The 2030 Challenge prompts building projects to meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 70 percent below the regional (or country) average/median for that building type based on the 2003 CBECS. The metric for the 2030 Challenge is site Energy Use Intensity (EUI), not source EUI.

But how can a design team quickly determine the appropriate EUI target for a project?

Here are three easy ways.


1. Target Finder

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides a free online tool, Target Finder, that enables users to determine the average energy consumption of specific building types in a specific region, as well as energy reduction targets in accordance with the 2030 Challenge. Target Finder should be the first resource in determining a project's EUI target. Architecture 2030 recommends that teams forego the optional Estimated Design Energy in order to ensure a baseline that is an average building with an average fuel mix.

Access the ENERGY STAR Target Finder.


2. Building type not in Target Finder? Here's the back-up plan.

If a project’s building type or median site EUI is not available in Target Finder, Architecture 2030 provides several alternatives to determine an appropriate EUI baseline:

  • For residential projects, Architecture 2030 has developed a 2030 Target Table using the 2001 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) database. The table provides regional medians as well as 2030 Challenge reduction targets.
  • Local or regional energy consumption databases (e.g. from benchmarking and disclosure ordinance reporting) can be utilized if based on similar building types.
  • Firm portfolio data, or data from peer firms, can be referenced if based on similar building types.
  • The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory initiative Labs 21 has developed a benchmarking tool to determine the average energy consumption of laboratories and associated reduction targets.
  • If appropriate data cannot be obtained, Architecture 2030 recommends that projects target carbon neutrality, which makes establishing a baseline unnecessary.

Use best practices and professional judgment when determining a baseline. Teams should consider various factors that impact energy performance, such as climate (macroclimate), weather (microclimate), space type, building size, occupancy, schedules and fuel mix. 


3. Performance modeling tools with integrated 2030 targets

Numerous design performance modeling platforms are making it easy for project teams to check their design solutions against 2030 Challenge EUI targets. 

One example is the Sefaira plugins for Revit and SketchUp, which display real-time predicted EUI relative to the 2030 EUI targets. 

Another example is Autodesk Insight 360, which integrates with the AIA 2030 Commitment Design Data Exchange (DDx) to streamline performance recording relative to the 2030 EUI targets.

For more information on the 2030 Challenge, visit


Screen capture of the Sefaira SketchUp plug-in exhibiting a building model's "actual" (i.e., predicted) EUI versus the 2030 Challenge target EUI.
Illustration courtesy of Sefaira.