Harriman Commits to Carbon Neutrality by 2030

Apr 13, 2011.

Harriman, a full-service architecture and engineering design firm with offices in Portland and Auburn, Maine and Manchester, New Hampshire recently signed both the Architecture 2030 Challenge and the AIA 2030 Commitment, pledging its commitment to a sustainable built environment.

The Architecture 2030 Challenge is an initiative aimed at reducing the emission of greenhouse gases by changing the way buildings are designed and constructed. As an adoptee of the Challenge, Harriman will be required to meet the following targets: all new buildings, developments and major renovations shall be designed to meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 60% of the regional (or country) average for that building type; at a minimum, an equal amount of existing building area shall be renovated annually to meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 60% of the regional (or country) average for that building type; the fossil fuel reduction standard for all new buildings and major renovations shall be increased to: 70% in 2015; 80% in 2020; 90% in 2025; and carbon-neutral in 2030 (using no fossil fuel GHG emitting energy to operate). These targets may be accomplished by implementing innovative sustainable design strategies, generating on-site renewable power and/or purchasing (20% maximum) renewable energy.

The AIA 2030 Commitment is a challenge set forth by the American Institute of Architects to its member firms to take a leadership role in reducing the energy consumption and green house gas creation in the buildings that are designed and operated. The Commitment has a clear long-term goal: by 2030, it will be standard practice to design and construct climate neutral buildings — buildings that do not use greenhouse gas emitting energy to operate. The goal is to reduce energy consumption across each firm\’s entire portfolio, not just for projects seeking green building certification.
As part of the Commitment, Harriman commits to the following: within two months of signing the Commitment, establish a team to guide the development of the firm’s sustainability efforts and implementation of its commitment plan; within six months of signing the Commitment, implement a minimum of four operational action items. These actions will be undertaken while the long-term sustainability plan is in development; and within one year of signing the Commitment, develop a long-range sustainability action plan that aligns with the stated 2030 benchmarks for achieving carbon neutrality. Subsequently, Harriman will make the sustainability action plan available by providing it to the AIA for posting and committing to annual progress reports.

The main difference between the Architecture 2030 Challenge and the AIA 2030 Commitment is that the 2030 Challenge is specifically focused on lowering building energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, while the 2030 Commitment encompasses other issues as well, such as incorporating water and indoor air quality requirements in every design and outlining internal policies within your firm with regards to recycling, green product purchasing and energy conservation, among others.

“Accepting this challenge demonstrates the firm’s commitment to being good stewards of our planet. Harriman has been designing high performing, energy-efficient buildings for decades, and this initiative reaffirms our on-going commitment to sustainable design,” says Judy L. Johnson, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, an Associate Principal in the firm.