AIA 2030: Making a Commitment to the Future
The building industry, as a whole, accounts for somewhere between 40% and 50% of total energy consumption in the U.S. We at SMMA take our role as stewards of responsible and eco-friendly building design seriously. In 2013, SMMA pledged its support of the American Institute of Architects’ 2030 Commitment, vowing to report our progress in meeting predicted energy-consumption goals for buildings in our portfolio. The AIA 2030 Commitment—the stated goal of which is to achieve carbon-neutrality in building design by 2030—comprises four key components: establish a team to guide sustainability goals in the company, implement four operational action items to increase awareness of sustainability actions, develop a sustainability action plan that will guide progress toward 2030 goals, and report on the progress.
We recently developed our Sustainable Action Plan, laying out goals and implementation strategies for all of our projects. The multi-disciplinary environment at SMMA allows for a highly integrated design process, allowing staff to effectively communicate among all disciplines to deliver a holistic solution.
SMMA’s Sustainable Action Plan and reporting will guide our designs to greener levels, ultimately improving the end products we deliver clients. We measure our energy savings against a baseline of the average energy consumption of similar existing buildings in a similar climate. Doing so allows us to pinpoint project types that may be more successful at implementing energy-efficient strategies, which we can then apply to other projects that share similar characteristics.