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.

  • Kansas Town Rebuilding as the Greenest in America

    News Analysis

    Destroyed by a tornado in May 2007, Greensburg, Kansas, is rebuilding as a green town, with support from FEMA, a green master plan, and local values.

  • IPCC Warns of Dire Climate Consequences

    News Analysis

    The fourth report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change offers strong warnings, but concludes that the building sector offers the greatest potential for cost-effective carbon emission reductions.

  • Cascadia Challenges Green to Go Beyond Platinum

    News Analysis

    The Cascadia Green Building Council has issued the Living Building Challenge, a rating system based on 16 prerequisites, aiming to define a "true measure of sustainability in the built environment."

  • California Combats Climate Change

    News Analysis

    The California legislature has passed legislation that could result in a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases in the state, as well as a greenhouse gas emissions performance standard for electricity generation.

  • WTC Going for Gold

    News Analysis

    Three new World Trade Center towers to be built in New York City will pursue LEED Gold certification.

  • Sustainable Projects Increase Firm Profits

    News Analysis

    Despite widespread beliefs to the contrary, sustainable building projects are more profitable than conventional projects-according to one internal study by HOK.

  • Seven States Agree to Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

    News Analysis

    Seven Northeast states have agreed to reduce power plant carbon emissions 10% below 1990 levels by the end of 2018.

  • Federal Agencies Agree to Green Their Buildings

    News Analysis

    Agencies representing more than 85% of federal square footage have signed an MOU calling for the adoption of wide-ranging green building practices.

  • New Orleans Principles Published

    News Analysis

    BuildingGreen and the U.S. Green Building Council have published The New Orleans Principles, a collection of ten key principles to guide the planning and reconstruction of the city.

  • AIA Targets 50% Energy Reduction in Buildings

    News Analysis

    The American Institute of Architects board of directors has set a goal of halving the amount of fossil fuels needed to construct and operate buildings by 2010-and achieving a 70% reduction by 2015!