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Advancing the 2022 Zero Code for California

November 16, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm PST

Advancing the 2022 Zero Code for California

Please join us for an advocacy roundtable discussion about the 2022 Zero Code for California. We will hear from industry leaders and experts on the Zero Code and hear ideas, strategies, and best-practices as it relates to further advancing wider spread adoption of the Zero Code.

We will also discuss the regulatory opportunities available for more intrinsic decarbonization strategies to achieve a healthier, more resilient California.  The objectives of this roundtable will be to advance outreach, engagement, partnership, and advocacy, as we work with utilities and municipalities to support the adoption of more energy ‘reach’ codes.

REGISTER HERE.  (Free w/ Advance RSVP)

Featured Speakers:
Ed Mazria, FAIA, Hon. FRAICFounder & CEO, Architecture 2030
Alejandra Mejia CunninghamBuilding Decarbonization Advocate, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Charles Eley, FAIA, P.E.Author, “Design Professionals Guide to Zero Net Energy Buildings”
Avideh Haghighi, AIA, LFAArchitect & Sustainability Strategist, ZGF (moderator)
Vincent Martinez, AIAChief Operating Officer, 2030, Inc. / Architecture 2030

REGISTER HERE.  (Free w/ Advance RSVP)

Ed Mazria, FAIA, Hon. FRAICFounder & CEO, Architecture 2030

Edward 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 inspiration for the 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.

Alejandra Mejia CunninghamBuilding Decarbonization Advocate, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Alejandra Mejia focuses on the decarbonization of buildings across the United States, working closely with stakeholders and policy makers to design and promote innovative policies to transition buildings from fossil fuel use to electricity powered by clean, renewable energy. She has years of experience in advancing building decarbonization and energy efficiency in California and elsewhere. She has worked on electricity policy in the Midwest, Northeast, and at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Mejia holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and a master of public policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. She is based in NRDC’s San Francisco office.

Charles Eley, FAIA, P.E.Author, “Design Professionals Guide to Zero Net Energy Buildings”

Charles Eley is an architect, mechanical engineer and author with 40 years’ experience in energy efficient and sustainable design. His latest book is Design Professionals Guide to Zero Net Energy Buildings (Island Press 2016). During his career, Mr. Eley has made significant contributions to the California energy standards, ASHRAE Standard 90.1, and energy codes in six other countries. He has also developed a number of important technical manuals and publications; served as the founding executive director of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools; developed a number of energy analysis software applications; and has served as energy consultant for a number of landmark green buildings. Mr. Eley currently writes and provides specialized consulting to non-profits, and teaches classes on building energy efficiency and green technologies.

Avideh Haghighi, AIA, LFAArchitect & Sustainability Strategist, ZGF (moderator)

Avideh is a Registered Architect and a Living Future Accredited professional dedicated to creating a regenerative built environment through her role as a designer and A/E/C industry advocate. She received her Bachelors of Architecture from Woodbury University in 2011 and since then has been driven to transform the built environment towards a net-positive impact. She has a diverse portfolio of work spanning public and private sectors, including public schools, mixed use residential and institutional. As an architect and sustainability specialist at ZGF architects, she advises clients on global sustainability goals and real estate strategy, and works with design and consultant teams to identify unique opportunities in every project to create high performance buildings.

Avideh’s career has been equally rooted in design and advocacy. She has been serving as a Facilitator and Steering Committee member of the Living Future Los Angeles Collaborative for the past three years. She has given numerous presentations at schools, universities and industry conferences on the topics of Living Buildings, Circular Economy and Healthy Materials. In her role as a member of the AIA LA Committee On The Environment, she served on the planning committee for the 2°C Symposium on Climate Change to create awareness and empower the AIA community to take action.


William Leddy, FAIA, is a Founding Principal of San Francisco-based LEDDY MAYTUM STACY Architects (LMSA), the 2017 recipient of the national AIA Firm Award. For over 30 years, he has been a national leader in the design of environments that celebrate our place in the natural world. LMSA has received more than 175 regional, national and international design awards, and is one of only three firms in the nation to have received ten or more national AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten Green Project awards. Leddy has lectured widely and served as visiting professor at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and the California College of the Arts, as the Howard A. Friedman Visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Pietro Belluschi Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Oregon. A past Chair of the national AIA Committee on the Environment (2013), he currently serves as the AIA California Vice President for Climate Action and Chair of the AIA CA Committee on the Environment.

Vincent Martinez, AIAChief Operating Officer, 2030, Inc. / Architecture 2030

Through his 13-year tenure at Architecture 2030, Vincent Martinez has been working to solve the climate crisis by catalyzing global building decarbonization efforts through the development and activation of robust networks focused on private sector commitments, education, training, and public policies. Vincent has facilitated the collective impact of a large spectrum of industry partners and organizations to create local, regional, national and international initiatives and programs. Vincent has strong connections with private sector leaders in urban real estate through his previous role as the 2030 Districts Network Interim Director from 2013 to 2016, helping co-found the 2030 Districts model that has now been adopted by 22 North American cities. He now sits on the 2030 Districts Network Board of Governors. Vincent also formerly managed the development and dissemination of the AIA+2030 Professional Education Series, which provided design professionals in 27 markets across North America with strategies for reaching zero net carbon building operations and has since been developed into an online education series.
As COO, Vincent executes Architecture 2030’s goals by coordinating their exceptional staff on strategic, impactful projects and programs. Vincent also helps set the organization’s vision and currently leads Architecture 2030’s work on urban zero-net-carbon buildings and public policy, including the ZERO Code, Achieving Zero framework, and Zero Cities Project with 11 leading US cities.

Vincent was the 2018 Chair of the American Institute of Architects’ Energy Leaders Group and is a member of the AIA 2030 Commitment Working Group. He is an honorary member of AIA Seattle and was named an Emerging Leader by the Design Futures Council in 2015.


The 2022 Zero Code for California

Zero Code Renewable Energy Appendix Added to the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code

AIA National Directory of Public Policies and Position Statements

California’s Cities Lead the Way to a Gas-Free Future

Statewide Reach Codes Program

Local Government Decarbonization Ordinances


The 2022 ZeroCode for California

California is a world leader in decarbonization of the built environment. Building codes can be locally amended to support climate action via what are called ‘reach codes’. When Berkeley became the first City in the US to ‘ban natural gas’ in mid 2019, it made headlines around the world. Today, there are nearly three dozen Cities and Counties in California that have taken similar measures. Each of these communities has taken their climate action planning to the arena of codes and regulations, recognizing that this is the path to make broad and comprehensive change in the built environment.

Architects design virtually every new and retrofit commercial, institutional, and high density residential project in California. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is the voice of design professionals, and the 11,000 members of the AIA California support the development of coordinated, comprehensive and contemporary building codes and standards to both protect the public health safety and welfare, and to support the investment that revitalizes and reshapes our built infrastructure to be efficient, resilient and high performing.

The AIA CA supports decarbonization of the built environment, and the reach codes that have allowed such rapid movement forward in supporting climate action. We also believe that these objectives will be more efficiently served when there are uniform, nationally vetted standards put into place to achieve them. One such national standard is the ZeroCode, developed by the non-profit Architecture 2030 organization, a world leader in climate action innovation. This code has been officially vetted and approved to be an appendix in the International Energy Conservation Code for 2021.

To further its climate action plan, AIA California assisted Architecture 2030 in modification of the ‘national’ version of the ZeroCarbon Code to more specifically align with our California reach code landscape: the 2022 ZeroCode for California. This document lives on the Architecture 2030 website as a free and open source tool. We believe is important to incorporate into our California Building Codes a framework that creates additional consistency in zero carbon reach codes, while at the same time connecting that with a nationally vetted reference. This is the basis for the AIA CA petition to the California Building Standards Commission to reference the 2022 ZeroCode for California in the California Building Code, Part 11, commonly called CalGreen.

As proposed, this code change would make the 2022 ZeroCode California’s first zero carbon compliance tool readily available as an optional tier for local adoption.

For jurisdictions not wanting to wait for the next code cycle, the 2022 ZeroCode for California is available for adoption today, bringing a new level of consistency to our decarbonization reach code environment, which will support lowered costs, reduced uncertainty, greater ease in application, and consistency in enforcement.


For more information on this roundtable, please contact:

Will Wright – Director, Government & Public Affairs, AIA Los Angeles
(e-mail): will@aialosangeles.org