BuildingGreen Report

News Analysis

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting is becoming a driver of sustainable building design and operations in the U.S.

February 7, 2022

“Sustainable building upgrades are never an emergency,” says Sara Neff, head of sustainability for Lendlease Americas, explaining why some laggardly real estate companies don’t budget adequately for green building. “You can always put off a lighting retrofit.”

Maybe not anymore. With the gradual... Read more

News Analysis

Dodge’s latest SmartMarket Report on green building details global sustainability trends to watch.

February 7, 2022

Green building is rapidly becoming more prevalent globally, though the importance of certifications has slightly declined. Use of green products is expected to grow. And reduced energy consumption and operating costs are two of the biggest drivers of these trends.

That’s all according to the Dodge... Read more

News Brief

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has laid out plans for widespread building electrification and signed a law regarding low-embodied-carbon concrete.

February 7, 2022

New York City and Ithaca, New York, recently passed legislation meant to decarbonize the built environment, and now similar efforts may be spreading throughout the state, thanks to moves proposed by Governor Kathy Hochul. The governor also recently signed a bill paving the way for procurement of low-embodied-carbon concrete... Read more

Spotlight Report

February 2, 2022

The construction sector’s take-make-waste approach to materials needs an overhaul. Materials and construction account for an estimated 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions annually. At the other end of the life cycle, demolition in the United States annually generates 90% of some 600 million tons of construction-sector debris. Getting... Read more

News Analysis

Building performance standards like NYC’s carbon limits could spread across the U.S. as the Biden administration assists 33 jurisdictions that have joined a new coalition.

January 31, 2022

Building electrification and embodied carbon standards for new construction are all well and good, but they leave the U.S.’s massive stock of existing buildings behind. That’s where building performance standards come in. Jurisdictions like New York City and Washington, D.C. have already adopted such standards, which require existing buildings... Read more

Feature Article

Reclamation and reuse of building materials can be a tough sell and hard to design for, but many project teams have learned to make it work. Here’s how.

January 20, 2022

The construction sector’s take-make-waste approach to materials needs an overhaul. Materials and construction account for an estimated 11 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions annually, according to the World Green Building Council. At the other end of the life cycle, demolition in the United States annually generates 90% of... Read more

News Brief

This handbook from Stok leads companies step by step through creating a sustainable real estate program.

January 10, 2022

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns are exploding at companies around the globe—but how these concerns apply to building portfolios may not be obvious. In a new handbook, Devon Bertram of engineering and green building consulting firm Stok promotes “the adoption of sustainable and equitable real estate... Read more

News Brief

The Boston- and Kigali, Rwanda-based firm was founded on projects that place community support and equity first and has expanded to create award-winning buildings throughout the world.

January 10, 2022

The non-profit architecture firm MASS Design Group has won the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 2022 Architecture Firm Award for Architecture. According AIA, the award was given to MASS because the firm “has worked tirelessly to ignite systemic change in the built environment through its mission-driven process” that... Read more

Product Review

Innovative products include heat pumps that use low-GWP refrigerants, energy-saving window inserts, water-saving infrastructure, induction ranges, and more.

January 10, 2022

BuildingGreen’s editorial team has been vetting green building products for more than 30 years. This research has informed our articles, GreenSpec product directory, product guides, and our annual Top 10 green building products award, where we select products that significantly improve upon standard “business-as-usual” practices. This is the... Read more

News Analysis

With industry standards eventually in place, energy models that use forward-looking weather files instead of historical ones could become the norm.

January 10, 2022

The climate is changing, and the weather along with it. Why, then, are we still using “typical meteorological years” from decades ago to guide our energy models?

The simple answer is that the industry hasn’t reached consensus on a way to do things differently. Yet as the world heats up, so do the... Read more

News Brief

Known for high design that’s also sustainable and equitable, Angela Brooks and Lawrence Scarpa have earned the American Institute of Architects’ highest honor.

January 10, 2022

Angela Brooks, FAIA, and Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA, principals at Brooks+Scarpa and a married couple, have jointly received the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for 2022.

With five Top Ten awards from the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE)—four of which were affordable... Read more

News Brief

DOE’s Connected Communities program expands to pilot more community-scale solutions for reducing peak demand.

January 10, 2022

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently allocated $61 million to pilot grid-interactive technologies in ten communities—many of which consist of affordable housing or serve vulnerable populations.

The program, called Connected Communities, is intended to expand the number of grid-interactive... Read more

Blog Post

The Marshall Fire brought tragedy to Boulder County at the end of 2021. Can something positive grow out of the ashes?

January 7, 2022

2021 was a year in a string of years of unprecedented weather-related events: mega tornados, record-shattering heat domes, and ever-expanding forest fires. But even in a year like this, the Marshall Fire stands out as something new: a grass fire that turned into an urban firestorm--destroying entire suburban communities on Colorado’s... Read more

News Analysis

With a plan to integrate resilience into future versions of LEED, the organization is leaving RELi behind.

December 15, 2021

Resilient design is getting a makeover at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The organization, which acquired the RELi resilience rating system in 2017, will cede ownership as of January 1, 2022. RELi (pronounced “rely”) will return to its developer, The Institute for Market Transformation to Sustainability (MTS), while USGBC works to... Read more

News Analysis

New policies will require carbon-free electricity and embodied carbon disclosure for building materials, and could limit procurement of products with PFAS.

December 10, 2021

U.S. federal government operations could approach carbon neutrality by 2050, thanks to a sweeping sustainability plan and associated executive order announced by President Biden on December 8, 2021.

The plan includes requirements regarding building operations, embodied carbon, electric vehicle procurement, purchasing of less toxic... Read more

Op-Ed

We believe that social justice issues as they relate to the built environment are relevant to the sustainable design and construction community.

December 6, 2021

“You are not a political party” was the subject line of a recent email we received at BuildingGreen.

The message was a response to a short news story we did on racism and sexism in built-environment workplaces. The body of the email included the line, “We want relevant content.”

... Read more

News Brief

The UN Race to Zero campaign enlists businesses in achieving net-zero operational emissions by 2050. How does it fit in with other commitments?

December 6, 2021

We may be inching toward net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

More than 3,000 businesses and 700 cities had signed onto the United Nations’ Race to Zero commitment ahead of COP26 (the 26th Conference of the Parties), held in November 2021. But is 2050 soon enough? And how does this commitment... Read more

News Analysis

Low-income families have high energy burdens despite programs designed to help. A new study looks at solutions.

December 6, 2021

U.S. households with low median incomes (LMI) spend 14.5% of their paychecks on energy for heating, cooling, and appliances—almost double the percentage spent by non-LMI families—according to a Groundswell study conducted by data scientist Elvis Moleka, Ph.D. This higher energy burden exists despite programs designed to... Read more

Product Review

Award-winning Lazer Line LEDs provide high-quality, efficacious lighting in a unique form that provides different options for lighting a space.

December 6, 2021

BuildingGreen’s editorial team has followed the development of LEDs since the first CFL replacements were commercially available. We’ve looked at their energy use, light quality, tunable lighting, outdoor lighting, new technologies, and more. But we’ve largely shied away from covering individual products for their design... Read more

Spotlight Report

December 6, 2021

Although disparities between predominantly white and predominantly non-white neighborhoods go back hundreds of years, 20th-century government-sponsored discrimination was a key turning point in segregating our cities, creating the maps we have today. In fact, it all began with maps—maps released during the New Deal era by the Federal Housing... Read more