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An update on Architecture 2030

Posted: February 27, 2012 by , Category:Architecture 2030

With the start of a new year, we’re that much closer to the year 2030. So the question arises, are we on track to meet the challenge of Architecture 2030?

Why is Architecture 2030 an important goal? In the U.S., commercial buildings are responsible for nearly half the greenhouse gas emissions. Rather than just talking about reducing this number, Architecture 2030 is committed to transforming the building industry, reducing climate change and energy consumption worldwide.

Check out this video for more on Architecture 2030, courtesy of PBS.

Last year, the organization took things a step further, launching the 2030 Challenge for Products. Celebrating one year since the challenge was launched, eco-structure checked in to see how things are going. The part of the interview follows.

Is there a set goal as to how many people you want signed on to any of the challenges?

We’ve never really approached our challenges in that way. Our goal is to raise awareness about the really big issues and get people talking and

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moving in a direction. As long as that’s happening, we focus on supporting it and making it better, but not necessarily on targeting a particular number.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. I think 2012 is the year to really move the needle in our industry. With the launch of ASHRAE’s new image — Shaping Tomorrow’s Built Environment Today — and this update

on Architecture 2030, sustainable design and the importance of utilizing quantifiable performance analysis to design the next generation of buildings is upon us.

How can we achieve Architecture 2030?

Posted: September 1, 2011 by , Category:Architecture 2030

Architecture 2030 is somewhat of a “hot topic” around the IES offices. There’s always something new to talk about as it relates to the goal focused of protecting our global environment by using innovation and common sense to develop solutions to the increasing problem of global warming.

I recently came across this article on Daily Commercial News by Wayne DeAngelis. In his article, titled “Time to re-think energy use and production,” he gets to the core of what Architecture 2030 is all about.

When American architect Edward Mazria first pondered the notion of what architecture would be like in the year 2030, he was no doubt well aware of the struggle that lay ahead in terms of carbon dioxide emissions, building waste, brownfields, greenfields and the usurping of this planet’s precious finite resources such as water, land and air. Yet he may not have anticipated the momentum “The 2030 Challenge” would initiate.

We’ve quoted Ed Mazria before. I think this quote from a few years’ ago is worth taking another look.
We tend to rush toward the complex when trying to solve a daunting problem, but in this case, simplicity wins. Better buildings, responsible energy use and renewable energy choices are all we need to tackle both energy independence and climate change,” said Mazria.

And that’s just the thing. In order to tackle climate change and build sustainable buildings not just now, but for the future, we need to stop and take a step back. Simplicity at its core is

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something we should practice in many areas of our lives, especially design. Rather than building massive buildings that are underutilized and aren’t energy efficient, we need to take a look at the earliest stages of the design process and ask ourselves, “What is the goal of this building?” Many times, the answer helps guide the design and its ultimate simplicity.

We’ve got just under two decades to get to Architecture 2030. Can we do it?

Seattle Space Needle

Seattle Space Needle

When you think about the “big cities” in the U.S., and the ones that are usually at the forefront of trends, you usually think of New York City and San Francisco.

But Seattle?

According to a recent article in Sustainable Industries, Seattle is proving to be a powerhouse when it comes to energy efficiency in commercial buildings.

“Seattle’s buildings provide one of the greatest opportunities to generate energy savings and boost economic development for the city,” Department of Planning and Development director Diane Sugimura said in a news release. “This new program will help building owners take a key step toward increasing building energy efficiency, which, in turn, helps lower operating costs, makes buildings more competitive and creates good local jobs.”

That’s what it’s all about after all. Increasing energy efficiency within buildings for a truly sustainable future. The savings in terms of money is a bonus.

Next week, Seattle Energy & Design Roundtable will be hosting an event at the US Bank Center Building. Our U.S. Business Development Manager Nathan Kegel will be discussing VE-Gaia from early phase design all the way through project completion and submittal to rating authorities. Dan Munn and Matt Glassman from DLR Group will then present on how they used IES VE for early phase design and highlight training programs used at DLR to help architects reach the Architecture 2030 goals.

