AIA empowers architects to design a world that allows people, communities, and our planet to thrive.

Read more on the American Institute of Architects' commitment to sustainability.

Framework for Design Excellence
We're adopting ten measures from AIA's Framework for Design Excellence into our criteria for awards programs. Learn more

Sustainable DC 2.0
Washington, DC architects are tasked with being leaders in sustainable design as the District adopts the nation's most ambitious renewable energy plan.

"In just one generation – 20 years – the District of Columbia will be the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States. An international destination for people and investment, the District will be a model of innovative policies and practices that improve quality of life and economic opportunity. We will demonstrate how enhancing our natural and built environments, investing in a diverse clean economy, and reducing disparities among residents can create an educated, equitable, and prosperous society."

The plan calls for:

  • 50% Reduction in greenhouse gases by 2032
  • Carbon Neutral by 2050
  • 50% Reduction in District-wide energy use by 2032
  • 100% renewable electricity in the District by 2032

What does this mean for architects?

Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS)
Starting in 2021, owners of buildings over 50,000 square feet that are below a specific energy performance threshold will be required to improve their energy efficiency over the next 5 years. Learn more

More resources:

Clean Energy DC
"Clean Energy DC is the District of Columbia’s energy and climate action plan. It explains how the District will use forward-looking energy policies, while also encouraging innovation, efficiency, and resiliency. Clean Energy DC re-imagines what a 21st century energy system could be but is also pragmatic and focused on achieving tangible goals.

Clean Energy DC identifies what actions need to be taken between now and 2032 in our buildings, our energy infrastructure, and our transportation system to meet the District’s ambitious GHG reduction targets. It lists 57 actions that we can do today, next steps for each, and what we will need to do in the future."

CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018
"This law increases the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 100% by 2032, establishes a solar energy standard post 2032. It removes restrictions on energy efficiency measures that the Sustainable Energy Utility must offer. It clarifies the factors that the Office of the People's Counsel and the Public Service Commission must consider in making decisions. It expands the uses of the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund and also establishes an energy performance standard program for buildings at the Department of Energy and Environment. Among other things, it authorizes the Mayor to commit the District to participation in regional programs with the purpose of limiting greenhouse gas emissions and requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue regulations tying the vehicle excise tax to fuel efficiency."


DC passed the most ambitious clean energy law in the US. Now what? - May 8, 2019 

DC Heads to 100% Renewable Energy, a Symbolic Move for the Country - April 22, 2019

Sustainability Beyond Practice - Anica Landreneau, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP