Architects are hampered in their efforts to fight climate change by data and culture gaps, finds a new study by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The report, Sustainability in the Architect’s Journey to Specification, identified a number of common obstacles that could be improved by the building products industry to help architects support climate action, including:
- Supplying useful, timely, and accurate product information and data.
- Reducing barriers — primarily high costs – to sustainable products to increase adoption of them, especially as clients are increasingly concerned about sustainability being too cost-conscious in the short term.
In other findings, nearly all architects said third-party testing or certification is crucial for new product adoption. Architects also indicated that continuing education from building product companies is the most convenient way to learn about new products and innovations.
“Architects are increasingly motivated to commit to climate action and evolve the built environment,” says 2020 AIA President Jane Frederick, FAIA. “Our members have an important role to play, but they cannot do it alone. Everyone in the design and building product industry must do their part, and that means more than just making materials that contribute to sustainability. Informed product and material knowledge is essential, if we are going to succeed. Committing to innovation is essential.”