BuildingGreen Report

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

News Brief

More than 300 solar energy projects were in danger of being canceled or delayed as the U.S. Department of Commerce investigated China, but Biden will waive the tariff threat for two years.

June 6, 2022

UPDATE: This article was updated on June 8, 2022 to reflect the news that Biden will waive the tariff threat for two years. 

In March the US Department of Commerce (DOC) announced its investigation into whether Chinese companies are circumventing U.S. tariffs by moving components for solar panels through four Southeast Asian countries. ... Read more

Product Review

Mohawk uses high recycled content and carbon offsets to reduce the embodied carbon of its EcoFlex One cushioned carpet tile.

June 6, 2022

When it comes to weighing sustainability, design, and comfort, few products have the challenges that carpet does. On the one hand, it is comfortable to walk on, it absorbs sound, and there are colors and patterns to complement nearly any design. But for all these positives, carpet has a history of containing potentially... Read more

News Brief

The International Living Future Institute has added thousands of PFAS compounds to its Living Building Challenge Red List.

June 6, 2022

The International Living Futures Institute recently added 4,844 perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) to its Red List and 5,947 to its Priority List. PFAS are a group of chemical compounds that do not break down in the environment and can cause potentially serious health and environmental problems. Beyond... Read more

Feature Article

The Contractor’s Commitment to Sustainable Building Practices calls on construction firms to practice green building on the jobsite and beyond. Here’s why the whole industry needs to get behind it.

June 6, 2022

Health and wellness are in high demand in sustainable design. Soft daylight, superb indoor air quality, enhanced thermal comfort, great ergonomics … all these design elements and more are becoming standard for students, patients, and office workers.

Once design is done, though, the human beings who... Read more

Webcast

May 26, 2022

Electrochromic glazing holds the promise of less glare and better energy efficiency with fewer moving parts. The reality is much more complicated and includes information you won’t hear from the sales reps.

Join us for a conversation with the nation’s leading experts on smart glass technology. We'll explore how the performance has... Read more

Spotlight Report

May 26, 2022

Health and wellness are in high demand in sustainable design. Soft daylight, superb indoor air quality, enhanced thermal comfort, great ergonomics … all these design elements and more are becoming standard for students, patients, and office workers.

Once design is done, though, the human beings who construct the resulting high... Read more

Product Guide

May 9, 2022

There are a wide variety of acoustic materials that can be used to manage interior noise and help create a welcoming space. The acoustic wall and ceiling panels described here are typically part of a noise reduction strategy that incorporates carpet, acoustic ceiling tiles, and other interior products. (For information on acoustic ceiling... Read more

News Brief

A new concrete rule from GSA and energy code adoption from DOE continue U.S. efforts to curb both embodied and operational carbon.

May 2, 2022

The Biden administration has released new procurement rules—one focused on embodied carbon and the other on operational carbon—affecting all federal government building projects.

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) will require concrete to meet newer, more stringent requirements.... Read more

Product Review

What’s the best resilient flooring? Is resilient flooring even sustainable?

May 2, 2022

Choosing flooring may be one of the hardest decisions in the building industry. Performance, design options, budget, installation, maintenance, embodied impacts, and durability all come into play: with all that in mind, there’s no perfect solution. Even after you’ve narrowed it down based on application and decided resilient flooring is best,... Read more

News Brief

The new WELL Performance Rating rewards projects for verified wellness data. It could also help bring more owners in.

May 2, 2022

The International WELL Building Institute, owner of the WELL Building Standard, recently launched the WELL Performance Rating, a considerably narrower take on building wellness that requires verified data. Elements measured are:

Indoor air quality—particulate matter, VOCs, CO, ozone, NO2, CO2, radon Water quality... Read more

News Brief

Cirrus Low Carbon offers a sweeter deal on C-PACE loans for commercial projects verified to achieve high-performance design specifications.

May 2, 2022

The Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy loan program (C-PACE) offers low-interest capital to projects pursuing energy and water savings; the loan gets paid back through a special tax assessment. Pretty good deal, but the New Buildings Institute (NBI) and PACE Equity have teamed up to make it even better.

Project teams committing... Read more

Op-Ed

USGBC responds to an earlier op-ed, “LEED Must Lead on Climate.”

April 29, 2022

Contributed by these guest authors:

Lance Davis, Federal Agency Sustainability Architect and chair of the LEED Steering Committee; Melissa Baker, SVP, LEED Technical Development, U.S. Green Building Council; and Laurie Kerr, FAIA, Principal Climate Advisor, U.S. Green Building Council

Earlier this week, BuildingGreen ran an op-... Read more

Op-Ed

The world urgently needs the building industry to tackle climate change, and LEED has to be part of that.

April 26, 2022

Contributed by these guest authors:

Greg Kats, Kevin Hydes, Anica Landreneau, Gunnar Hubbard, Vivian Loftness, Rob Watson, Mark MacCracken, Anthony Bernheim, Dan Burgoyne, Doug Farr, and David Gottfried

LEED, the great global green building design standard, has failed to adequately respond to climate change. The program—... Read more

Product Review

Choosing interior acoustic products that contain fewer hazardous materials will improve the overall interior environmental quality without compromising designs.

April 25, 2022

Controlling excessive interior sound is critical for creating a warm, welcoming space. This can be particularly important in low-embodied-carbon interiors that use structure as finish, such as polished concrete floors or exposed beams—materials that do not absorb sound well.  

There are a variety of... Read more

News Brief

A new white paper dives into continuous air-quality monitoring, helping make the technology and practices accessible to more projects.

April 21, 2022

Good indoor air quality is vital to sustainable building, but accomplishing it—and verifying that you’ve done so—is not easy. “Considerations for Continuous Air Quality Monitoring: Simple tips for getting it right, according to IAQ consultants” is a free white paper, written by members of the BuildingGreen Peer Networks,... Read more

News Analysis

From an architecture office to a children’s museum, this year’s projects went above and beyond to bring stakeholders into the fold.

April 21, 2022

The Committee on the Environment (COTE) of the American Institute of Architects has unveiled its annual top ten awards for high-performance projects. This year’s winning project teams—everything from schools to public works facilities—went all in on community engagement to help ensure occupant satisfaction, appropriate... Read more

Webcast

April 13, 2022

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

USGBC and IWBI are beginning to see eye to eye across a range of focus areas. Knowing how to leverage each in a mutually beneficial way is the key to driving successful integration of a dual certification approach.

Join LEEDuser’s special guest,... Read more

News Brief

Toxnot is offering a new way to track product ingredients and other circular design features.

April 4, 2022

Can you reuse it? Can you take it apart and make something new? Can you safely recycle it? The Product Circularity Data Sheet (PCDS) is designed to answer questions like these about building products.

First developed in Luxembourg, the PCDS not only lists product constituents, something like a health... Read more