OPN proud to be an early adopter of the AIA 2030 Commitment

OPN is proud to be early adopter – honored recently with a new badge of commitment for 5+ years  – to the American Institute of Architects‘ 2030 Commitment.

The voluntary pledge to achieve carbon-neutral buildings by 2030 challenges firms to develop multi-year action plans, and implement steps that will advance carbon neutrality and transform architecture in a way that is holistic, studio-wide, project based, and data-driven. While these efforts are noteworthy and OPN is honored to be one of seven studios in Iowa and one of 15 in Wisconsin that has signed the 2030 Commitment, our focus on sustainability is always to create user-friendly facilities that perform exceptionally.

“Currently, buildings are responsible for 40% of all CO2 Emissions. The 2030 Commitment is about energy reduction, cultural change, and learning to be more sustainable over time,” says OPN’s Sustainability Director Tate Walker. “It is important for our industry to reduce carbon emissions because climate change has increased the rate and severity of natural disasters and compounds social inequities. Since our industry produces over one-third of CO2 emissions, it is our ethical responsibility to become more sustainable.”

By prioritizing energy performance, architects make significant progress toward carbon neutral buildings by 2030. Not only does data tracking help elevate a studio’s practice, but it also helps save clients money and combat the global effects of climate change.

Since signing the 2030 Commitment seven years ago, OPN has tracked over 20 million square feet of projects.  In 2019, 18.1% of OPN projects exceeded the 2030 targets. On average, national firms are meeting the 2030 target on just 3.9% of projects.

“The commitment isn’t for your most high-profile work, or for when clients ask for it. It applies across the board,” says Walker, who is also co-chair of the 2030 Commitment working group.

At OPN, sustainability efforts are led by Walker, a LEED Fellow, and backed by 31 LEED Accredited Professionals. More than 34 Certified projects make us a state-wide leader in sustainable design by the U.S. Green Building Council with a 2019 Leadership Award for our partnership in building back better following the Floods of 2008 in Eastern Iowa.

Our commitment goes beyond certifications and recognitions. We work to build an equitable, carbon neutral, resilient, and healthy future for all. Read more about OPN’s approach to designing for a sustainable future in our  Sustainability Action Plan.