February 29, 2024 | Lotte Schlegel
Reflections from Lotte

This year, the IMT team kicked off a new strategic plan for 2024-2027, the next phase of our BuildUp 2030 vision. Back in 2019, when we envisioned a decade of action, we imagined a country in which our homes, workplaces, and schools did not just make financial sense, but were healthy, low pollution, and resilient to increasingly extreme weather. We saw the potential for economic opportunity along the path in terms of the availability of local sustainable careers in our communities, and we saw the role that buildings play in supporting healthy and thriving communities across the country. We acknowledged the importance of prioritizing the communities that experience the impacts of extreme weather most acutely in the design of the solutions. We knew that we’d need to renovate our buildings at a faster pace and scale than we had ever done before to meet the vision.

But back then, we did not envision how much the world would change in the first three years of the decade—the pandemic that would shift our relationship to buildings and shake the financial foundation of the buildings industry, putting housing increasingly out of reach for even more people in the U.S. We did not envision the racial reckoning that would bring the persistent inequities baked into our society through policy and practice to clearer focus for more people and businesses. We did not envision the level of federal investment in buildings-related space through pandemic relief and the Inflation Reduction Act. We did not envision how our imagination and collective will for action might be tested!

So, as we enter our new 2024-2027 plan of action, we do so with the awareness that these times call for us to find the opportunity in disruption, to face the biggest challenges head on, and to do things differently than we have done before. You can read more about what we’ve done in our summary. Last year, we took stock of promising practices, what we’ve learned in the last three years, and what lies ahead in the next three years. Together, we built a plan that takes advantage of our bread and butter services around policy and programs in buildings, while responding to current and anticipated needs. Here’s what’s new for us: 

  • Focusing on how we pay for building improvements at scale across the country, in alignment with building performance policies and the economic and practical realities of the task at hand.
  • Spotlighting the information that people need at the time they need it to make decisions about better buildings. At the nationwide level, this means a focus on the core training and information needed to steer decisions about building improvements, and in practice, the delivery channels at the local or institutional level to ensure that people know what to do to make it happen.
  • Doubling down on our shared equity and continuous improvement principles in ways that enable us to incorporate lessons we learn along the way more rapidly.

And of course, we can’t do this alone. Scaling equitable decarbonization and making it more accessible and actionable requires partnership and intentional processes as part of our practices. We are proud to be working alongside community, government, and business leaders in the quest to scale action in this next part of the decade, and we welcome the work to come.

Meet the Author

Lotte Schlegel

Former Executive Director

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