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Exam Preparation

WELL AP Exam Study Guide and Practice Exams

BuildingGreen offers the best available WELL Accredited Professional study guide, and the only one you'll need.

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Price: $149

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LEEDuser's Guide to Passing the LEED v4 AP Exam

The only study guide you’ll need to pass the LEED AP exam on the first try.

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Price: $129

Premium member price: $89


LEEDuser's Study Guide to the LEED v4 Green Associate Exam

Pass the LEED Green Associate exam on the first try—without wasting your study time.

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Price: $149

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BuildingGreen Spotlight Reports

Saying Goodbye to the Office—and Hello to Housing

Office work is changing. During the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the average commercial office vacancy rate across the U.S. leapt from about 12% to 15%, according to CBRE. Meanwhile, nearly every major city in the U.S. is struggling with a years-long affordable housing crisis that is forcing people to share close quarters or move farther and farther away from their jobs.

Why not convert those empty office buildings into housing? It sounds obvious. And yet there are both design problems and economic roadblocks. This report analyzes the sustainability opportunities and challenges of urban office-to-multifamily conversions.

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Qualifies for 1 AIA LU|HSW and 1 GBCI CE hour.

Price: $39

FREE for BuildingGreen Premium members


The Urgency of Embodied Carbon and What You Can Do About It

Building materials emit massive amounts of carbon long before the lights go on. In this PDF report, we take an analytical look at the greenhouse gases that are emitted in the process of constructing our buildings in the first place—the embodied carbon. We then offer strategies for reducing embodied carbon, with examples of projects that have succeeded in this regard.

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Qualifies for 1 AIA LU|HSW and 1 GBCI CE hour.

Price: $39

FREE for BuildingGreen Premium members


An Advocate’s Guide to Resilience Regulations

For decades, designers have fought for sustainability to be incorporated into building codes and standards. Is it time to do the same for resilience?

This report takes a look at how some cities are changing their planning, zoning, and building codes to ensure that their life safety measures still hold up in the face of climate change and to move toward greater levels of resilience. By understanding what kinds of regulations are gaining traction around the country, building professionals can prepare for what might be coming down the pike—or, better yet, become advocates for similar measures in their own regions.

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Qualifies for 1 AIA LU|HSW and 1 GBCI CE hour.

Price: $39

FREE for BuildingGreen Premium members


Can Commercial Kitchens Go Electric?

Commercial kitchens are one of the most energy-intensive building spaces, consuming approximately five times the energy per square foot of a standard office.

A kitchen’s carbon problem is not just from the CO2 emitted during combustion. Kitchen appliances are often powered by natural gas (methane), whose global warming potential is 28 times higher than that of CO2. As a result, the environmental impact from using natural gas expands beyond the kitchen doors. U.S. emissions from leaks, abandoned wells, and other life-cycle impacts account for millions of additional tons of methane entering the atmosphere annually.

An all-electric commercial kitchen offers potential energy and carbon savings over using natural gas, but making the switch can be complicated—and even controversial. Cost, infrastructure, ventilation, water consumption and heating, food choices, chef preferences, and cultural differences can all play a role in helping decide whether an all-electric kitchen will work for your next project.

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Qualifies for 1 AIA LU|HSW and 1 GBCI CE hour.

Price: $39

FREE for BuildingGreen Premium members


Wood: What’s Good?

Mass timber is lauded for being “climate smart”—meaning it helps mitigate climate change—because it stores carbon from the atmosphere instead of emitting carbon.

But is this true?

Some researchers are starting to suggest that we look deeper. They say that the traditional way of tracking the greenhouse gas emissions of wood products—through life-cycle assessment (LCA)—has flaws, and that we need to scrutinize various types of forestry practices in order to distinguish climate-smart wood from less climate-smart products (including net emitters).

This report looks at the assumptions behind LCA as well as newer research methods and suggests real-world actions you can take while the scientists work out their differences.

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Qualifies for 1 AIA LU|HSW and 1 GBCI CE hour.

Price: $39

FREE for BuildingGreen Premium members


What Makes a Product Green Today?

When BuildingGreen started publication in 1992, simply finding building products designed with environmental benefits in mind was a big challenge.

In the years since we’ve seen rapid advances in green building materials and products, and manufacturers are beginning to take topics such as embodied carbon and social justice concerns— key metrics for any truly sustainable product—more seriously.

We have evaluated thousands of products since the 1990s and have had countless discussions about what makes a product green. Though products and materials have advanced, our metrics for assessing products have remained consistent, but with updates to keep ahead of industry advancements.

