BuildingGreen Report

Feature Article

Advancements in low-carbon concrete materials and strategies have led to greater adoption in much of the U.S. Now it's time to start using them.

April 3, 2023

There are few materials that are as ubiquitous as concrete—or that cause as much environmental consternation. Concrete is one of the construction industry’s largest carbon emitters, responsible for about 5­% to 8% of the world’s anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, yet it is also one of the most important building materials, used in even the... Read more

News Brief

A set of core principles and assessment guidelines from the Integrity Council aim to help purchasers identify “high-quality” carbon credits.

April 3, 2023

Carbon credits have become ubiquitous. Building owners have long been able to purchase offsets to make up for onsite energy use (as incentivized in LEED) or embodied carbon (as required by the Living Building Challenge). But now even everyday passengers can pay an extra dollar or two to make up for the emissions of an airplane... Read more

Product Review

Urban Machine developed a machine that can de-nail salvaged wood for reuse onsite.

April 3, 2023

Demolition activities in the U.S. create 37 million tons of wood debris each year, with the vast majority ending up in landfill, according to a 2018 report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Harvesting and processing virgin timber can be energy and water intensive, can cause forest degradation, and comes with unknown levels of... Read more

April Fools

The new tool OpenAI-Architect proves problematic with the design of the new Leave It to Beaver Center at Disney World.

April 1, 2023

Everything started out all right. The state oversight board for Disney World was thrilled at how much money they would save by using OpenAI-Architect in the design of their new Leave It to Beaver Interpretive Center in Orlando. 

“We thought it was a no-brainer,” noted Remington DeSantis, the recently appointed... Read more

April Fools

USGBC adds psychedelic Integrative Process prerequisites designed to be a paradigm-shifting expansion of LEED.

April 1, 2023

“Integrative process begins at home,” quipped Elroy “Ty” Hamit, senior vice president for social transformation and development, kicking off a surprise webinar Friday night during which the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) introduced two groundbreaking Integrative Process prerequisites for LEED v4.20. The new requirements, titled... Read more

April Fools

Pink hydrogen made using nuclear energy will provide the power of tomorrow, fueling everything from robot warehouses to flying cars.

April 1, 2023

Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe. And nuclear furnaces, like those that power our sun. Put them together and they have the potential to drive industry, fuel transportation, and provide energy to the factories and skyscrapers of tomorrow. 

How could this be? you ask. Here on Earth?

... Read more

April Fools

After complaints about rejected credits and failed certifications, BuildingGreen took action.

April 1, 2023

BuildingGreen will be changing the name of its LEED certification project tool, LEEDuser.com, to the more apt FOLLOWuser.com. 

“One of our core values at BuildingGreen is transparency,” said BuildingGreen founder Alex Wilson, “so we believe it makes the most sense to highlight that professionals building with LEED... Read more

April Fools

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report outlines some of the significant impacts of current and future carbon outputs. What do Americans think?

April 1, 2023

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) on climate impacts is the culmination of eight years of research from hundreds of scientists across the globe. The most recent synthesis report outlines the significant consequences of rising greenhouse gas emissions, which include flooding, droughts... Read more

Feature Article

Four tax provisions could be used to include disadvantaged communities in the clean energy transition, but equity outcomes are unclear.

March 21, 2023

This article has been prepared for informational purposes only; it is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your firm’s tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.​

As our climate changes, it is becoming increasingly clear that our homes... Read more

Webcast

March 8, 2023

Why is ESG relevant to building industry professionals? Many of us are accustomed to sustainability programs and reporting. In this one-hour deep dive, we tap leading ESG experts for answers to burning questions many of us in the industry have about the intersection between ESG goals and the sustainability work we’ve been doing all... Read more

News Brief

Electrification of HVAC systems in schools could improve student health and learning outcomes while fighting climate change.

March 6, 2023

Schools across the country are aging and suffering from underinvestment—and so are their HVAC systems. Outdated and inadequate HVAC systems negatively affect indoor environmental quality (IEQ), contribute to community pollution, and leave schools even more vulnerable to the effects (and costs) of climate change and disease, according to the... Read more

News Brief

Four federal agencies have released a first-of-its-kind, holistic strategy for the decarbonization of the U.S. transportation sector.

March 6, 2023

Four federal agencies recently committed to work together to decarbonize the U.S. transportation sector, the country’s largest source of emissions, by 2050. The departments of Transportation, Energy, and Housing and Urban Development, along with the Environmental Protection Agency, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in September 2022,... Read more

News Brief

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is establishing thresholds for concrete and other high-embodied-carbon building materials.

March 6, 2023

As part of the Federal Buy Clean Initiative, the U.S. government has committed to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacture and use of most construction materials. That mandate now has funding through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), so the General Services Administration (GSA) has to figure out how to... Read more

News Brief

A train derailment released toxic vinyl chloride in Ohio, and due to forced labor concerns, U.S. Customs has stopped the import of PVC products from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, a major supplier of vinyl flooring.

February 18, 2023

PVC’s already tainted health, environmental, and social justice record took two major hits this past month. First, PVC products were added to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) list that is intended to prevent U.S. imports of products from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in China that are “mined, produced, or... Read more

Webcast

February 16, 2023

Hot spots: they might sound like fun places to hang out and have a drink—but in green building, they’re actually a bad thing. Something you track down so you can get rid of it. Kind of like being an environmentalist bounty hunter.

Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is a way of understanding the environmental impacts of... Read more

Blog Post

With a new procurement program, Google adopted comprehensive sustainability requirements for modular carpet tile that raise the bar for major manufacturers.

February 7, 2023

When it comes to sustainability, modular carpet is a surprisingly complicated product. It’s made with a range of different backings and face fibers and various other compounds that might be added as filler, surface treatments, antimicrobials, and more. Setting a bar that optimizes for climate, health, and circularity is... Read more

News Brief

Submit a comment to help the federal government put a stop to corporate greenwashing.

February 6, 2023

Frustrated by deceptive environmental marketing claims? Have insight that could help companies improve the clarity of sustainability declarations in their advertising, packaging, or labels? The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to hear from you. On December 14, 2022, the FTC opened a 60-day public comment period for its “Green Guides... Read more

Spotlight Report

February 6, 2023

The integrative process seems to be everywhere. But although it may seem ubiquitous, most experts agree that any perceived change in how buildings are designed and built is largely superficial—that teams are practicing coordination, not collaboration. 

Yet, done right, the integrative process holds great promise. Practitioners say it... Read more

News Brief

For the first round of “Justice40” funding, building and community improvements are among the eligible project types.

February 6, 2023

Green roofs. School electrification. Community resilience planning. These are the types of projects the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be funding in 2023 as part of the Justice40 Initiative.

Conceived soon after President Joe Biden took office in 2021, Justice40 is a commitment by the... Read more

News Brief

A federal building performance standard addresses existing buildings, while DOE is targeting new construction.

February 6, 2023

Describing the U.S. government as “the country’s single largest energy consumer and building manager,” the White House has announced two programs aimed at decarbonizing the federal building portfolio. One covers existing building operations, and the other effectively requires electrification of new construction and major renovations.

... Read more