News

News Brief

The CDC updated its guidance, stating that the risk from COVID transmission from surfaces is low risk and that disinfecting is typically not required.

May 3, 2021

On April, 5, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its information on COVID-19 transmission risks, confirming that the pathogen is primarily passed on through airborne respiratory droplets and not through surface contamination. As a result, antimicrobial treatments are not recommended to... Read more

Product Review

Supreen is a woven textile that incorporates silicone into its fibers along with a polyurethane backing to provide a moisture-barrier material without the need for PFAS treatments.

May 3, 2021

Commercial furniture can be ruined by stains, and this is particularly problematic in busy healthcare settings where spill, fluids, and disinfectants can wreak havoc on upholstery. Design teams manage the issue by either using a coated fabric—PVC, polyurethane, or silicone—or a woven fabric that is coated with per- and... Read more

News Brief

AIA’s “Creating a Sustainability Action Plan That Works” helps firms develop a living roadmap for continuous improvement on the 2030 Commitment and more.

May 3, 2021

When you sign up for the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 2030 Commitment, which asks firms to achieve net-zero modeled energy use by 2030, one of the first things you have to do is create a “sustainability action plan,” or SAP. But how?

A new guide from the institute, “Creating a... Read more

Op-Ed

It’s a new day in architecture. This year’s award season brought a surprise: a focus that’s shifting to include not just aesthetics but also the impact of our work.

May 3, 2021

It’s award season for major architectural prizes: the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Gold Medal and the international Pritzker Architecture Prize. These are considered the highest honors for an architect. The goal of the Pritzker Prize is “to honor a living architect or architects whose built work demonstrates a combination of those... Read more

News Brief

A new resource from WHO walks users through how to assess and optimize ventilation systems for COVID-19.

May 3, 2021

We now know that filtration and ventilation are key to reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19. But how do you know how much is adequate, and exactly which steps to take to improve?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released its “Roadmap to improve and ensure good indoor ventilation in the... Read more

News Brief

Experts in reusing existing buildings, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal have received architecture’s highest international honor.

May 3, 2021

An act of violence.

That’s how architect Anne Lacaton describes building demolition. Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal, who have vowed to never tear down a building, have won 2021’s Pritzker Prize—an award often described as the equivalent of a Nobel Prize in architecture. Even when they build new, the... Read more

News Analysis

Third-party verification of material ingredient declarations is a growing trend. Is it growing fast enough?

May 3, 2021

Building professionals asked for it. And they got it: lots and lots of health product declarations (HPDs) and Declare labels, which are two of the most popular ways to release information about building product ingredients and toxicity. Now what?

Trusting the information found in a self-declared... Read more

News Brief

Natural gas bans are not on the table, but other aspects of building electrification are addressed, along with environmental justice reforms.

May 3, 2021

A comprehensive new climate law in Massachusetts requires net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. “An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy” delineates six sectors, including the residential building sector, and the commercial and industrial building sector, and sets emissions mandates and incentives for... Read more

Blog Post

Equity starts with inclusion and listening. Done right, over time, it ends with joy.

May 3, 2021

The themes of Living Future ’21 were unmistakable: a strong call from leaders in the building professions for allyship around justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI).

A few important ways to do this stood out:

Centering Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) voices instead of the systemically centered white... Read more

Webcast

April 30, 2021

As more and more architects, designers, contractors and owners demand transparency surrounding human health impacts in the built environment, manufacturers need short cuts and tools to meet the call of this demand.

This webinar is intended to educate manufacturers about the market demands for creating healthier, more sustainable... Read more

News Analysis

The American Institute of Architects has announced its Top Ten high-performance building winners for this year.

April 22, 2021

The Committee on the Environment (COTE) of the American Institute of Architects has unveiled its annual Top Ten awards for high-performance projects. Many of this year’s winners were designed with local ecosystems in mind, and all take advantage of passive strategies to improve energy performance. Two are historic building... Read more

News Brief

Designers in the District are being encouraged to design for extreme heat, flooding, and power outages.

April 5, 2021

[Disclaimer: BuildingGreen’s founder, Alex Wilson, was a primary author of this report, with project support from Candace Pearson.]

What do holeless elevators and termite shields have in common? They’re both recommended resilient design features for public buildings, according to a recent guide released by Washington, D.C.’s Department... Read more

News Analysis

Now is a perfect time for property owners and managers to pursue these major sustainability initiatives.

April 5, 2021

All over North America, office space is vacant or sparsely populated. Vaccinations for COVID-19 are gradually rolling out, but a return to onsite office work continues to be slow. While buildings are in a holding pattern, now is a perfect time for property owners and managers to make changes that are difficult when occupants... Read more

Product Review

Alpen’s WinSert commercial window inserts significantly improve the thermal performance of aging window systems, without the cost or aesthetic concerns of full replacements.

April 5, 2021

Instead of new construction, many firms are retrofitting older buildings in an attempt to reduce a project’s embodied carbon. The problem is that the operational energy required to run these often poorly insulated buildings can offset many of those gains. And windows are one of the biggest challenges, since they account for “... Read more

Feature Article

The way we use (and don’t use) our offices is irrevocably changing. But what are we going to do with all these vacant buildings?

April 5, 2021

Office work is changing. During the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the average commercial office vacancy rate across the U.S. leapt from about 12% to 15%, according to CBRE. Some big companies, including Facebook, Salesforce, and Microsoft, have announced that they will be allowing remote work indefinitely. Experts disagree about how... Read more

News Brief

Although government officials ultimately implement the energy code, the ICC is blocking them from voting on it.

April 5, 2021

Just when local officials began to take an interest in shaping the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), the International Code Council (ICC) decided to strip them of their vote. Bowing to trade group pressure, the ICC has proposed recategorizing the creation of buildings codes as an ANSI standard process in reaction... Read more

April Fools

“They were conducting an energy audit,” say attorneys representing dozens of alleged intruders.

April 1, 2021

In a legal twist following the January 6 insurrection, attorneys claim their clients were assessing the thermal performance of the U.S. Capitol Building, and not illegally invading it as prosecutors allege. Furthermore, they say the boisterous energy audit was fully lawful, having been endorsed by President Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas... Read more

April Fools

Using reclaimed building materials is a great way to save resources and lower the embodied carbon of a building, but obtaining these materials has created a new set of legal and ethical challenges.

April 1, 2021

In a rush to lower the carbon footprint of new construction and ward off the worst impacts of climate change, design teams are increasingly turning to reclaimed materials. Furniture, cladding, wood flooring, stone, and even structural beams can be repurposed at a fraction of the environmental and fiscal costs of new materials, and architecture... Read more

April Fools

The new space will break with staid traditions and offer some unusual amenities.

April 1, 2021

The Donald J. Trump Library Foundation has unveiled preliminary plans for the former head of state’s presidential library, which it says will be located near the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. The building is designed to have maximum environmental impact, and activities for guests will range from interactive museum exhibits to... Read more

April Fools

News that BIG will no longer design new buildings shocks the architecture profession.

April 1, 2021

Responding to the extraordinary news that the 2021 Pritzker Prize winners Anne Lacaton and Jean-Phillippe Vassal have pledged to never demolish a building, the Copenhagen-based firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) announced on April 1 that the company will go one better by avoiding new construction altogether.

“From now on,” said company... Read more