BuildingGreen Report

Feature Article

Electrochromic glazing holds the promise of less glare and better energy efficiency with fewer attachments. The reality is much more complicated.

April 4, 2022

The sun streaming into our buildings can be both a benefit and a nuisance. Controlling its glare and solar heat gain in order to maximize energy efficiency, occupant comfort, and views to the outdoors is difficult. In commercial offices and all-glass buildings, the impacts are multiplied. Low-e glazing and exterior or interior shading systems... Read more

News Brief

HOK has released a study showing how to slash both operational and embodied carbon when designing new labs.

April 4, 2022

Laboratories are notorious energy hogs. They also tend to have high embodied carbon when built new. Reining in the carbon footprint of this booming building type will be necessary in order to reach the net-zero-carbon goals of both the American Institute of Architects’ and the Royal Institute of British Architects’ respective 2030 Challenges.... Read more

News Brief

The American Institute of Architects has chosen five sustainability research projects to fund through its Upjohn Research Initiative.

April 4, 2022

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced five research projects that will receive funding through the Upjohn Research Initiative. All of this year’s projects are designed to promote climate action.

Architects and Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings (GEBs): The Role of the Profession in the Emerging Field of GEBs

Grid-... Read more

News Analysis

Language matters. Now there are standardized ways to write embodied carbon limits into both building codes and architectural specifications.

April 4, 2022

Aspirational limits on embodied carbon in our buildings are all well and good, but how do you actually determine and implement those limits? New code language and a new model specification could be the ticket.

NBI petitions for code inclusion

The New Buildings Institute (NBI) has developed and submitted code language that it hopes will... 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

News Analysis

Demand for mass timber is going up, but there’s still lots of room to grow. Can that happen—sustainably—in today’s market?

April 4, 2022

Mass timber—especially cross-laminated timber (CLT)—has captured the imagination of designers across North America. From biophilia to jobsite safety to the promise of ultra-low embodied carbon, this relatively new structural material has made its way into the International Building Code (IBC) and the National Building Code of... Read more

April Fools

The former Habitat for Humanity now aims to bring joy in addition to housing.

April 1, 2022

Renata Quimby of Knoxville, Tennessee was expecting a new roof. What she got instead was a bit of a riddle. Literally.

As Habitat for Humanity volunteers hammered at her new roof, Quimby kept hearing giggles, gasps, and guffaws. The source? “Turns out they... Read more

April Fools

Decarbonization is the new buzzword in sustainability, but efforts to lower one product’s embodied carbon are being challenged by an increasingly agitated public.

April 1, 2022

Protests continued for a fifth straight day as demonstrators picketed outside the gates of Anheuser-Busch’s flagship brewery in St. Louis, Missouri. The cause? Layoffs? Unequal pay? Unfair labor practices? Nope. The cause was the company’s adoption of its annual... Read more

April Fools

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released part two of its Sixth Assessment Report in February—but it left out some strong feelings.

April 1, 2022

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has come under fire due to a leaked draft of part two of its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). The formerly secret document reveals that the panel’s first attempts to analyze climate change impacts had devolved into a... Read more

April Fools

The Beacon of Hope, which once held the promise of making buildings and humanity better, has had to shut down due to problems with its artificial intelligence platform.

April 1, 2022

Billed as the smartest, most resilient, most sustainable building on the planet, the elegant Beacon of Hope office complex at 10 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Atlanta was supposed to showcase state-of-the-art building controls, lighting, HVAC, glazing, and... Read more

Spotlight Report

March 31, 2022

The sun streaming into our buildings can be both a benefit and a nuisance. Controlling its glare and solar heat gain in order to maximize energy efficiency, occupant... Read more

News Brief

Not accounting for future climate in your designs? Legal troubles may await you, says the American Institute of Architects.

March 7, 2022

Resilient design is no longer optional. If you aren’t accounting for future climate changes and extreme weather events in your designs, you could be held professionally liable in the future, according to The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

A new report released by the Scalable Climate Action... Read more

Product Review

Tile is an ancient type of flooring and wallcovering that can last centuries—even millennia. But can it check today’s sustainability boxes?

March 7, 2022

It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of sustainable building materials, but durability is one of the top green attributes we look for at BuildingGreen. So selecting one of the most durable materials on the planet—porcelain tile—for floors, walls, and even countertops should be a no-brainer for green... Read more

News Brief

All 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are included in a new climate readiness tool from NOAA.

March 7, 2022

We know the global trajectory of temperature spikes based on different carbon scenarios—and we hope for an average lower than 1.5°C—but international projections don’t help us predict local climate impacts. With a new tool from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), project teams and building owners can now check on... Read more

News Analysis

With a recent Maine regulation, PFAS “forever chemicals” are regulated as a category—not chemical by chemical.

March 7, 2022

Carpets and fabrics will be the first to go. Come 2023, the sale of carpets, rugs, and textiles with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) will be against the law in the state of Maine.

These “forever chemicals,” ubiquitous in building products, are used as stain and dirt repellents not only on... Read more

News Brief

EcoDistricts, which encourages neighborhood-scale sustainability, was acquired by the Partnership for Southern Equity.

March 7, 2022

The EcoDistricts Protocol, initially published in 2016, was one of the first green building frameworks to put social justice on par with other sustainability concerns, and it seeks to bring the equity imperative to the conversation at the neighborhood scale. Now EcoDistricts is working with another nonprofit, the Partnership... Read more

News Brief

The Passive House Network’s PHribbon software calculates a building's whole-life carbon footprint from cradle to grave, incorporating operational and transportation inputs.

March 7, 2022

Calculating a product’s cradle-to-grave carbon impacts has always been a challenge. Though environmental product declarations do a great job of capturing the carbon emissions from manufacturing (cradle-to-gate), most don’t provide a full picture of a material’s impact in a building through end of life (cradle-to-grave).

... Read more

Op-Ed

What can the green building and resilience communities do to help the people of Ukraine?

March 4, 2022

The news coming out of Ukraine is heartbreaking. A modern European country with cafés and clothing boutiques that weeks ago had been bustling with the goings-about by ordinary people of a modern society, was invaded by an authoritarian despot, consumed by a thirst for power... Read more

Primer

Scope what? SS who? People throw around a lot of terms about carbon and climate change: here is a glossary of what some of them mean.

February 7, 2022

Climate change is complicated, to say the least, so the terminology relating to climate change can also be hard to decipher. Here we’ve put together a simplified glossary of just a few terms that can be helpful to know as you navigate information about global warming. We’ll start with the very basics and move on to some of the... Read more

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