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.

  • Lights Out for the Incandescent Lamp?

    News Analysis

    The inefficient incandescent lamp is in danger of being banned, with several initatives in the U.S. and abroad in the works.

  • InterfaceFLOR Goes Carbon Neutral with All Commercial Carpet Tiles

    News Analysis

  • EPA Limits Wood Preservative ACC to Commercial Uses

    News Analysis

    In a decision that was both surprising to and welcomed by environmental groups, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has disallowed the wood preservative acid copper chromate (ACC) in residential uses.

  • Report Guides Carbon Offset Customers

    News Analysis

    A new report helps buyers evaluate providers of carbon offsets, which help individuals and buildings reduce their carbon footprints.

  • TimberSIL Business Rebuilding

    News Analysis

    Timber Treatment Technologies, the maker of the nontoxic treated wood alternative TimberSIL, is distributing in the Southeast as it regroups following several setbacks.

  • Cascadia Challenges Green to Go Beyond Platinum

    News Analysis

    The Cascadia Green Building Council has issued the Living Building Challenge, a rating system based on 16 prerequisites, aiming to define a "true measure of sustainability in the built environment."

  • D.C. Considers Green Building Legislation

    News Analysis

    Legislation before the Washington, D.C. Council would enact green building requirements for both public and private projects, making it the first major U.S. city to do so.

  • California Combats Climate Change

    News Analysis

    The California legislature has passed legislation that could result in a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases in the state, as well as a greenhouse gas emissions performance standard for electricity generation.

  • TimberSIL in Trouble

    News Analysis

    The company behind TimberSIL, a nontoxic treated wood product, is facing a lawsuit from one of its partners.

  • Clinton, Large Cities Group, Act on Global Warming

    News Analysis

    Former President Bill Clinton recently launched the Clinton Climate Initiative, which includes a partnership aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions with an international group of major cities and the U.S. Green Building Council.