Before you think further about solar panels you might look into this incredible resource…

GREEN ARCHITECTURE

GREEN ARCHITECTURE

Sustainable architecture refers to buildings designed to limit humanity’s impact on the environment. An eco-friendly approach to modern-day building encompasses every aspect of the planning and construction process, including the choice of building materials; the design and implementation of heating, cooling, plumbing, waste, and ventilation systems; and the integration of the built environment into the natural landscape.

Many of the practices and principles used in sustainable architecture are rooted in ancient building techniques, that were transformed with the rise of modern materials and mass production in the industrial age. The modern consciousness about the need for sustainable architecture can be traced back over 50 years to the anniversary of the first Earth Day, the international environmental movement, and the ensuing legislation that it sparked across the globe.

But the world is now in the midst of a climate change emergency, and many of the environmental laws that were passed in the last 50 years have been rolled back making it even more imperative for designers, architects, builders, and consumers to demand better building practices to help combat the damage caused by one of the most polluting industries on the planet. In the United States, for example, buildings account for 39 percent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

It is equally incumbent upon municipalities to strengthen their building codes to require more net-zero buildings, both residential and commercial.  As more and more municipalities shift to electricity from fossil fuels to energize their buildings, it will become critical to expand the availability of renewable energy to pump into that electricity.

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

EEBA

06/20/22
EEBA's mission is to advance the leading edge of building science knowledge and sustainable business practices in the residential construction community through education, sharing and collaboration. Together let's build healthy, electric, resilient, and decarbonized homes!

Energy Efficient Building Suppliers Make It Easy

05/16/22
Energy-efficient building is much more than a fleeting trend: Around the world, the negative effects of climate change can no longer be ignored, from rising global temperatures to poor air quality caused by pollution. According…

How solar power works

02/11/22
Solar energy is quickly becoming a more popular and affordable power source for homeowners and businesses. With residential solar energy, you can lower your carbon footprint and see substantial cost savings.

creating safe, healthy & affordable communities through all-electric, Clean energy ​homes & buildings

02/02/22
The Building Decarbonization Coalition unites building industry stakeholders with energy providers, environmental organizations and local governments to power our nation's homes and workspaces with clean energy.

Infographic: Top 10 States for LEED in 2021

01/26/22
The ranking highlights U.S. leaders in sustainable design, construction and operation of buildings. Now in its 12th year, the annual Top 10 States for LEED list is based on the gross square footage of LEED-certified…

Beware of the Red List – Top Materials to Avoid in Your Home

01/07/22
“The Red List” might sound like something from the Cold War. But the Red List has nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with chemistry. The Red List is actually a list of…

Buildings and Climate Change

08/20/21
Buildings Account for 39% of CO2 emissions in the United States The commercial and residential building sector accounts for 39% of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States per year, more than any other…

Facts about the Climate Emergency

08/20/21
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide an objective source of scientific information on climate change.

Sustainable Design

08/20/21
Sustainable design seeks to reduce negative impacts on the environment, and the health and comfort of building occupants, thereby improving building performance. The basic objectives of sustainability are to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize…

Visualizing Our City’s Energy Use

07/22/21
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering and the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation used the City of Pittsburgh to create a model built upon the design, materials and purpose of commercial…

Achieving zero carbon through design and planning

07/09/21
A carbon neutral built environment begins with design and planning. Architecture 2030 is dedicated to empowering this sector to meet the 2030 Challenge targets and achieve a carbon neutral built environment by 2040. Architecture 2030…

The Six Disabled Veteran Housing Los Angeles, CA

06/15/21
The SIX is a 52-unit affordable housing project provides a home, support services and rehabilitation for disabled veterans. It is located in the MacArthur Park area of Los Angeles. McArthur Park has one of the…

2020 COTE® Top Ten Awards

06/14/21
The 2020 COTE® Top Ten program highlights projects that meet the AIA Committee on the Environment's rigorous criteria for social, economic, and ecological value. The COTE® Top Ten Plus designation denotes projects with exemplary performance…

Stone Edge Farm

06/14/21
Imagine a lush, self-sustaining island that generates clean electricity, grows organic food and wine grapes, re-uses water, and creates fuel for zero emission vehicles.

Global Warming Has Concrete Problem When It Comes to CO2

05/19/21
Concrete is a major contributor to the climate crisis because its production releases huge quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide and methane are the two greenhouse gas most responsible for global warming.

