A new report on architects’ progress toward the AIA’s 2030 Commitment Program finds that firms are taking gradual steps toward the AIA’s goal of carbon-neutral buildings by the year 2030. More firms filed energy-consumption reports in 2011 than in 2010—and by many metrics, the AIA can report progress toward its broader goals.

The Measuring Industry Progress Toward 2030 report finds an 86 percent increase in the number of firms filing reports in 2011 over that of 2010. Collectively the firms reported energy-consumption findings on 565 million gross square feet of building—a 70 percent increase from the figure reported in 2010.

In other respects, the gains were slimmer. In 2011, 45 percent of the total gross square footage was area for which actual energy use will be collected (as opposed to data modeling), representing a 9 percent increase in this figure from 2010. Just 13 percent of total gross square footage meets the current 60-percent carbon reduction target.

“We are encouraged to see such a large increase in the number of firms reporting their data, as well as the amount of square footage accounted for in this report,” said AIA executive vice president Robert Ivy, FAIA.  “But we are still a long way from our target goals for reduced carbon emissions in buildings.  Integrating energy modeling into the design process is the best way for architects to implement strategies to reduce energy consumption in their projects and educate their clients of potential for savings on utility costs over the entire lifecycle of the building.”