These “Green Attributes”—a set of broad criteria and definitions that encompass a product’s full life cycle—can help design teams distinguish green from greenwash, evaluate different options, and make appropriate product selection choices to ensure a high-performing building with the lowest possible environmental and health impacts.

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Qualifies for 1 AIA LU|HSW and 1 GBCI CE hour.

Price: $39

FREE for BuildingGreen Premium members


How to Access the Full Power of Biophilia

Biophilic design features are not just aesthetically pleasing; researchers have found that patients heal faster, workers are more productive, and children learn better when more elements of nature are present.

And yet there are still very few projects developed today that inspire a connection to life and the natural world. Some people, in fact, say biophilic design is being co-opted by companies and applied in a way that looks full of greenery, but ignores the regenerative and place-based qualities that are needed for biophilic design to live up to its true potential.

This report explores what kind of benefits we would see—in people and in the environment—if we could more effectively tap into people’s innate affinity for nature. We identify the frameworks for applying biophilic design, and we bring you expert advice on how to unleash the full power of biophilia in your projects.

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Qualifies for 1 AIA LU|HSW and 1 GBCI CE hour.

Price: $39

FREE for BuildingGreen Premium members


Existing Buildings Are Architecture’s Future

Older buildings—especially those from the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s—need our help. Many leave something to be desired in terms of aesthetics and comfort. But the truth is that they are part of the urban and suburban fabric now, and they aren’t going anywhere. As tempting as it might seem to tear them all down and replace them with high-performance new construction, that’s a fantasy.

This situation sounds like a serious headache, but it is actually an immense creative opportunity. And one that can help us achieve drastically lower carbon emissions.

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Qualifies for 1 AIA LU|HSW and 1 GBCI CE hour.

Price: $39

FREE for BuildingGreen Premium members


Changing Building Design for a Changing Electrical Grid

The way we get our electricity is evolving, and buildings need to be ready to respond.

Renewable electricity generation has nearly doubled in the last 10 years. Ninety percent of that increase came from wind and solar generation. This capacity includes wind and solar generation and electric storage assets owned by utilities and those that are not owned or managed by utilities (including net-zero-energy buildings).

Generally, solar electricity is most productive during the day, especially in the summer, and wind generation at night, especially in the spring. Of course, both solar and wind are dependent on daily, even hourly, local weather as well. The existing electricity infrastructure was not designed for these variations, nor were most buildings.

Designers can rethink some priorities to support building-to-grid harmonization and play a critical role in de-carbonizing the electric grid through design and operation of “grid-friendly” buildings.

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Qualifies for 1 AIA LU|HSW and 1 GBCI CE hour.

Price: $39

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Finding Products for LEED v4 and v4.1

Remember 2013? LEED version 4 had just been released to the public. Hardly anyone was using it, though—not only because they didn’t have to, but also because there just wasn’t a pathway to achieve many of the new credits in the rating systems. Especially the product-related credits in the Materials & Resources category, along with the Low-Emitting Materials credit.

How do you get an adequate understanding of these material-related requirements and start selecting products? In this report, we go credit by credit, explaining the basics in both v4 and v4.1, along with some of the details to watch out for. We also explain some of the best ways to search for products that meet the requirements.

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Qualifies for 1 AIA LU|HSW and 1 GBCI CE hour.

Price: $39

FREE for BuildingGreen Premium members


Equity in Design and Construction: Seven Case Studies

Inequity is woven into the fabric of our built environment.

Cities are endemically segregated by income and race. Many building projects seek to enhance the profits of developers, often at the expense of the surrounding community. The building professions lack diversity, leading to the unconscious but systemic exclusion of underrepresented groups like racial minorities and people with disabilities. All over the world, the most marginalized people are the most vulnerable to global warming—yet our efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change tend to focus on those who can afford these “amenities” for their own tiny corners of the built environment.

This report considers seven projects whose owners and project teams went out of their way to include and elevate the voices of diverse project stakeholders, with the goal of promoting greater equity, diversity, and inclusion.

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Qualifies for 1 AIA LU|HSW and 1 GBCI CE hour.

Price: $39

FREE for BuildingGreen Premium members


Re-forming the Building Industry: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

People from marginalized communities are shockingly underrepresented in the U.S. building industry. It’s past time to change that.

In this report, we look at the depth and breadth of the building sector’s equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) problem; the negative implications for the industry; and some things individuals and firms can do to motivate change.

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Qualifies for 1.5 AIA LU|HSW and 1.5 GBCI CE hours.

