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.

  • Resilient Design-Smarter Building for a Turbulent Future

    Feature Article

    Resilience is the new green. With decades of green building experience, we are ready to face climate change.

  • Occupant Engagement: Where Design Meets Performance

    Feature Article

    No matter how carefully you plan a retrofit or design a building, the occupants hold the keys to environmental performance. But design teams can help them unlock any building's potential.

  • Ten Strategies for Growth in a Recession

    Feature Article

    The economic collapse hit small and mid-sized design firms hard, but many with a green focus have adapted. We asked them to share their stories.

  • Commercial Kitchens: Cooking Up Green Opportunities

    Feature Article

    Commercial kitchens run energy- and water-intensive equipment for long hours, sometimes even when not in use. While the challenges of saving water and energy in commercial kitchens are daunting, they're not insurmountable. Careful equipment selection and a commitment to conscientious kitchen practices can dramatically cut down on waste-and utility bills.

  • Will I Get Sued? Managing Risk in Green Building

    Feature Article

    Building industry professionals take on risks when they work on green buildings. But those risks aren't insurmountable, and can easily be handled with good communication and solid contracts.

  • Building for People: Integrating Social Justice into Green Design

    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

    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

    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

    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.

  • Cradle to Cradle Certification: A Peek Inside MBDC's Black Box

    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.