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

  • Verifying Performance with Building Enclosure Commissioning

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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.

  • Integrated Design Meets the Real World

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    Proponents of integrated design say that it results in higher-performing buildings at lower costs than the conventional design process. But real world obstacles can derail or limit integration. We offer tips from experts to keep things on track.

  • A New Initiative for “Climate-Smart” Wood

    News Brief

    Environmental groups including the Forest Stewardship Council have gotten together to support better forestry practices.

  • Vancouver Study Foresees Big Demand for Green Products

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    A forecasting model for Metro Vancouver uses British Columbia’s Energy Step Code to predict future demand that suppliers can bank on.

  • “Tall Wood” Now Code Approved

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    The International Code Council will allow heavy timber buildings taller than 85 feet.