Decarbonization & Sustainable Design

Architects impact the climate daily through their influence on projects and their technical knowledge of sustainable design. AIA members support our region's progressive stance on energy through technical support, knowledge-sharing, advocacy, and ongoing work in the field.

Our Priorities for Decarbonization & Sustainable Design

  • Support policies and programs that maximize energy efficiency and eliminate emissions from buildings.
    • Create consistent, progressive energy codes to achieve 2030 Challenge goals.
  • Promote materials transparency by tracking embodied carbon used in construction materials.
  • Support new and existing incentives for highly green projects.
  • Support the decarbonization of existing buildings through retrofits.
  • Prioritize the climate impacts of housing, growth, and transit policies in our work in those areas.

AIA Projects

Shift Zero
AIA Seattle is a founding member of Shift Zero, an alliance of organizations working to fight climate change by catalyzing a just transition to zero carbon buildings for all in Washington State.

Seattle Energy Code
AIA Seattle members are assist in revising and updating Seattle energy codes to be the best in class.

Sustainability Programming

  • Materials Matter: AIA Seattle launched an intensive professional education program, Materials Matter, in fall 2016. Season 2 ran June – August 2017.
  • AIA+2030: The AIA+2030 series was created by AIA Seattle in 2010 to build architects’ skill sets to meet aggressive building performance standards. The series has now been offered in more than 25 cities nationwide and is available online through AIA University.
  • Getting to Zero: A successor to AIA+2030, Getting to Zero, takes high performance building skills training towards a carbon neutral future.

AIA Seattle Updates

Read our news briefs on climate issues and actions here.

Advocacy Action

More Information

For additional information on our public policy priorities and activities or to share your views as an AIA Seattle member, contact Executive Director Melissa K. Neher


State Advocacy

AIA Washington Council is hard at work for you, promoting legislation on green buildings and livable places, supporting a sustainable state economy, and protecting your ability to practice architecture. Learn more at

National Advocacy

The AIA represents the interests of architects before federal government and policy-making bodies. This outreach, coupled with sustained member participation and active involvement in the political process, enables the AIA to advocate on behalf of legislative, regulatory, and related issues important to AIA members. Learn more at