What and Why - AIA 2030


As per the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report, the trends from implemented policies are not on track to limit warming to 1.5°C which is the target limit set out by the Paris Agreement. Global warming has already resulted in significant alterations to human and natural systems; by limiting temperature increase to 1.5°C, it is expected that adaptation will be less difficult, and our world will suffer fewer negative impacts. Climate change researchers suggest that the 1.5°C limit is likely to be reached between 2030 and the early 2050s, unless concerted action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is taken.
graph of global greenhouse gas emissions


Since the built environment creates a staggering ~40% of the world’s emissions, we must eliminate all CO2 emissions from the built environment by 2040 to help meet 1.5°C climate targets. Considering the global building floor area is expected to double by 2060, architects, engineers, and owners play a key role in this effort.
chart of annual global CO2 emissions
world map global building floor area
AIA 2030 Commitment is an actionable climate strategy that gives us a set of standards and goals for reaching net zero carbon emissions in the built environment by 2030.
Chart 2030 Challenge net zero carbon emissions
More than 1,000 firms have already committed to reaching carbon neutrality by 2030.

As per last year's reporting information, 378 companies reported a 51.3% overall predicted EUI reduction for over 22,000 projects in 102 countries.
2020 data at a glance
As architects and engineers, we understand the need to exercise leadership in creating the built environment. We believe we must alter our profession’s practices and encourage our clients and the entire design and construction industry to join with us to change the course of the planet’s future.

DES Earth Studio

DES has been a signatory of AIA 2030 since 2019 and committed to reducing the carbon footprints of our projects. We have been incrementally adding more projects to our reporting every year.
2019 to 2021 buildings projects reported
3045 park street view with energy efficiency feature3045 Park AIA energy use index data
DES’ 2025 Goals - 50% of our projects to be reported! How can we reach this goal?
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Set Energy Use Intensity (EUI) at project inception
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Brainstorm with clients and project teams about carbon neutrality and sustainability goals
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Utilize in-house modeling and research expertise
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Integrated design approach - bring MEP and energy consultants early on
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Regular check-in to ensure the design meeting the EUI and Embodied Carbon targets
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Register and report update at each project phase
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Annual firm-wide reporting to AIA 2030 and benchmark progress

DES Sustainability Action Plan Policy

As a signatory firm of AIA 2030 Commitment program, DES believes that sustainability must become second nature in our practice, and together we and our clients must change the course of our planet's future for the better. Our primary goal is to integrate sustainable practices in our design work and in the company’s operations. We understand the AIA 2030 Commitment program is a vigorous multi-year effort to make our planet a better place. Our Sustainability Action Plan is designed to continuously grow and update our sustainability progress and achieve carbon-neutral buildings by the year of 2030.
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Encourage and incentivize employees to become knowledgeable in one or more sustainable building design and healthy workplace standards – Examples: LEED, WELL, Fitwel.
Provide time, training, stipends and resources to employees to participate and invest in green building research, technology and software. 
Every project is pledged to practice and incorporate design strategies and best practices to achieve incremental improvement in energy performance, carbon offset and ultimately AIA 2030 goal of zero carbon buildings.
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Strive for carbon neutrality in all projects from design to construction, from materials to operations of the building projects, including striving to go all electric in all residential and office projects.
Strive to create healthy workspaces in all our projects. We commit to promoting Fitwel or WELL certifications or equivalency in all our projects.
Create a water and energy use database for all completed projects and compare this with the predicted energy and water performance. This data will inform us of key issues in actual building operations and inform our design decisions in future projects.
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Promote environmentally friendly practice and budget for the firm’s operation. 
Collaborate with academics, engineering and science communities to create building design using scientific data and research.
Actively engage in helping to shape and plan for sustainable communities. Create, preach and execute sustainable design principles and strategies for all clients, projects and markets.


The Sustainability Action Plan and implementation progress will be evaluated every year and updated according to changing market trends. Feedback will be collected from department leaders, project teams and employee surveys.
Annual reporting to AIA 2030, using Design Data Exchange.
Annual review of SAP and progress towards AIA 2030 carbon-neutral building goals.
Annual goal-setting session for Project Design, Progress, Operation and Training.
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Architecture 2030AIA 2030 CommitmentIPCC Sixth Assessment Report - Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change