The use of building-integrated clean energy sources is expected to grow, according to a new survey of architects commissioned by PPG Industries. The study found that, while the volume of work for U.S. architectural firms overseas has remained steady, they are completing more projects in China, Canada and the Middle East.
The PPG survey indicated that architects are almost evenly split on whether they have specified clean-energy generating elements, such as solar panels and mini wind turbines, for building projects. While 42% of respondents reported having done so, nearly three-quarters (74%) said they expect to do so in the future. Most said they see new incentives and falling technology prices driving this trend, as well as the positive sentiment associated with clean energy.
When asked to name the most important characteristics for green building product selection, architects cited product durability most often, followed by lifecycle assessment, product certification and product transparency. When choosing a building product manufacturer, they said product durability was the most critical feature, narrowly leading customer responsiveness, product warranties, product features and technical support.
Consistent with PPG’s last survey in 2008, 30% of participating firms reported doing work outside the U.S. In contrast, though, the number of firms completing projects in China doubled from 15% to 30%; in Canada, it increased from 16% to 27%; and in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it jumped from 8% to 22%. Fourteen percent of firms reported projects in India, followed by 13% in Saudi Arabia and 12% in the UK.
The online survey was completed by 686 qualified architects, producing ± 3.7% accuracy at the 95% confidence level. It reached a representative cross-section of U.S. architects by firm size, geography, job title and years of experience.
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