Weâ€™re starting a new series of posts here at the Practical Environmentalist about people in our local and global communities that are doing their part to help the environment. If youâ€™d like to recommend someone whoâ€™s making a difference, please leave a comment!
Our first profile is of â€œGreenâ€ Architect Ed Mazria. Mr. Mazria was recently featured in an interview by the Weekly Alibi, a free weekly publication distributed throughout central New Mexico.
Here is some information about Mr. Mazriaâ€™s work and some excerpts from the interview.
Ed Mazria is an architect based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is also the founder of a green architecture project called â€œArchitecture 2030.â€ Architecture 2030 is a nonprofit organization and their goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are related to building design. Their website states the motivations for their work:
â€œUnknowingly, the architecture and building community is responsible for almost half of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions annually. Globally the percentage is even greater.â€
Mazria says that this is due to many buildings’ gas-fired furnaces and hot water heaters (about 10 to 12 percent of the total carbon emissions), lights, heating, air conditioning, computers, copy machines, etc.
So, how does Architecture 2030 propose to deal with this issue? Mazria and other architects have created the 2030 Challenge. And how does the challenge work?
Participants in the challenge are then expected to further reduce the emissions of the buildings they design and construct by 10 percent every five years so that by 2030, all buildings designed, redesigned or built in that year by participating members will be completely free of carbon emissions.
â€¦.their plan is to make buildings increasingly more efficient, thereby reducing demand. At the same time, they plan to encourage the creation of more alternative (meaning carbon-free) energy sources like wind and solar.
And the response has been pretty amazing, according to Mazria. Organizations that have accepted the Challenge include: The American Institute of Architects; the American Association of Heating, Cooling and Refrigeration Engineers; the United States Green Building Council; and the United States Conference of Mayors.
According to Mazria, the only major players missing from the sector are home buildersâ€™ associations and building trades unions, but Mazria believes theyâ€™ll be along.
Want to learn more about the 2030 Challenge? You can check out their website here. You can also read the complete interview with Ed Mazria here. (Assuming that the Alibi.com doesnâ€™t drop the interview from their website!)