Sefaira’s direct upload to the AIA 2030 DDx makes it easy for architects to meet their AIA 2030 Commitment reporting requirements.

The AIA 2030 Commitment

The AIA 2030 Commitment is the American Institute of Architects’ response to Architecture 2030’s inspiring call for all new buildings, developments, and major renovations to be carbon-neutral by 2030.

Firms that participate in the AIA 2030 Commitment report their projects’ Energy Usage Intensity (EUI) during each stage of design, and ultimately seek to beat EUI reduction targets.

According to the AIA, a majority of building projects still don’t perform energy analysis at Schematic Design. Often, this is because many practitioners simply don’t know what kinds of studies to do. The AIA 2030 Commitment provides a structured first step in making sure every project is looking at its energy use and, at the very least, taking a moment to ask, “Is this good enough?”

The clear and simple EUI benchmarks in the AIA 2030 Commitment, as well as the basic act of reporting design-stage performance, help a design team engage with the 2030 Challenge and make them more likely to meet the vision of carbon-neutrality in 2030. It also helps the AIA gather valuable data about how many buildings are being modeled and how much energy they are projected to use.

Sefaira’s Integration with the AIA 2030 DDx

To support firms’ participation in the AIA 2030 Commitment, the AIA created the 2030 Design Data Exchange, or 2030 DDx. This online platform makes it easy for firms to report their projects’ EUI figures throughout design. Sefaira’s integration with the DDx enables project teams to upload Sefaira project data directly to the DDx, saving time and ensuring more frequent and consistent reporting to the 2030 Commitment.

How Does It Work?

As a Sefaira user, you’ll find a DDx upload link on every Sefaira project page.

AIA 2030 Commitment reporting
Opting to upload or update a project sends both project-level data (e.g. project location) as well as concept-level data (e.g. area of the proposed building) to the DDx. Often, Sefaira projects contain multiple concepts. The concept-level data sent to the DDx will be the data associated with whichever concept is active (i.e. selected) at the time of upload. (In the image above, the “active” concept is “Baseline Concept” with an EUI of 53.)

The first time you upload Sefaira data to the DDx, you will be prompted to provide your AIA 2030 Commitment credentials (i.e. Firm Key and User Key).

2030 Design Data Exchange Keys
These keys only have to be entered once, and can be remembered for future sessions. (If you need help locating your keys, just follow the directions on screen).

We send as much relevant data as we have available to the AIA DDx. Once uploaded, you have the opportunity to view the project on the DDx, or to return to your Sefaira project:

UI option return to Sefaira
If you know your Firm Key and User Key, the whole process should take less than a couple of minutes.

Take note: the Sefaira project number (referenced in the URL of the project page) makes it possible to update revisions to the same AIA DDx project. For example, once I have “uploaded” a project, I can “update” that project by sending new data to the DDx from Sefaira. To ensure I am indeed updating a project, and not creating a new one, I must maintain the project number field so the DDx can connect my new data upload to the existing project.

How Was the Feature Developed?

As with all new feature design, we developed some key requirements to guide the development of the feature:

  • The DDx tracks “projects”, so our feature must exist in an environment where projects are considered (i.e. the Sefaira Web Application).
  • It must be easy and fast to send Sefaira project information to the AIA 2030 DDx. Ideally, it would take less than a minute to do it.
  • Uploading should be a deliberate action, because users will only want to upload data once they had reached a result that was right for them.
  • It should include context about the 2030 Challenge, the AIA 2030 Commitment, and why each is important.
  • We should send as much information as we can about the project to the DDx, while also making it very easy for users to update information already sent.

We felt that if we could meet these key design requirements, our customers’ project teams would save time while recording project performance, and thus report more frequently and consistently to the 2030 Commitment.

How Do I Get It?

Are you currently a customer? If so, you already have it! This feature is in Sefaira’s browser-based web application. Just log in, open a project, and give it a try. Because Sefaira is cloud-based, we can deliver new features like this to you automatically–there’s no need to update software or install anything new.

Not a customer yet? You can connect with our sales team here.

Tech Specs: Data Sent to the DDx

This list summarizes the information we send to the AIA Design Data Exchange for each project and where it comes from.

  • Project Conditioned Area (in sqft): This does not include ignored zones.
  • Modeled EUI (in kBtu/sqft)
  • Target EUI (in kBtu/sqft): We don’t have targets yet so we send the Modeled EUI to the DDx for this input where you can change it.
  • Reporting Year: We input the year of upload
  • Software Used: Sefaira
  • Lighting Power Density: We input the value from the Sefaira space use tab.
  • Window to Wall Ratio %: We input the building average from your 3D model.
  • Renewables: We note if your project includes Solar PV.
  • Design Energy Code: We input ASHRAE 90.1, 2013.
  • Status of Energy Model: We input “Has Been Modeled”
  • Project Name: We use the iteration name.
  • Project ID: We input the number from the end of the project URL. Note if you change this on the DDx site, you need to remember it and manually enter it to ensure updates sent from Sefaira will be applied to the right DDx project.
  • Building Type: This is the dropdown list from the AIA. We default to office but remember your selection if you change it for updates.
  • Project Category: Residential or Non-residential. This depends on the building type you choose.
  • Project Phase: We default to Concept Design.
  • Country, City, State and Zip Code: We do our best to pre-populate these based on the location entered at project creation.