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Architect aims for carbon neutrality across building sector

May 20, 2018

Architect Ed Mazria (left) explains his ideas for reducing carbon emissions from buildings during a break at the Building(s) for a Sustainable Future symposium last week.
Credit Courtesy of CLEER

Ed Mazria founded the organization Architecture 2030, with the goal that all new buildings will be carbon-neutral by 2030. Last week, he spoke at a symposium in Carbondale that was hosted by local energy efficiency organizations.


Buildings account for nearly half of all energy consumed in the United States, and Mazria's goal is to eliminate carbon emissions and the use of fossil fuels in the building sector. He said it’s within reach, especially because energy codes now require highly efficient buildings.

“Buildings are always going to use energy, so how do you get from a very efficient building all the way down to carbon neutral?” Mazria said.

Mazria unveiled his latest idea to a crowd of local architects, builders, real estate agents and government officials. He calls it the “zero code” and it involves requiring including both on and off-site renewable energy.

Mazria said it’s up to local governments and the building industry to move the needle on climate action. Architects can use the best design practices and materials to reduce consumption by up to 70 percent, he said. Then it’s up to local government.


“The cities have a critical role to play in terms of setting targets and then having policies to actually meet the targets," Mazria said.

Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs have all set targets to reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.