BOSTON, Greenbuild Expo, November 19, 2008
American Institute of Architects (AIA)
have announced the results of the 2008 Autodesk/AIA Green Index, an annual survey that measures how AIA members are practicing sustainable design, as well as their opinions about the green building movement. This year’s index shows an increase in the implementation of sustainable design practices from architects and building owners. In addition, it shows that architects’ clients have experienced a doubling in the market demand for green buildings over the past year as well as positive shifts in architects’ attitudes toward their ability to impact climate change.
A major finding of the 2008 Green Index was that 42 percent of architects report clients asking for green building elements on a majority of their projects, with 47 percent of clients actually implementing green building elements on their projects, an increase of 15 percent from 2007. Client demand remains the leading driver for green building, with 66 percent of surveyed architects citing client demand as the primary influence on their practice of green building. Architects believe that the primary reasons their clients are asking for green buildings are reduced operating costs (60 percent), marketing (52 percent) and market demand (21 percent, up from 10 percent in the 2007 survey). The full Autodesk/AIA Green Index report is available at
“We are encouraged to see the continued rise in demand for green buildings, and that architects are responding to this demand by increasing their practice of sustainable design,
, senior vice president, Autodesk AEC Solutions. “Autodesk is committed to developing software that makes sustainable design easier and more efficient, and it is rewarding to learn through this survey that 41 percent of architects are using software to help predict and evaluate the environmental impact and lifecycle of their buildings.”
In response to the rising client demand for green buildings, architects are increasing their use of certain sustainable design practices. According to the survey, 34 percent of architects are now implementing green or vegetated roof coverings on more than half of their new projects, compared with 7 percent of architects in 2007. Also, 39 percent are using renewable, on-site energy sources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, low-impact hydro, biomass or bio-gas on over half of new building designs, compared with just 6 percent last year. Architects indicated a significant increase in their use of design software over the past year to help predict and evaluate HVAC operating costs (39 percent, up from 31 percent in 2007), conduct energy modeling and baseline analysis (33 percent, up from 29 percent in 2007) and evaluate and explore alternative building materials (35 percent, up from 20 percent in 2007).
“The results of the Autodesk/AIA Green Index survey are encouraging because it shows that clients and the market are realizing the bottom-line benefits of sustainable design,” said Christine McEntee, EVP and CEO of the AIA. “The AIA will be adding to our various resources to help accelerate the adoption of sustainable design principles by both clients and design professionals, and advocating at the local, state and federal level for energy-efficient buildings will continue to be our main legislative priority.”
Positive Attitudes about Sustainable Practice
The 2008 Autodesk/AIA Green Index found that 89 percent of architects believe sustainable design should be practiced whenever possible, up three percentage points from 2007. Over seven in 10 architects (71 percent compared with 67 percent in 2007) agree that when thinking about architecture and the environment, they feel the profession is headed in the right direction. Fifty-seven percent of respondents indicated that their organization is starting to implement standard operating procedures to inform clients about green building, up from 49 percent in 2007.
Architects Aligned with European and Asian Peers in Green Design
Over the past year, Autodesk also conducted similar green index surveys of architects in Japan, Italy and the United Kingdom, in partnership with organizations including the Japan Institute of Architects and the Royal Institute of British Architects. When asked why their clients were interested in green building, architects in all countries agreed that it was due to the desire for reduced operating costs. AIA members lead their global counterparts in the belief that architects should practice sustainable design whenever possible, with 89 percent of architects in the United States agreeing, followed by 88 percent in the United Kingdom, 73 percent in Italy and 59 percent in Japan. However, the reasons architects are building green vary across countries. In the United States green building designs are driven by client demand (66 percent), whereas in the United Kingdom and Japan the primary factors are regulatory requirements (75 percent and 64 percent respectively) and in Italy, rising energy costs (70 percent).
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About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes.
By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Vi