BuildingGreen Report

News Brief

The new WELL Performance Rating rewards projects for verified wellness data. It could also help bring more owners in.

May 2, 2022

The International WELL Building Institute, owner of the WELL Building Standard, recently launched the WELL Performance Rating, a considerably narrower take on building wellness that requires verified data. Elements measured are:

Indoor air quality—particulate matter, VOCs, CO, ozone, NO2, CO2, radon Water quality... Read more

News Brief

Cirrus Low Carbon offers a sweeter deal on C-PACE loans for commercial projects verified to achieve high-performance design specifications.

May 2, 2022

The Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy loan program (C-PACE) offers low-interest capital to projects pursuing energy and water savings; the loan gets paid back through a special tax assessment. Pretty good deal, but the New Buildings Institute (NBI) and PACE Equity have teamed up to make it even better.

Project teams committing... Read more

Op-Ed

USGBC responds to an earlier op-ed, “LEED Must Lead on Climate.”

April 29, 2022

Contributed by these guest authors:

Lance Davis, Federal Agency Sustainability Architect and chair of the LEED Steering Committee; Melissa Baker, SVP, LEED Technical Development, U.S. Green Building Council; and Laurie Kerr, FAIA, Principal Climate Advisor, U.S. Green Building Council

Earlier this week, BuildingGreen ran an op-... Read more

Op-Ed

The world urgently needs the building industry to tackle climate change, and LEED has to be part of that.

April 26, 2022

Contributed by these guest authors:

Greg Kats, Kevin Hydes, Anica Landreneau, Gunnar Hubbard, Vivian Loftness, Rob Watson, Mark MacCracken, Anthony Bernheim, Dan Burgoyne, Doug Farr, and David Gottfried

LEED, the great global green building design standard, has failed to adequately respond to climate change. The program—... Read more

Product Review

Choosing interior acoustic products that contain fewer hazardous materials will improve the overall interior environmental quality without compromising designs.

April 25, 2022

Controlling excessive interior sound is critical for creating a warm, welcoming space. This can be particularly important in low-embodied-carbon interiors that use structure as finish, such as polished concrete floors or exposed beams—materials that do not absorb sound well.  

There are a variety of... Read more

News Analysis

From an architecture office to a children’s museum, this year’s projects went above and beyond to bring stakeholders into the fold.

April 21, 2022

The Committee on the Environment (COTE) of the American Institute of Architects has unveiled its annual top ten awards for high-performance projects. This year’s winning project teams—everything from schools to public works facilities—went all in on community engagement to help ensure occupant satisfaction, appropriate... Read more

News Brief

A new white paper dives into continuous air-quality monitoring, helping make the technology and practices accessible to more projects.

April 21, 2022

Good indoor air quality is vital to sustainable building, but accomplishing it—and verifying that you’ve done so—is not easy. “Considerations for Continuous Air Quality Monitoring: Simple tips for getting it right, according to IAQ consultants” is a free white paper, written by members of the BuildingGreen Peer Networks,... Read more

Webcast

April 13, 2022

Can you demonstrate both environmental and health performance in a meaningful way?

USGBC and IWBI are beginning to see eye to eye across a range of focus areas. Knowing how to leverage each in a mutually beneficial way is the key to driving successful integration of a dual certification approach.

Join LEEDuser’s special guest,... Read more

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

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

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

Returning to the office means ensuring occupant health, but a recent study published in PLOS Water highlights the hazards of water that has sat in plumbing for too long.

April 4, 2022

So you’ve been working remotely for a while and are thinking about returning to the office soon. Before you get your first drink or make that first pot of coffee, you’ll want to make sure the water is actually clean. According to a recent study in the journal PLOS Water, stagnant water can have significant impacts on water quality after sitting... 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 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

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

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

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

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