Dear Colleagues, Clients and Friends,
An exciting transpiration is afoot here at Trillium Architects and it has truly inspired me to ‘up my game’ with regards to combatting climate change. I am writing with the hopes of inspiring you to do the same.
Last year, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (the UNFCCC) took place in Paris. The result: Paris 2030. The historic Paris Climate Change Agreement adopted in 2015 that will ‘enter into force’ on November 4th, 2016. The whole world voted unanimously to help the environment. Unprecedented.
Under the Paris Agreement, all nations have agreed to combat climate change and to unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future that will keep a global average temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius with the accepted international aim of working to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
This year the Convention will be held in Marrakech, Morocco. In Morocco, the teams of delegates from every country will gather for three weeks to figure out the first steps toward reaching the set goals.
I am thrilled to be attending the conference. I am attending as an observer, of course, and will not be privy to the inner workings; however I am attending as an invitee. Our project for the Taft School is receiving an international award at the convention. Our project was chosen to receive a ‘Special Mention Award’, one of approximately a dozen such awards for single family homes around the world that are far exceeding expectations in reducing the planet’s carbon burden.
In order for the United States to meet its end of the bargain for Paris 2030, we will all have to do our part. I am guessing that the meetings in Morocco will lead to more stringent US energy codes. Construction accounts for 40% of carbon emission in the US. What you build can truly make a difference.
If you and your team have made any sort commitment to the environment, let the Paris Agreements be your inspiration. I understand that the idea of constructing buildings that will save the environment can seem daunting. I also understand that for me and for my team it is easy. The buildings we design and build already far surpass all US energy codes. If you are about to embark on a building project, we are here to help you.
If you are interested in doing something, but do not have a project at hand, please give us a call. We have projects and ideas that are back burner-ed for lack of funds or lack of facilitators. We invite you to open discussion with us, if so inspired.
Remember, if a building is NOT constructed to last 100 years and be close to Net Zero, then that building is not only wasting money in the long term, but it is hurting rather than helping. ‘First, do no harm’; let that be our guide as well.
AIA, USGBC, NESEA
For our part we will continue, and add to, our original commitment in the following ways:
· We will continue to only design buildings that meet or far exceed the most stringent US Energy Codes (this includes commercial buildings and residential additions).
· 100% of our new homes will be Net Zero or Zero Energy Ready.
· We will continue to speak and write with the purpose of inspiring others.
· We will continue to work together to create positive, happy, work environments, job sites, homes and gathering spaces.
· We will continue to build the most energy efficient and resilient structures as are financially responsible, and to evolve the definition of these as technologies and knowledge evolve.
· We will continue to not use vinyl and other building materials that are detrimental to our health or our environment.
· We vow to select both construction and finish material of low embodied energy in regards to all categories including but not limited to: manufacturing, production, shipping, assembly, lifelong upkeep, and landfill potential.
· We will continue to create excellent Indoor Air Quality in all of our homes.
· We will continue to create ‘Forever Homes’ that people love enough to never want to tear down.
· We vow to never stop learning and growing, with the intention of always striving to make the world a better place.