New Construction

Photo: Brandon Boswell. License: CC BY 2.0.


New construction projects include design and construction of new buildings, and major renovations of existing ones. As defined by major programs like LEED, which has a rating system dedicated to new construction (LEED-NC), a major renovation involves major HVAC renovation, significant envelope modifications, and major interior rehabilitation.

In line with the LEED-NC emphasis, new construction often refers to new commercial office buildings, but many other commercial occupancy types can fall under this category, including hotels, mid- and high-rise residential, and institutional buildings such as libraries and schools.

Sustainability in new construction typically means a range of considerations:

  • siting (e.g., locating near public transit, using previously developed land)

  • water efficiency

  • energy efficiency

  • sustainable and healthy materials

  • construction waste management

  • indoor environmental quality
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