Two years ago, the AIA launched the 2030 Commitment, a voluntary program for member firms that asks them to take discrete, definite steps toward aligning their work with the goal of achieving carbon-neutral buildings by the year 2030. Last year, the institute released an Excel-based program to help firms that have signed on report their progress to the AIA.

How’s that working out? About as well as could be expected, reported Kelly Pickard, AIA manager of strategic initiatives, at the session “The AIA 2030 Commitment: Measuring Industry Progress Toward 2030.” Although 125 firms were expected to submit report (at press time, the number of firms that have signed on totaled 170), Pickard said, only 56 did, a 48 percent response rate. “We were a little disappointed,” she said, quickly pointing out that this was the first year reporting was available to firms. From the data provide by the firms that did submit reports, Pickard offered a few noteworthy numbers:

• Total gross square footage of active 2030 Commitment-compliant projects: 385 million (Pickard noted that these are “on the board” and not yet actually built)

• Average project energy use reduction: 35.1 percent (high: 70.6 percent; low: 11.6 percent)

• Active projects meeting current 2030 Commitment goal of 60 percent energy reduction: 12.1 percent

• Gross square footage being modeled: 58 percent

Commenting on this final number, Pickard noted that enegy modeling is something many architecture firms do not have experience in. To assist them, the AIA will be offering a practitioner’s guide as well as an educational video on energy modeling. Both will be available on the AIA website.