Building Awareness survey was conducted online within the United States among 2,682 adults ages 18 and older. A key finding of the multi-question survey
is that only 4 percent of U.S. adults were aware that buildings such as offices,
educational facilities and private residences are the leading sources of greenhouse
gas emissions in the United States.
In fact, according to estimates in
the AIAs Architects and Climate Change report, buildings represent 48 percent
of carbon dioxide emissions, with transportation and industry representing 27
percent and 25 percent respectively.
The survey also revealed that 77 percent believe that
constructing a green or highly energy-efficient building costs
more than constructing a typical building, with 35 percent believing
it costs a lot more. However, according to The
Costs and Financial Benefits of Green Buildings, a study
funded by the state of California's
Sustainable Building Task Force, spending as little as about
2 percent to support green design up-front would, on average,
result in lifecycle savings of 20 percent of total construction
costsan average of 10 times the initial investment.
Owners Push For Green
A major finding 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.
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).
Positive Attitudes about Sustainable Practice
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
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).
Green Light for Buildings Saving Money
and the Environment
The message seems to be getting out that building
or remodeling with environmental friendly designs and materials is good for everyone.
The greenhouse gases involved with sustainable buildings are reduced, but on a
practical level, the lower costs of maintaining a green building earn smiles from
even the most practical of building owners. Reducing energy and water costs can
be just as fulfilling as saving the planet if your job relies on greening the
Source... Autodesk, Inc. and the American Institute of Architects