American Institute of Architects Calls for Use of Renewable Energy

Through its Board of Directors, The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has adopted position statements to promote sustainable design and resource conservation to achieve a minimum reduction of 50 percent of the current consumption level of fossil fuels used to construct and operate buildings by the year 2010. The prominent organization specifically recommended the use of renewable energy systems as a means to achieve greater energy savings.

In order to accomplish this goal, the AIA will collaborate with other national and international organizations, the scientific research community, and the public health community. As part of the initiative, the AIA will develop and promote the integration of sustainability into the curriculum for the education of architects and architecture students, so that this core principle becomes a guiding mindset for current and future architects. “Buildings account for forty-eight percent of U.S. energy consumption and generate far more greenhouse gas emissions than any other sector,” said R.K. Stewart, FAIA, facilitator of the AIA Sustainability Summit Task Force. “As architects, we must accept responsibility for our role in creating the built environment. We feel it is incumbent upon the architecture profession to alter our actions and encourage both our clients and the entire design and construction industry to join us in plotting a course of measurable changes that will improve the quality of life for everyone.” Fundamental to helping ensure actual results, the AIA also supports the development and use of rating systems and standards that promote the design and construction of communities and buildings that contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future. According to the AIA, an undertaking of this magnitude will require a concentrated effort over the next ten to fifteen years, especially in educating clients about their role in the success of this effort. “The time has come to require specific goals for significant reductions in energy use, with enhanced performance assured through commissioning of building systems,” Stewart said. “And to truly make an impact, there needs to be far greater use of renewable energy sources and the use of innovative design principles that will dramatically improve environmental performance in the built environment.”
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