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Building(s) for a Sustainable Future

Building(s) for a Sustainable Future

A symposium to accelerate energy innovations in the buildings sector

Architect Ed Mazria: Green Buildings Key to Fighting Climate Change

KDNK Community Radio, May 16, 2018 | Amy Hadden Marsh interviews Ed Mazria

Architect aims for carbon neutrality across building sector

Aspen Public Radio, May 20, 2018 | Elizabeth Stewart-Severy interviews Ed Mazria.

Architect presents 30-year strategy
for U.S. buildings to reach ‘zero net carbon’

Regional leaders learn about energy opportunities
at ‘Buildings’ symposium

Heather McGregor
Clean Energy Economy News

Architect Ed Mazria, speaking Friday in Carbondale, presented his strategy for the world’s buildings to operate only with built-in efficiency and renewable energy by 2050.

Mazria is the founder of Architecture 2030, a think tank in Santa Fe, N.M., that develops plans and policies for cutting carbon emissions from buildings worldwide.

Ed Mazria lecture

Edward Mazria, founder of Architecture 2030, explained trends in energy use by buildings on a global scale for the Building(s) for a Sustainable Future symposium, held Friday, May 18, 2018, in Carbondale.

Mazria, Dana and Isaac Ellis

Ed Mazria explains his ideas for reducing carbon emissions from buildings during a break at the Building(s) for a Sustainable Future symposium. Listening are Gwen Garcelon, left, and Dana and Isaac Ellis.

Rebecca Foster lecture

Rebecca Foster of Vermont Energy Investment Corp. shows an example of the Zero Energy Modular Homes the company designed for hurricane survivors.

Photos by John-Ryan Lockman
Walking Mountains Science Center

His keynote talk led the Building(s) for a Sustainable Future symposium, which drew 160 architects, builders, elected officials and staff from Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin and neighboring counties. The symposium was hosted by CLEER, CORE and Garfield Clean Energy.

Buildings consume 40 percent of energy in the U.S., and from 60 to 75 percent of energy in cities, Mazria said.

“Communities can’t hit their clean energy and economic diversification goals without tackling energy use in buildings,” said Maisa Metcalf, education coordinator for CLEER. “Turnout at the symposium shows that community leaders and building industry professionals are ready to accelerate this work.”

Mazria’s strategy aims to eliminate carbon emissions from buildings by 2050, with policies focused on new construction, existing buildings and renewable energy.

“All new buildings can be ‘zero net carbon’ tomorrow. There’s no magic in it,” said Mazria.

Latest energy codes, if followed, produce buildings that use two-thirds less energy. The remaining energy demand can be met with renewable energy, he said, which would create a predictable market for clean energy development.

Mazria will unveil his “Zero Code” proposal for new buildings at an international conference in September; his presentation in Carbondale was the first in a series of previews across the U.S.

At the same time, Mazria said, the U.S. must accelerate the pace of energy retrofits on existing buildings, which also boosts business for contractors.

Today, about 1 percent of buildings undergo a deep energy retrofit each year. Stepping that up to 3 percent per year over the next 30 years, he said, would retrofit almost every building that exists today by 2050.

Other speakers at the symposium talked about efforts to build homes that use less energy, emphasizing ways to make energy-efficient housing affordable for all.

Rebecca Foster of the Vermont Energy Investment Corp. showed the company’s zero-energy modular homes, designed for hurricane survivors. Built on a foundation to qualify for a conventional mortgage, with 10-inch walls, solar panels and a heat pump, Foster said occupants save about $3,000 a year in energy costs.

Kelly Vaughn of Rocky Mountain Institute said RMI’s Realize program aims for deep energy retrofits on whole neighborhoods. Realize is inspired by a Dutch program that has retrofitted 6,000 homes, using an economical model that packages finance, labor and materials on a neighborhood scale.

“A net zero home is not only more cost effective, it’s more comfortable and easier to operate,” Vaughn said.

The symposium concluded with comments from leaders from the three-county region.

Matt Hamilton, sustainability director for the Aspen Skiing Co., challenged leaders to take a role in helping coal-based communities such as Hayden and Craig “ensure their future economic viability” as power sources shift to clean energy.

Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky warned against rules that could raise the cost of housing for working families. He cited VEIC’s zero-energy modular homes and RMI’s whole-neighborhood upgrades as solutions that can “make a difference right away.

Presented by

Garfield Clean Energy, CLEER and CORE

Sponsored by

symposium sponsor logos

American Institute of Architects: LU HSW credits

AIA Continuing EducationCourse Title:
Building(s) for a
Sustainable Future
May 18, 2018
Description: Building(s) for a Sustainable Future is a one-day symposium featuring keynote speaker Ed Mazria and other speakers on net-zero buildings and districts, strategies and tools for achieving climate and clean energy targets in the built environment.
Credit Designations: LU / HSW, 2 LU credits
Course Format: Instructor-led face-to-face

Point of contact:
Alice Laird, CLEER, (970) 704-9200
P.O. Box 428, Carbondale, Colorado 81623

Learning Objective 1:
Describe characteristics and examples of and approaches for creating, successful net-zero buildings and districts.

