RESOURCES

2030 Mission Statement 

The mission of The AIA 2030 Commitment is to transform the practice of architecture in a way that is holistic, firm-wide, project-based and data-driven, so that the AIA and the participating firms can prioritize energy performance and carbon reductions in the design toward carbon neutral buildings, developments and major renovations by 2030.

 

In meeting this mission, the DDx is the primary tool used by signatory firms and the AIA. However, there are also a wealth of other resources and information available to guide firms as they develop Sustainability Actions Plans and incorporate the 2030 Commitment into practice. This section details:

 

DDx Videos

The AIA 2030 Commitment has created several videos to walk through the features and functions of the DDx, available on YouTube, and including the videos below referenced in these help pages: 

AIAU Courses

AIA+2030 Online Series Courses
This series will inspire architects to meet the 2030 Challenge through design strategies, efficient technologies and systems, and applying renewable energy resources. Take the courses >

The 2030 Palette: Applications, Methods, Guidelines and Resources for the New Built Environment
Get an introduction to the free, online tool that helps in sustainable planning and building. Take the course >

Architecture 2030: Reducing the Built Environment’s Impact on Climate Change
Find out how the 2030 Challenge fits into both worldwide and project design goals. Take the course >

The Good, the Bad and the EUI (Energy Use Intensity)
Understand and use the EUI and see how it fits into the 2030 Commitment tools. Take the course >

Deep Energy Retrofits and the Architect's Role in This Emerging Opportunity  
Find information on adding deep energy retrofits to practice and portfolio. Take the course >

Energy Modeling for All: 2030 Commitment for Small Firms
See how the 2030 Commitment benefits small firms. Take the course >

Designing to an Energy Budget: Focus on Small Firms and Projects
Concentrate on case studies, methodologies and software for energy modeling for small firms and projects. Take the course >

High Performance Design Optimization and Decision Making
Focus on case studies about high performance design, particularly in tall buildings. Take the course >

 
 

Sustainability Action Plans

Creating a Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) is one of the key components to becoming a signatory firm to the 2030 Commitment, and should be submitted within six months of signing on. At its core, an SAP is a statement of a firm’s approach to sustainable design. It provides an opportunity to think through—strategically and methodically—how to translate sustainability values and aspirations into a comprehensive approach for transforming a firm’s practice and portfolio.

 

Specifically, the SAP serves as:

  1. An actionable, firm-wide strategy for developing sustainable design best practices.

  2. A measurement framework with a continual focus on evaluation, adaptation, and improvement.

  3. A long-term planning tool to ensure ongoing alignment of values, goals, and practice.

  4. An information-sharing platform that enables communicating firm values to clients and peers.

 

After reviewing examples of SAP documents from other firms, consider the following process and recommended framework in developing a SAP: 

 

1. Engage the Firm

 

Hold an initial all-staff brainstorm, workshop, or survey covering:

 

  • Best Practices Review

    • What are our peers and competitors doing that we can emulate or improve upon?

 

  • Firm Values and Goals

    • How do we understand sustainability and our firm’s areas of impact?

    • How does our practice/firm mission relate to the 2030 Commitment?

 

  • Design Process

    • What is our current process?

    • What do we want our process to be?

 

  • Design Standards

    • What do we want our buildings to be/do?

 

  • Structure

    • How is sustainability currently approached/structured in our firm?

 

  • Challenges

    • What challenges do we face in implementing goals/actions?

    • How do we currently respond? How might we best respond in the future?

 

2. Create the Sustainability Action Plan

 

Recommended Framework

 

  1. Firm Commitment (summary of firm philosophy as it relates to sustainability objectives)
  • How does or will sustainability relate to overall firm goals?
  • How do people know? (message/strategy/culture)
  • What are the firm’s biggest successes? What’s working?
  • How is success measured?

The following five topics should each include discussion of current practice, areas for action, and 1-5 year goals.

 

  1. Design & Approach (this includes design-phase analysis, OPR/goal-setting + BOD)

  • How has the 2030 Commitment been integrated across the firm?

  • How are is energy modeling integrated into design process?

  • What green certifications are common practice in the firm, and how do certified projects contribute to 2030 goals?

 

  1. Evaluation & Reporting (this includes pEUI reporting, utility data collection and POE)

  • What is the current portfolio pEUI and/or LPD and how do they compare to current 2030 goals?

  • What are the firm’s goals/targets for incremental improvement?

  • How is project evaluation and 2030 reporting handled?

