Fear of missing out. FOMO. It’s a thing.

A form of social anxiety, it’s that compulsion to know what other folks are doing just in case they might be having more fun than you. Anyone with a smart phone and a Facebook page has experienced it. There are real psychological drivers behind it, too. Check out Henry Murray’sExplorations in Personality and his list of psychogenic needs. FOMO is right there in between cognizance and sentience.

And now, I will attempt to use FOMO as a motivator. Here goes.

Do you work in an architectural firm? Has your firm signed the AIA 2030 Commitment? Because if they haven’t you are definitely missing out.

Last year, 99 of the architectural firms that signed the Commitment submitted designed energy use data on 2,464 projects. Compared to 2012, that’s a 150% increase in the number of projects submitted. And 401 of those projects hit the 60%-better-than-code target for 2013, a 200% increase over last year. Projects of every building type and size are now hitting that rolling energy efficiency target.

Add to that, 73 projects reported in 2013 were designed for net zero energy use. Seventy three! That’s 500% more net zero projects than were reported last year. This means somewhere out there in the USA architects are designing projects today that have already met the goal of being functionally carbon-neutral by 2030.

And wow, 2014 is almost over. We’re getting ready to report our 2014 design data any day now. The pEUIs and LPDs are being counted.

So where are you? What is your firm doing? Are you missing out?

If you’re a firm Principal, you could just round up your partners and say “Hey, we should get on board with this AIA 2030 Commitment thing. If XYZ Architects can do this, we can, too. Now let’s talk year-end tax planning.”

But let’s say you’re a hard-working interior or architectural designer. You want to be an expert in sustainable design, but you need project experience to get there. Do this: Download the AIA 2030 Commitment 2013 Progress Report. Attach it to an email to your boss with subject: “Goal-Setting for My Upcoming Performance Evaluation.” Or you may have to print it out (gasp!) and leave it on his chair (yeah, chances are your boss is a man) with a yellow sticky note saying “please read” with a smiley-face. Boomers. I mean, really.

Or maybe you’re in the firm’s marketing department. This is where checking out the list of firms that reported in 2013 can be very enlightening. See a trend here? These are some of the (ahem) best firms in the business. Why aren’t you on this list?

If you’re an Associate or Project Architect you’re in a position of influence. Here’s how to make the AIA 2030 case. When your Principal-in-Charge says “We need to talk about your monthly invoices” say “No problem, right after we talk about the AIA 2030 Commitment.” Tell him if your firm signs the AIA 2030 Commitment, you’ll soon have an AIA 2030 reporting dashboard that lets you compare your projects’ designed energy efficiency with a national database of similar projects. The AIA is collaborating with the US Department of Energy and the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to make it happen. Call it your AIA dues at work.

Say you know this will be huge, and your competition will be all over it. Your firm definitely won’t want to miss out. Say it with . . . commitment! And hit ‘em up for a promotion after you’re done. He’ll thank you for it later.

This post originally appeared on the blog of Principal Mike Davis, FAIA

Published Nov 24, 2014