2021 Honorary Membership Recipient
The AIA recognizes the notable contributions and service of people outside of the architecture profession with Honorary Membership.
Steadfast in his commitment to mobilize action to fight climate change, Vincent Martinez, Hon. AIA, addresses this daunting challenge in ways both idealistic and practical. He is a recognized leader in developing robust networks to decarbonize buildings and has helped equip construction professionals with the tools and education they need to engage in net zero carbon building design.
In all of his work, Martinez has helped position architecture as a critical component in addressing the climate crisis. In response to the 2013 AIA Sustainability Leadership Scan, he has played an active role in a number of AIA’s working groups and knowledge communities. His leadership of the AIA 2030 Commitment Working Group led to the integration of baselining tools into the Design Data Exchange and stronger, more positive messaging in its annual reports.
Martinez is perhaps best known as the co-founder of 2030 Districts, a public-private model for high-performing building districts, which has been adopted by 22 cities in North America. Since its inception, the program has welcomed over 1,000 member organizations and seen the addition of nearly 500 million square feet of commercial building space. Martinez served as the 2030 Districts Network interim director for several years and remains a current and founding member of its board of governors.
Recognizing that significant shifts in practice require new tools and strategies, Martinez has developed a number of educational initiatives to aid those important transitions. The AIA+2030 Professional Education Series, developed in conjunction with AIA Seattle, has provided 25 AIA chapters and a number of associations in Canada with new strategies for achieving net zero carbon buildings. The subsequent online series has been consistently popular on AIAU and was recently translated into Korean in partnership with the Korean Green Building Council. Martinez was instrumental in the development of the 2030 Palette, the database that houses globally applicable and regionally specific design principles for adaptive and resilient built environments.
Martinez is also comfortable operating in the public policy realm, a critical factor for delivering decarbonization to the majority. He led the research, development, and production of Achieving Zero, an adaptable blueprint for cities and governments to hit critical emissions reduction targets. He also supported the development of the ZERO Code, the first international building energy standard for new construction that integrates cost-effective energy efficiency standards with on- or off-site renewable energy.
Throughout his career, Martinez has continually influenced the practice of architecture and its ability to address the climate crisis. His ability to connect with and influence a vast spectrum of strategic partners and audiences is crucial in ushering in a more sustainable and regenerative future.