OPN a ‘Pioneering Pilot’ in the AIA 2030 Challenge

Over the past eight years, billions of square feet of projects have reported design performance data in an effort to evolve the industry to meet zero carbon goals by 2030. Research on these buildings and the technologies incorporated contain critical clues for how firms of all sizes achieve high performance goals in design and patterns of how the 2030 goals can be met. Designers are using new research and data from getting to zero certification programs to guide design, performance validation, and recognition necessary to influence the evolution of the market in North America.

In the session Pioneering Pilots: Learning from Zero Programs that Transform the Market OPN Architect’s Sustainability Director Tate Walker will explore the status and progress of getting to zero programs and show how they were created to overcome market barriers and achieve deep energy savings.

OPN is one of four Iowa firms that has taken the American Institute of Architects’ 2030 Commitment pledge to achieve carbon-neutral buildings by 2030. The voluntary program asks organizations develop multi-year action plans, and implement steps that can advance carbon neutrality in both design and practice. While these efforts are noteworthy, our focus on sustainability is always to create user-friendly facilities that perform exceptionally, regardless of certification.

Two years after making the commitment, we’re more proud that 13.5 percent of our projects have met the target compared to the industry average of 3.9 percent. OPN is among the top contributors to the 2030 Commitment. In 2017 (the last year analyzed), Iowa was again the second highest performing state in the country, only behind California. Of the 525 firms committed, the average portfolio savings was 44%, OPN’s was 59.8%.