Poll: Only 4 Percent of U.S. Adults Know That Buildings Are Leading Source Of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions
According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), buildings are the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, but in a new poll conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), only 4 percent of U.S. adults were aware of this fact. Autodesk, a leader of design innovation software and technologies, is one of more than 1,000 companies coming together in Boston at the 2008 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo to raise awareness about this important issue and present solutions to help the building industry decrease carbon emissions. “The results of the survey reveal an urgent need to raise awareness with the American public about the role of buildings in climate change,” said Jay Bhatt, senior vice president, Autodesk AEC Solutions. “This is especially important given that half the buildings in which Americans will live, play and work by 2030 have yet to be built. We believe that the building industry has a responsibility to do all we can to promote the creation of, and generate increased demand for, much more cost-effective and energy-efficient buildings—which we’ll be doing next week at the Greenbuild Conference and Expo.”
About the Green Building Awareness Survey The Green Building Awareness survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Autodesk between September 30 and October 6, 2008, among 2,682
adults ages 18 and older. A key finding of the multi-question survey is that only 4 percent of U.S. adults were aware that buildings such as offices, educational facilities and private residences are the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. In fact, according to estimates in the AIA’s Architects and Climate Change report, buildings represent 48 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, with transportation and industry representing 27 percent and 25 percent respectively. The Autodesk survey also revealed that 77 percent believe that constructing a green or highly energy-efficient building costs more than constructing a typical building, with 35 percent believing it costs a lot more. However, according to The Costs and Financial Benefits of Green Buildings, a study funded by the state of California’s Sustainable Building Task Force, spending as little as about 2 percent to support green design up-front would, on average, result in lifecycle savings of 20 percent of total construction costs—an average of 10 times the initial investment.
“Most people don’t realize that our homes, schools, and offices are sources of tremendous opportunities – to save energy, save money, create jobs, and ultimately help preserve our climate,” said Michelle Moore, senior ice-president, policy and public affairs for the U.S. Green Building Council. “This new survey underscores how much good work can be done to raise awareness and create the kind of change we need to improve our economy and protect our quality of life on Earth.”
Autodesk at Greenbuild 2008 The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo will be held in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center November 19–21. According to the USGBC, Greenbuild’s expected 25,000 attendees will interact with green building peers, industry experts and influential leaders as they share insights on the green building movement and its diverse specialties. As part of Autodesk’s ongoing support of sustainable design and the USGBC, Autodesk is a silver sponsor of the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo.
At the conference Autodesk will be demonstrating the crucial role technology plays in the design and construction of green buildings. In a plenary session on Thursday, November 20, Phil Bernstein, Autodesk vice president of industry strategy and relations, will show how Autodesk technology is being used in the green rebuilding of Greensburg, Kansas, a community destroyed by a tornado in 2007. On the exhibit floor, booth 1415, Autodesk will host workshops and present demonstrations of Autodesk’s software for sustainable design, including the Revit platform for building information modeling (BIM) and analysis tools Autodesk Ecotect and Autodesk Green Building Studio software. Autodesk will also announce the results of this year’s annual Autodesk/AIA Green Index survey, which measures how AIA members in the United States are practicing sustainable design and how their activity compares with peers in Europe and Asia.
Full results of the Green Building Awareness survey will be available at www.autodesk.com.