Forty-two 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, according to the 2008 Autodesk/American Institute of Architects Green Index, an annual survey that measures how AIA members are practicing sustainable design, as well as their opinions about the green building movement.
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 – down four percent from last year. 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).
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.
Eighty-nine 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.