Speaking of Architecture 2030, the Architecture 2030 District mentioned in the article certainly sounds like a model for success. I’ll be interested to see the successes there.

So we’ll be keeping our eyes on Seattle and the many other cities developing and implementing energy efficiency standards for commercial buildings. It’s an exciting time for sustainable design!

Congratulations to our clients, highlighted in yellow, that were shortlisted for the 2009 Building and UKGBC Sustainability Awards – keep up the good work and good luck at the awards ceremony on 24th November.

You can view all the shortlisted entries by visiting the Building Magazine article

Sustainable Designer of the Year (Architect or Engineer)

    Aedas Architects Bennetts Associates Cundall Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios Jestico + Whiles pha Consult PRP Ramboll

Sustainable Consultant of the Year

  • Atelier Ten
  • Atkins / Faithful+Gould
  • BDP
  • Davis Langdon
  • Hilson Moran
  • Jones Lang LaSalle
  • WSP

Sustainable Contractor of the Year (Main or Specialist)

  • Breyer Group
  • Byrne Bros Ltd
  • NG Bailey
  • United House, Islington
  • Wates Group
  • Willmott Dixon

2010 Imperative

Posted: July 30, 2009 by , Category:2010 Imperative, Architecture 2030



As we discussed earlier this year, the 2010 Imperative is on a mission, challenging colleges and universities to become carbon-neutral by 2010. It also aims at making ecological literacy become a key element of design education by that year in an effort to combat global warming and world resource depletion. Many students, firms and Universities have already signed up for 2010 Imperative, as you can see on http://www.architecture2030.org/2010_imperative/2010imperative_adoptions.php.

In fact, it is the students who seem really concerned by climate change, many have chosen to personally adopt the 2010 Imperative and are therefore committed to encouraging their schools to adopt and implement it. Several facebook groups have been created about the 2010 Imperative, which further shows that students want to make everybody sensitive to the challenge launched by the planet.

IES is on-board and doing all we can to help, offering all N. American schools signed up for The 2010 Imperative a free VE-Pro network license, which is worth thousands of dollars. Some of the schools that have signed and taken us up on this offer are the Pratt Institute of Technology, University of Southern California and Savannah College of Art and Design.

But this initiative isn’t just something colleges and universities should be considering. Nationwide, we can all help to make the world a more eco-friendly place by reviewing the ways in which we use things in our everyday lives. Or of you’re in the construction industry, sign up to the 2030 Challenge, and commit to designing buildings with greatly reduced carbon footprints.

2010 Imperative

Posted: January 21, 2009 by , Category:2010 Imperative

The “Green Movement” has become a trend greatly driven by the youth of the world. They are demanding that the environmental crisis that has arisen be taken seriously and responsibility taken where needed. A world where colleges and universities were ranked by academics, quality of life and cafeteria food has taken a backseat to the environmental initiatives being pledged. Whether the interest is for new energy source means, more sustainable dormitories, or better options for bicycle users; universities across the US are aiming stepping up to show their responsibility to prospective student and their parents.

Colleges across the board, both Ivy League and state has begun their push for a sustainable world. The 2010 Imperative has been created to propose a challenge to all colleges and universities to reach carbon-neutral by 2010. The program, although challenging, is meant to enlighten people to the possibility of a threshold in atmospheric carbon, in which, if reached will be irreversible according to many climatologists. The 2010 Imperative calls for combinations of designed LEED accredited buildings, on-site renewable power, and education through all disciplinarians across campus.

To find out more about the 2010 Imperative, or adopt it, please click here.

