4 Steps to Sustainable Design

July 07, 2021

According to the AIA, “Buildings are responsible for 40% of energy-related CO2 emissions globally.” Seventy-nine percent of architects want to reduce this number by specifying more sustainable materials than they do today, according to the AIA report, Sustainability in the Architect’s Journey to Specification. However, only one in three architects feels they are meeting their responsibility for sustainable design today.

With the rapid rate of digital transformation and industry shifts during the last several years, many architecture and engineering firms are not yet where they want to be with sustainable design or digital automation. Yet, these topics will continue to increase in importance as 46% of clients are increasingly concerned about sustainability and 32% are committed to sustainability, according to the AIA report, Sustainability in the Architect’s Journey to Specification.

Is your firm weighing the pros and cons of sustainable design? Read on to discover four steps to start your sustainability journey.


AIA Report: Sustainability in the Architect’s Journey to Specification

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1. Utilize Sustainable Design as a Catalyst to Fuel Your Firm’s Growth

Sustainability presents a significant opportunity for many firms to grow their business. According to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), 61% of corporate leaders believe that sustainability leads to market differentiation and improved financial performance. And, owners of sustainably designed buildings report a 10% or more increase in the value of their assets.

In addition, a growing number of architects recognize the advantage of winning more work through smart building design. According to the 2021 AEC Hinge Report, nearly half of architects surveyed cited Smart Buildings as a topic they plan on researching in the coming year.

Smart buildings use automation to optimize processes that occur inside a building such as heating and cooling, security, lighting, ventilation, water usage and more.  This benefits the environment, the building tenants, and the businesses that own the facilities.

2. Consider that Sustainable Design is Becoming More Affordable

The biggest barrier towards moving more projects to sustainable design is cost, as 59% of architects say sustainable products are too expensive, according to the AIA report, Sustainability in the Architect’s Journey to Specification. However, the cost of sustainable building materials and products has started to – and continues to drop – making green building a cost-effective solution that also supports the environment.

3. Explore the Long-Term Benefits of Sustainable Design

Sustainable design is a positive contributor to overall employee, student and patient health and happiness. Consider that 70% of K-12 schools and 63% of university leaders said that green design efforts have raised student test scores. Patients exposed to bright, natural light report less pain and take 22% less analgesic medication per hour than patients in darker rooms.

As the years go by, [and particularly in light of the pandemic], we are starting to see a shift to focus on occupant health. Because people spend so much of their time in buildings,” says Camp Boyd, Senior Specification Writer, Deltek.

Sustainable buildings can improve indoor air quality, reduce employee absenteeism, and decrease symptoms of asthma, respiratory distress, depression and stress. In fact, employees in LEED certified buildings report feeling healthier, happier and more productive.

4. Discover Best Practices in Sustainable Design

If your firm is working toward incorporating more sustainable design practices into upcoming building projects, reach out to the Deltek Specification Solutions team of experts. MasterSpec® content developers work to make sure specifying to sustainable standards and certifications is stress-free and manageable for building projects large and small.

Coming late 2021, Deltek Specpoint, home of MasterSpec®, a cloud-based specification solution, will uplevel how product manufacturers, architects and engineers collaborate. Deltek Specpoint will help bring teams together to work more efficiently, make data driven product decisions for smart specification authoring, and improve project outcomes by easily sharing, updating and distributing MasterSpec content, better supporting dispersed teams.

This cloud-based software solution includes a comprehensive online building products library to research and select products, combined with a design and publishing tool that includes one-click specifications so that firms will be able to write better specifications and produce project manuals faster, contributing to overall project success. Learn more about this new solution, or see a live demo, at the Deltek Booth at A’21.