Learning Objective 2:
Explain how trends and practices in the built environment are related to reaching clean energy and climate targets and preparing for climate resilience.

Learning Objective 3:
Identify opportunities for how architects can assist in helping businesses, organizations, local and state governments in reaching measurable emissions reductions targets.

Learning Objective 4:
Use the 2030 Palette, a platform that puts the principles behind low-carbon/zero carbon and resilient built environments at the fingertips of architects, planners, and designers worldwide.


8:00 am - 8:30 am Registration, coffee and networking
8:30 am - 8:45 am Welcome and overview of the day
Dan Richardson | Mayor, Town of Carbondale
Michael Kinsley | Facilitator
8:45 am - 10:00 am Keynote: Edward Mazria | Architecture 2030
Building(s) for a Sustainable Future

(AIA credit component)
10:00 am - 10:15 am Break
10:15 am - 11:15 am Accelerating the transformation of the existing built environment
Rebecca Foster | Vermont Energy Investment Corp.
Kelly Vaughn | Rocky Mountain Institute
Shanti Pless | National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Mark Boyer | Lever Energy Capital
11:20 am - 12:20 pm Putting knowledge into action with all new buildings
Josie Plaut | Institute for the Built Environment, Colorado State University
Eric Harrington | Harrington Construction
Jeff Dickinson | Energy and Sustainable Design Inc.
12:20 pm - 1:00 pm Lunch + Networking
1:00 pm - 1:15 pm Launch afternoon - Ed Mazria and Michael Kinsley
1:15 pm - 3:15 pm Breakout sessions will include morning speakers as resource people providing additional info, and result in action plans.
  Topic 1: Regional, state, and utility programs for transforming buildings
Location: Calaway Room
  Topic 2: Zero energy district charrette (AIA credit component)
Location: Community Hall
  Topic 3: Local government leadership: codes, regulations and rating systems
Location: Board Room
  Topic 4: Energy efficiency and renewable energy in the home buying transaction.
Instructor: Nikki Maline (Realtor CEU’s)
Location: Suite 14 - Round Room
3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

Reconvene - Reflections and next steps
Kathy Chandler-Henry | Eagle County Commissioner
Adrian Fielder | Assistant Dean, Colorado Mountain College
Megan Gilman | Chair of the Board, Holy Cross Energy
Matt Hamilton | Sustainability Director, Aspen Skiing Co.
Tom Jankovsky | Garfield County Commissioner
Ann Mullins | City Council, City of Aspen (invited)
Greg Poschman | Pitkin County Commissioner
Dan Richardson | Mayor, Town of Carbondale

4:30 pm Post-Symposium Reception at Marble Distillery, cash bar
150 Main St., Carbondale

Friday, May 18, 2018
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Third Street Center (100% solar powered)
520 S. Third St., Carbondale

Reception following at Marble Distillery
150 Main Street, Carbondale

Jump to AGENDA

AIA Continuing EducationApproved for

Details below


Speaker slide presentations

Ed Mazria

Ed Mazria
Founder and CEO
Architecture 2030

Building(s) for a Sustainable Future
(21 pages, 1.5 MB)

NOTE: this presentation is copyrighted. Please contact Architecture 2030 for permission to share or use any portions.
(505) 988-5309

Rebecca Foster

Rebecca Foster
Director, Consulting Division and Commons Energy Vermont Energy Investment Corp.

A Recipe for Aggressive Efficiency
(16 pages, 2.9 MB)

Kelly Vaughn

Kelly Vaughn
Buildings Program Marketing Director
Rocky Mountain Institute

Getting to Zero in Existing Buildings
(15 pages, 7.5 MB)

Shanti Pless

Shanti Pless
Senior Research Engineer
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Zero Energy Districts Accelerator
(30 pages, 13 MB)

Mark Boyer

Mark Boyer
Lever Energy Capital

C-PACE Financing
(11 pages, 2.8 MB)

Josie Plaut

Josie Plaut
Associate Director
Institute for the Built Environment
at Colorado State University

High Performance Teams for High Performance Buildings
(20 pages, 9.3 MB)

Eric Harrington

Eric Harrington
Designer / Builder
Harrington Construction

High Performance Homes
(13 pages, 10.3 MB)

Jeff Dickinson

Jeff Dickinson
Architect, LEED AP Energy and Sustainable Design Inc.

Putting Knowledge Into Action
(12 pages, 10.5 MB)