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BSA News

Apr 22, 2020

Earth Day 2020

For architects, every day provides opportunities to create a better world.

Today, the BSA celebrates architects for their persistent leadership in the creation of safe, healthy, sustainable, resilient, and architecturally vibrant buildings, neighborhoods, cities, and towns.

Below are highlights of work that's been done, ways to elevate work being done today, and even a fun way to engage our youngest citizens in thinking about building a more sustainable world.

Love your mother—Earth.

BSA Sustainable Design Awards

Architects have for years led the charge to create more a more sustainable planet. View a gallery of award-winning sustainable projects from past BSA Design Awards cycles—2018, 2016.

The 2020 BSA Sustainable Design Awards program is now open. Submit your projects today. Deadline to submit is August 21, 2020. New this year: The AIA Framework for Design Excellence will be part of the awards submission.

Embodied Carbon in Buildings

Architects, engineers, builders, and designers can be agents for climate action. There are many ways—both small and large—to reduce one’s carbon footprint. One way to do this is to account for the impacts of embodied as well as operational energy.

Want to begin learning about embodied carbon and how you can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions?

Check out our Embodied Carbon in Buildings resources page!

Highlights include:

Boston Living With Water Design Competition

This global 2015 competition “sought design solutions envisioning a beautiful, vibrant, and resilient Boston that is prepared for end-of-the-century climate conditions and rising sea levels.” Out of 50 teams, three were selected, each for separate sites—one for a building, one for a neighborhood, and one for a significant piece of city infrastructure. There was one honorable mention. Each of the winners received a $13,000 prize funded by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and the Barr Foundation.

The Boston Living with Water competition was organized by the City of Boston, The Boston Harbor Association, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and the Boston Society of Architects. When honoring the winners, Mayor Walsh noted that “competition ideas and strategies are already informing Boston’s future, including revisions to building plans and zoning codes, and influencing ‘Imagine Boston 2030.’”

Here's a link
to a Living with Water handout to enjoy at home with your kids!

Other sustainability happenings at the BSA

Sustainability conversations are taking place among most of our BSA Knowledge Communities, and particularly:

DURABLE: Sustainable Material Ecologies, Assemblies, and Cultures is a design exhibition on view at BSA Space

Durability may be the ultimate measure of sustainability in the built environment. DURABLE challenges architects, clients, and the general public to consider the lifespan and the global and local impact of buildings by demonstrating how the design for durability can shape a sustainable future.

Check out Durable: The Digital Collection!

Have you made the 2030 Commitment?

The mission of the AIA 2030 Commitment is to support the 2030 Challenge and transform the practice of architecture in a way that is holistic, firm-wide, project based, and data-driven. By prioritizing energy performance, participating firms can more easily work toward carbon neutral buildings, developments and major renovations by 2030. Now more than ever, we must rise to the challenge.