The AIA and Dwell Magazine Team Up to Spread the Word about Sustainability

April 29, 2008

The AIA’s “Walk the Walk” logo.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has ambitious goals for reducing carbon emissions related to the built environment: it hopes to make all buildings carbon neutral by 2030, and aims for a 50% fossil fuel reduction by 2010. But to accomplish what is, in effect, a complete overhaul of the way the construction industry operates, the AIA must make sure that its message is heard by people outside its own membership. Toward that end, the group announced its “Walk the Walk: Architects Leading the Sustainable Evolution” campaign On January 15th of this year.

Intended to “inform the marketplace” on the benefits of green building, the initiative sets forth a multifaceted communications strategy. Christine McEntee, Executive Vice President and CEO of the AIA, is quoted as saying, “As America continues to be saturated by messages of ‘going green,’ there is a general lack of understanding that buildings are one of the primary sources of the greenhouse gases contributing to global warming and climate change. The ‘Walk the Walk’ program will raise awareness of this issue and provide practical energy saving solutions for people who build, work and live in buildings of all shapes and sizes.”

The marketing firm Giant Ideas was hired to orchestrate “Walk the Walk,” and their website has a blog detailing the campaign’s development. One component of the campaign is the AIA/Dwell “How Green are You” contest, which focuses on sustainable home design and renovation. Tapping into Dwell’s audience should be a strong move for the campaign; the research company Erdos & Morgan found that Dwell magazine reaches an affluent, professional readership, and has the unique duality of appealing to consumers and trade members (in a 60/40 split). Dwell has received many awards and honors, including a 2005 National Magazine Award, a 2003 Circulation Excellence Award from Circulation Managment, and a Top 10 listing in Capell’s “Best Performers in Circulation for 2005”.

“How Green are You” is open to anyone and the entry period is from  April 5th to June 20th, 2008.

Judging Criteria include:

  • Sustainability
  • Functionality
  • Originality
  • Cost effectiveness, and
  • Design

To enter the contest, click here.

Image credit: AIA

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