BuildingGreen Report

News Brief

WorldGBC centers green buildings’ impacts on people by aligning with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

September 13, 2022

The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has organized a week of events September 12 through 16, 2022 broadcasting the ways in which green building supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The campaign is branded under the hashtag #buildingforeveryone.

Local Green Building Councils are hosting events throughout the... Read more

News Brief

By pursuing five circularity principles, project teams can add financial and non-financial value to buildings, says the UK Green Building Council.

September 6, 2022

Circular economy—a system that relies on regenerative activities instead of on extraction and disposal of finite resources—can help the built environment reduce its carbon footprint, according to the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC). But there’s more: a new report from the group also ties circularity to other positive impacts, including... Read more

Feature Article

The tools for conducting a multi-hazard exposure analysis are available if you know where to look. 

September 6, 2022

The headlines are everywhere—from heat waves in Europe to wildfires in the Western U.S. to tidal flooding in Florida. In this age of climate change, just as there’s an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions and other greenhouse gasses, we also need to adapt and invest in resilience.

The finance community really gets it, says Janice... Read more

News Brief

The Sustainable Development Code now offers guidance on how jurisdictions can address injustice in the built environment.

September 6, 2022

The Sustainable Development Code (SDC), which offers model ordinances for municipalities wishing to update development codes to be more sustainable, has added a subchapter on social justice. The subchapter, which is still being built out, was added to existing subchapters addressing social issues like affordability, food... Read more

News Analysis

With a Common Materials Framework soon to be released through Ecomedes, mindful Materials is mapping product labels to industry commitments.

September 6, 2022

Disclaimer: BuildingGreen is a technical advisory partner to mindful Materials.

Pledging to select building products that support human health is one thing. Figuring out how to do it is another.

Signatories to the A&D Materials Pledge, adopted by The American Institute of Architects (AIA) in November 2020, have yet to commit... Read more

News Brief

With the SIGH Act, New York State is addressing unjust siting of schools near major roadways.

September 6, 2022

Air pollution near schools negatively affects students’ health and learning. That problem is being addressed in New York State with the SIGH Act (Schools Impacted by Gross Highways), which has passed the State Senate and Assembly, and is waiting to be signed by the governor.

The legislation prohibits... Read more

Spotlight Report

August 31, 2022

The headlines are everywhere—from heat waves in Europe to wildfires in the Western U.S. to tidal flooding in Florida.

In this age of climate change, just as there’s an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions and other greenhouse gasses, we also need to adapt and invest in resilience. Increasingly, owners are asking for risk... Read more

Webcast

August 11, 2022

How do you demonstrate both environmental and health performance in a meaningful way? 

USGBC and IWBI are increasing the alignment between their programs. Knowing how to leverage each in a mutually beneficial way is the key to driving successful integration of a dual certification approach. 

LEEDuser’s expert guests, ... Read more

News Analysis

Architects and engineers will be able to claim energy-efficiency tax deductions when working for tax-exempt clients.

August 10, 2022

The historic Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) recently signed into law is by far the U.S. government’s largest investment in climate change mitigation to date. Not surprisingly, given the outsized influence the building industry has on greenhouse gas emissions, many of the provisions address homes and commercial buildings. Here’s a partial rundown... Read more

News Brief

New data reveal the continued fallout of overt government racism from the 20th century.

August 8, 2022

It’s been decades since redlining—the federal government practice of refusing to guarantee loans in predominantly black neighborhoods—was outlawed in the U.S. But the impacts continue to ripple through formerly redlined neighborhoods, according to data released by LightBox, a geospatial data and software firm focused on the... Read more

News Brief

The code newly addresses thermal bridging, air leakage, and cool walls and also requires renewables for most projects.

August 8, 2022

Proposed changes to the ASHRAE 90.1 standard for 2022 could have a huge impact on building energy performance, according to Leonard Sciarra, AIA, of Farr Associates. “There’s a lot in version one that I feel is going to change the way that people design buildings,” said Sciarra, who chairs the building envelope subcommittee of... Read more

News Analysis

Forced labor is used to create many building products, but changes are underway that are helping to address this serious issue.

August 8, 2022

Forced labor, or modern slavery, is widely spread across the globe. People—including children—in forced-labor conditions work without pay or for recruitment fees, leaving them in debt bondage. Workers are threatened with relocation, deportation, and worse.

Nearly 25 million people are trapped in forced labor, according to the... Read more

News Brief

President Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act to support domestic manufacturing of photovoltaics, insulation, and more.

August 8, 2022

Renewable energy sources are providing an increasing share of electricity in the U.S., with solar sources making up 13.5% of that share in 2021, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. But the infrastructure needed to supply solar energy comes primarily from overseas. President Biden is trying to change that... Read more

Product Review

Salient Energy is developing a zinc-ion battery that avoids some of the safety and supply chain concerns of current lithium-ion systems.

August 8, 2022

The Holy Grail of energy is for our buildings to go all electric and get that energy from renewable sources. The problem, of course, is what to do when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. Batteries are the clear answer, and we already have lithium-ion-based systems that work well in electric cars and for building... Read more

News Brief

The Supreme Court recently ruled against EPA, limiting its ability to regulate coal-fired power plants. But the news may not be as dire as it looks.

August 8, 2022

 The Supreme Court recently ruled against EPA, limiting its ability to regulate coal-fired power plants. But the news may not be as dire as it looks.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took a blow from the Supreme Court in late June when the court ruled against the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which would... Read more

Blog Post

When it comes to sustainability, many smaller architecture firms are interested but still getting there.

August 5, 2022

We hear a lot about the sustainability commitments and plans of large architecture firms, but the reality is that the vast majority of firms—about 75% in 2019, according to research done by the American Institute of Architects (AIA)—are small (by their definition, “small” means ten or fewer employees). Although these small firms represent a... Read more

Webcast

July 26, 2022

This program explains why increased forest protection and improved stewardship are key to addressing the climate crisis and reducing the embodied carbon of wood products — and how the green building movement can help.

For 25 years, Jason Grant has been a leader in the sustainable forestry and green building movements. He is the... Read more

Product Guide

July 21, 2022
Hardwood

Hardwood used for flooring can come from unsustainable sources, such as tropical forests and genetically engineered monoculture tree farms.

The availability of domestic hardwood from third-party FSC-certified forests makes this type of flooring a great option. Uncoated hardwood flooring does not require emissions testing, but... Read more

Product Review

Hemp is a sustainable, low-embodied-carbon building material, but few products are actually made from it. HempWood is out to change that with its flooring and non-structural lumber made from hemp fibers.

July 5, 2022

What if you had a natural building material that could be grown from seed to harvest in three to four months, is good at sequestering carbon, requires no fertilizer, helps fix nitrogen in the soils, requires little water, can be grown on a small plot so it can replace more polluting and/or slower-growing materials such as... Read more

News Brief

EPIC from EHDD is used very early in building design to help project teams make choices about structure, envelope, landscaping, and more.

July 5, 2022

Energy modeling and whole-building life-cycle assessment are sophisticated software for predicting the energy use and carbon footprint of a building. But often, these methods are used too late in design to make a difference. Now, a free online tool from architecture firm EHDD can help project teams home in on lower-carbon... Read more