Cost constraints of projects is most cited barrier to delivering sustainable buildings, finds survey of architects

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11th November 2021 19:35 - Construction

Cost constraints of projects is most cited barrier to delivering sustainable buildings: A survey of architects has found that the barrier cited the most when it comes to the delivery of sustainable buildings was 'project cost constraints', with 72% saying it was an issue.

Six hundred members of the Royal Institute of Architects (RIBA) were questioned for the survey as part of the organisation's support for the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals

It also found that two-thirds cited 'client requirements' as an issue (65%), while 62% said a 'lack of client engagement' was problematic. More than half of those polled (57%) reported that product substitution and value engineering were also a barrier. 

However, despite the responses given, the results of the 2021 survey reveal improvements from the previous year.

The survey also looked at barriers within the industry related to data gaps. 

According to the findings, 43% of survey participants pointed to a 'lack of understanding' of the value of sustainability when it comes to certain projects, while 36% said that there was a lack of accurate data to show the performance of similar buildings (expected and actual ). A third of respondents (31%) said that there was a lack of 'similar elements, systems or spaces' when it comes to available data, while 31% pointed to a lack of data showing product performance.

Fewer than a fifth of respondents (17%) said that a lack of knowledge within their company was a barrier towards delivering more sustainable buildings.

In addition to the above, the research found that there has been an increase in the number of firms who have committed to tackling climate change. Almost three-quarters of architects polled said that their organisation now has a commitment to addressing the climate emergency, an increase from 66% last year. Similarly, the number of architects describing their projects as 'sustainable' was also up; from 48% last year to 51% in 2021.

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