BuildingGreen Report

Blog Post

BuildingGreen’s editors look back on three decades of a movement

February 25, 2021

It has been quite a wild ride! As The BuildingGreen Report (formerly Environmental Building News) celebrates its 30th year of publication, we decided to track the growth—and explosion—of the green building movement. We start in 1990 with the founding of AIA’s Committee on the Environment.

Our Editors’ Picks

To celebrate Volume... Read more

Blog Post

Design and construction companies are urging the Biden Administration to build back greener.

February 19, 2021

February 22, 2021 – President Biden has made a commitment to “Build Back Better” in the wake of COVID-19, the economic crisis, social upheaval, and regulatory rollbacks by the former administration. A growing group of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) firms is calling on Biden to also build back greener. He can... Read more

Feature Article

Resilience is finding its place in city zoning and building codes. Here are some ideas to bring to your local government.

February 8, 2021

For decades, designers have fought for sustainability to be incorporated into building codes and standards. Is it time to do the same for resilience?

Building energy codes have been adopted by the great majority of states in the U.S. As a result, consumers save around $5 billion annually, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. But... Read more

Spotlight Report

February 8, 2021

For decades, designers have fought for sustainability to be incorporated into building codes and standards. Is it time to do the same for resilience?

This report takes a look at how some cities are changing their planning, zoning, and building codes to ensure that their life safety measures still hold up in the face of climate change and... Read more

Product Review

Blue Planet turns industrial CO2 into aggregate, cost-effectively sequestering carbon while producing a viable commodity.

February 8, 2021

Reducing the amount of carbon that enters our atmosphere is one of the world’s greatest challenges, and two of the building industry’s primary materials—steel and cement—are responsible for a significant portion of those emissions. These industries burn fossil fuels for manufacturing, which can in some cases be replaced by renewable energy, but... Read more

News Brief

“Ready to Respond” helps affordable housing organizations set up an emergency business continuity plan to aid leadership, staff, and residents.

February 8, 2021

When disaster strikes, affordable housing organizations have unique resilience problems to address—like ensuring their often-vulnerable residents remain continuously housed. “Ready to Respond” (R2R) is a staffing toolkit designed to help affordable housing organizations anticipate and smoothly respond to climate risks and... Read more

Primer

Concrete is a durable and necessary building material, but its carbon footprint is huge. Here’s a rundown of concrete’s tradeoffs and some solutions.

February 8, 2021

Concrete is a popular building material for good reason. It’s strong and durable, and it can be used as a finish as well as a structural material, reducing the need for other products.

But there’s a big drawback to concrete: its carbon footprint. Or, to be more precise, the carbon footprint of the... Read more

News Brief

Just before leaving office, Trump signed the most important climate legislation in a decade.

January 25, 2021

The last four years have been a disaster for the U.S. environment, with the Trump administration rolling back vital environmental protections and promoting fossil fuel industries that have no viable business future. 

Yet tucked into the sprawling COVID-19 relief bill that was signed by President Trump on December 27, 2020, is... Read more

News Analysis

We spoke with Ed Mazria about everything from the 1970s energy crisis to the current climate crisis—and heard a message of hope.

January 25, 2021

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) gives out the Gold Medal each year, typically to acknowledge a body of influential architectural work. This year was a little different, stretching the boundaries of what the Gold Medal is all about. Ed Mazria, FAIA, received the award for 2021—not mainly for his work in practice, but... Read more

Infographic

January 12, 2021

It has been quite a wild ride! As The BuildingGreen Report (formerly Environmental Building News, or “EBN”) celebrates its 30th year of publication, we decided to track the growth—and explosion—of the green building movement. We start in 1990 with the founding of AIA’s Committee on the Environment.

There is so much more that we could... Read more

News Brief

The Green Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark has left GBCI to become more independent.

January 11, 2021

Green building portfolios are big business. They are proven to perform better financially, so investors want to know if the real estate assets they invest in are sustainably built and operated. Sustainability scores from GRESB (the Green Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark) for many years have been the best way for investors to find this out.... Read more

News Analysis

Buildings, streets, and other hard surfaces are at the root of many sustainability issues and associated inequities. The Smart Surfaces Coalition is looking to change that.

January 11, 2021

Asthma-inducing smog, heat-related deaths, persistent flooding that causes mold, high energy costs. We hear a lot about all these problems. Often missing from the conversation? The people who bear the biggest burdens typically live in low-income neighborhoods and other marginalized communities. Greg Kats, co-founder of the... Read more

Webcast

January 11, 2021

Every year for the past 19 years, BuildingGreen has selected ten green building products that significantly improve upon standard “business-as-usual” practices. This year’s products address our most pressing challenge: reducing the environmental impacts of greenhouse gases. The winning products do so by sequestering carbon, conserving energy... Read more

News Brief

Four cities have committed to halving construction emissions by 2030, focusing on embodied carbon and zero-carbon equipment.

January 11, 2021

Is the world ready for electric backhoes? Mayors of four cities say they soon will be—and that they will go even further by halving the embodied carbon emissions of building and infrastructure projects not long after.

C40, a coalition of 97 megacities around the world, has rolled out a Clean... Read more

News Brief

The Rocky Mountain Institute has received $10 million from the Bezos Earth Fund for its building and industry decarbonization efforts.

January 11, 2021

The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) has received a $10 million grant from the new Bezos Earth Fund, which was founded with the goal of mitigating climate change.

Eighty percent of the funding will go toward RMI’s Carbon-Free Buildings campaign. This initiative advocates for all-electric new... Read more

Product Review

These innovative products reduce carbon emissions and include negative embodied carbon carpet, repurposed EV battery storage, carbon sequestering aggregate, and more.

January 11, 2021

Every year for the past 19 years, BuildingGreen has selected ten green building products that significantly improve upon standard “business-as-usual” practices. This year’s products address our most pressing challenge: reducing the environmental impacts of greenhouse gases. The following products do so by sequestering carbon, conserving energy... Read more

News Brief

In a major policy shift, the American Institute of Architects bans its members from designing places for execution, torture, and solitary confinement.

December 14, 2020

In its 2020 revision of its Code of Ethics, released on December 11, 2020, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) adopted two new rules: Rule 1.403 against the design of spaces intended for execution, and Rule 1.404 against the design of “spaces intended for torture, including indefinite or prolonged solitary confinement... Read more

News Brief

Touching on issues from jobsite health to climate change, the new commitment helps contractors pursue sustainability goals.

December 7, 2020

How does a general contractor track and measure its firm-wide sustainability? The Sustainable Construction Leaders group (a BuildingGreen-supported peer network) is trying to work that out. Its new initiative, the Contractor’s Commitment, provides a framework, and building contractors can soon sign on for the 2021 pilot.... Read more

Feature Article

The Biden-Harris administration may be the most important ever relative to the environment.

December 7, 2020

With a new president and the first-ever woman vice president starting next month, we thought it would be an opportune time to weigh in on priorities for the next four years.

It has been a rough four years for the environment with the Trump administration. How can our nation get back on track in addressing some of the most pressing... Read more

News Brief

A new WorldGBC framework challenges those prioritizing health and wellness to think beyond the building occupant.

December 7, 2020

Improving “health and wellbeing” through the built environment has often been code for improving outcomes for just one type of person—the office worker. The emphasis on bettering health in order to boost productivity has left other areas “underdeveloped,” according to the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC). For a more... Read more