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.

  • Alpen Acquired by Serious Materials

    News Analysis

  • Autodesk, Bentley Continue to Expand, Agree to Collaborate

    News Analysis

    Design software giants Autodesk and Bentley Systems have announced plans to support each other's software as both companies continue to push towards real-time performance feedback during the design process by acquiring and partnering with software companies that offer energy and other green design analyses.

  • Jones Lang LaSalle Gives Green Globes a Boost

    News Analysis

    Property management and brokerage giant Jones Lang LaSalle now owns the creator of the Green Globes rating system, which it hopes to leverage into enhanced capabilities for assessing the environmental responsibility of clients' buildings and entire real estate portfolios.

  • Cities Mandate LEED But Not Certification

    News Analysis

    Cities that adopt policies requiring private buildings to meet LEED standards-without actual certification-must figure out how to ensure green requirements are being met.

  • Utility-Scale Solar Thermal Growing Fast

    News Analysis

    New utility contracts confirm that concentrating solar power is one of the fastest growing utility-scale, renewable energy sources in the country.

  • Higher Occupancy, Higher Lease Rates for Green Buildings

    News Analysis

    A new study from CoStar Group finds that buildings that carry LEED or Energy Star certifications have higher occupancy rates and lease for more money than their peers.

  • Carbon Offsets Get Oversight

    News Analysis

    Carbon offsets have become a popular way to fight climate change, but the market for them has been plagued by doubts about integrity. A new certification program as well attention from federal regulators may help to address key concerns.

  • New Type of Waterless Urinal Cartridge Focus of Lawsuit

    News Analysis

    A new type of cartridge for waterless urinals uses an elastomeric membrane as a trap and potentially lasts much longer than conventional cartridges. But it has been at the center of a legal settlement in which its manufacturer agreed not to sell it for use with certain urinals.

  • BIM Companies Acquiring Energy Modeling Capabilities

    News Analysis

    Major building information modeling (BIM) software companies Autodesk and Bentley Systems have announced acquisitions that will give them energy modeling and other sustainable design capabilities.

  • Good Ozone, Bad Ozone


    The same ozone that causes air quality problems near Earth's surface protects the Earth from ultraviolet radiation high in the atmosphere. This protective ozone layer is thinning due to manufactured chemicals.