The opening keynote at AIA 2012 dishes up a surprisingly politicized main event but transitions smoothly to end on a high note. Welcome to AIA 2012 in Washington, D.C.Photo Credit: Paula Melton

BuildingGreen goes to town! On our way to D.C. for this year's AIA Convention, we stopped in NYC for a tour of the Bank of America tower that took us from the subterranean depths to the highest heights.
As the small wind turbine market feels the pain of temporary holds on state incentive programs, turbine certification could bring the stability and improve the market’s reputation.
BikeSharing in Toronto. There are dozens of storage areas like this where members of Toronto's bikesharing organization can check out a bike.Photo Credit: Alex Wilson

Now in its seventh year, the annual gathering of Living Building Challenge project teams and their kin—known as Living Future—has really hit its stride. Reinventing the materials supply chain is not for the faint-of-heart!Photo Credit: Eden Brukman, ILFI

Seals at window openings and other penetrations need to be done right the first time. Are your seals failing because of the most common application error—forgetting the bond break?

This is part of an ongoing series. Read all the Sticky Business posts here.

Eliminating our use of fossil fuels is an admirable goal; how do we do that? Eliakim's Way all-electric homes on Martha's Vineyard use roof-mounted PV modules to generate most (or all) of their energy needs on an annual basis.Photo Credit: South Mountain Company

Making plastic from corn, soy, or sugarcane has some advantages--but fixing the petroleum problem barely touches what's wrong with PVC.

What if all of the common plastics in use today were made from renewable materials rather than from fossil fuels? Would they start looking better in the eyes of environmentalists?

The BuildingGreen office today. This historic building that once housed the drafting and tuning rooms of the Estey Organ Company, has unique slate-shingle siding. Photo: Alex Wilson. Click on image to enlarge. Reflections on the founding of BuildingGreen and our evolution as a company.

Windows are a big investment, and while they may look great on paper, how well do they hold up once installed? Do they meet your performance specifications? How responsive was the company to answering your questions and responding to complaints?

The GreenSpec team has already combed the world of windows available in the U.S. and Canada for manufacturers that can meet our tough performance specifications.

Author name:  Tristan Roberts Blog Category:  GreenSpec Insights
Silent Spring, published 50 years ago, helped to launch the modern environment movement and inspired my career direction. Click on image to enlarge. From early interest in conservation in the late-60s and being an Earth Day organizer in 1970, to my work with solar energy in New Mexico and then Vermont, I've followed a green career path.

One might think that an unfinished wood floor is devoid of synthetic chemicals. It sure looks that way--but toxic preservatives may lie in plain sight.

Moist lumber is susceptible to fungal staining. This staining does not cause physical decay, but it looks bad. Commonly called "blue stain," the offending fungi may be yellow, orange, purple, gray, or red in addition to shades of blue. The stain penetrates into the sapwood and cannot be removed by resurfacing.

High-VOC content is still the norm in clear wood finishes, but depending on the application you can minimize exposure and maximize durability. Clear finishes help bring out the natural beauty of the wood, while protecting it from aging and the elements. Photo: Vermont Natural Coatings
Here's the same space with the SageGlass roof in the tinted state. Photo: Sage Electrochromics. Click on image to enlarge.