Architect survey highlights ‘green’ product attributes, overseas growth markets

Date: 21 May 2009
Source: PPG Industries
Architects say durability is the most important attribute for a “green” building product, according to a new industry survey commissioned by PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG).

A recent architect survey by PPG showed that 30 percent of U.S. architectural firms have commissions overseas, with India and Dubia serving as the fastest‐growing markets.The Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bongkok, designed by Chicago‐based Murphy/Jahn, is shrouded under a transparent trellis constructed of Sungate 500 glass by PPG.

It was followed by ENERGY STAR compliance, life-cycle assessment, no- or low-volatile organic compound (VOC) content and the ability to source products regionally.

Durability is the most important “green” trait a building product can have, according to a nationwide survey of architects conducted by PPG. The Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan features a skylight canopy with more than 85,000 square feature of aluminum coated with Duranar XL coatings by PPG. Architects overwhelimingly recognized PPG as the industry’s green leader in architectural glass and metal coatings.

Durability also is the most important attribute among building products in general, ranking slightly ahead of price. Product warranties, features and technical support also were named by approximately two in five architects.

James J. Bogdan, PPG manager, green building initiatives, for the company’s construction market team, said he was not surprised that architects consider durability a key sustainability factor. “We hear a lot of dialogue in the architect-engineer community about committing to a ‘century of ownership’ concept that encompasses a building’s design as well as its construction and operational lifetime. When you consider those factors, it’s no wonder that durability is at the top of the list when it comes to defining what makes a product good and what makes a product green,” he said.

Durability and Energy Star compliance rate as the two most important green attributes for a buildingproduct according to a national survey of architects commissioned by PPG. Solarban 60 solar control, low‐e glass, an Energy Star compliant product, can dramatically cut energy use in academic buildings like the Thomas M. Seibel Center at the University of Illinois when it is used in place of conventional clear glass.

The study also revealed that, among building-product manufacturers, Armstrong (37 percent) and USG (35 percent) are perceived most often as green building leaders. Kohler, Owens-Corning, DuPont, Johnson Controls and PPG are among other companies identified as green leaders by more than 20 percent of those surveyed. PPG was recognized as the green, or sustainability, leader in the glass and metal coatings categories by margins of 33 percent and 8 percent respectively over the nearest competitors.

Zero‐ or low‐VOC products, such as Pittsburgh Paints’ Pure Performance paint, rank highly as green products according to a nationwide survey of architects conducted by PPG. Interiors painted with zero‐ VOC Pure Performance paint helped the Center for Health & Healing at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland become the largest building ever to earn the LEED Platinum certification.

About 30 percent of respondents’ firms work on projects outside the United States.The fastest-growing overseas markets are India and Dubai, which grew by 60 percent and 44 percent respectively since PPG conducted the same survey in 2006. China is down by 29 percent from 2006 but remains the second-largest source of foreign commissions, landing between Canada and Mexico. Firms with more than 100 people were the most likely to conduct business outside the United States.

Architects said their most important sources of product information are manufacturers’ Web sites (76 percent) and Internet searches (59 percent). Nevertheless, responses showed that traditional resources such as manufacturers’ sales representatives (54 percent) and technical binders (46 percent) remain popular.

The online survey was completed by 612 qualified architects, producing ±3.9 percent accuracy at the 95-percent confidence level. It reached a representative cross-section of U.S. architects by firm size, geography, job title and years of experience.

About PPG

Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, specialty materials, chemicals, glass and fiber glass. The company has more than 140 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates and operates in more than 60 countries. Sales in 2008 were $15.8 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.

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