The AEC industry has seen a massive surge in construction largely because of the increase in population and urbanization we’re faced with. The world population living in urban areas has dramatically increased over the years due to better employment opportunities, quality of life and access to public infrastructure and facilities. This growth is projected to rise even further, and the AEC industry needs to keep up with this demand. In Sustainability: The Challenge Confronting Us Mike DeLacey commented that, “we can’t reverse the damage the construction industry has already caused as the largest contributor of greenhouse gases to the environment, more so than automobiles. But we can take steps to reduce its future impact by building more responsibly and sustainably moving forward to ensure a livable planet…”
To reduce the impact that the AEC industry has had on the environment, Edward Mazria and Architecture 2030 created the 2030 Challenge. The 2030 Challenge is focused on energy and greenhouse gas emission reductions in the built environment – for buildings, districts and cities, and building products.
The challenge was issued in 2006 and has specifically asked the global architecture and building community to adopt the following targets:
- All new buildings, developments and major renovations shall be designed to meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 70% below the regional (or country) average/median for that building type
- At a minimum, an equal amount of existing building area shall be renovated annually to meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 70% of the regional (or country) average/median for that building type
- The fossil fuel reduction standard for all new buildings and major renovations shall be increased:
- 80% in 2020
- 90% in 2025
- Carbon-neutral in 2030
Architecture 2030 has outlined a few steps to help firms meet the challenge goals:
- Establish an EUI baseline and target using the Zero Tool
- Apply low/no cost passive design strategies to achieve maximum energy efficiency. Visit the 2030 Palette for ideas.
- Integrate energy efficient technology and systems
- Incorporate on-site and/or off-site renewable energy to meet the remaining energy demands
- Engage in iterative energy modeling throughout the entire design process to understand the interactive effects of various design decisions and to assess progress towards meeting the EUI target.
The Microdesk team is well versed on this challenge and has adopted the initiative to help clients and firms meet this goal to better our planet and save money. To no surprise, there are tools already available within your favorite Autodesk software that can help you analyze your building’s performance and help you build more sustainably. For instance, Revit offers the Solar Analysis plugin that allows you to quickly, easily and iteratively perform and visualize solar impacts on the faces of mass models. This provides an opportunity to find potential locations for large amounts of solar heat gains for inside a building or on the other hand, find areas that shading effects might need to be considered.
If you are interested in learning more about the 2030 Challenge and how you can utilize the numerous tool available within your favorite Autodesk software to take one step closer to becoming Carbon-Neutral in 2030, drop us a line.