The Big Picture

Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. License: CC BY 2.0

It’s easy to get caught up in the details—earning one more LEED point or getting that documentation you need for recycled content.

But it’s a lot easier to achieve all the project goals if the owner and the whole project team are in agreement about why you’re putting in all this work in the first place. Stuff like:

  • slowing down climate change

  • dealing with global water shortages

  • avoiding depletion of nonrenewable resources

  • preventing public health problems associated with manufacturing

  • righting social wrongs

Here we set the scene, providing context that can help get—and keep—everyone on the same page about project goals.

The Big Picture

Deep Dives

Get up to speed on complex topics. You can also earn CEUs and download PDF Spotlight Reports.

  • No More Red Lines: Undoing Our Legacy of Urban Segregation

    Feature Article

    Redlining in the U.S. has left us with unsustainable, under-resourced neighborhoods. Inclusive green design can help them heal.

  • The Next Four Years

    Feature Article

    The Biden-Harris administration may be the most important ever relative to the environment.

  • Wood: What’s Good?

    Feature Article

    Mass timber seems alluring because of its low carbon footprint, but not all wood is equally sustainable. We dig deep into the controversy over which types of timber are “climate smart.

  • Existing Buildings Are Architecture’s Future

    Feature Article

    Take a plain old building and turn it into something remarkable, and you’ll also help save the planet.

Quick Takes

Jump straight to the essentials with these short explanations of green building concepts.

  • 30 Years of Green Building in the U.S.


    As The BuildingGreen Report (formerly Environmental Building News, or “EBN”) celebrates its 30th year of publication, we decided to track the growth—and explosion—of the green building movement. We start in 1990 with the founding of AIA’s Committee on the Environment.

  • Carbon Offsets and How to Select Them


    With more owners looking to reverse the embodied carbon impact of their buildings, it’s important to know how to buy legitimate offsets.

  • Social Sustainability and Architecture


    Architects can increase social value through thoughtful design of the built environment.

  • Ethnography: A Creative Tool for Human-Centered Design


    Social science research methods can generate innovative and sophisticated design solutions that respond to human needs and cultural values.

Product Guidance

Unbiased information from our product experts helps you separate green from greenwash.

In The News

We break news down to the essentials and provide expert analysis.

  • The Future of Designing with Future Weather Data

    News Analysis

    Energy models that use future weather files instead of historical ones could become the norm as industry standards fall into place.

  • Biden Orders Carbon-Neutral Federal Government by 2050

    News Analysis

    New policies from Biden's executive order will require carbon-free electricity and embodied carbon disclosure for building materials, and could limit procurement of products with PFAS.

  • Winning the Race to Zero

    News Brief

    The UN Race to Zero campaign enlists businesses in achieving net-zero operational emissions by 2050. How does it fit in with other commitments?

  • COP26 Helps Keep 1.5 Alive

    News Analysis

    COP26 protesters accused politicians of spouting empty words, but some see real reason for hope out of the UN Climate Change Conference.


Thought-provoking opinions from the most trusted minds in sustainability.

Learning Resources

Syllabus supplements and CEU content, with automatic reporting for AIA and GBCI.

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