BOSTON - Autodesk Inc. and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) have announced the results of the 2008 Autodesk/AIA Green Index, an annual survey that measures how AIA members are practicing sustainable design, as well as their opinions about the green building movement. This year’s index shows an increase in the implementation of sustainable design practices from architects and building owners. In addition, it shows that architects’ clients have experienced a doubling in the market demand for green buildings over the past year as well as positive shifts in architects’ attitudes toward their ability to impact climate change.

A major finding of the 2008 Green Index was that 42 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. 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. 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).

“We are encouraged to see the continued rise in demand for green buildings, and that architects are responding to this demand by increasing their practice of sustainable design,” said Jay Bhatt, senior vice president, Autodesk AEC Solutions. “Autodesk is committed to developing software that makes sustainable design easier and more efficient, and it is rewarding to learn through this survey that 41 percent of architects are using software to help predict and evaluate the environmental impact and lifecycle of their buildings.”

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. Architects indicated a significant increase in their use of design software over the past year to help predict and evaluate HVAC operating costs (39 percent, up from 31 percent in 2007), conduct energy modeling and baseline analysis (33 percent, up from 29 percent in 2007), and evaluate and explore alternative building materials (35 percent, up from 20 percent in 2007).

“The results of the Autodesk/AIA Green Index survey are encouraging because it shows that clients and the market are realizing the bottom-line benefits of sustainable design,” said Christine McEntee, executive vice president and CEO of the AIA. “The AIA will be adding to our various resources to help accelerate the adoption of sustainable design principles by both clients and design professionals, and advocating at the local, state, and federal level for energy-efficient buildings will continue to be our main legislative priority.”

The complete 2008 Autodesk/AIA Green Index report is available at

Publication date:12/01/2008