News

News Brief

Des Moines, Iowa, joins Google in aiming for 24/7 carbon-free electricity—a target that necessitates managing energy loads in buildings.

March 1, 2021

Denton, Texas; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Reading, Pennsylvania—nearly 210 cities have pledged or have already achieved 100% clean electricity or net-zero emissions, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. And then there’s Des Moines, Iowa, which recently pledged to achieve 24/7 carbon-free electricity by 2035—a... Read more

News Brief

Seven new “proving grounds” will test the effectiveness of new energy-efficiency and grid-harmonization strategies.

March 1, 2021

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is partnering with seven state and local governments to create “proving grounds” designed to test advanced building technologies. Many of the technologies enhance “grid harmonization,” using strategies that are responsive to the grid’s supply in order to reduce energy costs while also keeping the grid cleaner... Read more

News Brief

Every major end use for fossil fuels in buildings is ready to be electrified, according to a report from the New Buildings Institute.

March 1, 2021

Building electrification is a great idea to promote decarbonization, but is the industry ready for it? The Building Electrification Technology Roadmap from the New Buildings Institute (NBI) suggests the answer is yes.

The report examines the status of 38 different technologies for residential,... Read more

News Brief

The Carbon Leadership Forum has published a whole library on embodied carbon—and it’s crowdsourcing more resources every day.

March 1, 2021

Net-zero energy. Not so long ago, full-scale adoption of energy efficiency and onsite renewables was the dream of the green building community. But as climate change worsens, the focus has gradually turned to carbon rather than energy.

A shift has also occurred in what kinds of emissions we need to... Read more

Product Review

Schneider’s Square D Energy Center can connect photovoltaics, energy storage, electric vehicle charging, and “smart” meters and appliances.

March 1, 2021

With COVID-19 protocols shutting down many offices, our homes have now become our workplaces. This shift in energy consumption to the home is an opportunity to upgrade these spaces to make them as efficient as possible and to incorporate technologies that will reduce our carbon output, such as renewable energy, battery storage, “smart”... Read more

News Analysis

Many are struggling to hit 2030 Commitment targets and embodied carbon goals. We picked the brains of three architecture firms that are in the thick of it—and progressing.

March 1, 2021

The largest design firm in the world made a bit of a splash in 2020 with its Gensler Cities Climate Challenge (GC3 for short). “Within a decade, we will eliminate all net emissions associated with our work,” the GC3 boldly states. The commitment explicitly includes both operating carbon (greenhouse gas emissions associated... Read more

Blog Post

BuildingGreen’s editors look back on three decades of a movement

February 25, 2021

It has been quite a wild ride! As The BuildingGreen Report (formerly Environmental Building News) celebrates its 30th year of publication, we decided to track the growth—and explosion—of the green building movement. We start in 1990 with the founding of AIA’s Committee on the Environment.

Our Editors’ Picks

To celebrate Volume... Read more

Blog Post

Design and construction companies are urging the Biden Administration to build back greener.

February 19, 2021

February 22, 2021 – President Biden has made a commitment to “Build Back Better” in the wake of COVID-19, the economic crisis, social upheaval, and regulatory rollbacks by the former administration. A growing group of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) firms is calling on Biden to also build back greener. He can... Read more

Primer

Concrete is a durable and necessary building material, but its carbon footprint is huge. Here’s a rundown of concrete’s tradeoffs and some solutions.

February 8, 2021

Concrete is a popular building material for good reason. It’s strong and durable, and it can be used as a finish as well as a structural material, reducing the need for other products.

But there’s a big drawback to concrete: its carbon footprint. Or, to be more precise, the carbon footprint of the... Read more

Product Review

Blue Planet turns industrial CO2 into aggregate, cost-effectively sequestering carbon while producing a viable commodity.

February 8, 2021

Reducing the amount of carbon that enters our atmosphere is one of the world’s greatest challenges, and two of the building industry’s primary materials—steel and cement—are responsible for a significant portion of those emissions. These industries burn fossil fuels for manufacturing, which can in some cases be replaced by renewable energy, but... Read more

Feature Article

Resilience is finding its place in city zoning and building codes. Here are some ideas to bring to your local government.

February 8, 2021

For decades, designers have fought for sustainability to be incorporated into building codes and standards. Is it time to do the same for resilience?

Building energy codes have been adopted by the great majority of states in the U.S. As a result, consumers save around $5 billion annually, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. But... Read more

News Brief

“Ready to Respond” helps affordable housing organizations set up an emergency business continuity plan to aid leadership, staff, and residents.

February 8, 2021

When disaster strikes, affordable housing organizations have unique resilience problems to address—like ensuring their often-vulnerable residents remain continuously housed. “Ready to Respond” (R2R) is a staffing toolkit designed to help affordable housing organizations anticipate and smoothly respond to climate risks and... Read more

News Analysis

We spoke with Ed Mazria about everything from the 1970s energy crisis to the current climate crisis—and heard a message of hope.

January 25, 2021

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) gives out the Gold Medal each year, typically to acknowledge a body of influential architectural work. This year was a little different, stretching the boundaries of what the Gold Medal is all about. Ed Mazria, FAIA, received the award for 2021—not mainly for his work in practice, but... Read more

News Brief

Just before leaving office, Trump signed the most important climate legislation in a decade.

January 25, 2021

The last four years have been a disaster for the U.S. environment, with the Trump administration rolling back vital environmental protections and promoting fossil fuel industries that have no viable business future. 

Yet tucked into the sprawling COVID-19 relief bill that was signed by President Trump on December 27, 2020, is... Read more

Infographic

January 12, 2021

It has been quite a wild ride! As The BuildingGreen Report (formerly Environmental Building News, or “EBN”) celebrates its 30th year of publication, we decided to track the growth—and explosion—of the green building movement. We start in 1990 with the founding of AIA’s Committee on the Environment.

There is so much more that we could... Read more

News Brief

The Green Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark has left GBCI to become more independent.

January 11, 2021

Green building portfolios are big business. They are proven to perform better financially, so investors want to know if the real estate assets they invest in are sustainably built and operated. Sustainability scores from GRESB (the Green Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark) for many years have been the best way for investors to find this out.... Read more

News Brief

Four cities have committed to halving construction emissions by 2030, focusing on embodied carbon and zero-carbon equipment.

January 11, 2021

Is the world ready for electric backhoes? Mayors of four cities say they soon will be—and that they will go even further by halving the embodied carbon emissions of building and infrastructure projects not long after.

C40, a coalition of 97 megacities around the world, has rolled out a Clean... Read more

News Brief

The Rocky Mountain Institute has received $10 million from the Bezos Earth Fund for its building and industry decarbonization efforts.

January 11, 2021

The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) has received a $10 million grant from the new Bezos Earth Fund, which was founded with the goal of mitigating climate change.

Eighty percent of the funding will go toward RMI’s Carbon-Free Buildings campaign. This initiative advocates for all-electric new... Read more

Product Review

These innovative products reduce carbon emissions and include negative embodied carbon carpet, repurposed EV battery storage, carbon sequestering aggregate, and more.

January 11, 2021

Every year for the past 19 years, BuildingGreen has selected ten green building products that significantly improve upon standard “business-as-usual” practices. This year’s products address our most pressing challenge: reducing the environmental impacts of greenhouse gases. The following products do so by sequestering carbon, conserving energy... Read more

Webcast

January 11, 2021

Every year for the past 19 years, BuildingGreen has selected ten green building products that significantly improve upon standard “business-as-usual” practices. This year’s products address our most pressing challenge: reducing the environmental impacts of greenhouse gases. The winning products do so by sequestering carbon, conserving energy... Read more