Design professionals question material, product sustainability claims

Sources: IMRE, Baltimore; CP staff

More than 85 percent of respondents to an online survey acknowledge concern for how building products they specify are manufactured, although only a quarter believe their clients understand what the term “sustainability” means. The way architects and interior designers view manufacturers’ claims that their products are sustainable reveals that brands need to re-focus their marketing efforts toward more convincing messages, contends survey sponsor IMRE.

The home and building industry-focused marketing agency saw 812 responses to the late-September survey, conducted in conjunction with the American Institute of Architects. Of participating architects, IMRE finds: 70 percent used sustainable products always or very often in the past year’s projects; 60 percent cite their own sense of environmental responsibility as the key driver for specifying sustainable products; more than 50 percent perceive sustainable products as costlier than alternatives; and, 40 percent are uncertain if products own up to suppliers’ or manufacturers’ claims of sustainable properties.

Complete survey results can be obtained from IMRE’s Meghann Malone at [email protected].