In a major announcement, Architecture 2030 released an unprecedented and much-anticipated guide for every city, county and state in the nation to swiftly meet their greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets through existing building codes. Published in a new white paper, titled "Meeting the 2030 Challenge Through Building Codes," a single chart provides the key to deciphering various building energy codes and standards as they relate to the immediate 50% reduction target called for in the 2030 Challenge.
According to Edward Mazria, executive director of Architecture 2030, "meeting reduction targets through existing codes is the critical 'missing piece' to getting major reductions underway immediately." Michelle Wyman, executive director of the U.S. branch of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability agrees. "Mayors have unanimously adopted the 2030 Challenge and have been eager to implement it. Being able to do so through existing building energy codes will allow them to move much more quickly with strong, measurable reductions in building emissions," she said.
Governments and professionals across the US are looking to the 2030 Challenge as an effective way to tame CO2 emissions in the Building Sector. Buildings are the major contributor to climate change, being responsible for almost half of all US energy consumption and GHG emissions. The 2030 Challenge calls for a 50% reduction in energy consumption, including fossil fuel, GHG-emitting energy, of all new buildings and major renovations by 2010, and for incrementally increasing the reduction every five years, so that all new buildings are carbon neutral by 2030.
The urgent need for a code-based approach prompted Architecture 2030 to develop 'code equivalents,' which are the additional reductions needed beyond the requirements of a particular code, standard or rating system to meet or exceed the initial 50% target of the 2030 Challenge. These code equivalents can be easily incorporated into existing codes by ordinance.
"Architecture has taken a giant step toward delivering the reductions called for by the global scientific community," said Ken Colburn who, as Senior Consultant for the Center for Climate Strategies, has worked with more than 20 states to design, launch and manage comprehensive climate action plans. R.K. Stewart, 2007 president of the American Institute of Architects, the first organization to adopt the 2030 Challenge, also expressed the paper's importance, stating that it will "enable us to act both decisively and immediately to bring energy use in the Building Sector under control."
Architecture 2030 believes that states, local governments and professional organizations are the real heroes on climate change. "They have taken the lead on addressing this crisis. We are excited to be able to provide them with such a useful and powerful tool for making the 2030 Challenge a reality in their communities," said Mazria.
For additional information and to download "Meeting the 2030 Challenge Through Building Codes," visit http://www.architecture2030.org.