BuildingGreen Report

Webcast

October 25, 2023
Registration Closed: Coffee Talk took place October 25, 2023

Please note: LEEDuser’s informal 45-minute coffee talks are not approved for continuing education units.

This lively conversation features:

Brent Ehrlich, Products & Materials Specialist at BuildingGreen (moderator) Gioia Connell, Built Ecology Consultant, WSP... Read more

News Brief

The pandemic popularized biophilic design, says a seminal resource, in part by emphasizing the importance of green outdoor spaces.

October 24, 2023

A beloved resource by Terrapin Bright Green was recently updated with pandemic-era lessons that make an even stronger financial case for biophilic design. The Economics of Biophilia is now in its second edition and is free to download. (Disclosure: Paula Melton, BuildingGreen’s editorial director, helped edit the report.)

The report... Read more

News Analysis

As more project teams question timber’s “carbon neutrality,” a growing coalition blazes a common-sense but potentially perilous path forward.

October 9, 2023

Building professionals looking to reduce embodied carbon don’t have to go very far before tripping over the claim that new buildings—and even entire cities—can become carbon sinks instead of carbon emitters through the use of mass timber. 

But in a space often characterized by murky math and madcap marketing, the Climate Smart Wood... Read more

News Brief

The Climate Explorer and the CMRA translate nerdy climate projections into eye-opening images that should be well worth more than a thousand words in the push for resilient design.

October 9, 2023

Just as people began suffering through last summer’s heat waves and bracing for hurricane season, the Biden administration published a press release touting its resilience efforts, including Heat.gov, the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, and the National Climate Resilience Framework. The White House also pointed to a rapidly expanding... Read more

News Analysis

Millions in tax credits are available from the Inflation Reduction Act, but even some long-standing rules are now being questioned. Lean on your tax advisors, and expect updates as the first projects go through the process.

October 9, 2023

Wyatt Ross of CMTA and Chris Colasanti of JB&B Consulting Engineers contributed to this article. 

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... Read more

News Brief

The pressure is on in the U.S. to mandate existing building decarbonization. ACEEE has analyzed domestic and international laws for best practices to broaden the reach of this climate change mitigation tool.

October 9, 2023

The U.S. building industry’s decades-long battle against climate change has focused outsize resources and effort on new construction. But existing building decarbonization must become a central mission, and soon, according to an analysis from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Steven Nadel and Adam Hinge, the... Read more

Webcast

October 4, 2023

Want to optimize your product selections for health and sustainability while also earning LEED certification? This webinar is designed for you. 

Products meeting the requirements of LEED v4 BD+C and ID+C were barely available a decade ago. But since then, market forces and the introduction of LEED v4.1 in... Read more

Product Review

Portland cement has a massive carbon footprint, but it has seemed indispensable to concrete—until now. C-Crete aims to replace portland cement with other cementitious materials and its proprietary low-carbon chemistry.

October 2, 2023

Concrete is responsible for about 5% to 8% of the world’s anthropogenic carbon emissions, and that is largely due to the binder that holds it together, portland cement. So creating a low-carbon concrete that does not use portland cement is the green building industry’s holy grail. One manufacturer claims it has ended the quest.

Portland... Read more

News Analysis

Climate change symptoms, including wildfire smoke and extreme heat, are endangering outdoor workers and changing assumptions about productivity and construction timelines.

October 2, 2023

Climate change is threatening outdoor construction workers. Extreme heat and dangerous air quality from wildfire smoke are becoming more frequent and prolonged, occurring in places that have not previously experienced them. And without federal regulations in place, employers must make judgment calls about safety breaks and work stoppages in an... Read more

Op-Ed

Bringing forth a habitable planet will require energy, ambition, and purpose. What will fuel this work? Not data and doomsaying—instead, imagination.

October 1, 2023

Last week, I saw the future. Here is what it looked like.

Because of unprecedented investments in clean energy, the world still had a chance of staying under the 1.5°C heating target that 194 nations and the E.U. agreed to in Paris in 2015. The building industry had finally prioritized decarbonizing existing buildings over predicting... Read more

News Brief

The new standard, announced at Greenbuild 2023, aims to bring all buildings along—not just a few high performers. It comes on the heels of a similar proposal in a BuildingGreen series.

September 28, 2023

The Biden administration will soon release a national standard for zero-emission buildings. The standard will apply to new construction and major renovation, but details are not yet available on whether or how it will address existing building operations.

Citing climate action as a “north star” for the administration, national climate... Read more

Spotlight Report

September 25, 2023

PFAS “forever chemicals” are persistent in the environment and have a number of potential negative health and environmental impacts. Yet they pervade our lives—and are even infiltrating remote ecosystems once considered pristine.

PFAS are everywhere, from microwave popcorn packaging to industrial metal coatings, so... Read more

Op-Ed

To decarbonize the building sector, we need to align our efforts. Let’s get to it.

September 14, 2023

This is the final article in a five-part series introducing a comprehensive, universal carbon standard for buildings. Part One explains how “net zero” has failed us. Part Two introduces the six building blocks of a proposed low-carbon standard. And Part Three provides details on each of those six things.

Part Four explains why we need... Read more

Webcast

September 13, 2023

Conventional stormwater management treats rain as the enemy—a dangerous and destructive force that must be deflected away from building sites as quickly as possible.

But as we pave more and more of paradise, this conventional approach actually compounds rainwater’s danger and destructiveness. The resulting runoff can... Read more

Op-Ed

RECs and carbon offsets lack credibility, and grid interactivity adds unnecessary complexity. That's why this standard leaves them out.

September 12, 2023

This is the fourth article in a five-part series introducing a comprehensive, universal carbon standard for buildings. Part One explains how “net zero” has failed us. Part Two introduces the six building blocks of a proposed low-carbon standard. And Part Three provides details on each of those six things. 

Part Four (this one) explains... Read more

News Analysis

Whether you call it CalGreen, Title 24, or simply “the law,” its embodied carbon requirement is unprecedented in the U.S. We analyze the code and what might come next for other states.

September 11, 2023

California has become the first U.S. state to mandate reductions in embodied carbon, the greenhouse gas emissions associated with building materials and construction.

Both the development process and the compliance structure set important precedents for potential code changes in other states and even in national model codes.

... Read more

News Analysis

This program provides a tax credit for investment in renewable energy projects. It includes bonus credit for projects in energy communities and projects that use certain amounts of U.S.-manufactured products, including steel and iron.

September 11, 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.​​

Responsible agency

The U.S. Department of the Treasury

Summary of... Read more

News Brief

Behind every online order, there are people. A new study explores ways to ensure they have safe and supportive workplaces.

September 11, 2023

Have you ever thought about the chain of events you initiate every time you click “buy now” in the comfort of your home or office?

Several human beings leap into service to fulfill your order: pickers, packers, long-haul truckers, loaders, sorters, and delivery drivers. And the warehouses and distribution centers where most of them work... Read more

News Analysis

This program will administer grants and loans to owners or sponsors of HUD-assisted multifamily housing to improve its resilience and quality.

September 11, 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.​​

Responsible agency

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban... Read more

Feature Article

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been linked to negative health and environmental impacts. Getting them out of our building products is going to require work.

September 11, 2023

Design teams want their buildings to look their best and to continue looking that way for years to come. So they choose materials that are durable and resist dirt, stains, and weathering. And that synthetic, shiny surface that sheds dirt doesn’t have to be replaced as often, saving energy, time, and resources. Sounds like a great low-carbon... Read more