BuildingGreen Report

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

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

News Brief

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has laid out plans for widespread building electrification and signed a law regarding low-embodied-carbon concrete.

February 7, 2022

New York City and Ithaca, New York, recently passed legislation meant to decarbonize the built environment, and now similar efforts may be spreading throughout the state, thanks to moves proposed by Governor Kathy Hochul. The governor also recently signed a bill paving the way for procurement of low-embodied-carbon concrete... 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

Dodge’s latest SmartMarket Report on green building details global sustainability trends to watch.

February 7, 2022

Green building is rapidly becoming more prevalent globally, though the importance of certifications has slightly declined. Use of green products is expected to grow. And reduced energy consumption and operating costs are two of the biggest drivers of these trends.

That’s all according to the Dodge... Read more

News Brief

Complying with New York City’s building performance standard will be a breeze for many but potentially harder in “environmental justice communities,” says a recent report on carbon trading.

February 7, 2022

Without intervention, already vulnerable communities in New York City could bear the brunt of cost impacts from Local Law 97—the building performance standard that places carbon caps on large buildings starting in 2024.

“On average, building owners in environmental justice communities [EJCs] will need... Read more

Spotlight Report

February 2, 2022

The construction sector’s take-make-waste approach to materials needs an overhaul. Materials and construction account for an estimated 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions annually. At the other end of the life cycle, demolition in the United States annually generates 90% of some 600 million tons of construction-sector debris. Getting... Read more

News Analysis

Building performance standards like NYC’s carbon limits could spread across the U.S. as the Biden administration assists 33 jurisdictions that have joined a new coalition.

January 31, 2022

Building electrification and embodied carbon standards for new construction are all well and good, but they leave the U.S.’s massive stock of existing buildings behind. That’s where building performance standards come in. Jurisdictions like New York City and Washington, D.C. have already adopted such standards, which require existing buildings... Read more

Feature Article

Reclamation and reuse of building materials can be a tough sell and hard to design for, but many project teams have learned to make it work. Here’s how.

January 20, 2022

Want tips to put these ideas into practice? Join three of the industry’s leading loop closers in a live webinar December 13.

The construction sector’s take-make-waste approach to materials needs an overhaul. Materials and construction account for an estimated 11 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions... Read more

News Analysis

With industry standards eventually in place, energy models that use forward-looking weather files instead of historical ones could become the norm.

January 10, 2022

The climate is changing, and the weather along with it. Why, then, are we still using “typical meteorological years” from decades ago to guide our energy models?

The simple answer is that the industry hasn’t reached consensus on a way to do things differently. Yet as the world heats up, so do the... Read more

News Brief

Known for high design that’s also sustainable and equitable, Angela Brooks and Lawrence Scarpa have earned the American Institute of Architects’ highest honor.

January 10, 2022

Angela Brooks, FAIA, and Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA, principals at Brooks+Scarpa and a married couple, have jointly received the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for 2022.

With five Top Ten awards from the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE)—four of which were affordable... Read more

News Brief

DOE’s Connected Communities program expands to pilot more community-scale solutions for reducing peak demand.

January 10, 2022

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently allocated $61 million to pilot grid-interactive technologies in ten communities—many of which consist of affordable housing or serve vulnerable populations.

The program, called Connected Communities, is intended to expand the number of grid-interactive... Read more

Product Review

Innovative products include heat pumps that use low-GWP refrigerants, energy-saving window inserts, water-saving infrastructure, induction ranges, and more.

January 10, 2022

BuildingGreen’s editorial team has been vetting green building products for more than 30 years. This research has informed our articles, GreenSpec product directory, product guides, and our annual Top 10 green building products award, where we select products that significantly improve upon standard “business-as-usual” practices. This is the... Read more

News Brief

This handbook from Stok leads companies step by step through creating a sustainable real estate program.

January 10, 2022

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns are exploding at companies around the globe—but how these concerns apply to building portfolios may not be obvious. In a new handbook, Devon Bertram of engineering and green building consulting firm Stok promotes “the adoption of sustainable and equitable real estate... Read more