New Construction

Photo: Brandon Boswell. License: CC BY 2.0.

OVERVIEW

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
  • Resilient Design: 7 Lessons from Early Adopters
    November 1, 2013

    Feature Article

    As storms reveal weaknesses in our built environment, some project teams have adopted more robust, durable principles.

  • Designing for the Next Century's Weather
    September 30, 2013

    Feature Article

    How do you create a climate-responsive building in a changing climate? Brand new modeling techniques are helping us figure it out.

  • Engineering a Wood Revolution
    July 28, 2013

    Feature Article

    Engineered wood products are challenging concrete and steel in structural applications while proffering a lower environmental footprint.

  • Whole-Building Life-Cycle Assessment: Taking the Measure of a Green Building
    April 29, 2013

    Feature Article

    Why we will never understand the true impact of our buildings-and how we should try to anyway

  • Energy Modeling: Early and Often
    March 1, 2013

    Feature Article

    For the biggest energy and cost savings, model early in design and model often, say the experts.

  • Verifying Performance with Building Enclosure Commissioning
    November 29, 2012

    Feature Article

    For a lot less than the cost of a lawsuit, BECx uses collaboration, design-to-occupancy reviews, and testing to ensure quality and high performance.

  • The Hidden Science of High-Performance Building Assemblies
    October 26, 2012

    Feature Article

    Any four walls and a roof make an enclosure, but for efficiency, comfort, and durability, those elements have to be meticulously designed and installed.

  • Doing Daylighting Right
    March 26, 2012

    Feature Article

    Harvesting daylight is a popular way to save energy and promote productivity. But getting it wrong is all too easy-and can have the opposite effects.

  • Re-Framing Sustainability: Green Structural Engineering
    March 30, 2011

    Feature Article

    Want to design the greenest building possible? Get a handle on the best structural options available to you, and invite a creative structural engineer to join your team.

  • Rethinking the All-Glass Building
    June 29, 2010

    Feature Article

    Is it time to end our love affair with the all-glass building? A lot of proponents of high-performance, green design certainly think so-while other respected architects, including some leading green designers and energy experts, argue that all-glass can work well if done right.