LEED v4.1 Cities and Communities

05/11/21
A new way forward for resilient, green, inclusive and smart cities, LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities provides cities and communities with a globally consistent way to measure and communicate performance. LEED v4.1 expands…

A Pocket Guide to All-Electric Retrofits of Single-Family Homes

02/01/21
Welcome! This booklet is intended to be a simple “how-to” guide to help homeowners, home renters, utilities and policy makers who want to replace existing gas appliances with efficient electric alternatives, many of which are…

Green Infrastructure

06/10/20
Integrated Planning for Your Community's Future

California Solar Data Current Through: Q4 2019

03/28/20
California has the largest solar market in the U.S. and has been a longtime champion of solar because of the many economic and environmental benefits it provides, including $57 billion in investment in the state.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

01/30/20
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) develops and protects the market by increasing the awareness of the economic, social and environmental benefits of green roofs, green walls, and other forms of living architecture through education,…

AIA: The 2030 Commitment

12/20/19
The mission of the AIA 2030 Commitment is to support the 2030 Challenge and transform the practice of architecture in a way that is holistic, firm-wide, project based, and data-driven. By prioritizing energy performance, participating firms can…

Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design

12/19/19
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is changing the way we think about how buildings and communities are planned, constructed, maintained and operated. Leaders around the world have made LEED the most widely…

Zero Net Energy Buildings with Zero Net Added Cost

10/22/19
Would you consider making your next home or building project a zero energy project? If the net added cost to you was also zero, would you be more interested? Most people would. It’s possible to…

MORE NEWS

Geothermal heating and cooling: Renewable energy’s hidden gem

By Philip Warburg  Photo: Philip Warburg   08/04/22  
Often described as a giant tower of Jenga blocks, Boston University’s Center for Computing and Data Sciences shows no outward signs of leading the race to sustainable energy design. No rooftop wind turbines grace its…

Cement

By Sebastian Reiter   08/01/22  
Cement production is one of the highest-emitting industrial sectors, responsible for about 6 to 7 percent of global CO₂ emissions. About 40 percent of the emissions come from the fossil-fuel combustion used to power the…

Buildings

By Brodie Boland and Others   08/01/22  
Construction is directly or indirectly responsible for almost 40 percent of global CO₂ emissions from fuel combustion and 25 percent of GHG emissions as a whole. These figures include materials such as cement and steel.¹…

Steel

By Steven Vercammen   08/01/22  
Steel companies quick to decarbonize their operations may be better placed to capture new market opportunities in the long term.

Inside Clean Energy: What’s Hotter than Solar Panels? Solar Windows.

By Dan Gearino  Photo: Silvia Cardarelli, University of Michigan   07/28/22  
The tantalizing idea behind solar windows is that the vertical surfaces on the outside of just about any building could unobtrusively generate electricity.

What a sustainable building can teach about building sustainably.

By Jeff Fraga   07/26/22  
The other day I visited a friend and client who is based in Seattle’s Bullitt Center, which is known as the greenest commercial building in the world. How green is it? Rainwater (and Seattle has…

NSF, DOE grants fund UIC research to decarbonize cement manufacturing

Photo: Emilian Robert Vicol, Pixabay   07/25/22  
Chemical engineers at the University of Illinois Chicago are investigating new methods to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from cement manufacturing. Cement is one of the most widely used building materials, but its production is responsible…

Air Conditioning Will Not Save Us

By Eric Dean Wilson  Photo: David 'Dee' Delgado, Getty Images   07/22/22  
It keeps happening. Every summer, unprecedented heat surges through cities across the United States—in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho; in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio; and in Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey. Last week, a heat wave…

Europe is overheating. This climate-friendly AC could help.

By Pranshu Verma  Photo: Jason Alden/Bloomberg News   07/21/22  
The United Kingdom declared a national emergency this week during a historic heat wave that’s melted runways, snarled train travel and shattered temperature records. The devastation has been particularly acute in a country like England,…
npr

How can cities adapt to rising heat? Green design architects can help

By Rachel Martin   07/21/22  
As climate change makes heatwaves more common, NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Brigitte Clements, from the Architects Climate Action Network, about what cities like London can do to adapt infrastructure.

Energy-efficient homes often sell faster and for more money

By YCC Team  Photo: Mary P. Madigan   07/15/22  
“Environmental awareness and climate change is impacting what buyers are looking for in a home and how they want to live. That’s clear in this research,” says Amanda Pendleton, a home trends expert at Zillow,…

What Happens After an Energy Audit? How To Select Building Upgrades

By Michael Tobias   07/06/22  
-The optimal combination of energy conservation measures (ECM) will depend on what you want to achieve. Generally, the goal of energy retrofits is saving energy or meeting climate laws.

How rooftop solar got big: Sunrun hits milestone of 5 gigawatts installed

By Julian Spector   06/28/22  
Sunrun never collapsed; instead, it grew steadily through the ups and downs of the industry’s famously volatile ​“solar coaster.” On Tuesday, the company announced that it has installed a total of 5 gigawatts of solar…

Presentation on the Utility Thermal Energy Network and Jobs Act: A RenewableTransition

06/18/22  
A presentation on what thermal energy networks are, and how they will transform the way we heat and cool our buildings, and why both labor unions and environmentalists unified to enable utilities to build them.

