060611 Sustainable AIA: 2031--Integrating Sustainability and Design for the Future (and Today)
By William J. Worthen, AIA, LEED AP, AIA Resource Architect for Sustainability
Welcome to my monthly series on how the AIA sustainability initiative is progressing. If sustainable design is an important aspect of your career or practice, you’ll be interested to know that we are working with a number of external committees and collaborative task groups to help achieve a more sustainable built environment. I’ll share insights and information on the newest tools and resources you need to stay ahead of the sustainability curve, build your practice, and educate yourself for 2031 and beyond.
Why 2031 you ask? Much attention has been given to the year 2030 as an absolute date by which architects must design all new buildings, developments and major renovations to be carbon-neutral (using no fossil fuel GHG emitting energy to operate). Miss that date and it just might be game over. We certainly have our work cut out for us. This article summarizes my view of the challenges ahead.
To support this very effort, the AIA already offers a program, aptly named the 2030 Commitment, that helps you assess your own office operations and projects so you can first understand how your firm is doing in relation to the 2030 Commitment targets. The first step to any solution is figuring out how to assess and measure the potential problem , right? The 2030 Commitment is the tool that does just that. Take the time to review the AIA’s 2030 Commitment Program and consider making the appropriate requests to have your firm sign on.
More good news. The AIA , USGBC ,and GBCI staff met numerous times last year, including two meetings where the AIA Large Firm Roundtable participated, to determine how continuing education credits could meet both the AIA sustainable design requirement (SD) and also qualify for LEED AP credential maintenance . We have made some significant strides.
Many of the sustainable design education programs offered at the 2010 AIA Convention and Exposition in Miami and at the 2010 Virtual Convention were approved for credit by each organization. Although we’re still working out the policy and technical details of a long-term collaboration on education tracking/reporting, including how to align education systems with different provider requirements and fee structures, we are hopeful of continued progress in 2011 on this front.
The other great news on member education and the USGBC and GBCI is that your AIA transcript is now acceptable as proof of attendance for any qualified SD course needed to satisfy your LEED AP credential maintenance program requirements and/or the AIA’s SD LU requirement. How do you know if a course is approved by the AIA and GBCI? Ask your course provider. AIA members who are also LEED APs can discard that pile of old Certificates of Completion you just never quite knew what to do with. Just make sure the course appears on your AIA transcript first. Recycle please.
In the next Sustainable AIA: 2031, more on green code education and several research projects. Future issues will explore the outcomes of a variety of sustainably-focused committees and programs including work with ASHRAE, USGBC, GBCI, NIBS, BECS , ICC, NREL, LBNL, the LFRT, and AIA COTE leadership. And don’t forget, the 2011 COTE Top Ten Award submissions are due no later than 5:00PM EST on January 24, 2011.
I look forward to hearing from you. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sustainability and Design–Can We Evolve?