The area chapter of the American Institute of Architects will offer a seminar series to educate designers and builders about green practices and push for carbon-neutral buildings by 2030.

The area chapter of the American Institute of Architects will offer a seminar series to educate designers and builders about green practices and push for carbon-neutral buildings by 2030.

You might not jump to take one of the 10 presentations offered during the AIA + 2030 Professional Series. But AIA Columbus hopes the classes will lead to radically efficient buildings where you live, work and play.

The green-building trend already has changed the local landscape. The nine-month series simply intends to kick it up a few notches, said Gwen Berlekamp, the chapter's executive director.

"No architect designs without sustainability in mind anymore," she explained. "Buildings have a long life, so it's important that an architect designs with that in mind."

Ohio ranks 12th nationally in green building with 243 LEED-certified projects and 879 awaiting recognition, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. Columbus ranks 40th among U.S. cities, with 27 projects certified and 78 registered.

Local architects believe those numbers will increase.

"We will actually do preliminary studies for all clients to show them what they are capable of," said Nikki Wildman, an architect and project manager for M + A Architects. "It may involve LEED certification or just adopting sustainable techniques in their projects."

One of M + A's eco-friendly designs is the main office building at Grandview Yard, which on July 25 was awarded a LEED silver certification. It was built on a former brownfield with 25 percent recycled materials, and it features energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems.

Several local projects have achieved LEED gold certification: the Grange Insurance Audubon Center on the Whittier Peninsula, the learning center at Emerson Network Power in Westerville and the Bryant Arts Center at Denison University.

Interest here is now rivaling the eco-friendly fervor in larger U.S. cities, said Eric Thompson, an architect who works in Columbus with international firm NBBJ.

"We're seeing it more and more throughout all sectors with increasing interest, increasing awareness," Thompson said. "It's covering a really wide variety - buildings of all sizes and shapes. It's very exciting to be part of that trend."