DLR Group Signs Historic China Accord

During an historic conference in Shenyang, China, attended by the China Exploration and Design Association – Architecture Branch, Architecture 2030, leading Design Institutes from across China, and international design firms, DLR Group became one of 52 international firms to be an initial signatory to the China Accord, a collaborative effort to reduce carbon emissions in the built environment.

The China Accord champions the unprecedented opportunity available to China during the next 20 years to create healthy, resilient, and integrated regional infrastructure, cities, towns, and buildings that are models of economic and urban sustainability.

“The China Accord is a vital step as we work to achieve carbon neutrality and the aims of the Architecture 2030 Challenge,” said DLR Group Global Design Leader Steven McKay, who, along with DLR Group Global Energy and Engineering Leader Daniel Munn signed the China Accord on behalf of DLR Group.

“The China Accord is an historic and transformative initiative taken by leading Chinese and international architecture and planning firms in China,” said Edward Mazria, the founder and CEO of the non-profit Architecture 2030. “The Accord is just the beginning of our joint efforts, we have a long and exciting road ahead of us to decarbonize the worldwide built environment.”

Read the China Accord here. The Accord states that architecture, engineering, and planning firms and organizations will commit to the following targets for all new projects in China:

  • Cities, towns, urban developments, new buildings, and major renovations shall be planned and designed to be carbon neutral, meaning they use no more energy over the course of a year than they produce, or import, from renewable energy sources.
  • When reaching carbon neutral is not feasible or practical, cities, towns, urban developments, new buildings, and major renovations shall be designed to be highly efficient with the capability to produce, or import, all their energy from renewable energy sources in the future.

According to Architecture 2030, during the next 20 years the world is projected to build 80 billion square meters of new buildings in cities worldwide, an area equal to 60% of the entire global building stock. Since more than half of all global construction will take place in China (38%) and North America (the U.S. and Canada 15%), it is incumbent upon the global design profession to take a leadership role in planning for a carbon free and truly sustainable future by middle of this century.

“Someone has to change practices and behavior to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. The design industry is uniquely positioned to lead that effort and the China Accord signifies a significant commitment to that end by firm’s practicing in China,” said McKay.