Passivehaus Maine Fall Conference - Part 2


Dave Low of Agatewood Sustainability Strategies spoke about Portland’s 2030 district at the Passivehaus Maine Fall Forum last week. The 2030 Challenge is a movement to make all new buildings carbon neutral by the year 2030 and to reduce carbon emissions from all existing building substantially. Seattle became the first city to form a 2030 district in 2011, establishing an energy benchmarking dashboard to meet the challenge.


2030 districts are a public-private partnership comprised of:

  • · Community stakeholders–local governments and non-profits

  • · Service stakeholders–providing services within the district

  • · Property owners

  • · Managers

  • · Developers

  • · Investors

  • · Institutions

The majority of Portland’s 2030 district is housed in its downtown area. Districts are voluntary and work with building owners to reduce building energy use, water consumption, and transportation GHS emissions. All new construction is put forth with the goal of being as close to carbon neutral as possible. There are currently 18 established districts across the US, which contain 1400 buildings, 390 property members, 233 stake holders, and 168 community stake holders coming together with the goal of reducing carbon emissions to provide a healthier planet for tomorrow.

seattle benchmark 2030 district.JPG

In select districts, if owners submit plans to meet the 2030 challenge, they receive expedited permitting for new projects. 2030 districts focus on commercial buildings with four units or more. Community members share data, utilize special financing, improve competitive positioning, and focus on education. Districts also work with the Urban Land Institute. The Portland district is currently funded by local grants.

Portland 2030 district.jpg


Agatewood sustainability strategies

Architecture 2030

Portland 2030 District