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Architecture 2030 is a U.S. based, non-traditional and flexible environmental advocacy group focused on protecting the global environment by using innovation and common sense to develop, and quickly implement, bold solutions to global warming.
The organization was founded by Edward Mazria in 2003 in response to rapidly accelerating climate change. Locally, nationally and globally, Edward Mazria and Architecture 2030 have been responsible for reshaping the debate surrounding climate change and global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by identifying the ‘Building Sector’.
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration illustrates that buildings are responsible for almost half of all greenhouse gas emissions annually; globally, the percentage is even greater. In 2003, Ed Mazria published three seminal articles, in Solar Today, Metropolis Magazine and the LA Times, exposing the ‘Building Sector’ as the major U.S. and global GHG emitting sector. In 2003 and 2004 three symposia, standing room only, were held in Los Angeles, Santa Fe and New York City titled ‘Key to the Global Thermostat’.  This was the first time architects/planners, scientists, politicians, the media and academia were brought together to learn about and discuss the ‘Building Sector’ and its role in global warming.
Architecture 2030’s mission is to create, and quickly respond to, opportunities that shape the dialogue and address the crisis situation surrounding the ‘Building Sector’ and its contribution to global warming.
The 2030 °Challenge
The ‘Building Sector’ is the major source of demand for energy and materials that produce by-product greenhouse gases (GHG). Stabilizing and reversing emissions in this sector is key to keeping future global warming under one degree Celsius (°C) above today’s level.
To accomplish this, and avoid dangerous climate change, Architecture 2030 issued 'The 2030 °Challenge’ in 2007, asking the global architecture and building community to adopt the following targets:
- All new buildings, developments and major renovations be designed to meet a fossil fuel, greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 50% of the regional (or country) average for that building type.
- At a minimum, an amount of existing building area equal to that of new construction be renovated annually to meet a fossil fuel, greenhouse gas (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 be increased to:
- 60% in 2010
- 70% in 2015
- 80% in 2020
- 90% in 2025
- Carbon-neutral by 2030 (zero fossil-fuel, GHG emitting energy to operate).
This may be accomplished through innovative design strategies, application of renewable technologies and/or the purchase (maximum 20%) of renewable energy.
The more pressing goals are addressed in The 2010 Imperative.
In February 2011 the '2030 Challenge for Products' was issued, aiming to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions created by the production of building products.
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- In January 2006 Architecture 2030 launched the www.architecture2030.org website and since that time have published several 2030 E-News. In May 2006, the entire 2030 website was launched in Spanish and distributed throughout Latin America. The website has been visited by over 50,000 people around the world.
- In May 2005, in a keynote speech at the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada’s annual convention, Edward Mazria challenged the international architecture community to take the lead in the fight against global climate change. As a direct result of that speech, in June 2005, 16 of the world’s leading architectural institutions announced the signing of the Las Vegas Declaration. The declaration recognized the “great responsibility placed on the architecture profession to do all it can to influence a major reduction in the level of carbon emissions that result from the creation and life-cycle of the build environment.”
- In October 2005, Architecture 2030 worked with the 78,000 member American Institute of Architects (AIA) to establish its official position adopting 'The 2030 °Challenge’ on global warming (December 2005). This document stated that all buildings should reduce fossil fuel, GHG emitting consumption by 50% by 2010 and all buildings should be ‘carbon neutral’ by 2030.
- In January 2006, Architecture 2030 worked with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to develop and implement the first Executive Order requiring all state funded buildings to meet a building energy performance standard of 50% less than the national average.
- In May 2006, Architecture 2030 drafted and worked with the Mayors from Chicago, Miami, Seattle and Albuquerque to introduce a resolution (Resolution #50) to the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopting ‘The 2030 °Challenge’ and setting specific targets for all city buildings in the U.S. to be carbon neutral by 2030. In June 2006, the resolution was unanimously approved for ALL buildings in all cities.
- In June 2006, Santa Fe, working with Architecture 2030, was the first city to formally adopt ‘The 2030 °Challenge’ as law.
- In July 2006, Sarasota County, working with Architecture 2030, was the first county to formally adopt ‘The 2030 °Challenge’ as law.
- In July 2006, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) North America unanimously passed support for Architecture 2030 and embedded its targets in the ‘Statement of Action’ that was passed at the ICLEI Congress.
- In August 2006, the U.S. EPA ‘Target Finder’ incorporated ‘The 2030 °Challenge’ targets for building energy reduction into their web-based calculator.
- In February 2007, Architecture 2030 hosted 'The 2010 Imperative Global Emergency Teach-in'. The Teach-in was webcast live to more than a quarter of a million design students, faculty members, professionals and community leaders in 47 countries. Over 1200 AIA members qualified for continuing education credits and hundreds of universities organized huge events with remarkable turnouts.
- In February 2007, two bills were introduced to the California legislature that aim to duplicate 'The 2030 Challenge' targets for energy-consumption reductions for new residential and non-residential buildings, both with the end-goal of reaching carbon-neutral buildings.
- In March 2007, the Fulton County Commission voted to adopt a resolution that would accept 'The 2030 °Challenge'. The measure was previously adopted by Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.
- http://www.metropolismag.com/html/content_1003/glo/index.html Metropolis Article
- Edward Mazria The 2030 Challenge, Design Intelligence, March 25, 2007. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
- Robyn Griggs Lawrence Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products Issued Today, Mother Earth News, February 14, 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
- Turning Down the Global Thermostat (Metropolis Mag article, October 2003)
- Lord, Aeck & Sargent Tackles 2030 Challenge