News I published 04 October 2022
Proliferation of sustainability certifications causes confusion among architects
Whether through top-down pressure like the European Green Deal, or bottom-up demand from clients, the demand for sustainable buildings European architects encounter in their projects is ever growing. The construction process of buildings involves many different players, however, and as we have seen in our research among them, sustainability is a broad concept that can be understood in different ways.
Sustainability certification helps clarify the definition and allows measuring and quantifying the sustainability of a building to prove to government, clients and all other stakeholders in a building’s lifecycle how sustainable it actually is. Given the central role certification plays in sustainable construction and the central role architects play in the construction process, we asked architects from eight European countries which sustainability certification they consider most important in the construction industry.
Architects’ opinion on certifications varies a lot per country
Of all types of certification, BREEAM was mentioned as most important by the largest share of architects. In a way that is not surprising, as it is the longest established building sustainability certification, originating in the UK in the 1990’s. Still, BREEAM is only mentioned as most important by as few as 16% of European architects. Those architects are mainly from a few of the researched countries, and clearly not from Germany or Italy, where BREEAM is not mentioned as most important certification at all.
The BREEAM example shows that the importance of sustainability certification for building construction is still very much determined by national boundaries. Casa Clima is an even stronger example of this. It is the second certification in the graph, mentioned as most important by 9% of European architects. Zooming in, our data revealed that those architects are only from Italy, where a whopping 71% of architects consider Casa Clima the most important sustainability certification.
Architects’ knowledge of sustainability certifications is limited
That in certain countries, certain certification is more predominant does not mean the above European averages tell us nothing solid. The most mentioned answer to the question which sustainability certifications are most important in the construction industry was ‘don’t know/no opinion’, mentioned by 37% of European architects. This shows that overall, architects’ knowledge of sustainability certification is still rather limited.
Looking at specific countries, the ‘Don’t know/no opinion’ shares range from 17% in France, to a whopping 70% in Germany. Italy is a great exception, though. As mentioned before, 71% of Italian architects considered Casa Clima the most important certification, followed by Leed (20%) and some others. Only 3% of Italian architects claimed to not know or have no opinion.
Manufacturers can become knowledge leaders
Aside from knowledgeable Italian architects, it is clear that the knowledge of European architects about sustainability certification is still limited, especially in certain countries. For manufacturers of building materials, this shows an opportunity to act as knowledge leader concerning sustainability certification, especially given that architects consider manufacturers’ websites the most important source of information on sustainability of materials.
To find out exactly which sustainability certifications are found most important in specific countries, and for a full overview of the view on and ideas about sustainability and circularity of architects from eight European countries, we refer you to the Q1 2022 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Architectural Barometer.
Read more about the subject
19 February 2024 I Henri Busker
The buying behaviour of European contractors remains very traditional
05 February 2024 I Dirk Hoogenboom
Electrical installers only spend a small share of wallet at pure online players
05 February 2024 I Dirk Hoogenboom
European HVAC installers still prefer face-to-face training over online training
30 January 2024 I Dirk Hoogenboom
Electrical Installers’ Expectations towards Manufacturers regarding BIM
Fresh Insights Await
Our latest reports
Delve into the newest findings across various market segments, crafted for a cutting-edge overview. Explore our latest reports, brimming with up-to-date data, trend analyses, and in-depth examinations, all tailored to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the current market dynamics.
Behavioural segmentation and media usage report 2023
2023 75 pages
This report provides a comprehensive overview of purchase behaviour, products, and media usage, specifically focusing on European handymen. It delves into how handymen use media, and for what purposes, and examines their habits and preferences in terms of purchasing behaviour.
Branding Q3 2023
2023 93 pages
This report offers an extensive overview of the home improvement industry, with a focus on branding and the most popular brands within different categories. Within this report, you will gain insights into how customers perceive home improvement brands and what motivates them to buy certain products.
Purchase channels Q2 2023
2023 114 pages
The European Home Improvement Monitor offers valuable insights on purchase channels in the European home improvement industry, examining the evolving preferences and behaviors of consumers across traditional retail and emerging online platforms.
DIY versus DIFM Q4 2021
2021 113 pages
This report is a must-have if you’re in the home improvement industry. It provides a wealth of information on the behaviour of DIY and DIFM consumers, their motivations, and the factors that influence their purchasing decisions.
Training needs Q4 2023
2024 110 Pages
This report explores the training needs of installers, both digital and personal. The full report covers all important training needs & aspects and offers a comprehensive overview of business development in the installation sector across important European countries.
Purchase channels Q4 2023
2024 97 pages
This report offers a comprehensive view of the buying and ordering behaviour among electrical installers in Europe. Within the report, you will find key information on the purchase channels installers use, the share-of-wallet per channel, the way of ordering and much more.
Services in the Installation market Q2 2023
2023 111 pages
This report explores the type of support installers anticipate from manufacturers and to what degree. Alongside a thorough examination of installation services, the report presents a comprehensive overview of business development in the installation sector across important European countries.
Purchase channels Q3 2023
2023 106 pages
This report provides a comprehensive view of the attitudes of installers toward purchase channels, specifically among HVAC installers. In the report, you will find insights into buying behaviour, which channels are mostly used, which are growing, and whether online channels are gaining acceptance.