IES has joined forces with this leading environmental movement to offer all schools signed up to the 2010 Imperative a free full <Virtual Environment> software licence suitable for use across a network. Worth thousands of dollars, eligible schools should contact Lindsay Kinnally in our Boston office for more information on this offer and associated training and support offers: Tel: +1 617 426 1890, Email: lindsay.kinnally@iesve.com

What I’d like to do in my blog is provide some basic guidance with some simple hints and tips for taking your sexy SketchUp model one step further and running the likes of detailed energy consumption, Architecture 2030 Challenge benckmarking and LEED daylighting compliance analysis. Now, I’ve had a bit of experience using SketchUp over the last couple of months but not even close to some of you “super users” so please forgive me if some of this is old hat to you. However, and this is the point, there is a difference between the conventional way of drawing a SketchUp model, purely concerning the shell of the building and its aesthetics, and having individual rooms acknowledged for analysis eligibility.

Now, I am going to assume that you already know about the SketchUp plug-in and the room finding icons and so on and so forth (if not, please go to the SketchUp link on this website or go to www.youtube.com/IESVE). All I’d like to do is help you to get your model ready quickly and efficiently to streamline the process of analysing your building design.

Right, let’s cover the basics first, and then we can apply it to something relevant. You may have seen some of this in the literature, but I’ll assume you haven’t.

The first movie clip shows the basics of room creation and how the room finding algorithm finds spaces based on surfaces.


Once the 2nd room is extruded, you will see there is no floor. The fundamental rule for “rooms” to be acknowledged is they must be enclosed volumes. These have no floor, hence no rooms are found.
Drawing a line across the floor will then bound these spaces with the floor and also a partition wall. 2 rooms are found.
I don’t want a partition wall, so I’ll delete the surface. Woops! Only 1 room is found now.

I’ll draw the surface back in by adding a diagonal line to bound it, then delete the diagonal line.

This time, instead of deleting the surface, I’ll make the surface 0% opacity and it will be picked up as a partition, albeit an invisible one, but at least light, heat and air can pass through it. Ah ha! Now I have 2 rooms again.

Ok, so that fundamental rule is that to divide spaces into separate rooms, there must be a surface connecting them, then the levels of opacity will determine whether they are walls, windows, or holes.

0% – hole
1-99% – window
100% – wall

Ok, let’s take that rule and apply it to my design.

1. We shall assume we have the floor plate but no individual spaces. If you want to know what the heating and cooling loads are for each of the rooms, not the whole floor because they have 1. Varying space usage and 2. Different orientations and hence varying solar penetration.

2. One of the spaces is in an open plan office but it’s very large so we want to split the space into perimeter and core, but maintain the space as open plan for solar tracking and heat/air transfer purposes.

3. So the steps shown in the 2nd movie are as follows.


a. Floorplate with no floor, no room found

b. Floor drawn, room found

c. Partition walls drawn to define enclosed office spaces.

d. Core and perimeter spaces drawn

e. Partition walls modified to have 0% opacity therefore in any subsequent analysis, light, heat and air

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can pass through into the adjacent space, but each room is considered its own entity from a load perspective.

The next step will be to run this model through the likes of VE-Ware (our free tool), the VE-Toolkits and modules within the full Virtual Environment. This will allow you to gauge its performance in terms of daylighting, airflow, energy and thermal comfort. And you thought your sexy SketchUp model was just for show eh. Wait ’till my next blog.

Pete M

The 2030 Blueprint

Posted: September 5, 2008 by , Category:Architecture 2030

I was reading today about the presentation that Ed Mazria gave at the National Clean Energy Summit last month, it was really great to hear him pushing how important reducing a buildings energy consumption is as part of the mix required to create carbon neutral buildings.

“We tend to rush toward the complex when trying to solve a daunting problem, but in this case, simplicity wins. Better buildings, responsible energy use and renewable energy choices are all we need to tackle both energy independence and climate change,” said Mazria.

We’ve always stressed in everything we do that reducing the energy requirements of a building must be the first step you take before considering low carbon technologies or renewables etc., so great to see figures supporting this….

From their 2030 Blueprint


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