 2030 Challenge asking the
global architecture and building community to adopt the following targets:
All new buildings, developments and major renovations shall be designed to
meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 50% of
the regional (or country) average for that building type.
At a minimum, an equal amount of existing building area shall be renovated
annually to meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance
standard of 50% of the regional (or country) average for that building type.
– The fossil fuel reduction standard for all new buildings shall be increased to:
* 70% in 2015
* 80% in 2020
* 90% in 2025
* Carbon-neutral in 2030 (using no fossil fuel GHG emitting energy to operate).
Already Architecture 2030 has made an impact:
US Department of Energy (DOE) moves forward with Zero-Net Energy Commercial
Buildings Initiative, by requesting proposals from its National Labs and private
sector companies to achieve cost-effective savings of 50 percent (50%) above the
standard set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning
Engineers for new commercial building designs, and a savings of 30 percent for
retrofits to existing buildings.
California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has adopted a new plan, which includes
two strategies in line with the 2030 Challenge: to have all residential buildings
achieve zero net energy use by 2020, and to have all commercial buildings achieve
zero net energy use by 2030.
Oregon’s governor announces a 2009 legislative climate change package with
proposals for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for homes and buildings by 2030.
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