For a new idea or practice to become established, it must be both diffused and adopted by a social system. As both building designers and opinion leaders, architects could be viewed as important agents of change within their social system. Although a small proportion of the architectural profession is willing to try innovative ideas and methods, it has been argued that the majority of architects are slow to adopt them, preferring to stick to a palate of favourite products and practices. Thus innovative ideas such as sustainable building and the cradle to cradle construct are likely to be adopted much more slowly than envisaged by the promoters of such ideas and values. The communication of change, therefore, has implications for environmental design and the rate in which the built environment will respond. This paper draws on both the large body of diffusion literature and mass communication literature in an attempt to identify the networks, opinion leaders and the external factors which influence architects' design approach within a changing environment.