The 2030 Challenge

The Facts

  • In 2010, total U.S. building stock was about 275 billion square feet.
  • In normal economic times we tear down about 1.75 billion square feet of buildings each year.
  • Every year we renovate about 5 billion square feet.
  • Every year we build new about 5 billion square feet.

The Hope

  • By the year 2030, approximately 75% of the built environment will be new or renovated. This transformation is a historic opportunity for the architecture and building community to reduce energy use in buildings to stop a dangerous warming trend and build resilient communities.

The 2030 Challenge calls us to slow, then reverse growth of greenhouse gas emissions, to keep global average temperatures below 35.6° F above pre-industrial levels.

This is how we do it:

  • Design all new buildings, developments and major renovations to meet a fossil fuel, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) -emitting energy consumption performance standard of 60% below regional average for building type.
  • Annually renovate, at minimum, equal square feet in existing buildings to meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 60% of regional average for building type.
  • Increase the fossil fuel reduction standard for all new buildings and major renovations by 10% each year, to 90% in 2025.
  • Become carbon-neutral by 2030. This means using no fossil fuel GHG emitting energy to operate.

Imagine living in a comfortable, modern house with no cold drafts, no temperature variations from room to room, and, best of all, virtually no heating or cooling bills. Too good to be true? No. These cozy conditions are the norm when we build to meet The 2030 Challenge.

The 2030 Challenge is issued by Architecture 2030, which exists to rapidly transform the building sector from major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions to a leader in climate change, energy consumption, and economic crises solutions. To do this, we change the way buildings and developments are planned, designed and constructed.


Lanesboro, Minnesota
Climate Zone 6 (cold/moist)
Latitude: 43° 44' 18'' N
Longitude: 91° 54' 48'' W

House Size

Net Treated Floor Area: 1,514 SF
Gross Square Footage (House only): 2,210 SF

Building Envelope

Roof: R-99
Wall: R-61
Ground: R-53

Windows & Doors

Glazing: U-0.10 BTU / hour / sq. ft.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): 0.48”
Frame: U-0.19 BTU / hour / sq. ft.

Modeled Performance

Specific Primary Energy Demand (Source Energy Demand): 12.1 kBTU / sq. ft. / year

Specific Space Heat Demand: 7.0 kBTU/sq. ft. / year

Peak Heating Load: 7,047 BTU / hour

Space Cooling Demand: 0.44 kBTU / sq. ft. / year

Peak Cooling Load: 3,625 BTU / hour

Pressure Test Goal: Whole House Air Changes Per Hour (ACH) = 0.4 ACH 50


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