Thursday, February 29, 2024

The AIA Connecticut Climate Declaration

The twin crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss are the most serious issues of our time.  Buildings and construction play a major part, accounting for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while also having a significant impact on our natural habitats.

For everyone working in the Architecture/Engineering/Construction industry, meeting the needs of our society without breaching the earth’s ecological boundaries will demand a paradigm shift in our behavior.  Together with our clients, we will need to commission and design buildings, cities, and infrastructures as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system.

The research and technology exist for us to begin that transformation now, but what has been lacking is collective will.  Recognizing this, we are calling on Connecticut architects to strengthen our working practices to create architecture and urbanism that has a more positive impact on the world around us.

We will seek to:

  • Raise awareness of the climate and biodiversity emergencies and the urgent need for action among our members and stake holders.
  • Advocate for faster change in our industry towards regenerative design practices and education to support this.
  • Establish principles to mitigate climate change & biodiversity degradation as the key measure of our industry’s success: demonstrated through AIA Connecticut awards, lobbying efforts, and
    publicity campaigns.
  • Encourage our members to share knowledge and research to that end on an open source basis. .
  • Evaluate how projects submitted for awards aspire to contribute positively to mitigating climate breakdown and encourage our members to adopt this approach.
  • Recognize members and support allied professionals who upgrade existing buildings as a more carbon efficient alternative to demolition and new construction.
  • Promote life cycle costing, whole life carbon modeling and post occupancy evaluation to reduce both embodied and operational resource use.
  • Encourage and provide support for our members to adopt more regenerative design principles in their own offices, with the aim of designing architecture and urbanism that go beyond the standard of net zero carbon in use.
  • Promote collaboration among our members with engineers, contractors and clients to further reduce construction waste.
  • Encourage and provide tools for our members to accelerate the shift to low embodied carbon materials in all their work.
  • Promote minimizing wasteful use of resources in architecture and planning, both in quantity and in detail.


Adopted by the AIA Connecticut Board on February 10, 2020