  • What approaches are used to reach energy targets?

 

  1. Outreach & Advocacy (like BCA, this is “external” knowledge sharing)

  • How are strategies communicated to clients?

  • How does the firm contribute to the sustainable design community?

 

  1. Training & Education (...and “internal” knowledge sharing)

  • How does the firm support staff growth in sustainable design disciplines?

 

  1. Operations & Outlook

  • Evaluate the firm’s carbon footprint.

  • Identify ways to reduce the firm’s footprint or increase its handprint.

 

3. Upload the SAP to the DDx on the “My Account” Page

 
 

2030 Commitment FAQs

  1. When is the submission deadline?

  2. How often is reporting required?

  3. Which projects should be included?

  4. Do I need to complete all of the fields?

  5. Should a project in conceptual or preliminary design stages be included?

  6. Should a project in construction be included? 

  7. Should a project which has been put on hold be included? 

  8. Can a project be represented on multiple years’ reports? 

  9. How is the ‘Firm pEUI % reduction from average’ calculated? 

  10. Why is reporting based on site EUI and not source EUI? 

  11. Can the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) or other renewable energy credits be considered in a project’s calculation of EUI? 

  12. Can on-site generated renewable energy contribute to a project’s calculation of EUI?

  13. What are best practices in setting the baseline EUI? 

  14. Why is installed LPD used as the main criteria for interiors projects? 

  15. Why is the LPD reduction goal 25% from ASHRAE 90.1 2007? 

  16. What if LPD was not calculated on a project? 

  17. How does the design code relate to the target LPD?

  18. If several firms work on the same project, which firm’s 2030 Report should include this project? 

  19. How should attached structured parking be represented?

 

1. When is the submission deadline?

 

Portfolio submissions are due on March 31 each year. This includes both submitting all projects and then submitting the portfolio.

 

2. How often is reporting required?

 

A firm’s portfolio is reported for a calendar year’s design work early in the following year. All firms will submit by March 31 in order for information to be included in AIA’s annual 2030 report. However, projects can be added to the DDx and submitted to the Institute throughout the year. We encourage using the DDx reporting in parallel with the project phase development and submitting at the completion of each design phase or at minimum once a year.

 

3. Which projects should be included?

 

Include all design projects which meet the following criteria:

  • Was in an active design phase during the report calendar year (Conceptual, Schematic, Design Development, Construction Documents or Construction Administration);

  • Architectural projects with minimum scope including HVAC system modifications or substantial envelope modifications;

  • OR interiors-only projects which included lighting design.

 

Projects which were not in a design phase during the calendar year should not be included.

 

We understand there will be some projects that are a bit ambiguous on whether they should be included. One way to consider what to track: “1. It could help clients save money by further integrating energy analysis and metrics into my practice” and “2. It will boost my firm’s profile by developing new sustainability approaches and creating a firm culture that exemplifies sustainable design”. 

 

The 2030 Commitment is intended to be primarily an internal practice tool. We don't suggest including projects just because the data looks good, in the same way we don't recommend leaving it out because it is not meeting the goal. Just keep it honest. 

 

4. Do I need to complete all of the fields? 

 

No. Required fields have an asterisk. Learn more about required inputs here.

 

5. Should a project in conceptual or preliminary design stages be included?

 

Yes, as long as use type and gross square feet are established. If energy modeling is planned but has not yet produced a predicted energy use, an energy target may be used. Similarly for interiors projects, a LPD target may be used.

 

6. Should a project in construction be included? 

 

A project currently under construction should only be included if it was in a design phase during the calendar year or if construction-phase modifications to envelope design or building systems were substantial enough to warrant a revised energy model or code compliance calculation.

 

7. Should a project which has been put on hold be included? 

 

Yes, if the project and scope of work meet the description of a project which should be included. There is an option for selecting "on hold" as the project design phase.

 

8. Can a project be represented on multiple years’ reports or submit multiple design phases within a single year? 

 

Yes, the AIA 2030 Commitment is meant to provide a snapshot of a firm’s overall portfolio and helps track a project through multiple phases of design. Many projects span multiple years and we encourage projects to be submitted at each design phase. It is important to report the "Design Closeout Final" project phase. This project phase is a key benchmark as we move toward adding capabilities to compare projected design performance with actual performance data.

 

9. How is the ‘Firm pEUI % reduction from average’ calculated? 

 

For each project that is not interior-only, % pEUI reduction from average is multiplied by the project’s GSF. The sum of these products is divided by the sum of GSF of the same projects to yield a weighted average % reduction from average. This number represents the firm’s progress toward the 2030 goals. 