DOE Announces $39 Million for Research and Development to Turn Buildings into Carbon Storage Structures

06/13/22  
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $39 million in awards for 18 projects seeking to develop technologies that can transform buildings into net carbon storage structures. Led by DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy…

New climate-friendly housing development in Michigan will be all-electric

By YCC Team   06/13/22  
In Ann Arbor, Michigan, a new mixed-income housing development is under construction. It’s called Veridian at County Farm, and it will be a climate-friendly community with green space, on-site food gardens, and homes that run…

Biden to invoke Defense Production Act for clean energy

By Ben Geman and Andrew Freedman  Photo: Justin Merriman/Bloomberg via Getty Images   06/06/22  
President Biden will shield solar project developers from the costs of potential trade penalties and offer new federal support for domestic panel manufacturing, the White House said Monday.
Rmi

The Economics of Electrifying Buildings

By Sherri Billimoria and Others   05/31/22  
Seventy million American homes and businesses burn natural gas, oil, or propane on-site to heat their space and water, generating 560 million tons of carbon dioxide each year—one-tenth of total US emissions. But now, we…

Collaborating on zero energy homes could help meet utility climate goals and grow affordable housing

By Rebecca Foster  Photo: fstop123 , Getty Images   05/25/22  
Whether driven by new data on the severity of climate change, a growing ESG movement, or regulatory requirements to meet energy reduction targets, utilities nationwide are seeking proven program approaches to help them meet their…

DOE Updates Mobile Home Efficiency Standards to Lower Household Energy Bills

05/18/22  
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today adopted new energy standards for manufactured housing — commonly referred to as single-section and multi-section mobile homes — that will help consumers save hundreds of dollars on their…

A Summer Home Rebuilt on the Path to Zero

By Frank Baker   05/16/22  
The blue cottage in a historic Chautauqua community in Lakeside, Ohio, had hosted families for nearly a century and had been the beloved summer getaway of Frank and Brenda Baker’s family for the past 15…

Park Slope condo becomes New York City’s “largest mass-timber building”

By Ben Dreith   05/09/22  
Local studio Mesh Architectures has completed Timber House, a condominium in Brooklyn that developer The Brooklyn Home Company claims is "the largest mass timber building in New York City."

One of the First Industrial Warehouses is Constructed with Sustainable Materials Designed to Reduce Carbon Impact

By Emily Holbrook   04/26/22  
USAA Real Estate and its development partner, Seefried Industrial Properties, are near completion of an industrial warehouse development in Dallas Fort Worth that will be among the first ever using sustainable building materials that will…

Can Vines Speed Urban Cooling?

By Emily C. Dooley  Photo: Emily C. Dooley   04/21/22  
Perhaps trees aren’t the only green solution when it comes to cooling urban spaces and reducing energy costs. Honeysuckle, Virginia creeper, pink trumpet and other vines could be a fast-growing substitute in climate-smart cities of…

Living in energy-efficient homes can improve people’s health

By YCC Team   04/21/22  
Home energy efficiency upgrades can cut carbon pollution and help people save money on utility bills But for Kevin Kennedy, director of the environmental health program at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, there’s…

Pepperell converts streetlights to LEDs with smart tech

By Meredith Gabrilska   04/12/22  
This past winter, Pepperell completed a two-year project to convert 409 streetlights from standard high pressure sodium lights to LEDs and deploy smart technology that allows the town to manage and troubleshoot each individual light…

Meyer Memorial Trust Is Made With Mass Plywood Panels

By Lloyd Alter  Photo: Jeremy Bitterman   03/28/22  
There are many different ways to make mass timber. Cross-laminated timber (CLT), developed in Austria in the '90s, is perhaps the most well-known. But there is a new kid on the building block: mass plywood…

Energy Dept. pushes heat pumps to reduce greenhouse emissions

By Brenda Richardson  Photo: Onurdongel , Getty Images   03/28/22  
Regular heat pumps are a much less dramatic alternative to geothermal heat pumps — you don’t need a huge yard and you don’t have to dig a huge swath in it. Whether you should get…

Rooftop Gardens Can Help Alleviate Heat in Cities, Study Finds

By Cristen Hemingway Jaynes   03/24/22  
If you’ve even spent a summer in the city and been able to relate to the song of the same name then you know the feeling of wanting to escape the heat by sitting in…

Volts podcast: Panama Bartholomy on decarbonizing America’s buildings

By David Roberts   01/28/22  
Fossil-fuel combustion in buildings — mostly natural gas for space and water heating — is responsible for around 10 percent of US greenhouse gas emissions.[*] Getting to net-zero will require heating, cooling, and powering all…

Gas Stoves in the US Emit Methane Equivalent to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Half a Million Cars

By Phil McKenna  Photo: Cezaro De Luca   01/27/22  
Natural gas stoves emit far more methane than previously thought, as well as harmful nitrogen oxides in concentrations that can quickly exceed federal safety standards, researchers at Stanford University report.

