The American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced the launch of "Walk the Walk," a multifaceted campaign to educate, promote and encourage sustainable design among consumers, business owners and architects. The purpose of the program is to help inform the marketplace of the benefits of more energy-efficient homes and buildings, which coincides with the AIA's stated goal of making all buildings carbon neutral by 2030 and helping the U.S. design and construction industry reduce the consumption of fossil fuels in buildings. To advance its efforts in achieving a 50 percent fossil fuel reduction by 2010, the AIA also is implementing a comprehensive communications plan, inclusive of print and online advertising, new media and public relations.
"As America continues to be saturated by messages of 'going green,' there is a general lack of understanding that buildings are one of the primary sources of the greenhouse gases contributing to global warming and climate change," said Christine McEntee, Executive Vice President and CEO of the AIA. "The 'Walk the Walk' program will raise awareness of this issue and provide practical energy saving solutions for people who build, work and live in buildings of all shapes and sizes."
"Now is the time we must highlight the benefits of more energy-efficient homes and buildings to secure the future for our children and their children," said former AIA President RK Stewart, FAIA. "This is a critical initiative for the AIA. The architecture profession is not merely providing resources and metrics that frame the issue of sustainable design, rather, more importantly, the AIA is offering design strategies and innovations that will lead to a healthier planet. This is not a new issue for architects; the AIA has been awarding the country's top green projects since 1997 and have numerous partnerships with government agencies and collaborative relationships with design and construction industry organizations to help advance the cause of sustainable design."
AIA RESOURCES ON SUSTAINABILITY
To achieve its goals, the AIA offers two environmental toolkits:
For the 2030 Tool Kit, the AIA partnered with the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) to encourage city leaders to promote high-performance, sustainable building design with a goal of reaching a 50 percent fossil fuel reduction by 2010 and carbon neutral buildings by 2030. The National Association of Counties joined AIA and USCM in advocating these energy reduction goals. The toolkit highlights green building issues and provides samples of effective ordinance language for communities, as well as examples of what others are already doing to pursue green building programs.
The 50to50 toolkit is a set of 50 strategies, tools and techniques that can have an immediate impact on architects' ability to achieve significant reductions in energy use and carbon emissions for the buildings they design. For example, the 50to50 toolkit recommends designing buildings to maximize passive strategies like incorporating more windows to capitalize on daylight and use less lighting energy.
Walk the Walk" Sustainability Resources
This national communications campaign calls on architects, their clients and the public to work together to create a greener footprint on the planet and includes advertising, online sustainability resource centers and GreenStep, a multipart informational series detailing the benefits of utilizing sustainable design. GreenStep is available online at the end of January.
Additionally, an AIA staff Resource Architect focused exclusively on sustainable design, will provide consumers and the media with valuable tips and resources on a variety of sustainable design topics as well as supporting the AIA's advocacy efforts for legislative and regulatory changes that lead to its goal of carbon neutral buildings by 2030.
The AIA is undertaking other initiatives, including the sustainable renovation of its corporate headquarters in Washington, D.C., participation in the greening of the U.S. Capitol, issuing an evaluation of current green building certification standards and focusing on sustainability at this year's AIA National Convention and Expo, slated for May 15 through May 17 in Boston.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.