Walking the walk – design resources

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) recently launched  “Walk the Walk,” , a multi-faceted campaign to educate, promote and encourage sustainable design among consumers, business owners and architects. 

(It is a pity they don’t include builders, fm and end users in that list.  Sustainability is a collaboartive approach, across all project and facilities stakeholders.)

Walk the walk is rich in resource, including:

A sustainability resource center for practitioners. The Walk the Walk Toolkit 2030   highlighting green building issues and provides samples of effective ordinance language for communities, as well as examples of what others are already doing to pursue green building programs.  A 50to50  how-to resource intended to assist architects and the construction industry in moving toward the AIA’s public goal of a minimum 50 percent reduction of fossil fuel consumption in buildings by 2010 and carbon neutrality by 2030.

I found the Sustainability 2030 Green Meeting Guidelines , a resource to help reduce the environmental impact of meetings and events and the  Measures of Sustainability (PDF) overview of interest.

Most of the resources seems to be available to all, for which the AIA is to be commended.

A visit to the RIBA site brings up an equal wealth of resource at Climate Change including the useful Guide to Low Carbon Standards and Assessment Methods, an overview of recommended low carbon performance standards and associated assessment methods for new and existing buildings.

Of particualr note however is the RIBA’s adoption of Contraction and Convergence,  within its Climate Change Policy

(Contraction and Convergence is the science-based, global climate-policy framework, proposed to the United Nations since 1990 by the Global Commons Institute, itinvolves a globally balanced approach to the stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations at safe levels, consistent with the aspirations of different communities to development and quality of life.) 


The RIBA has adopted Contraction and Convergence as the overarching policy to guide its targets for the reduction of GHG emissions associated with the use of energy in buildings.

So plenty of resources out there, all good stuff, but really does need that walk the walk, the changing of mindset, the rethinking and the collaboratives approach.  The AIA’s Walk the Walk is a step in the right direction – we need a similar ‘outreach’ programme here. How many architects here would be aware of C and C for example and how that can be applied to everyday design.

1 thought on “Walking the walk – design resources

  1. Aubrey Meyer

    The debate [including with RIBA] has embraced the question: –

    Do carbon market help or hinder the solving of global warming?

    The key test is that we must solve the global problem faster than we are creating it. RIBA adotped C&C because it helps to reolve that question.

    With the Kyoto-style market-based framework, we have no way of knowing the answer as that approach hasn’t yet engaged with the question.

    If we turn that around into a C&C framework-based-market because we recognize that is the key question, then markets can help.

    So the issue becomes again what’s the globally inclusive framework, where ‘equity’, as 100% collateral and shares that sums to the zero net emissions needed, is genuinely shared by all rich and poor.

    Here is Contraction and Convergence [C&C] animated at rates that make clear what it takes to beat the rising rate of sink-failure. In other words doing enough soon enough is the key, because doing too little too late is not good enough.

    The global carbon countdown is needed now: –

    Here is a document that explains this: –

    Click to access Carbon_Countdown.pdf



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