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.


    Loading...
  • Avoiding the Global Warming Impact of Insulation

    Feature Article

    Insulation is key to reducing carbon emissions from buildings. But the blowing agent in extruded polystyrene and spray polyurethane foam offsets much of that benefit.

  • Cool Products From Greenbuild 2009: An Expo Floor Tour

    Feature Article

    Alex Wilson provides a tour of 37 innovative products from the U.S. Green Building Council's 2009 Greenbuild conference in Phoenix.

  • Design for Adaptation: Living in a Climate-Changing World

    Feature Article

    Even if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases tomorrow, rising global temperatures would still bring major changes to the climate system and our way of life. This article offers solutions for designing buildings that not only mitigate our impact on the global climate, but also adapt to the changes that are coming-and those that are already here.

  • The Folly of Building-Integrated Wind

    Feature Article

    Wind turbines on buildings could produce electricity where it's needed and catch high winds above ground level. However, wind turbulence, safety, cost, and poor performance all make building-integrated wind a limited strategy.

Quick Takes

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


  • Check if your spelling is correct, or try removing filters.
  • Remove quotes around phrases to match each word individually: "blue drop" will match less than blue drop.
  • You can require or exclude terms using + and -: big +blue drop will require a match on blue while big blue -drop will exclude results that contain drop.

Product Guidance

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


  • Check if your spelling is correct, or try removing filters.
  • Remove quotes around phrases to match each word individually: "blue drop" will match less than blue drop.
  • You can require or exclude terms using + and -: big +blue drop will require a match on blue while big blue -drop will exclude results that contain drop.

In The News

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


Perspective

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


    Loading...
  • Changing Practices

    Op-Ed

    A reader reports on changing his building practices with inspiration from Environmental Building News.

  • Save the Icing for Last

    Op-Ed

    Before considering high-profile features such as wind turbines and photovoltaic arrays, we should focus on the basics of green building.

  • Remembering Greg Franta

    Op-Ed

    Greg Franta, FAIA, not only inspired green builders, he made them laugh.

  • GreenBuildingAdvisor.com to Launch

    Op-Ed

    BuildingGreen is launching a new Web-based tool for residential green building in January 2009.

Learning Resources

A wide range of education options, with automatic reporting for AIA and GBCI.


  • Check if your spelling is correct, or try removing filters.
  • Remove quotes around phrases to match each word individually: "blue drop" will match less than blue drop.
  • You can require or exclude terms using + and -: big +blue drop will require a match on blue while big blue -drop will exclude results that contain drop.

Just For Fun

Something weird happens every April at BuildingGreen...


  • Check if your spelling is correct, or try removing filters.
  • Remove quotes around phrases to match each word individually: "blue drop" will match less than blue drop.
  • You can require or exclude terms using + and -: big +blue drop will require a match on blue while big blue -drop will exclude results that contain drop.