AAMA shares green building survey results

July 1, 2009
COMMERCIAL, RETAIL

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association, Schaumburg, Ill., shared its initial Green Building Survey results at the AAMA National Summer Conference in Minneapolis, according to a June 30 release. Among all the survey's findings, 77 percent of respondents reported a product-based green certification program for residential and commercial fenestration would benefit the product selection process for their company.

AAMA will use the survey responses as additional input to shape a green fenestration certification program the association is developing. "It also will shape the input, coordination and outreach it provides to building code departments and authorities having jurisdiction, as green building best practices evolve into code requirements nationwide," said Rich Walker, AAMA president and CEO, in the release. "Architects, builders and contractors will look to AAMA-certified products and verified components to meet their green projects' performance requirements for safety, energy efficiency and durability."

AAMA representatives administered the Green Building Survey during 2008 and 2009 trade shows and conferences. Two of these trade shows were regional in scope: the Pacific Coast Builders Conference and the Southeast Building Conference. Two were national: GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo and the American Institute of Architects national exposition. Respondents answered questions about green topics and a green fenestration certification program.

For the remainder of 2009, AAMA will continue conducting the survey and will evolve questions to inquire about the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and how the stimulus package is impacting green, energy-efficient construction and renovation in the industry.

"At this point, it is important to expand the reach of the survey to test and validate the preliminary input received from our limited sample of respondents. However, these initial findings clearly indicate that AAMA members' products are essential elements in green buildings, homes and interiors spaces," Walker said in the release. "Interestingly, of the architects who completed the survey at the AIA expo, an overwhelming majority--82 percent--cited that a product-based green certification program would help with better information for product selection and time efficiency, ease of green building compliance and education.

"We're learning that architects, manufacturers and suppliers are more involved in green credentials and processing credits to apply for green credentials than builders are right now. However, green building is important to all those in the construction industry with energy-efficiency being the top priority," Walker added.

Daylighting was a strong second priority among AAMA Green Building Survey respondents. Participants at AIA ranked occupant comfort as the next most important topic, where as respondents from the other conferences ranked product quality and occupant safety as their next most important priorities, according to the release.

Walker also noted that AAMA's surveys consistently show the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Green Building Rating System and the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Star program are viewed as the most important sources for green building information by all audiences. In addition, the Web sites of trade associations and green building magazines are considered top sources for green building information.

According to the release, actively engaged with these programs and sources, AAMA members have contributed to green projects that:
* Provide natural light free of uncomfortable glare, contributing to energy savings due to reduced demand on electric lighting without commensurate increases in cooling load.
* Address climate zone-specific energy performance and comfort criteria such as thermal efficiency, condensation resistance and air infiltration.
* Improve indoor air quality by increasing effectiveness of ventilation, while offering occupant controllability of systems.
* Control moisture intrusion, which helps to prevent mold and damage to adjacent materials.
* Offer options for sustainable, recycled and renewable materials and resources.
* Help builders and contractors choose more durable products and components that could help reduce maintenance and extend life cycles.