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November 8th, 2007
Survey Finds Architects Designing Green to Address Demand for Lower Building Operating Costs

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PR— Autodesk, Inc. and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) today announced the results of the 2007 Autodesk/AIA Green Index, an annual survey that measures how AIA member architects in the United States are practicing sustainable design, as well as their opinions about the green building movement. The index shows that green building has taken a firm hold on the industry and has captured the attention of both architects and their clients. The 2007 Autodesk/AIA Green Index survey reports 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.  Architects are responding by significantly increasing their use of sustainable elements such as high-efficiency HVAC systems, recycled building materials and using software to model energy usage.

Today’s Green Building Landscape
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.  This rapidly growing adoption of sustainable design is in direct
response to a strong client demand for green building, with 70 percent
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 percent 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.”
 
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 percent 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 percent 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 percent since 2002, and the
adoption of energy modeling and baseline analysis, which has seen a 17
percent increase in that same period.
 
Moving the Industry Forward
While almost 75 percent 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 percent of architects
reported having clients inquire about green building on the majority of
their projects, only 30 percent of architects actually implemented
green building elements in their projects. In addition, only 10 percent
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 percent 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
percent increase from today. Fifty-six percent 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. Forty-four percent 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 percent 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. 

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