Ontario Architects? Perspectives On Sustainability
Jones, Adam Wesley
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The transition to a carbon free energy system requires a transformation of the way that energy is employed across all sectors. The building sector in Ontario accounts for approximately 20% of total emissions. Architects are key stakeholders in the design process of the building sector and their decisions will impact the built environment for significant period of time. Despite the broad suite of tools available to increase the ability of architects to design buildings that achieve sustainability and climate related targets, green buildings represent less than half of new construction in the province. This paper reports the results of a survey designed to capture the experiences of architects in regard to sustainable architecture and green building policies in order to better understand the related drivers, barriers and policy outcomes. High level takeaways include a preference toward performance standards over prescriptive standards, the importance of government regulation in leveling the playing field for energy efficiency and environmental performance, an acknowledgement that client priorities overrule personal conviction in selecting building design elements, and that high capital cost is the most important barrier to further implementation of elements of sustainable architecture that align with provincial climate goals.