Launch Slideshow

Portrait of Ed Mazria, principle of Architecture 2030, photographed in Santa Fe, NM on July 24, 2009. USAGE: Interior editorial use for Ecohome Magazine, 2009, and related web/PR use.

Valiant Journey

If The Hanley Award were simply an honor for creating an influential body of architectural work or for contributions to technical research and innovation in buildings, Mazria’s accomplishments in these areas alone would shine.

Valiant Journey

If The Hanley Award were simply an honor for creating an influential body of architectural work or for contributions to technical research and innovation in buildings, Mazria’s accomplishments in these areas alone would shine.

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    Stockebrand Residence, 1981 Albuquerque, N.M.

    In this passive solar home Mazria brought a new level of design into play illustrating the integration of simple direct-gain elements in a more interesting and complex architectural form and shape that blends with its surroundings.

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    Stockebrand Residence, 1981 Albuquerque, N.M.

    In this passive solar home Mazria brought a new level of design into play illustrating the integration of simple direct-gain elements in a more interesting and complex architectural form and shape that blends with its surroundings.

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    Stockebrand Residence, 1981 Albuquerque, N.M.

    In this passive solar home Mazria brought a new level of design into play illustrating the integration of simple direct-gain elements in a more interesting and complex architectural form and shape that blends with its surroundings.

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    La Vereda Compound, 1982 Santa Fe, N.M.

    Built in the city’s historic district, La Vereda was the first passive solar townhouse development in the country and includes 27 units that cascade down a south-facing slope. The pioneering project was widely viewed as a milestone in solar design and construction.

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    La Vereda Compound, 1982 Santa Fe, N.M.

    Built in the city’s historic district, La Vereda was the first passive solar townhouse development in the country and includes 27 units that cascade down a south-facing slope. The pioneering project was widely viewed as a milestone in solar design and construction.

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    La Vereda Compound, 1982 Santa Fe, N.M.

    Built in the city’s historic district, La Vereda was the first passive solar townhouse development in the country and includes 27 units that cascade down a south-facing slope. The pioneering project was widely viewed as a milestone in solar design and construction.

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    In 2002 Edward Mazria founded Architecture 2030, a non-profit education and research organization. The group’s 2030 Challenge, setting a timeline and roadmap for the building industry to achieve carbon-neutral peformance levels by 2030, has been widely adopted by industry, government, and educational leaders, and its targets have been included in emerging energy and building codes, and state and federal legislation related to climate change initiatives.
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    Mt. Airy Public LIbrary, 1983 Mt. Airy, N.C.

    This well-known library achieved an 80% reduction in energy consumption from its daylighting and passive solar design features—a first for library buildings.

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    Mt. Airy Public LIbrary, 1983 Mt. Airy, N.C.

    This well-known library achieved an 80% reduction in energy consumption from its daylighting and passive solar design features—a first for library buildings.

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    Mt. Airy Public LIbrary, 1983 Mt. Airy, N.C.

    This well-known library achieved an 80% reduction in energy consumption from its daylighting and passive solar design features—a first for library buildings.

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    Sol y Sombra, 1989 Santa Fe, N.M.

    Built on the former estate of artist Georgia O’Keeffe, Sol y Sombra was designed as a foundation headquarters and meeting center. The greenhouse contains three climate zones. The grounds include water harvesting and a constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment.

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    Sol y Sombra, 1989 Santa Fe, N.M.

    Built on the former estate of artist Georgia O’Keeffe, Sol y Sombra was designed as a foundation headquarters and meeting center. The greenhouse contains three climate zones. The grounds include water harvesting and a constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment.

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    Sol y Sombra, 1989 Santa Fe, N.M.

    Built on the former estate of artist Georgia O’Keeffe, Sol y Sombra was designed as a foundation headquarters and meeting center. The greenhouse contains three climate zones. The grounds include water harvesting and a constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment.

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    Rio Grande Botanic Garden, 1998 Albuquerque, N.M.

    Mazria’s research while designing these two all-glass pavilions uncovered the benefits of placing glass with different properties on different exposures of a building.

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    Woods Residence, 1981 Wintergreen, VA

    This mountain home was the first residence to incorporate a number of passive solar strategies into one building, including direct gain, thermal storage walls, and an integrated sunspace coupled to a rock storage bin.

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    Mazria’s research at the University of Oregon formed the basis of his book, published in 1979, that became the bible of solar design. Its success worldwide is due to the way it presents complex, technical information in very understandable and applicable language.

Mazria’s early insights into vernacular architecture and historical use of local materials, and the relationship between architecture and the natural world, are deeply embedded in today’s definition of sustainability. And his belief that buildings could escape the bonds of energy-intensive mechanical systems and fossil fuels was an early wake-up call to an industry that 35 years later includes production builders promoting “zero-energy” homes.

With a clear vision comes a strong voice, and over the years he’s never lost sight of his mission to improve the environmental performance of buildings through increased environmental awareness and innovations in design and construction. These crucial concerns motivated Mazria in 2002 to create Architecture 2030, a non-profit environmental research and education organization based in Santa Fe, N.M., to which he now devotes full-time attention. The organization gets its name from its goal—leading the building sector to reach net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2030—and it is through this outlet that Mazria has placed the building sector at the center of the global warming dialogue.

Turning points

Some career choices are a slam dunk. In Mazria’s case, his entry into architecture was made possible by one after the basketball coach for Pratt Institute in New York City watched the high school stand-out take control of an all-city showcase game and offered him a scholarship on the spot. The institute’s renowned and progressive School of Architecture became Mazria’s launchpad into the world of design and the place he earned his architecture degree. It was also where he honed his basketball skills and attracted the attention of the NBA’s New York Knicks, who drafted Mazria in 1962, a year before graduation. But when another draft notice—from the U.S. Army—arrived after graduation, it diverted his professional sports career. Mazria arranged to complete alternative service in the Peace Corps and was off to Peru for two years where he practiced architecture, inoculated children against polio, and helped the city basketball team as a player-coach.

After the Peace Corps, Mazria’s path led him back to New York, where he practiced architecture for a number of firms. From there he moved on to Albuquerque and taught architecture as a visiting lecturer at the University of New Mexico.

But it was his subsequent appointment as an assistant professor at the University of Oregon that would prove most fateful, when his first assignment was to teach a course in solar energy. “There was a small group of very bright students there who had caught the solar fever and were building and testing some passive and active models at the university,” Mazria recalls. “They wanted a professor who could lead the effort, and they figured that since I had come from New Mexico I already knew the subject.”