The Big Picture

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

OVERVIEW

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.

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  • Climate Change Dominates Greenbuild Conference Agenda

    Feature Article

    With several announcements at the 2006 Greenbuild conference in Denver, the U.S. Green Building Council signaled that it would use its LEED Rating System to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by tightening LEED requirements and by increasing the number of buildings designed to LEED standards.

  • Greening Your Electricity

    Feature Article

    Many businesses and homeowners are choosing to buy green power, including renewable energy credits (RECs). This article examines the environmental benefits of green power, including on-site renewables, what REC buyers should know about their purchases, and investing in energy conservation.

  • Farming in Cities Worth $33 Billion a Year

    News Analysis

    A recent study estimates the global value of the ecosystem services provided by urban agriculture.

  • Passive Survivability: A New Design Criterion for Buildings

    Feature Article

    Buildings and their occupants are vulnerable to threats ranging from storms and rising sea levels to accidents and terrorism. In this feature article, EBN describes how to design and construct buildings to maintain livable conditions in the event of extended power outages or loss of heating fuel or water.

  • Zero-Energy Buildings for All

    Blog Post

    There is increasing movement for buildings to reach net-zero energy, but they can't do it alone. Here's how to fix the system.

  • Wal-Mart: Every Day Low... Impact?

    Feature Article

    The world's largest company claims to have embraced environmental responsibility in everything from its supply chains to its waste stream, with goals of creating a prototype store with 30% lower greenhouse gas emissions within four years and doubling trucking efficiency within ten years. But how big a difference can the shift make, and is it enough?

  • 2018 AIA COTE Top Ten Build Community

    News Analysis

    The 2018 AIA COTE Top Ten winning projects combine small ecological footprints with big social benefits. 

  • Climate Justice Heats Up in NYC

    News Analysis

    A new report describes how rezoning and planning efforts can address the urban heat-island effect in a vulnerable Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood.

  • Urgent: Zero-Carbon Buildings Needed

    News Brief

    Zero-carbon buildings and energy retrofits need to happen—fast—to keep global warming at tolerable levels.

  • Ultimate Building Efficiency Requires Team Integration

    News Brief

    “Systems efficiency” could be the next big thing in sustainable design, and integrated project delivery is how we’ll get there.