Take the 2030 Challenge!

Buildings TODAY….Large GHG Emitters

Building Sector GHG

Buildings are the world’s largest users of energy and natural resources. They are responsible for 48% of our electricity demand (40% to operate and 8% to construct). In fact, 76% of all electricity generated by US power plants goes to supply the building sector. Therefore, we can take immediate to slow the growth rate of GHG emissions by renovating or constructing new buildings to use less energy.

In order to quantify how the building sector could be a large part of the solution for preventing the devastating consequences of a runaway climate, Architecture 2030 issued The 2030 Challenge asking the global architecture and building community to adopt the following targets:

  • All new buildings, developments and major renovations to 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 equal amount of existing building area shall be renovated annually to meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 50% of the regional (or country) average for that building type.
  • That 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 (using no fossil-fuel GHG-emitting energy to operate)

Early Adopters


Buildings TOMORROW…
Slow Climate Change!

2030 Challenge

These targets are readily achievable. Most developments and buildings can be designed to use only a small amount of energy at little or no additional cost through proper planning, siting, building form, glass properties and location, material selection and by incorporating natural heating, cooling, ventilation, and day-lighting strategies. The additional energy a development or building would then need to maintain comfort and operate equipment can be supplied by renewable sources such as solar (photovoltaics, hot water heating, etc.), wind, and geothermal energy.

75% Buildings RenovatedAccording to Architecture 2030 approximately three-quarters (75%) of the built environment will be either new or renovated by the year 2035 [1]. This transformation over the next 25 years represents an historic opportunity to avoid dangerous climate change.

Did You Know…

A number of buildings constructed between the late 70’s and early 80’s as part of a U.S Department of Energy Study achieved energy reductions between 50% to 80% just through energy efficient design.  The following are low-cost strategies that you can implement in your own home or workplace:

Passive Solar
Natural Ventilation
Material Selection

To learn more about these strategies, visit the Passive House Institute US and the Department of Energy’s Energy Star Website.

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