Washington, D.C. (Sept. 20, 2019)—In testimony before the United States House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy, the American Institute of Architect’s (AIA) 2018 President Carl Elefante, FAIA, outlined critical steps the U.S. must prioritize in order to reduce greenhouse gases in the built environment.
“The threat posed by climate change to our homes, cities, nation and the planet require that we fundamentally reexamine how we develop and adapt the built world,” said Elefante. “We know that new standards of design and construction can be utilized to combat climate change. Success on these initiatives will mean a holistic approach and long-term commitment from every aspect of our society to incorporate these principles into the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the nation’s buildings.”
Buildings represent 39% of the nation’s primary energy use and 39% of greenhouse gas emissions. In order to reduce the impact of buildings on our environment and meet the 2050 net-zero emissions target, Elefante said the U.S. will need to renovate and retrofit 75% of the existing building stock, which amounts to 54 billion square feet.
Elefante testified on behalf of the AIA based on his significant background and expertise in sustainable and resilient design strategies and strong understanding of needed improvements to U.S. building codes to achieve climate goals in the built environment.
AIA recently launched an initiative to drive climate action among the architecture profession. As part of this effort, AIA is calling on architects around the world to support humanity’s collective call to climate action through an unrelenting commitment to sustainable and resilient design.
Earlier this week, the Institute redoubled its efforts on climate change in a statement, "Where We Stand: Climate Action," detailing its initial path forward to support architects in making progress towards achieving net-zero emissions in the built environment by 2050.
Complete details of the hearing, as well as video of the testimony, can be obtained on the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s website.
For more information, visit aia.org.