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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Is green the color of recovery for architects? - Boston Business Journal [Green Architecture]

Boston Business Journal - by Todd Larson Special to the Journal

While the capacity of the growing green-building market to yield actual green for the architectural industry remains uncertain, area architects say they stand to benefit from the long-term economic incentives the green option is presenting.

Construction has accounted for about 20 percent of payroll losses and 5 percent of all job losses nationwide since the recession began last year, according to the American Institute of Architects. Concurrently, Boston architectural firms have cut their staff by an average of 30 percent and as much as half, said Boston Society of Architects Acting Director Nancy Jenner.

“Very, very, very few firms are hiring at all,” she said. “There’s little money available for new construction. The loan market hasn’t figured out how to make that money available yet.”

Once that money starts to flow, architects will be busiest retrofitting existing buildings to meet current environmental building codes and industry standards for energy efficiency, as cost-effective alternatives to building from scratch, according to Jenner.

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