BuildingGreen Report

Product Guide

February 26, 2024
Our guideline of 1.5 gmp exceeds that of WaterSense and CALGreen. We also suggest performance criteria.

Everyone wants to save water, but low-flow shower units have been faulted for delivering poor performance—leading people to spend more time in the shower or to remove the showerhead and replace it with an older, higher-flow showerhead.... Read more

Feature Article

Many people hope mass timber will drive decarbonization—but scaling that up could make things worse. Instead of embodied carbon alone, “climate-smart” practices focus on our increasingly fragile forests.

February 26, 2024

This is Part Two of a two-part series on wood products. Part One focuses on the embodied carbon of wood products, exploring the origin and veracity of industry carbon-neutrality claims and considering the avoided emissions associated with using mass timber in place of structural steel or concrete. Part Two considers broader climate implications... Read more

Spotlight Report

February 26, 2024

Are wood products inherently carbon neutral?

Many people think they are even better: “net carbon storing,” or “carbon negative.” Because of this, the green building community has hoped that mass timber will drive decarbonization.

But it turns out that scaling that up could make things worse instead... Read more

Product Guide

February 22, 2024
Select the surface that fits the application, fulfills the design objectives, meets health and environmental criteria, and has the greatest durability.

Stone, wood, composites, sintered stone, tile, and other solid surface materials all have different environmental and health impacts. Plastic products engineered so scratches can be sanded out... Read more

Explainer

Life-cycle assessment and environmental product declarations reveal embodied carbon and other impacts, but it’s important to know their limits.

February 14, 2024

As part of its economy-wide decarbonization plan, the U.S. government is targeting a building-sector emission cut of 90% from 2005 levels by 2050—and a crucial component of that is reducing the embodied greenhouse gas emissions from building materials and construction.

To achieve this, we need better... Read more

Product Guide

February 8, 2024

Made from portland cement, aggregates, and water, concrete is one of the most useful and ubiquitous materials on the planet. The portland cement that holds concrete together is responsible for approximately 8% of anthropogenic carbon. That’s because  production involves a process (calcination) that transforms limestone into portland cement and... Read more

Webcast

February 7, 2024

You’ve probably heard that wood products are carbon neutral. You might also have heard that timber harvesting causes immense carbon emissions.

Which is it?

Could it be both?

This on-demand webcast investigates these questions and others, using a scientific lens to examine wood’s carbon... Read more

Feature Article

Wood products are widely regarded as carbon neutral—or even better. With new research challenging that idea, a more cautious approach is emerging. Because the climate stakes are too high for us to get this wrong.

January 29, 2024

Editor’s note: Stephanie Carlisle, senior researcher at the University of Washington’s Carbon Leadership Forum, generously provided a technical review.

This is Part One of a two-part series on wood products. It delves into the climate impacts—positive, negative, and otherwise—of managed forests. Part Two considers more climate... Read more

Spotlight Report

January 26, 2024

Is wood carbon neutral? Can mass timber buildings be net-negative emitters? 

You have probably heard both of those claims repeated by manufacturers, colleagues, and the media—but the World Resources Institute isn’t so sure. A WRI report released in July 2023 maintains that wood use is not carbon neutral “even if... Read more

Op-Ed

The politics and protests are crucial, but behind the scenes, it’s all about good-faith collaboration, community, and commitments.

January 22, 2024

Disclosure: This guest op-ed comes from Lisa Richmond, Hon. AIA, who is a senior fellow with Architecture 2030. BuildingGreen, alongside SERA Architects, recently consulted with Architecture 2030 and several other green building organizations to facilitate consensus and develop reporting guidelines for the Embodied Carbon... Read more

Feature Article

Science-based targets for the building sector no longer apply to design firms and most construction companies, but AEC must continue leading the industry toward net zero, experts say.

January 17, 2024

It’s 2024. Global emissions—and temperatures—are rising instead of falling, and some scientists believe this will be the year we cross a dangerous climate threshold, the 1.5°C Paris Agreement goal, long before we (hopefully) achieve net-zero emissions in 2050.

Meanwhile, new guidance being piloted through the Science Based Targets... Read more

Webcast

January 10, 2024

Join Brent Ehrlich, BuildingGreen’s products & materials specialist, as he unveils ten innovative technologies he believes are solving the building industry’s biggest challenges.

For 2024, we’ve showcased products that nix toxic chemicals, advance efficient electrification, cut embodied carbon, promote... Read more

Product Review

BuildingGreen’s Top 10 industry-transforming products this year include innovative heat-pump energy storage, electric construction equipment, PFAS-free textiles, healthier lighting, PV circularity, and more.

January 9, 2024

Want to learn about past winners? See our Top 10 Green Building Products page.

BuildingGreen is starting the new year by celebrating the positive transformations happening in the building industry—with our annual Top 10 Green Building Products. We have been awarding the Top 10 for more than 20 years, leveraging our deep knowledge of... Read more

Blog Post

Through big transitions, BuildingGreen stays true to its mission.

December 19, 2023

The seeds of what is now BuildingGreen were planted nearly four decades ago, when Alex Wilson started the company in his home in Dummerston, Vermont. Alex and his wife, Jerelyn Wilson, created this company and have nurtured it ever since.

Both Alex and Jerelyn are retiring from BuildingGreen at the end of... Read more

Product Review

In part two of our Greenbuild expo product roundup, I’m covering CO2 heat pumps, a ground-source system heat pump system, agricultural fiber panels, construction equipment wash systems, and more.

December 4, 2023

This is Part Two in a two-part series. Part One covers IAQ equipment and low-carbon concrete.

In the first part of our Greenbuild 2023 product coverage, we looked at low-carbon concrete and IAQ monitors—showcasing innovative solutions to some of our most pressing building concerns. This second installment covers several cool categories... Read more

News Analysis

With a new program, the International WELL Building Institute aims to help users more easily find high-performance building products and systems.

December 4, 2023

Product and material selection is one of the most time-consuming parts of achieving a green and healthy building certification like LEED, WELL, or (perhaps most famously) the Living Building Challenge. Project teams must sort through hundreds of products to find safer cleaning solutions, low-VOC furniture, or air purifiers that meet performance... Read more

News Analysis

Beginning in 2025, electricity-producing facilities will need to achieve zero emissions to claim the Investment Tax Credit, making the eligibility of several currently funded technologies uncertain.

December 4, 2023

This article has been prepared for informational purposes only; it is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your firm’s tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.​​

Just as project teams have started to get a handle on the huge... Read more

Webcast

November 29, 2023

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) offers us a once-in-a-generation chance to equitably decarbonize the built environment and prepare communities to weather future climate threats. 

... Read more

News Analysis

Community Climate Shift funds projects driving community-led decarbonization and building performance standards.

November 6, 2023

We know that decarbonizing existing buildings is crucial to meaningfully reduce the carbon footprint of the building sector, but retrofitting older building stock, especially multifamily housing, is a formidable challenge. A new initiative, Community Climate Shift, hopes to demonstrate that it can be done rapidly—and equitably.

Just 2%... Read more

News Brief

In an open letter, public health leaders implore officials to design building policies for occupant health.

November 6, 2023

“The imperative for health-driven building policy has never been more pressing. Buildings must be fortified for health.”

This statement is part of an open letter addressed to elected officials and policymakers, and signed by six former U.S. Surgeons General, six CEOs, five executive directors of leading public health organizations, and... Read more