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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • Two for One: Growing Food and Solar Energy Together
    September 6, 2017

    News Analysis

    As more projects are plugging into off-site solar, dual-use installations are gaining favor to minimize adverse impact.

  • Healthy Building Network Launches Online Forum
    August 2, 2017

    News Brief

    The forum invites affordable housing designers to join HBN experts and others to ask questions and share information on material health.

  • Sustainable Development through Open-Source, Participatory Design
    May 30, 2017

    News Brief

    Alejandro Aravena wins Gothenburg Award for offering revolutionary strategies for social housing.

  • What’s the Secret to High Performance?
    May 2, 2017

    News Analysis

    A new report identifies common habits of the firms that produce the best-designed and most sustainable projects. 

  • Ethnography: A Creative Tool for Human-Centered Design
    May 2, 2017


    Social science research methods can generate innovative and sophisticated design solutions that respond to human needs and cultural values.

  • Architects Organize to Oppose Border Wall
    May 2, 2017

    News Brief

    The nation’s design professionals are speaking out in great numbers in response to the Trump administration’s agenda, including the plan to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • Canada: Green Building Can Help Meet Emissions Commitments
    December 5, 2016

    News Brief

    A report describes how Canada can realize its 2030 carbon emissions targets, while growing the country’s green building industry.

  • Why Standing Rock Matters to Green Building (and How You Can Help)
    September 15, 2016


    The green building community must choose its battles carefully. And Standing Rock should be one of those battles.