Buildings represent nearly 40% of annual greenhouse gas emissions. We know that to reach the decarbonization targets set by the Paris Agreement, we must do more. From energy use to the materials specified, there are many opportunities for the architectural community to make a significant impact on reducing carbon across the industry. Join AIA’s commitment to carbon neutrality and explore the following initiatives, programs, and resources.
Help your firm reach zero
Each step of the design process is an opportunity to reduce carbon and drive value for your client. By engraining carbon neutrality into your firm’s goals, your project outcomes can embody the leading edge of sustainable and equitable practices. Use the following resources to work toward achieving a zero-carbon future.
AIA 2030 Commitment By the Numbers
An overview of the progress that projects and firms are making towards greater energy efficiency and the profession's 2030 targets.
ROI of High-Performance Design
Buildings designed with high-performance elements reduce negative impacts to the environment and improve the health and well-being of occupants. As awareness of the benefits of high-performance design grows, demand has also grown in this sector.
Embodied Carbon 101
Over 12 courses, you’ll learn how to measure, manage, and implement practical solutions from expert practitioners including architects and sustainable building product manufacturers.Learn more
Improve energy efficiency
Reducing a projects' energy consumption is the first step toward meeting a zero-carbon future. Energy efficient design features can transform new construction and existing buildings. And when energy efficiency is paired with renewable energy sources, it is a recipe for zero-carbon buildings. Delve into AIA’s resources to gain an overview of ways to improve your building’s overall performance.
Architect's Primer on Renewable Energy
Now more than ever, architects are called to design high performance buildings. This guide provides a starting point for architects to meet their clients’ goals and contribute to a more sustainable distributed electric grid by planning and designing for renewable energy sources.
Architect’s Guide to Building Performance
The best way to improve performance and know how your building will perform is through energy modeling early and often. The new Architect’s Guide to Building Performance helps architects better integrate building performance simulation into their design process.
TEOP for Architects
The new TEOP for Architects guide introduces how architects can use the Tenant Energy Optimization Program (TEOP) process to ensure they are harnessing the energy-conservation potential of existing buildings, saving clients money, and remaining at the forefront of sustainable design.
Tackle embodied carbon
In order to meet decarbonization goals and veer away from the impending catastrophic impacts of climate change, architects must tackle embodied carbon. Embodied carbon refers to the greenhouse gas emissions associated with materials and construction processes over the entire life cycle of a building. By considering embodied carbon in their projects, architects can address the drastic emission reductions required for crucial climate action. Draw upon the following resources as you work toward reducing embodied carbon emissions within your practice.
Design for Adaptability, Deconstruction, and Reuse
Spaces that are designed to be flexible make reacting to crisis easier. This guide redefines what it means to be adaptable.
Renovate, Retrofit, Reuse
Prepare your firm to take advantage of an increasing number of retrofit projects to generate positive economic, health, and environmental benefits with this guide that includes data, guiding principles, and case studies.
AIA-CLF Embodied Carbon Toolkit for Architects
A resource that provide architects an overview and the necessary steps to be taken to reduce embodied carbon in their projects.