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Achieving Zero: An Evening With Ed Mazria

Renowned architect Ed Mazria, whose lecture one decade ago prompted Santa Barbara City to adopt one of the most progressive energy codes in the nation, returns to give a free public lecture at the Marjorie Luke Theater on Wednesday, July 13 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Register for your free tickets today at

A Lecture to Phase Out Carbon Emissions in the Building Sector

Over the past decade, Ed’s seminal research into the sustainability, resilience, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions of the built environment has redefined the role of architecture, planning, design, and building in reshaping our world.

Mazria’s lecture on July 13 will recognize a decade of regional accomplishments in energy efficiency and outline a strategy to completely phase out carbon dioxide emissions from the building sector over a fifteen-year timespan. His framework, coined Achieving Zero, gives cities and governments a series of incremental steps to put in place to work toward carbon neutrality by 2030. These actions are projected to save property owners and building occupants energy and money, as well as create thousands of local clean energy and construction jobs.

Mazria’s Carbon Neutrality Challenge at Work in Santa Barbara

The 2006 presentation by Mazria is regarded by many local architects and builders as a seminal lecture on energy use in the built environment. At that time, a sold out crowd at Marjorie Luke Theatre heard his Architecture 2030 Challenge, which highlighted that nearly half of global greenhouse gas emissions originate from the building sector. Mazria pointed to the built environment as an area ripe with opportunity for cutting energy use and emissions. He urged that through progressive building standards and codes, communities could cut these emissions to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.  

“Ed’s first visit here energized our environmental, design and construction communities,” stated Dennis Thompson of Thompson Naylor Architecture. “More than just being amazed, we were inspired to take action.”Catalyzed by Ed’s presentation, Naylor and others from the building community joined with the Community Environmental Council to form the Architecture 2030 Coalition.

The group met monthly, and with the help of City staff and officials, got legislation in place that made Santa Barbara the first city in the nation to adopt the tenets of Mazria’s challenge into official policy. The coalition’s work with the City of Santa Barbara led to the creationi of our Architecture 2030 Energy Ordinance, one of the most progressive and stringent environmental building codes in the nation at that time, including an energy code 15% stronger than California’s.

Event Partners

In acknowledgement of the great strides made in our region since Mazria’s last appearance, a number of local organizations have come together to bring him back. Partners in the event include Community Environmental Council, American Institute of Architects SB, South Coast Energy Efficiency Partnership, Hayward Lumber, Central Coast Green Building Council, Built Green Santa Barbara, and Allen Construction.  

Achieving ZERO

Achieving Zero is a roadmap for government entities to enact incremental actions over a fifteen-year timespan to phase out CO2 emissions in the built environment by mid-century.

Ed Mazriamazria

Ed Mazria is an internationally recognized architect, author, researcher, and educator. Over the past decade, his seminal research into the sustainability, resilience, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions of the built environment has redefined the role of architecture, planning, design, and building, in reshaping our world. He is the founder of Architecture 2030, a think tank developing real-world solutions for 21st century problems, and host of the AIA+2030 Professional Education Series and 2030 Districts movement in North American cities.

Mazria issued the 2030 Challenge and introduced the 2030 Palette, a revolutionary new platform that puts the principles behind low-carbon/zero carbon and resilient built environments at the fingertips of architects, planners, and designers worldwide. In 2014 he presented the Roadmap to Zero Emissions at the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change calling for zero emissions in the built environment by 2050, and drafted the 2050 Imperative, endorsed by professional organizations representing over 1.3 million architects in 124 countries worldwide. In 2015 he launched the China Accord, which has been adopted by key international firms pledging to plan, design and build to carbon neutral standards in China; and delivered the opening presentation at the UNFCCC COP21 “Buildings Day” titled The 2 Degree Path for the Building Sector.

Recently, he developed Achieving Zero, a framework of incremental actions that cities and governments can put in place to ensure carbon neutral built environments by mid-century, and the Zero Cities Project (with the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, Urban Sustainability Directors Network, New Buildings Institute, and Resource Media) to implement the framework.

Mazria speaks nationally and internationally on the subject of architecture, design, energy, economics, and climate change and has taught at several universities, including the University of New Mexico, University of Oregon, UCLA, and the University of Colorado-Denver.

Mr. Mazria’s awards include AIA Design Awards, American Planning Association Award, Department of Energy Awards, American Solar Energy Society Pioneer Award, Equinox Award, National Conservation Achievement Award, Mumford Award from Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility, inaugural Hanley Award, Distinguished Career Award from Pratt Institute, Zia Award from the University of New Mexico, Game Changers Award from Metropolis Magazine, 2011 Purpose Prize, and the 2015 Kemper Award from the American Institute of Architects. He is a senior fellow of the Design Futures Council, Honorary Fellow of the RAIC, and received an Honorary Doctor of Architecture degree from Illinois Institute of Technology.

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