Architecture 2030 is a non-profit, non-partisan and independent organization established in 2002 in response to the ongoing climate emergency.

Our Mission

Architecture 2030’s mission is to rapidly transform the built environment from the major emitter of greenhouse gases to a central solution to the climate emergency. For over a decade, we’ve provided the leadership and designed the actions needed to achieve the CO2 emissions reductions for a high probability of limiting planetary warming to 1.5°C. Our action plan has two primary objectives:.

  • Achieve a dramatic reduction in the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of the built environment by 2030, and a complete phase-out of fossil fuel CO2 emissions by 2040; and,
  • Advance the development of sustainable, resilient, equitable, and zero-carbon buildings communities and cities.

We empower the building and industrial sectors to achieve these goals through: Design & Planning, Education, Policy, and Collaboration

Building on 17 years of success, we’re responding to the urgency of this moment with a range of initiatives to catalyze action and accelerate results. These feature a whole-sector approach to the built environment, including a focus on embodied carbon and materials, local government codes and policies that rapidly scale solutions, “how-to” conferences, and major international sector actions and collaborations.

In the course of transforming the built environment, significant market opportunities will emerge and help to drive this urgent transition. Our research illustrates that low- to no-carbon techniques and applications can be implemented at no incremental cost, as the evolving regulatory environment increasingly mandates their adoption.

The stakeholders leading in climate action now will be best positioned to capitalize on and lead the transition.

Our Story

For over a decade, in a concerted effort to combat the projected consequences of climate change, Architecture 2030 and collaborators have championed the cause of sustainable and carbon-neutral planning and design in the built environment.

Architecture 2030 has a highly successful track record of innovation and program implementation engaging the design community and sub-national, national and international governments. Architecture 2030 initiated the 2030 Challenge in 2006, which led to the zero emissions movement in the global building sector and has since been adopted by architectural design firms, states, cities, counties, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), International Union of Architects, US Conference of Mayors, and the China Accord.

In addition to the 2030 Challenge, other initiatives and programs leading to the zero emissions movement in the global built environment include:

The Challenges

The 2030 Challenge – AIA created the 2030 Commitment—a national framework with simple metrics and a standardized reporting format—to provide a structure for tracking progress and help you meet the 2030 Challenge targets. Over 800 A/E/P firms have adopted the 2030 Commitment with over 3.3 billion sq ft of project work reported in 2019 alone. Architecture 2030 encourages all firms interested in achieving the 2030 Challenge targets to become 2030 Commitment signatories.

UPDATE: Architecture 2030 is now accelerating the 2030 Challenge to 2021. Learn more here.

The 2030 Challenge for Planning – This Challenge is the goal set for the 2030 Districts Network, a membership of 23 private-sector-led, high performance urban building districts across North America. 2030 Districts are led by the private sector, with local building industry leaders, community groups and government to achieve significant energy, water, and emissions reductions.

The 2030 Challenge for Embodied Carbon – This Challenge, originally the 2030 Challenge for Products, spawned the Carbon Leadership Community (previously the Embodied Carbon Network), which now has over 5,400 members from 2650 companies and organizations worldwide, spanning the construction industry from both the private sector and public sector. Architecture 2030 and the Network collaborated to create the Carbon Smart Materials Palette – an attribute-based approach to embodied carbon emissions reductions for major building elements that will guide building design and construction, and government procurement policies.


CarbonPositive – global events focused on how to achieve the actions needed within the built environment to meet 1.5ºC Paris Agreement goals and phase out carbon emissions by 2040. Recordings from the latest Teach-In are available on the CarbonPositive website.

2030 Palette – a highly visual and accessible online platform that meets the “how to” needs of planners, architects, designers, and builders. The principles, actions and resources it provides generate place-based, decarbonized and adaptable built environments worldwide. 

AIA+2030 Series – an educational series for design professionals that has been implemented in 27 markets across North America and is now a highly successful online education series.

2030 Curriculum ProjectArchitecture 2030 works with leading educators in the US to compile cutting-edge courses for Architecture and Planning Schools throughout the North America.

INNOVATION 2030 – a design-and-ideas competition that addressed climate change and recognizes innovative and exemplary designs that focus on energy and emissions, adaptation and resiliency.

Carbon Smart Materials Palette – an attribute-based approach that creates an immediately applicable, high-impact pathway to embodied carbon reductions in the built environment.

Global Initiatives

Roadmap to Zero Emissions – We have expanded our global impact through initiatives in China, Korea, and Europe, and through collaboration with international bodies. Architecture 2030 co-led Buildings Day at COP21, and submitted the Roadmap to Zero Emissions, to the UNFCCC-ADP – a flexible plan that sets out the emissions reduction targets necessary in the building sector worldwide to avert dangerous and irreversible climate change.

China Accord – Architecture 2030 and the China Exploration and Design Association – Architecture Branch (CEDAAB) brought together 52 key Chinese and international architecture and planning firms responsible for designing thousands of cities, neighborhoods, and buildings worldwide, with a common mission: to dramatically reduce carbon emissions in the built environment. The historic meeting culminated with the signing of the China Accord – a commitment to plan and design cities, towns, developments, and buildings in China to low carbon/carbon neutral standards.

China Zero Net Carbon Professional Training – To support the China Accord, CEDAAB and Architecture 2030 co-hosted a Zero Net Carbon (ZNC) professional training workshop in Shanghai. This event, sponsored by the Tongji Architectural Design Group Co. Ltd., was the first training of its kind to prepare architects, planners, building sector professionals, and future trainers from across China to design ZNC developments and buildings.

Zero Code – A model international code standard for zero-net-carbon commercial and mid/high-rise residential buildings that can be adopted by national and sub-national governments (state, provincial and municipal).

Driving Policy

Achieving ZERO – A framework of integrated policies for sub-national governments to phase out CO2 emissions in the built environment by 2040. Its key implementation strategies occur at building intervention points which align building energy upgrades — energy efficiency retrofits and the sourcing of renewable energy — with capital improvement and major renovation cycles of existing buildings.  The framework utilizes the ZERO Code – a standard that integrates cost-effective energy efficiency requirements with on-site and/or off-site renewable energy – resulting in zero-net-carbon buildings.

ZERO Cities Project – Applying the Achieving Zero framework in the support of eleven U.S. cities with the generation and implementation of “80×50 to Zerox50” policy roadmaps. ZERO Cities is a partnership with the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (CNCA) and Urban Sustainability Network (USDN). Achieving Zero is structured to deliver energy and emissions reductions and the rapid expansion of local renewable energy systems while supporting the development of equitable, thriving and resilient communities.

Architecture 2030 continues to introduce new programs that expand on their major initiatives, creating new tools and new interventions to help reduce carbon emissions, especially those related to reducing the embodied carbon of building materials and construction.

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