The 2030 Challenge

March 25, 2007 · by Edward Mazria

Architecture 2030 has issued the "2030 Challenge" calling for design and building professionals to adopt the following global targets to curb building sector GHG emissions.

Architecture 2030 has issued the "2030 Challenge" calling for design and building professionals to adopt the following global targets to curb building sector GHG emissions:

  1. That all new buildings and developments be designed to use half the fossil fuel energy they would typically consume (half the country average for that building type).

  2. That at a minimum, an equal amount of existing building area* be renovated annually to use half the amount of fossil fuel energy they are currently consuming (through design, purchase of renewable energy and/or the application of renewable energy technologies).

  3. That the fossil fuel reduction standard for all new buildings be increased to:

Carbon-neutral by 2030 (using no fossil fuel GHG emitting energy to operate).

(*Due to China and India's large existing building stock, the annual area of building renovation should equal 1-1/2 times the area of new construction.)

The "2030 Challenge" clearly outlines a strategy to immediately stabilize and begin reducing building sector GHG emissions, with the goal of realizing a 60 percent to 80 percent reduction below today's level by 2050. What makes this strategy unique is that it is achievable through design, through creative problem solving, and the application of information and innovation, the very elements that are the foundation of the design professions.

To support this effort, in our professional design schools, we must also require the establishment of a mandatory, full-year, innovative, studio-based program which promotes creative problem-solving relevant to climate change - one which incorporates a deep understanding of the relationship between nature and design in all core courses.

How can we meet the 2030 Challenge?

Professional Schools Challenge


1. Beginning in 2007:
"All projects be designed to engage
the environment in a way that dramatically reduces or eliminates the need for fossil fuels"

2. By 2010:
Achieve complete ecological literacy in professional design education

3. By 2010:
Achieve a carbon neutral design school campus

Ed Mazria is an internationally recognized architect, author and lecturer. He is senior principal at Mazria Inc., Odems Dzurec, an architecture and planning firm, and founder of, a global movement to address the current climate crisis. Mazria speaks nationally and internationally on the subjects of building sector, energy, and climate change. He is a senior fellow of the DFC.

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