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.

  • The 8 Shades of Greenwash: How Many Do You Recognize?
    November 25, 2014

    Infographic

    Most building products these days have an environmental angle to their sales pitches. Many are legit, but as ever, you still have to watch for the telltale signs of greenwash—the practice of inventing or exaggerating the environmental benefits of a product.

  • The Living Building Challenge Loves Me... It Loves Me Not
    December 19, 2014

    Infographic

    Each Living Building Challenge (LBC) petal can elevate teams to new heights—or at times be the cause of unrequited love.

  • How Boston Reduced Its Carbon Footprint
    April 4, 2016

    Feature Short

    Building operations represent 75% of Boston’s greenhouse gas emissions. Here’s what we can learn from the city’s work on ambitious climate goals.

  • 2030 Culture: Six Selfish Reasons to Commit
    April 4, 2016

    Feature Short

    2030 Commitment signatories are making progress on climate goals. Along the way, they’re also finding new ways to save time and money.

  • Progress on 2030 Goals, Ten Years Later
    April 4, 2016

    Feature Short

    The number of firms committing to 2030 carbon targets has more than doubled, and 8,182 project teams reported in 2014. But what about the carbon?

  • Six Ways Existing Buildings Can Save the Planet
    April 4, 2016

    Feature Short

    Renovations, retrofits, and better-informed O&M will determine how quickly the developed world slows its carbon emissions.

  • AIA Top Ten Projects Really Do Lead the Industry
    April 4, 2016

    News Brief

    Top Ten Projects reduce energy use by half compared to baselines and are well above the industry average for reporting to the 2030 Commitment.

  • Our Buildings Are Killing Our Oceans
    April 4, 2016

    Primer

    Carbon is more deadly than many other toxic substances we fret about every day. And acidification might be more of a problem than climate change.

  • On the Path to Net Zero
    April 4, 2016

    Op-Ed

    At Leonard Farm, we’ve taken another big step in our quest for net-zero energy and net-zero carbon—but we’re not there yet!

  • Building Materials and the Time Value of Carbon
    April 4, 2016

    Op-Ed

    When you save matters. What you build matters. Here’s why we need to build well and rebuild better.