Architect Familiarity and Perceptions Surrounding Sustainable Design, LEED, and Engineered Wood Products in Arkansas
Keywords:cross laminated timber, green building design, green building certification, mass timbers
The sustainable building design movement has gained momentum within the United States in recent years. This has led to a proliferation of green building certification programs like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the development of engineered wood products (EWP) like cross laminated timber (CLT). Often, architects serve as the conduit between green building construction material and their use in construction. There is need to investigate the perceptions and practices of architects on the topic of green building certification and EWPs. In partnership with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), this study surveyed registered architects practicing in Arkansas to a) examine interest in and application of LEED certification and b) beliefs related to sustainability, affordability, and availability of EWPs. Results suggest a majority of architects surveyed have interest in the LEED program and have previously earned LEED-certification for a building design. Respondents rated the importance of improving human health and well-being as especially high but appear to doubt the ability of EWP to contribute to sustainable design. Analysis revealed that CLT use is significantly lower than that of more typical EWPs such as plywood panels and glue laminated timber. Architects also indicated that the affordability and availability of modern EWP represent significant barriers to their utilization within the state. To increase the rate of sustainable development, it will be necessary to highlight benefits to human and environmental health and generate interest amongst architectural clientele.
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