Sunday, March 22, 2020

AIA Carbon Positive Report

The American Institute of Architects, in cooperation with Architecture 2030, put on a very important conference in Los Angeles on March 2 - 4, 2020. Ed Mazria of Architecture 2030 was a great keynote at the conference kickoff, and his slide presentation is here. An additional video of a 2010 presentation of his is here. The sessions are presented as a very, very urgent timeline for the building profession to engage and get to net zero by 2030. This is based upon the adoption of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report, Global Warming of 1.5°C, promoted by Mazria's organization.

UN | Report of the Secretary-General  Dec. 2019:

September’s Climate Action Summit delivered important new actions, a surge in climate momentum, and a clear destination: 45% emissions cuts by 2030 on the way to a carbon neutral world by 2050. The Secretary-General’s report on the outcomes of the Summit highlights the way forward in 2020, and outlines ten priority areas of action. We are seeing unprecedented changes in the earth’s environmental and physical processes. Climate change, air pollution, reduced availability of clean water, and persistent toxic chemicals threaten human, animal, and environmental health and well-being.

A special guest presentation was made by Farhana Yamin, who is an internationally renowned environmental lawyer and Extinction Rebellion activist with more than two decades of experience advising nations and NGOs on climate change and development policy. An interview with her is here. As well as authoring numerous books and IPCC reports, she has played a key role in drawing up international treaties, including the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change in 2015. Farhana is also an associate fellow at Chatham House and visiting professor at UCL. In April she glued herself to Shell's London headquarters in protest at the oil firm's climate impact.

This has resulted in a formal challenge to the profession which was presented to the architects attending the conference. Some conference notes are here from Michael Malinowski. Ed Mazria provides further background from the conference in his message to AIA: "The numbers may be abstract, but the implications are firm: we must reduce global CO2 emissions 50% to 65% by 2030, and reach full decarbonization by 2040." A little more of the story is here on how this conference came to be through Mazria's efforts over the decades.

The targets, roadmap and vision for the systemic change needed to address climate change are clear. They were recently discussed at CarbonPositive’20, with a video library here. At this milestone event, current actions and opportunities were presented, the latest tools, technologies and advanced materials were exhibited, experiences and expertise were shared, and the future was imagined. CarbonPositive’20 focused on the actions necessary to avert dangerous climate change and limit planetary warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Additional resources shared at the conference:
Climate Positive Design Challenge
Design with Climate: form follows performance explained with a psychrometric chart analysis.

Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) present transparent, verified and comparable information about the life-cycle environmental impact of products.

Beyond Net Zero

ARUP BioBuild is the world’s first self-supporting fa├žade panel for building construction made of biocomposite materials.

Living Algae Buildings  Australia

World Green Building Council  Net Zero

International Living Future Institute  Zero Carbon Certification

Skanska Embodied Carbon Calculation Tool

Update 4/7/20: The AIA 2030 Commitment to transform the practice of architecture has resources for professionals.

Update 4/8/20: Architect Magazine has provided climate action resources to the profession.

Update 4/23/20: Buildings are responsible for 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions.