15 Steps to 100% AIA 2030 Energy Modeling Adoption in Your Firm

February 16th, 2020

Having worked with architecture teams large and small on the path to implementing early stage energy modeling, a few observations hold true. You can have 100% of projects reporting to theAIA 2030 DDx for the 2030 Challenge. While these methods work best with a software likecove.tool, any firm implementing modeling into the process will benefit from this framework. The best path to successful implementation involves a 15 key points. The AIA 2030 Challenge has published a repository of case studies at2030 Palette.

Steps for Energy Modeling Adoption:

  1. Buy-in from management (important).
  2. Buy-in from project managers (most important).
  3. Have a firm-wide meeting to lay out expectations and timelines for making early stage modeling mandatory for every project. You will need a few meetings. One for the announcement and another meeting 1 month later to answer questions raised by the early adopters. Follow up with a 3 month meeting on lessons learned and a 6 month “state of the union” style message to champion success and call to action on remaining projects. Possibly make an award for the project teams that have 100% reporting by the end of the year. Generally more climate conscious employees will provide the energy to make it happen but they need recognition from management.
  4. Make sure all new hires know how to use cove.tool through video tutorials or personalized training.
  5. Additionally, set the target of 100% projects being energy modeled and reporting to the AIA 2030 DDx by the end of the year. This helps with marketing and selling the “High Performance Method” to clients and team members alike. Some catchy cool acronym that helps with team building and marketing is important to foster shared brand identity in changing the culture.
  6. Identify cove.tool champions who will help reluctant team members with understanding how easy it is and provide additional resources to those resisting adoption.
  7. Further, emphasize how high performance and iterative design thinking is part of the firm culture going forward (Turn haters into believers!).
  8. Emphasize that design is still key and analysis is a decision making tool to ensure that the design concept is protected and enhanced. Show how clients are willing to be more daring when they see performance backing up design moves.
  9. Provide a central location for videos, training, and lessons learned. Put the required views for exporting from Revit in the project template to make things easier. All firms have a different process and identifying that process is key. Using a new software must not slow down or hinder the design process in any way. Other plugins from cove.tool to Revit, Sketchup, Rhinoceros, Grasshopper help make the process easier.
  10. After 6 months begin requiring all projects update their geometry in cove.tool and upload to DDx before getting billing invoices approved for SD, DD, CD, etc. This ensures that admin has a constant real time view of the firm-wide performance.
  11. Alongside that, have project teams feature an energy analysis in every pursuit to increase fees and generate more revenue. Market energy modeling as high performance and cost saving instead of “green” to ensure clients of all political persuasions buy in.
  12. Start inviting outside consultants to projects to update the engineering inputs.
  13. Start coordinating with contractors and cost estimators to ensure the cost inputs are updated at each project phase.
  14. Market the heck out of the initiative internally and externally through social media to increase the likelihood of implementation.

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