Building codes and standards are undoubtedly the answer to overall sustainability in the commercial and private building sectors.  While sustainable construction projects are becoming more popular, incentive to build sustainably only convinces some of the population of business owners, and homeowners.  For now, building standards not affiliated with mandated building codes offer no official financial incentive.  Sustainable construction is left to those who understand the necessity to build responsibly and the financial return of an energy efficient and sustainable home over its lifetime.  Naturally, the next move to generating sustainability in the building sector is to transform building codes to make sustainable construction methods a standard by code.  Currently, California has the most effective building energy code and uses on average 44% less energy than any other state without a building energy code.  This makes a convincing point that building codes that focus on strict energy efficiency are necessary and effective. 

Section 241 of the Senate Energy Bill is currently in the process of being amended.  Architecture 2030 is an organization that is campaigning to implement a timeline for energy reduction in the United States in the bill (S. 1462).   While most of the discussion about the bill focuses on nuclear energy production increase, it is important to consider the effect this bill can have on building codes.  The timeline presented by Architecture 2030 and submitted to the senate, aims to decrease fossil fuel usage 80% by 2020 and to carbon neutral by 2030.  In addition to building codes for new construction, other intervention points must be made in the building sector if the carbon neutral goal is to be reached by 2030.  Architecture 2030 reports, optimal intervention points for homes and commercial buildings include, existing building purchases, leasing and tenant improvements, mortgage refinancing, and renovation cycles.  All of these processes can be transformed in the building sector to take sustainable measures and achieve an increase in energy efficiency. 

For more information on Architecture 2030 visit