According to Architecture 2030, a non-profit organization challenging the building sector to become carbon neutral by 2030, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)'s Annual Energy Outlook forecasts that residential and commercial building energy use will drop by nearly 70 percent by 2025 thanks to projected improvements in building design and efficiency.

In its most recent estimate, the Annual Energy Outlook (AEO 2011) forecasts that American consumers will spend $3.66 trillion less on energy between 2012 and 2025 than was originally projected in 2005. According to Architecture 2030, if the industry embraces the most efficient building technologies available, the savings will top $6 trillion by 2030.

Additionally, in 2005, the AEO forecast an increase in total U.S. building floor area of 51.9% from 2005 to 2030, with energy consumption and CO2 emissions increasing by 44.4% and 53.1% respectively. While the AEO 2011 projects a slightly lower building floor area increase of 38.6% over this same time period, the projected energy consumption and related CO2 emissions from the building Sector are dramatically less than what was projected in 2005, according to Architecture 2030.

The group notes that in order for the building sector to become carbon neutral by 2030, new initiatives must be implemented, including: expanding the AIA+2030 Professional Education Series; providing access to relevant tools, resources and information; generating and adopting advanced building energy codes; replicating the Seattle 2030 District initiative in cities across the U.S. and around the world; and increasing the number of product manufacturers and specifiers committed to the 2030 Challenge for Products.

For more information, visit architecture2030.org.