Environmental attitudes of architects as a driving force for considering sustainable designs
Environmental attitudes (EA) comprise a person’s favourable or unfavourable perception and beliefs towards the natural environment and its quality. The EA of a person can influence and foster pro-environmental behaviour. Within the construction industry, architects are the main decision-makers regarding the design of an architectural project and their design decisions could have a positive or negative impact on the condition of the natural and built environment. Architects have a responsibility towards stewardship of the natural environment in such a way that the environmental impact of architectural projects should be minimised by creating sustainable architectural designs. However, the EA of an architect can influence the extent to which environmental sustainable design methods are considered and incorporated. This research study aimed to (i) determine the EA of South African professional architects (ii) as well as the extent to which architects consider incorporating sustainable design methods into the designs of architectural buildings and (iii) to gain an understanding of whether there is impact of EA on the decisions they make regarding considering sustainable design methods to create a more sustainable built environment which is beneficial to humans and to the larger society. As data collection method, a questionnaire was used to determine the EA of the participants, by means of using the revised shortened Environmental Attitudes Inventory (EAI) as well as the extent to which sustainable design methods were considered. All the collected data was statistically analysed and summarised and it was found that the architects had concerned EA towards the natural environment and that the architects did consider incorporating sustainable design methods. However, the concerned EA of the architects did not serve as a driving force for considering sustainable design methods.