BuildingGreen Report

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

Webcast

January 19, 2023

What lies ahead for LEED v5 and for green building more generally? This 30-minute chat explores the trends on the horizon. We take a look at the biggest issues facing the industry, including how social equity fits into green building, how big a driver ESG will be, and how we can fight climate change and adapt to it at the same time.

 ... Read more

Feature Article

An integrative process can streamline workflows and drive higher performance. But if you do it well, it’s so much more.

January 18, 2023

“It should be intuitive, but it’s not,” said Pauline Souza, FAIA, partner and director of sustainability at WRNS Studio. The “it” in question is the integrative process—ongoing interdisciplinary collaboration that begins during early design and ideally continues well into occupancy. Although project team integration may seem ubiquitous these... Read more

Op-Ed

As integrative process consultants, we can help owners become better clients.

January 18, 2023

As this month’s spotlight report, Integrative Process: Pathways to Performance and Regeneration, shows, there are multiple flavors of integrative process—often cooked up over decades by the individual designers and consultants who have become preeminent voices in this field. BuildingGreen counts itself among these cooks: as third-party... Read more

Webcast

January 12, 2023
Green building product selection is a mess.

With an overwhelming number of green product certifications and labels available, even veteran designers and construction professionals can easily get lost in the maelstrom.

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News Brief

Now in beta, the new tool facilitates embodied carbon decision-making through selection of specific products.

January 9, 2023

Finding ways to reduce embodied carbon during building design can take many forms, like building reuse, dematerialization, or alternative structural systems. But once design has advanced to a certain point, the main opportunities lie in finding preferred products within a given category, like lower-carbon concrete or gypsum... Read more

News Analysis

With carbon footprint still a big question mark for mass timber, one group is offering procurement guidance while simultaneously pushing toward better data.

January 9, 2023

Whole careers have been built around the idea that mass timber buildings are inherently “climate smart” because wood products store carbon rather than emitting it.

But members of the Climate Smart Wood Group, a coalition formed in 2019 that includes representatives of the Carbon Leadership Forum and the Forest Stewardship Council, say... Read more

News Brief

If it doesn’t set science-based interim emission targets, it’s greenwash, says the United Nations.

January 9, 2023

You know the drill: someone makes a big net-zero-energy or net-zero-carbon claim, grabbing headlines and igniting a warm glow among potential investors, customers, and other stakeholders. Fewer headlines show up when the claim turns out to be based on shoddy math, questionable scoping, or junky carbon offsets. So usually the... Read more

Product Review

BuildingGreen’s Top 10 industry-transforming products this year include heat pumps that use low-GWP refrigerants, products that encourage recycling and re-use, wood insulation, and more.

January 9, 2023

BuildingGreen’s editorial team has been awarding our annual Top 10 green building products for more than 20 years. Our Top 10 is not a “pay-to-play” award. BuildingGreen is an independent company that doesn’t carry ads in its publications, nor does it accept money from product manufacturers for consulting or other services. Our editorial team... Read more

News Brief

With the most vulnerable building occupants and community members in mind, the WELL Equity Rating incentivizes better buildings and business practices.

January 9, 2023

The green building movement has often been criticized for benefiting the most privileged people in society while leaving others behind. The WELL Equity Rating is trying to turn that around by leveraging building decisions and business practices to address systemic inequities.

Pitched as a roadmap to... Read more

News Brief

Access to green, tree-lined space is unequal. A new $10 million fund has been created to help low-income neighborhoods tap into federal funding.

January 9, 2023

Of the huge sums of money being made available under the Inflation Reduction Act, $1.5 billion is earmarked for urban and community forestry. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to plant and grow the 522 million trees that we need in urban communities, according to the nonprofit American Forests.

But neighborhoods that need trees the... Read more

News Analysis

The Biden administration wants federal contractors to disclose their carbon footprints, set emission targets, and more.

January 9, 2023

Bidding on a federal project? Get ready to meet new requirements for climate disclosures and emission targets. A single building project could easily trigger the need to comply.

What exactly is coming?

A proposed rule from the Biden administration would apply to suppliers with at least $7.5 million... Read more

Webcast

January 5, 2023

BuildingGreen’s editorial team has been awarding our annual Top 10 green building products for more than 20 years. Our Top 10 is not a “pay-to-play” award. BuildingGreen is an independent company that doesn’t carry ads in its publications, nor does it accept money from product manufacturers for consulting or other services. Our editorial team... Read more

Op-Ed

I’m convinced that acceptance is the best path forward.

December 21, 2022

When I saw the push notification from the New York Times pop up on my phone, I gasped. Then I cried. The U.S., the last hold-out, would support creation of a “loss and damage” fund. That’s a pot of money for rebuilding vulnerable countries that are being destroyed by climate-change disasters they did not cause.

... Read more

Webcast

December 15, 2022

Whether it’s the flooding in Pakistan, the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian in Florida, or the record-breaking wildfire season in Europe, climate change is in the news daily. Just as there’s an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions and other greenhouse gasses, we also need to adapt and invest in resilience.

Increasingly, owners are... Read more

Webcast

December 13, 2022

 

We typically design buildings for a single, limited purpose. We build them partly out of plastics that can’t be readily recycled. We choose diverse materials with varying lifespans and glue them all together. We sometimes jeopardize the longevity of those materials by paying too little attention to moisture dynamics... Read more

News Brief

Building project teams have plenty of tools to address labor practices on the jobsite and in the material supply chain, says a COOKFOX report.

December 5, 2022

Many of us think of slavery as a thing of the past, but that’s simply not the case—and the building industry has been implicated in perpetuating the problem. A report from COOKFOX Architects, “Survey of Labor Certifications for the Built Environment,” helps building professionals navigate the many programs available for... Read more

Product Review

The Greenbuild expo floor was a mix of familiar faces, updates, and new, innovative products.

December 5, 2022

For many of us, the 20th annual Greenbuild conference held in San Francisco was our first large, post-pandemic public event. It was great to see familiar faces, even if some of them were still covered by masks, and it gave us the opportunity to connect with colleagues and learn about important green building trends.

... Read more

News Brief

A resilient built environment is needed, especially for the continuous and gradual impacts of climate change, says WorldGBC at the 2022 UN climate conference.

December 5, 2022

At this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), an industry guide on resilience made its debut. Developed by the World Green Building Council, the UN High-level Climate Champions, and C40 Cities, the guide highlights steps that can be taken on a building, community, and city scale to adapt to climate change.... Read more

News Brief

A California law requiring architects to take net-zero-carbon design courses goes into effect soon.

December 5, 2022

California architects will have to prove they know a thing or five about net-zero-carbon design in order to renew their licenses starting in January 2023. The requirement to report five “ZNCD” continuing education hours every two years, signed into law in 2021, adds to a similar requirement to complete hours on disability... Read more