2019 Environmental Stewardship Report
2019 marks the end of an incredible decade with seven of the 10 hottest years ever recorded contributing to an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. It also brought a significant push towards stricter building energy codes and policies to minimize greenhouse gas emissions in the upcoming years. Zero net energy buildings are emerging as viable options for clients to meet their climate commitments. We view this increase in the number of zero net energy buildings being constructed as evidence of an increasing awareness by clients in both the public and private sectors to address climate change.
The positive outcomes expected as a product of the efforts of the past decade depend on successfully implementing zero net energy building solutions. For this reason, in 2019, we invested heavily in training specifically tailored for our clients, as well as our design teams. Using such tools, in 2019 we designed four zero net energy projects and added another 11 projects to our Getting to Zero Dashboard targeted to meet 2030 Challenge goals. This brings our total to 70 projects designed to meet the 2030 Challenge targets over the past five years across all climate zones and multiple building types.
DLR Group’s average reduction target of predicted net energy use intensity based on performance data, has consistently exceeded the national peer group average. Last year, our integrated design process resulted in a 53 percent pnEUI reduction compared to average buildings. Building on our mass timber expertise by serving clients throughout North America, we have begun to integrate carbon as the common denominator in our integrated design conversations. More than one third of our design projects tracked in 2019 were adaptive reuse or major renovation projects, further contributing to the embodied carbon savings by reusing existing buildings. Beyond embodied carbon, we are also beginning to address the impact of our designs on another precious resource – water. In 2019, the estimated water savings from the energy delivery process of our designs would fill 139 U.S. Olympic-size swimming pools.
This report celebrates environmental stewardship over the past decade. Click here to review key projects, milestones, and metrics in our sustainable design journey.