News

News Brief

Two-thirds of green certifications and regulations address carbon emissions from building materials—a number that has doubled over the past five years.

January 7, 2019

The built environment is a major contributor to climate change, and the source of many cost-effective solutions. After operating energy use, embodied carbon in buildings and infrastructure looms large as an important challenge. As BuildingGreen’s recent Spotlight Report The Urgency of Embodied Carbon and What You Can Do about It explains, this... Read more

News Brief

Formerly the domain of the operations and maintenance rating system, recertification is now achievable for new construction projects.

January 7, 2019

Design is just the beginning, but the plaque stays up forever. What happens next with LEED for Building Design and Construction (BD+C) and Interior Design and Construction (ID+C) was formerly unknown—unless they pursued LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance. But now it’s possible for BD+C and ID+C projects to recertify every... Read more

Op-Ed

A reader argues that a flawed study mars the message of a recent BuildingGreen report on embodied carbon.

January 7, 2019

By Dave Atkins and Sarah Larsen

Paula Melton’s article on The Urgency of Embodied Carbon and What You Can Do About It couldn’t be more timely given the recent Fourth National Climate Assessment and the latest from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Embodied carbon is spent immediately, while operational carbon is spread out... Read more

Product Review

The Greenbuild Expo floor had a great selection of innovative new green building products, from green-roof stormwater systems to thin triple-pane windows to rice-straw boards.

January 7, 2019

Every year, we spend hours walking through the Greenbuild Expo hall looking for exciting innovations and products that could potentially transform the building industry. This year’s selection did not disappoint, and included thermally broken cladding systems, high-performance roof insulation, turnkey HVAC water-recycling systems, new glazing,... Read more

Feature Article

What’s up with all the programs encouraged by LEED and WELL? Learn the essentials—plus what’s behind the labels.

January 7, 2019

A seal of approval is a useful guide. It lets you know at a glance that a product meets a trusted source’s standards for performance. But in a sea of logos, any particular program becomes harder to discern and understand.

LEED and WELL encourage a number of different product standards, certifications, and disclosures—so many that it’s... Read more

News Brief

What began as a group of those pursuing the Living Product Challenge is now a wider platform for community and communication.

January 7, 2019

It might seem like manufacturers and their representatives are constantly talking to the design community. But the message isn’t exactly unified; in fact, companies are competing for time, attention, and dollars. Is there a way for manufacturers to get together as a group and have productive, two-way conversations with building professionals... Read more

Blog Post

Can buildings be both comfortable and energy efficient? The Kendeda Building shows how the two can go hand in hand.

December 14, 2018

By Alissa Kingsley

User control may seem antithetical to high-performance buildings: imagine the amount of energy that might be wasted when building occupants are able to adjust the thermostat or open and close windows at will.

Occupants who have perceived control of temperature, however, tend to be more comfortable in their... Read more

News Brief

Designing for climate change adaptation may be prudent for legal reasons.

December 10, 2018

Are building professionals legally obligated to design with climate change in mind? An article by Judy Mendoza from Victor O. Schinnerer & Company suggests that the answer may be yes.

In “How Climate Change Is Changing the Standard of Care,” Mendoza, a risk management specialist, says that professionals could be held liable for... Read more

News Brief

The Atlas for the End of the World illustrates the increasingly lethal interface between civilization and nature.

December 10, 2018

We’ve got two years to change. If we don’t make major strides toward protecting biodiversity by 2020, we may go extinct ourselves, the United Nations recently warned. The Atlas for the End of the World documents how we’re doing. The maps are pretty. The findings are not.

The focus of the project, according to its website, is “the... Read more

Webcast

November 16, 2018

For the past 17 years, BuildingGreen has selected ten green building products that significantly improve upon standard “business-as-usual” practices. These products reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, improve product life cycles, and can even have a net-positive impact on society and the environment.

This video was recorded... Read more

News Analysis

IgCC 2018 crafters hope to dispel confusion and increase uptake with rating system harmonization.

November 15, 2018

The 2018 version of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) is designed to align seamlessly with LEED.

The code is developed by a coalition of partners, including the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), The American Institute of Architects (AIA), and ASHRAE.

Resilience, EV charging, and... Read more

News Brief

A strategic partnership between HPDC and the U.S. Green Building Council aims to scale material transparency.

November 15, 2018

The creators of the Health Product Declaration (HPD) have teamed up with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) with the goal of scaling product and material ingredient transparency in the building industry. The partnership has four major objectives, according to a Health Product Declaration Collaborative (HPDC) press release... Read more

News Brief

On par with cost savings, occupant health comes in first place globally in the latest Dodge green building survey.

November 13, 2018

Health and wellness are trending worldwide in green building, a new report confirms. “When it comes to benefits, most participants cite occupant health and well-being in addition to lower operating costs,” says a press release from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a contributing partner to the Dodge Data & Analytics... Read more

Product Review

Our selection of innovative Top 10 product selections promote alternative energy use, reduce carbon emissions, and improve product life cycles.

November 12, 2018

For the past 17 years, BuildingGreen has selected ten green building products that significantly improve upon standard “business-as-usual” practices. These products reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, improve product life cycles, and can even have a net-positive impact on society and the environment.
This year’s BuildingGreen... Read more

Blog Post

Selecting the greenest products doesn’t do any good unless strong specifications support your choices. Here’s some language you can use.

November 9, 2018

Editor’s note: Guest blogger Anne Hicks Harney, of Long Green Specs, is our partner in providing product vetting services. Harney offers guidance on writing green specs and on finding products for LEED v4, WELL, and beyond.

All of us in the design professions need to do a better job of prioritizing... Read more

News Brief

Buildings must be LEED certified and can choose among net-zero energy, water, waste, or carbon.

November 5, 2018

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced a new certification called LEED Zero that rewards net-zero carbon, energy, water, or waste.

To achieve the designation, buildings must first be certified under either LEED for Building Design and Construction (BD+C) or LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (EBOM).... Read more

Feature Article

The energy used traveling to and from an average office building—its transportation energy intensity—can be greater than the energy used to run it.

November 5, 2018

Eleven years after its original publication, we have refreshed this groundbreaking report on the transportation energy of buildings and how that energy consumption can be reduced. We have updated all data and statistics, and have conducted new interviews with leaders in the field. (Quotes from 2018 interviews are marked as such.) We have also... Read more

News Brief

By prohibiting whole classes of chemicals, the legislation aims to reduce regrettable substitutions.

November 5, 2018

It’s a familiar story: a toxic substance gets phased out, only to be replaced with a chemically similar one that has the same toxic properties. An amendment to existing California law aims to stop this pattern of “regrettable substitution” by effectively banning whole classes of flame retardants in upholstered furniture, mattresses,... Read more

Product Review

NantEnergy’s Zinc–Air battery is made from common materials and does not use lithium or lead, yet can provide energy storage for large renewable energy projects.

November 5, 2018

To make renewable energy viable on a large scale, we need a way to store energy for when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. While there are various ways to store electrical energy, batteries offer the greatest applicability. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, such as those found in Tesla’s Powerwall system (a BuildingGreen Top 10... Read more

News Brief

A new initiative helps solve problems that arise between utilities and their customers when electricity users are also electricity suppliers.

November 5, 2018

Getting a solar array on your project might seem like a huge triumph, but there could be a downside. Too much “distributed generation” (grid-connected power generation coming from individual buildings) can disrupt how the electrical grid works, causing problems for utilities. A new initiative called Grid Optimal from the New Buildings Institute... Read more