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ALBION DISTRICT LIBRARY BY PERKINS + WILL IS A 2018 COTE TOP TEN RECIPIENT. IMAGE: DOUBLESPACE PHOTOGRAPHY

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The AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE®) works to advance, disseminate, and advocate design practices that integrate built and natural systems and enhance both the design quality and environmental performance of the built environment. Expand your positive impact: Explore the COTE Top Ten Toolkit. Engage in our advocacy efforts. Enjoy our latest newsletter (and follow us on Twitter).

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a new coalition's roadmap toward decarbonization of buildings

  • 1.  a new coalition's roadmap toward decarbonization of buildings

    Posted 02-20-2019 12:32
    AEC firms, municipalities, and owners/clients/developers are all a part of this roadmap; being intentional about the steps forward is strategic thinking for all parties.

    A California coalition is tackling one of the hardest, unsexiest parts of climate policy


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    Kira Gould
    Principal
    Kira Gould CONNECT
    Oakland CA
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  • 2.  RE: a new coalition's roadmap toward decarbonization of buildings

    Posted 02-22-2019 16:24
    Hi Kira,

    Thanks so much for your post and link.   I wholly agree with your take on this.  If we look at the 2040 time horizon, most of the existing residential water and building heating systems will be replaced by then, so figuring out the right supports to move to electrification each time replacements  happen is critical.   One part of the strategy is to always discuss planning for the transition away from fossil fuels with clients, regardless of the scope of their project, and offer as much information as they might need to understand the current options so they are ready when the time comes to replace their existing systems.
    An effective approach we have used in Massachusetts is community based programs, run by community volunteer coaches and selected service providers.  In MA they receive support from the state, and are funded by utility fees, but they could be undertaken locally. These programs offer coordinated community education, marketing and outreach to homes and businesses in targeted communities that provide a critical mass transitioning to a new technology.  The coaches are available with expert advice and also track participation.  Early participants serve as ambassadors to the rest of the community, and peer acceptance helps change the communities attitude to create a new normal for the industry and provide advice and referrals to friends and neighbors.  When a large number of homes are adopting new technologies at the same time it helps raise awareness among local contractors to get past the tendency of homeowners and small contractors to default to business as usual.   The uptick in new technologies getting installed has persisted long after the programs end, as the community sees the new approach as standard practice.

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    Laura Notman AIA
    Principal
    Laura Notman Architect
    Arlington MA
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