The Greatest Opportunity for Net-zero Buildings is the Next 20 Years
Our friend Ed Mazria has prepared some exciting new work in advance of the 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris. Ed continues to champion change in the industry and a sustainable future with net zero building emissions.
His Roadmap to Zero Emissions report states that over the next 20 years some 900 billion square feet will be built or rebuilt. That’s huge: an area roughly equal to 60% of the total building stock in the world. We now face enormous potential for making progress toward 2030 Challenge targets in developed and developing countries alike.
I encourage you to read the report and study the data detailed in the appendix. While we’ve made great progress, the AEC community has much more work to do.
Architecture 2030’s message, and DLR Group’s position, is that the design community must seize this moment to effect change in growing nations like China to instill sustainable solutions that will create net-zero built environments. No mistake, working around the world to continue pushing toward net-zero buildings is a big challenge that will need a focused solution. We should be ambitious in our reach and realistic in implementation.
As a first, focused step for DLR Group, we have signed Architecture 2030’s China Accord. This document commits DLR Group to a sustainable design approach for all work in China, where we can be an agent of change for designing sustainable buildings and developments. More so, I’ve further challenged all of my peers at the firm to take full advantage of our integrated design approach and to carry that commitment and deliver sustainable design for our projects in Africa, India, the Middle East, and wherever our growth takes our design professionals.
Again, the opportunity cited in the Roadmap to Zero Emissions is enormous: 60% of the total building stock in the world will be built or rebuilt in the next twenty years. That’s just two decades — two which could be the defining moment of the 21st Century regarding energy usage on the planet. Let us, all of us in the AEC industry along with our clients, rise to the challenge of the commitment, work, and creativity to make it happen.