Social Responsibility

Image: Weber Thompson


Buildings are part of the community: they can contribute to or detract from their surroundings. In some projects, the social imperative is obvious (a nonprofit job center in an underserved neighborhood). In other buildings, the social justice impact is more subtle. The location of an office building influences who will have access to the jobs it houses, for example.

Additionally, the products and materials that make up these buildings, depending on where and how they’re made, have far-reaching impacts on communities and workers around the globe. Learn here about how to consider social equity throughout your design process, from site selection to product selection.

  • Building for People: Integrating Social Justice into Green Design
    September 25, 2009

    Feature Article

    Social justice is already a part of green building. Making it a conscious part of the decision-making process, however, requires a new paradigm.

  • Growing Food Locally: Integrating Agriculture Into the Built Environment
    January 29, 2009

    Feature Article

    With a little ingenuity, the flat roofs and vacant lots of urban centers can be used effectively for food production. Numerous models can bring building-integrated food production to your project, while making our food supply chain more sustainable.

  • Finding the Green Lining: Surviving and Thriving in an Economic Downturn
    January 2, 2009

    Feature Article

    A sharp slowdown in nearly all sectors of design and construction has been a defining component of the current recession. Green building has remained a relative bright spot, however, giving firms with strong green capabilities a leg up. This article examines the current climate and offers specific pointers on thriving with a green agenda.

  • Prefabricating Green: Building Environmentally Friendly Houses Off Site
    September 28, 2007

    Feature Article

    Prefabricated housing offers several potential environmental benefits, including reduced transportation impacts, reduced waste, and quality control for better durability and performance. Aside from a few industry leaders, however, most manufacturers do not take full advantage of those efficiencies to create affordable high-performance houses.

  • Housing and Transit: A Match Made in Carbon Cutting Heaven
    November 6, 2017

    News Analysis

    California’s cap-and-trade program funds affordable housing that helps residents get where they need to go without getting in a car.

  • Cradle to Cradle Certification: A Peek Inside MBDC's Black Box
    February 1, 2007

    Feature Article

    Cradle to Cradle is a multiple-attribute product certification program based on the philosophy of architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart, and the work of their company, McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC). While MBDC's consulting services are driving breakthroughs in green manufacturing, the certification program lacks some of the comprehensiveness and transparency that are increasingly expected in the green certification market.

  • Climate Change Dominates Greenbuild Conference Agenda
    December 5, 2006

    Feature Article

    With several announcements at the 2006 Greenbuild conference in Denver, the U.S. Green Building Council signaled that it would use its LEED Rating System to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by tightening LEED requirements and by increasing the number of buildings designed to LEED standards.

  • Greening Your Electricity
    September 28, 2006

    Feature Article

    Many businesses and homeowners are choosing to buy green power, including renewable energy credits (RECs). This article examines the environmental benefits of green power, including on-site renewables, what REC buyers should know about their purchases, and investing in energy conservation.

  • California Law Uses Environmental Product Declarations to Drive Low-Carbon Procurement
    October 17, 2017

    News Analysis

    Buy Clean California is the first law in the nation to address embodied carbon in construction materials.

  • Wal-Mart: Every Day Low... Impact?
    January 1, 2006

    Feature Article

    The world's largest company claims to have embraced environmental responsibility in everything from its supply chains to its waste stream, with goals of creating a prototype store with 30% lower greenhouse gas emissions within four years and doubling trucking efficiency within ten years. But how big a difference can the shift make, and is it enough?