Price: $39

FREE for BuildingGreen Premium members


LEED and WELL Product Labels: A Guide and Analysis

In this PDF report, BuildingGreen takes a comparative look at the LEED v4, LEED v4.1, WELL v1, and WELL v2 standards in order to help you get your bearings while also offering an analysis of each program. LEED and WELL encourage a number of different product standards, certifications, and disclosures—so many that it’s easy to forget some or get them confused. Organized by credit, this report covers product labels referenced in LEED v4 and v4.1 for Building Design and Construction, and WELL v1 and v2.

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Qualifies for 1.5 AIA LU|HSW and 1.5 GBCI CE hours (LEED-specific and WELL-specific).

Price: $39

FREE for BuildingGreen Premium members


The Potential of Prefab: How Modular Construction Can Be Green

The modular construction approach—in which a building’s large-scale modularized components are prefabricated in an offsite manufacturing facility for rapid assembly onsite—is garnering an increasing amount of attention in the building industry. This is due in large part to the interrelated issues of the rising costs of traditional construction methods, the shortage of skilled construction labor in many areas of the country, and the worsening shortage of affordable housing.

This report examines potential benefits in depth in order to provide the foundational knowledge and integrative understanding needed to realize these benefits through effective design and project management. As with any strategy promising to enhance a project’s performance and sustainability, modular construction methods must be implemented correctly—informed by a holistic perspective and approach—to achieve the promised potential.

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Qualifies for 1.5 AIA LU|HSW and 1.5 GBCI CE hours.

Price: $39

FREE for BuildingGreen Premium members


Driving to Green Buildings: The Transportation Energy Intensity of Buildings

This PDF report takes a look at the “transportation energy intensity” of buildings and the influence of location and various land-use features on this measure of energy use. While the focus will be primarily on energy (and the associated environmental impacts of energy use, such as pollution), measures to reduce transportation energy use can have very significant ancillary benefits relating to water runoff, urban heat-island mitigation, and habitat protection, while creating more vibrant, livable communities.

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Qualifies for 1 AIA LU|HSW and 1 GBCI CE hour.

Price: $39

FREE for BuildingGreen Premium members


Passive House on Campus: Eight Exemplary Projects

Passive House has graduated—and it’s going off to college. Over the years, the original Passive House Institute (PHI) certification system has branched out considerably to offer different requirements for different building types, such as offices, hospitals, schools—even swimming pools. There’s also a considerably different standard in the U.S. administered by Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS).

Regardless of these differences, all Passive House buildings have to follow the same basic procedures. Delve into this BuildingGreen article covering eight case studies, where we document some of the complexities and some of the problem solving required for certifying to Passive House standards in an institutional setting.

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Qualifies for 1 AIA LU|HSW and 1 GBCI CE hour.

Price: $39

FREE for BuildingGreen Premium members


Five Reasons to Be Optimistic About Solar Energy

In this PDF report, we explore five solid reasons to be optimistic about the future of solar power, including continued impressive growth, an overall positive environmental footprint, increased energy independence, and technological advancements.

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Qualifies for 1 AIA LU|HSW and 1 GBCI CE hour.

Price: $39

FREE for BuildingGreen Premium members


Boost Happiness and Save Energy with Adaptive Thermal Comfort

Ready to expand your comfort zone? Handing control to occupants is the best way to ensure they’re satisfied.

The most common complaint facility managers hear from building occupants is that their office space is too cold. That would seem an easy enough problem to solve, except that the number two complaint is that it’s too hot. Different people, it turns out, are comfortable under different conditions, and keeping everyone comfortable at the same time is an elusive goal.

In this PDF report, BuildingGreen explores how adaptive thermal comfort design increases happiness and energy savings.

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Qualifies for 1 AIA LU|HSW and 1 GBCI CE hour.

Price: $39

FREE for BuildingGreen Premium members


Lighting Design for Health and Sustainability: A Guide for Architects

What do we mean when we say sustainable lighting? In this PDF report, we take a closer look at lighting as an essential element in quality environments that support health and wellness while reducing energy use.

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Qualifies for 1 AIA LU|HSW and 1 GBCI CE hour.

Price: $39

FREE for BuildingGreen Premium members

Special Reports

Spec This, Not That: Avoiding Toxic Chemicals in Commercial Building Projects

Spec This, Not That details approaches used by architects, designers, contractors, and building owners to reduce chemical hazards in their building projects.

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Price: $129

Premium member price: $89


The Cost of LEED v4

Our report is structured to enable project teams to systematically address the complexity of evaluating sustainable design strategies on a LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) v4 project.

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Price: $99

Premium member price: $67


Fundamentals of High Performance Building Assemblies

BuildingGreen's four-part course, designed for architects and builders, provides methodologies for how best to design and manage these details and achieve superior performance—while avoiding expensive pitfalls.

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Price: $199.95

Premium member price: $149