Architect Survey Highlights 'Green' Product Attributes,
Overseas Growth Markets
May 19, 2009
Architects say durability is the most important attribute for a
"green" building product, according to a new industry
survey commissioned by PPG Industries. It was followed by ENERGY
STAR compliance, life-cycle assessment, no- or low-volatile organic
compound (VOC) content and the ability to source products regionally.
Durability also is the most important attribute among building
products in general, ranking slightly ahead of price, according
to the survey. Product warranties, features and technical support
also named by approximately two in five architects, as well.
James J. Bogdan, PPG manager, green building initiatives, for the
company's construction market team, said he was not surprised that
architects consider durability a key sustainability factor.
"We hear a lot of dialogue in the architect-engineer community
about committing to a 'century of ownership' concept that encompasses
a building's design as well as its construction and operational
lifetime. When you consider those factors, it's no wonder that durability
is at the top of the list when it comes to defining what makes a
product good and what makes a product green," he said.
According to the survey, PPG was recognized as the green, or sustainability,
leader in the glass and metal coatings categories by margins of
33 percent and 8 percent respectively over the nearest competitors.
About 30 percent of respondents' firms work on projects outside
the United States. The fastest-growing overseas markets are India
and Dubai, which grew by 60 percent and 44 percent respectively
since PPG conducted the same survey in 2006. China is down by 29
percent from 2006, but remains the second-largest source of foreign
commissions, landing between Canada and Mexico. Firms with more
than 100 people were the most likely to conduct business outside
the United States.
Architects said their most important sources of product information
are manufacturers' websites (76 percent) and Internet searches (59
percent). Nevertheless, responses showed that traditional resources
such as manufacturers' sales representatives (54 percent) and technical
binders (46 percent) remain popular.
The online survey was completed by 612 qualified architects, producing
±3.9 percent accuracy at the 95-percent 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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