 

10. Why is reporting based on site EUI and not source EUI? 

 

Source energy reflects the energy used not only at the building but also used in electricity generation, transmission, storage, etc. While this is an important measure of embodied energy and an important part of calculating a carbon footprint, the focus of this reporting is to analyze the energy performance of our work. Additionally, site energy is often the unit most relevant to our clients, as this is what is represented on their utility bills.

 

11. Can the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) or other renewable energy credits be considered in a project’s calculation of EUI? 

 

No. At this point the project EUI only includes onsite renewables. Offsite renewables or RECs are not included in this analysis.

 

12. Can on-site generated renewable energy contribute to a project’s calculation of EUI?

 

Yes, provided that the power produced (or the environmental attributes of the power produced) are used on-site. Once a pEUI for the project is determined, subtract the predicted energy production per square foot to arrive at a final pEUI which accounts for on-site renewables.

 

13. What are best practices in setting the baseline EUI? 

 

See further information in the baselines section for step by step guidance.

 

14. Why is LPD used as the main criteria for interiors projects? 

 

Generally, the ability of an interior design project to affect building EUI is mostly limited to lighting design. Since interiors-only projects tend to not include HVAC system or envelope modifications, lighting power density is the criterion most applicable to interiors work. Please note that while Lighting Use Intensity (LUI) is a more meaningful prediction of how lighting contributes to overall energy use in a building, LUI can only be derived from energy modeling, which is seldom employed for interiors-only projects. 

 

15. Why is the LPD reduction goal 25% from ASHRAE 90.1 2007? 

 

This is a challenging target, yet achievable with today's technology. This reduction earns 3 of 5 relevant points for a LEED-CI 2009 project, and it is a common threshold for commercial lighting tax deductions and financial incentives.

 

16. What if LPD was not calculated on a project? 

 

Only interiors projects which include lighting design should be included in 2030 reporting. If LPD has not yet been calculated because it is early in the project's schedule, an LPD target may be used. If LPD is left blank, a 0% reduction is assumed.

 

17. How does the design energy code relate to the target LPD?

 

See further information in the LPD inputs section. Comprehensive information about LPD design energy code equivalents is not currently available. We do provide a reference table for a sense of the likely range the project should be situated based on the design energy code. Keep in mind the baseline for the 2030 Commitment for LPD is ASHRAE 90.1 2007.

 

18. If several firms work on the same project, which firm’s 2030 Report should include this project? 

 

All firms involved in a project’s design may use the project’s data in their 2030 reporting. The intent is to capture a firm’s complete portfolio of work. 

 

19. How should attached structured parking be represented?

 

If a project which includes parking within the building has been modeled and can be analyzed in Target Finder, use Target Finder, entering parking as a secondary space type to arrive at a comparable average EUI. If the project has not been modeled or cannot be analyzed in Target Finder, exclude the parking area from the total GSF.  

 
 

2030 Commitment Resources

Joining the 2030 Commitment provides access to resources, courses and easy-to-use tools to help improve energy performance and practice.

AIA Resources

 

Peer-to-Peer Mentorship Program
The 2030 Commitment team will match firms interested either in being a mentor or getting paired with a mentor. Fill out this form >

Case Studies
See how the 2030 Commitment is making an impact in firms of all different sizes and project types. Read more >

2030 By the Numbers

Learn more about overall trends and results from the 2030 Commitment in AIA’s annual report series. Read more >

 

Integrated Energy Modeling Guide
Learn more about process, tools and how the results relate to potential design decisions. Read more >

Deep Energy Retrofit Guide
Learn more about this promising market sector and how to participate. Read more >

Five Ways to Achieve High-Performance Buildings Through Energy Modeling
An energy modeling lead at CallisonRTKL offers five tips on using energy modeling. Read more >

 

Partner and External Resources

 

Architecture 2030
See where it all started—plus links to the free online 2030 Palette tools for architects and designers.

2030 Palette
Access free, user-friendly best practices behind low-carbon and resilient built environments.

US Residential Regional Averages
Track single- and multi-family dwelling EUI targets, by region and by progress.

ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guides
Find free and for purchase guides, tools, and resources on energy measurement and reduction from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

US Department of Energy Weather Data for Simulation
Get the weather data needed for effective energy modeling.

US Environmental Protection Agency Portfolio Manager
Measure and track actual energy and water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.