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Architects laying foundations for green construction

A new Glenigan survey has shown that rising energy costs are driving architects to improve environmental designs for buildings.

The business information service surveyed 6,000 architects who identified key areas of concern such as specifying materials to conserve energy during the building process as being important.

The survey also found that two thirds of 4,000 planned building projects identified by Glenigan with eco-products being specified by architects in design are in the private sector, with a third of those in the private housing sector.

Daily operations of buildings account for 43 per cent of the UK’s total carbon emissions and the survey found that 80 per cent of architects refer to BRE’s Green Guide when identifying and specifying particular construction products for projects.

Among the reports other findings were:

  • 87 per cent believed that specifying materials to conserve energy when designing a building with a low environmental impact is highly important.
  • 94 per cent would specify more such material over the next two years.
  • 86 per cent believed the higher upfront costs to be primary barrier to the specification of more environmentally beneficial products.

Public sector clients were reported to be more demanding in terms of improving environmental performance according to 74 per cent of respondents while just 32 per cent of commercial property developers and 31 per cent of owners were identified as demanding improved environmental performance.

More than two thirds of those surveyed said government policy was responsible for increasing client demand for improving environmental performance while only 29 per cent identified ‘improved commercial return’ to be stimulating demand.

The survey also found that almost three-quarters of specified eco-products in new builds are those with a reduced environmental impact while energy systems account for less than a quarter of the total.

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