News

Syllabus Supplement

February 15, 2018
This syllabus supplement provides professors and students with content on LEED from BuildingGreen, LEEDuser, and other relevant resources.

Intended for design professionals, BuildingGreen provides an independent “living textbook” that integrates perfectly with green building courses while exposing students to the most cutting-edge... Read more

Blog Post

A deep-energy-retrofit project uses Kooltherm as part of a high-performance attic insulation system

February 9, 2018

Improving the thermal performance of an existing attic is often challenging: workers are faced with narrow cavities, low clearances, and cladding systems that make it hard to achieve desired R-values while still maintaining the necessary drying potential of the assembly. The house at 81 Chapin Street in Brattleboro, Vermont, is no exception.... Read more

News Brief

Whether it earns an A or an F, each building in New York City has to display its energy grade.

February 5, 2018

New York City will soon require posting of energy use “grades” near building entrances.

The new law builds on an existing transparency regulation—a “benchmarking and disclosure” law passed in 2009 that applies to all privately owned buildings larger than 25,000 ft2 and to City-owned buildings larger than 10,000 ft2. The existing... Read more

Product Review

In an industry first, Impact Bioenergy has developed small-scale anaerobic digesters that reduce waste and produce methane to generate heat and energy.

February 5, 2018

“Cowpower” is a viable energy source here in Vermont, where dairy farms capture methane—a powerful greenhouse gas—from decomposing waste and use it as fuel. It may sound quirky, but it works. Landfills and municipal water-treatment facilities also use this “anaerobic digestion” (AD) process to generate energy and reduce solid waste.

AD... Read more

News Brief

California’s new lighting standard has performance metrics that incandescent bulbs can’t meet, effectively banning the bulb in the state.

February 5, 2018

This year, California became the first state to adopt strict federal lighting efficiency standards that effectively ban the sale of incandescent bulbs. These standards are part of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), originally called the Clean Energy Act, that is due to go into effect nationwide in 2020. California adopted the... Read more

Blog Post

How can firms develop sustainability knowledge that leads to action? Here are three places to start.

February 5, 2018

BuildingGreen interviewed designers from several leading sustainable design firms to learn what sustainable design literacy means, what it looks like, and how the best firms are supporting increased knowledge—and action. The research resulted in our feature article Sustainable Design Literacy: A Foundation for Transformed Practice.... Read more

Feature Short

Maria is inspiring design that has the next hurricane in mind.

February 5, 2018

It’s 10 o’clock at night on September 20, 2017. Rain is seeping through the windows of architect Adriana Bultrón-Rodríguez’s third-floor apartment in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The building has just gotten its power back after Hurricane Irma.

But now, Hurricane Maria has come calling.

Bultrón-Rodríguez and her husband try to stay... Read more

News Brief

The UN issues an emergency call to action for the building industry: build to zero-carbon standards and retrofit existing stock.

February 5, 2018

The numbers don’t lie. To keep global warming at tolerable levels, the building industry has to change—radically and rapidly. That’s the message of a new report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Global Status Report 2017 sounds a red alert: “near-zero-energy, zero-emissions buildings need to become the... Read more

News Brief

Office design can enhance wellness, productivity, and cost savings, according to research from ASID.

February 5, 2018

Could moving to a new office help you sleep better? A quarter of the employees at the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) claim that better lighting during the day at their new workplace improved their sleep quality at night.

These findings and more are part of a new report from ASID about how office design affects indoor... Read more

Feature Article

More projects are proving Passive House is achievable for large urban buildings and providing lessons for a low-energy, resilient future. 

February 5, 2018

“Think in terms of being evolutionary, not revolutionary,” says Mike Steffen, AIA, director of innovation at Walsh Construction. He’s learned that when it comes to building high-performance projects, the best strategy is to focus on fundamental principles rather than trying to reinvent the wheel.

This is one reason why the Passive House... Read more

Webcast

February 5, 2018

BuildingGreen’s annual Top 10 Green Building Products represent the most exciting new innovations and biggest breakthroughs in health and environmental performance across all major building product sectors and LEED categories.


As a trusted, independent information source for over 30 years, BuildingGreen carries no advertising in... Read more

News Brief

The Solar Energy Industry Association says the trade barriers will cost 23,000 jobs.

January 24, 2018

President Trump has imposed 30% tariffs on solar cells and panels manufactured in other countries, following the recommendation of the United States International Trade Commission (USITC).

When the president signed the action imposing the trade barriers he said, “…our workers are going to have lots of really great jobs with products... Read more

News Brief

Opponents say trade barriers would eliminate jobs, curb solar growth.

January 11, 2018

President Trump has until later this month to respond to recommendations from the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) to impose tariffs on solar equipment manufactured in other countries.

Companies in China manufacture 60% of the world’s solar cells, according to the International Energy Agency.

The case before... Read more

Blog Post

How Yale University's energy manager uses after-hours walk-throughs to save energy

January 8, 2018

Julie Paquette has been Director of Energy Management at Yale University for about 6 years. That means the buck stops at Paquette’s desk for the energy consumption of over 400 buildings on campus. Yale has a pretty sophisticated approach to energy, including the Yale Facilities Energy Explorer, an energy dashboard system that shows... Read more

News Analysis

Buy Clean California requires contractors to specify lower-carbon products, but industry pressure quashed the law’s potential.

January 6, 2018

Portland cement, the major binding agent in concrete, is one of the single largest emitters of greenhouse gases. But thanks to lobbying by industry groups, you won’t find concrete in California’s new carbon legislation, the Buy Clean California Act.

The law requires contractors to get environmental product declarations (EPDs) for... Read more

Product Review

Highlights from the 2017 Greenbuild Expo floor include dynamic glazing, heat-pump technologies, and blown-in wool insulation.

January 6, 2018

Every year we walk the Greenbuild Expo floor, looking at products and talking with manufacturers to find out what is new in the green building products world. This year’s show added vendors from the ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX), but we found some gems on both floors, including electrochromic glazing, pelletized wool insulation, and cold-... Read more

News Brief

“Systems efficiency” could be the next big thing in sustainable design, and integrated project delivery is how we’ll get there.

January 6, 2018

How much more efficient can HVAC, lighting, and other building systems get?

Not much more while still remaining cost effective, according to a recent report from the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE). In the face of these diminishing returns, claims the report, the best way to coax our buildings to save more energy is through systems... Read more

News Analysis

The goal is to move energy codes forward more rapidly.

January 5, 2018

When President Trump backpedaled the United States out of the Paris Accord last year, the New Buildings Institute (NBI) was in the midst of designing new provisions for energy codes that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings.

At the time, NBI was developing energy code strategies for 12 cities from the Zero Cities Project... Read more

News Brief

Based on Christopher Alexander’s ideas about design, a new degree program combines ecological thought, building skills, and self-awareness.

January 5, 2018

How can we prepare the next generation of building professionals to create architecture that is environmentally responsible as well as beautiful and humane?—or “whole” and “living,” to use terms coined by architect and theorist Christopher Alexander.

Alexander—best known for his work producing and testing a “pattern language,” a... Read more

News Brief

New study describes the value of occupant stories in evaluating high-performance buildings.

January 5, 2018

You can learn a lot by simply talking to people. That’s the idea behind a new take on the value of speaking directly with occupants to understand the impact of design. In the paper “Oh behave! Survey stories and lessons learned from building occupants in high-performance buildings,” Julia Day, assistant professor at Washington State University... Read more