For the first time AIA/Autodesk Green Building Index cites owner demand as biggest driver 

August 11, 2010

San Rafael, Calif.-based AEC software giant Autodesk, Inc., and the Washington,  D.C.-based American Institute of Architects released the results of their third annual Green Index, a survey of green building practices, motivations and acceptance of nearly 350 practicing architects in the United States. The survey reported 70% of architects say client demand is the leading driver of green building and that the primary reason these owners and developers are demanding greener buildings is for reduced operating costs.

According to the Autodesk/AIA Green Index, less than half of architects were incorporating sustainable design practices into their projects five years ago. However, this number is quickly rising with 90% of architects expecting to incorporate some sustainable elements by 2012. This rapidly growing adoption of sustainable design is in direct response to a strong client demand for green building, with 70% of this year's respondents citing client demand as the main driver pushing architects to go green. When asked to cite a reason behind clients' push toward green building, 64% of respondents cited the reduced operating costs that can be obtained through sustainable design as the cause.

"Buildings are the leading provider of greenhouse emissions, and in 2005 the AIA set a goal to reduce carbon emissions from buildings by 50 percent by 2010 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030," said AIA EVP/CEO Christine McEntee. "The results of the survey are encouraging, but there needs to be a greater sense of urgency to make sustainable design the norm in the profession. To that end, we will be releasing additional resources in 2008 to better educate both architects and clients on best practices and benefits of green buildings."

According to the Autodesk/AIA Green Index, less than half of architects were incorporating sustainable design practices into their projects five years ago. However, this number is quickly rising with 90 percent of architects expecting to incorporate some sustainable elements by 2012.  

"Buildings are the leading provider of greenhouse emissions, and in 2005 the AIA set a goal to reduce carbon emissions from buildings by 50 percent by 2010 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030," said AIA EVP/CEO Christine McEntee. "The results of the survey are encouraging, but there needs to be a greater sense of urgency to make sustainable design the norm in the profession. To that end, we will be releasing additional resources in 2008 to better educate both architects and clients on best practices and benefits of green buildings."

The survey also shows that architects are making significant strides to meet their client demand for green building. Working to develop their sustainable design skills, 88% of respondents have received training or continuing education focused on green building. This year's Green Index also shows a significant increase in the practice of sustainable design since 2002. According to this year's survey, the industry has seen a 25% increase in the number of architects utilizing high-efficiency HVAC systems in their projects over the past five years. Other areas of growth include the use of highly reflective roofing materials, which has jumped 18% since 2002, and the adoption of energy modeling and baseline analysis, which has seen a 17% increase in that same period.

Moving the Industry Forward

While almost 75% of Green Index respondents believe that the building industry is headed in the right direction regarding climate change, and 54 percent believe architects are responsible for developing and implementing solutions to this issue, the survey also shows that there is still significant opportunity for architects to deliver on green building practices. Although 50% of architects reported having clients inquire about green building on the majority of their projects, only 30% of architects actually implemented green building elements in their projects. In addition, only 10% of architects are currently measuring the carbon footprint of their projects.

"We are encouraged that the 2007 Green Index shows a growing number of architects practicing green building," said Phil Bernstein, FAIA, LEED AP, Autodesk Vice President of AEC Industry Strategy and Relations. "Since only 10% of architects are currently measuring the carbon footprint of their projects, Autodesk recognizes a need to make this an easier and more efficient process using new and existing technology solutions. We look forward to continued cooperation with the AIA to help architects use technology to design more environmentally responsible buildings."

When asked what green building efforts they expect to adopt in the next five years, over half the respondents said they will be using tools to enable the prediction and evaluation of the environmental impact and lifecycle of the building materials used in their projects, a 36% increase from today. 56% of respondents also stated that they will be using design software to evaluate and explore alternative building materials to maximize energy performance and minimize their environmental footprint.

Research Methods


The Autodesk/AIA Green Index was conducted online by StrategyOne Research in October 2007 among 347 practicing architects in the United States. The architects were questioned on their use of 14 green design practices: five years ago, over the previous 12 months, and their expected use five years from now. The design practices were based on the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards.

The architects who responded to the survey come from a mix of design practices. 44% are predominantly involved with commercial projects, 32 percent with institutional, 20 percent with single family homes, and 4 percent with industrial projects. Sixty-two percent of the architects have 15 or more years of experience. Additionally, 88% of the architects have received training or continuing education on the subject of green buildings. The full report is available on the Autodesk Web site at http://www.autodesk.com/green.












         
 

Comments on: "For the first time AIA/Autodesk Green Building Index cites owner demand as biggest driver  "