Three EASY Steps to Meet the AIA 2030 Commitment

Dominique Davison / August 28, 2019

With the roaring 2020s just a few months away, the AIA 2030 Commitment is about to move the needle closer to it’s ultimate Carbon Neutral goal.

For new building, development, and major renovation projects, the energy use reduction goal will increase from 70% to 80% below the regional average for that building type.

Source: architecture 2030

Since 2006 when Ed Mazria FAIA, Hon. FRAIC issued the 2030 Challenge, the 2030 Commitment has attracted 624 signatory firms!  Collectively, more than 2.5 billion square feet of design projects are tracked in the Design Data Exchange each year. AND, in 2017, reported energy savings were equivalent to the carbon that would be sequestered by a forest nearly as big as the state of Maine.

We are making progress!

However, the reality is that the 2030 Commitment goal is HARD TO MEET, and we are not on track to meet the 2030 Carbon Neutral goal.  So, how can we do better?

Just designing to code should already get you in the ballpark of a 40-50% EUI reduction in energy savings compared to a 2003 CBECs baseline energy use intensity (EUI). It’s a great start!

However, the challenge is how to go the extra mile and achieve the 2030 target?

As a company founded by an architect, we recognize that client buy-in is a major challenge. Just because a firm has signed onto the commitment does not mean clients share the same vision..

Even when a client is on board with the idea of extra sustainability measures, the conversation stops when you can’t answer how much it will cost and what the payback will be for your client.

This is why PlanIT Impact centralizes it’s analysis around capital costs and payback period. It evaluates all possible design scenarios and picks the best fit design strategies that improve efficiency.

In three easy steps, PlanIT Impact equips you with the design, cost, and payback information you need to meet the 2030 Commitment,  have better value-based conversations with your clients, and report to the AIA Design Data Exchange.  Check out the three-step approach below:

Step 1: Establish geometry, location, code baseline, and building program.

Project setup in PlanIT Impact is simple — you don’t even need a 3D building model!

Approximate your building geometry within the tool OR input a geometry file extracted from Revit.  Set the project location, verify the ASHRAE 90.1-2013 baseline or select a different baseline, and set the building program.

Watch the 1-minute video below for a Step 1 walk through.

Step 2: Run an Energy Discovery Analysis.

With PlanIT Impact’s Discovery Engine, you set your design goals and PlanIT Impact tells you how to get there.

Set the energy goal to your 2030 target EUI.  Constrain any aspects of the building or mechanical design where you do not have design flexibility.

The Discovery Analysis will find the six best design scenarios that meet the energy goal while balancing upfront cost and payback.

The Energy/Cost table helps to visualize how each suggested design strategy impacts upfront building cost and energy use.

Watch the 1-minute video below for a Step 2 walk through.

Step 3: Select a proposed design and REPORT.

Select the design scenario that works best for your project. With the design scenario table, Cost/Energy Chart, and summary outputs, you’re equipped with the energy and cost data to have a conversation with your client about the business case for the extra design measures.

Reporting to the AIA 2030 Design Data Exchange is easy with just a couple button clicks. Cut out tedious data input with the direct integration between PlanIT Impact and the AIA 2030 DDx.

Watch the 1-minute video below for a Step 3 walk through.

We want to hear from you!

For comments, questions or more information about PlanIT Impact’s Energy Web Application, contact us through our website or email

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