News

News Brief

Carbon-neutral concrete by 2050 is the industry’s new goal. But there are lots of hoops to jump through to make up for concrete’s basic chemistry.

November 9, 2020

The Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) recently released a “carbon ambition statement” announcing that its 40 members aspire to deliver carbon-neutral concrete by 2050. A laudable goal, but given concrete’s chemistry, is it even possible?

One problem is the cement. The majority of cement’s... Read more

News Analysis

Understanding the source of your project’s power is essential as the industry moves toward electrification.

November 9, 2020

Josh Radoff contributed to this article.

The green building community is abuzz with the concept of decarbonization through electrification—the use of electric technologies instead of combustion-fueled technologies to supply the comforts of a modern building. But is it a good idea for your project? It... Read more

News Analysis

Inspired by the 2030 Commitment, the Materials Pledge looks at products holistically, from carbon impacts to social justice.

November 6, 2020

What is a sustainable material? A big, complicated question, admits Lona Rerick, associate principal at ZGF architects. But the Architecture & Design Materials Pledge recently adopted by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) starts to get at the answer, she said.

It’s time to stop playing... Read more

Webcast

November 4, 2020
“We can’t build sustainable buildings without sustainable products” –Nadav Malin.

If you don’t spend your “day-to-day” in the healthy materials space, it’s hard to create strategy and align your company to meet your customers' (what seems to be) ever-changing asks and project goals. This webinar is geared toward the building product... Read more

Webcast

October 30, 2020

Are you getting questions, advice, and dubious sales pitches from all comers about how to design and run an HVAC system to combat infectious disease? You’re not alone. Engineers, facility managers, architects, and other building professionals are all feeling immense pressure about COVID-19 right now—especially since the Centers for Disease... Read more

News Analysis

With design awards on the line, architecture firms are starting to require sustainability tracking across all projects.

October 5, 2020

Did you notice your AIA design award submissions looked different this year? You were likely asked for information that you only used to provide when submitting for a COTE (Committee on the Environment) Top Ten Award—such as the project’s predicted net energy use intensity (EUI) or embodied carbon estimate. These questions are currently being... Read more

News Analysis

With equity on the minds of many in the green building community, some are looking to bias training—but it might not be as effective as you expect.

October 5, 2020

Implicit biases—the unconscious assumptions we make about people based on their gender, race, physical ability, and many other factors—don’t stay buried. They lead to adverse decisions and behavior that we don’t even recognize as sexist, racist, or ableist. Implicit bias is particularly dangerous in situations ripe for... Read more

Product Review

Bloom Energy fuel cells provide on-demand electricity but use natural gas and release CO2. Switching to hydrogen could help change our energy future.

October 5, 2020

Fuel cells and hydrogen are necessary, inevitable power sources of the future. But technological challenges, high cost, required fuel infrastructure, and other issues have allowed photovoltaics, wind, and batteries to become the short-term interventions for our fossil fuel addiction.

Bloom Energy has been making fuel cells since 2009,... Read more

News Brief

Nearly 70% of waste in the U.S. comes from construction and demolition. Contractors in the Bay Area want to bring that down to zero.

October 5, 2020

When you ask people what they’re doing for the environment, many will point to recycling as one of their primary actions. Yet recycling isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, as NPR recently reported. What’s more, it’s not actually happening as consistently as we are led to believe. And that’s just as true for construction and... Read more

Op-Ed

Our democracy is at risk. There is more work to do than going to the polls.

September 24, 2020

We at BuildingGreen have generally avoided taking political stands. I believe that regardless of our positions on fiscal policy or a range of social issues, we can—and must—come together to protect the ecological functions that support life as we know it on planet Earth.... Read more

News Analysis

Good indoor air quality will help if SARS-CoV-2 is airborne, and tried-and-true measures can get us there.

September 8, 2020

In July 2020, 239 scientists urged the medical community and public-health authorities to acknowledge the potential for airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and promote additional precautionary measures like increasing ventilation in indoor, enclosed environments. By implication, they suggested that HVAC systems... Read more

Product Review

Electric hand dryers have a lower carbon footprint and save resources compared to paper towels, but COVID-19 has changed how we view these products.

September 8, 2020

Washing hands properly is one of the primary ways of controlling the spread SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. Drying hands properly is also important, as wet hands are more likely to provide an avenue for spreading pathogens. Yet even this seemingly simple act has reignited a contentious issue: what is the best way to dry your... Read more

News Brief

Entering a crowded field of building re-entry solutions, IMMUNE is an open-source standard.

September 8, 2020

How can we safeguard the health of occupants while preventing future health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic? The IMMUNE Building Standard, developed by Bucharest-based Genesis Property in collaboration with The National Institute for Infectious Disease in Romania, is a new approach to assessing and certifying human health and safety measures... Read more

News Analysis

In the world of sustainable building design, one of the most common questions that comes up is: what is the best system to use if you want to build a healthy building?

September 8, 2020

Mohammad Abbasi and Matt Dempsey contributed to this analysis.

WELL or Fitwel? WELL has become more accessible to achieve, with significantly fewer mandatory preconditions.

For a while, the space was dominated by the WELL Building rating system, but the experience of many architects and consultants has been that WELL was either too... Read more

News Brief

The All for Reuse initiative is currently seeking signatories.

September 8, 2020

At least 11% of total carbon emissions worldwide come from building construction, most of which is embodied in the materials used to complete projects. A new initiative, All For Reuse, calls upon building professionals to embrace material reuse options to help mitigate our global climate crisis.

“We’ll unlock a whole economy that can... Read more

Feature Article

Mass timber seems alluring because of its low carbon footprint, but not all wood is equally sustainable. We dig deep into the controversy over which types of timber are “climate smart.”

September 8, 2020

When Michigan State University started planning its new STEM building, the design team was considering a typical concrete or steel structure. That was before Richard Kobe, Ph.D., heard about the project. Kobe, who heads up the university’s Department of Forestry, advocated for a mass timber structure instead.

After a field trip to a... Read more

Blog Post

Educational building tours help us learn new strategies—but what if you can’t go in person?

August 27, 2020

Building tours: they’ve been a vital educational component of green building from day one. But now COVID-19 has made them unsafe. Thanks to the Sustainability Leader Peer Networks we help convene, we’ve compiled a list of online tours and other videos that you can view from the safety of home.

This is... Read more

Op-Ed

Manufacturers have a unique role in sustainable building and LEED—and they don’t need to leave profits behind.

August 14, 2020

Words may inspire, but it’s action that creates change.

             –Simon Sinek

Building owners, architects, and others on the value chain have many opportunities to make headway into sustainable building, but there are also unique steps that manufacturers can take to help improve and promote products while also working... Read more

Webcast

August 14, 2020

Returning to work: for many, it’s unthinkable without some kind of reassurance that leadership and the facilities team have taken all possible precautions. Lots of organizations are weighing in on what we should pay attention to, but how do we know if it’s working?

The free Re-entry program from Arc is a tracking and measurement program... Read more

News Brief

Despite years of preparation, some states are putting off implementation of planned energy codes.

August 3, 2020

At least four states—Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington—have delayed the effective dates of new energy codes due to process disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no pattern to be found among those that have delayed, according to Eric Lacey of the Responsible Energy... Read more