Gas stoves in kitchens pose a risk to public health and the planet, research finds

By Maxine Joselow  Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images   01/27/22  
Gas-burning stoves in kitchens across America may pose a greater risk to the planet and public health than previously thought, new research suggests. The appliances release far more of the potent planet-warming gas methane than…

After decades, Biden plans to make mobile homes greener, sparking a fierce debate.

By Tik Root  Photo: Hilary Swift   01/21/22  
At Factory Direct Homes here in central Vermont, Tony Flanders stepped through the front door of a gray double-wide mobile home and pointed at the living room window to his left.

Beware of the Red List – Top Materials to Avoid in Your Home

By Gemma Alexander   01/07/22  
“The Red List” might sound like something from the Cold War. But the Red List has nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with chemistry. The Red List is actually a list of…

Roofing giant takes on Tesla to make solar roof shingles more affordable

By Katie Brigham  Photo: GAF Energy   01/04/22  
When Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Solar Roof in 2016, it was the first that many people had heard of solar shingles. But the idea of a roofing product that can both generate energy and…

These homes are off-grid and climate resilient. They’re also built out of trash.

By Nick Aspinwall  Photo: Ramsay De Give , Washington Post   01/04/22  
Mike Reynolds never worried too much as the world inched closer to doomsday. In the spring of 2020, motorists lined up in their cars outside grocery stores waiting for food as the coronavirus pandemic first…

How We Fully Electrified Our Very Old House

12/30/21  
This year, we did the best upgrade ever. We ripped out the fossil fuel innards of our house and put in a high tech, fully-electrified heat pump system.

In Amsterdam, a community of floating homes shows the world how to live alongside nature

By Shira Rubin  Photo: Ilvy Njiokiktjien   12/17/21  
Marjan de Blok readjusts her body weight as she treads across the jetties linking a floating community on the River IJ. Her cheeks and nose are elfin red from the whipping winds. She shouts greetings…

Study Claims Living Walls Can Reduce Heat Loss in Buildings by Over 30%

By Lloyd Alter  Photo: Lloyd Alter   12/09/21  
Living walls were all the rage a decade ago—we showed dozens of them. I was skeptical about their value, noting that "living walls are expensive to buy and expensive to maintain because plants tend to…

There’s Lots to Learn From How They Build in Montreal

By Lloyd Alter  Photo: Maxime Brouillet , V2com   12/09/21  
We have written previously that we don't all have to live in high rises to get dense cities; we should just learn from Montreal. Everybody loves the "plex" housing type that is a great demonstration…

Energy-efficient infrastructure projects hold a key opportunity for contractors

By Dean Zerbe  Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images   11/22/21  
The COVID-19 pandemic has showed no mercy in its impact to the construction sector, inducing a storm of high costs and volatility from materials to labor. According to a recent survey by the Associated General…

NYC Could Ban Gas in New Buildings This Year

By Colin Kinniburgh  Photo: Alloy   11/18/21  
Yesterday afternoon, the New York City Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection held a marathon hearing on a bill to ban fossil fuels, including natural gas, in new buildings—which could amount to the city’s most significant…

What Does It Take to Build a Disaster-Proof House?

By Candace Jackson  Photo: Jason Henry , New York Times   11/12/21  
When a massive wildfire swept through Paradise, Calif., three years ago this week, it killed 85 people and destroyed more than 13,000 homes. The wood chalet-style cabin where Mike and Jennifer Petersen lived — built…

How ‘Cool Roofs’ Can Help Fight Climate Change

By Christina Poletto  Photo: Hiroko Masuike , The New York Times   11/10/21  
Last summer, New York City endured three heat waves and many days when the temperature climbed above 90 degrees. In some neighborhoods, like the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx, which ranks as one…

26 Climate Actions Cities Should Adopt at COP26 for Climate Change Resilience

By Michael Eliason  Photo: Mike Eliason   10/29/21  
Ahead of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) starting this weekend in Glasgow, Scotland, I wanted to put together a list of climate actions I believe cities should be taking to make them…

Intelligent City Builds Prefab, Passive, Mass Timber Housing With Robots

By Lloyd Alter   10/28/21  
Intelligent City describes itself as "leaders in innovative urban housing solutions." The company recently had a splashy opening of their factory with its robots that can slice and dice panels made of cross-laminated timber (CLT).…

Buying a Disaster-Resilient Home

By Gemma Alexander   10/26/21  
When you’re buying a house it’s hard to ignore highly visible elements like paint and appliances, but easy to overlook factors that could affect your own safety. That’s why we have home inspections to check…

Does Our View of Architecture Change When We Talk Carbon, Not Energy?

By Lloyd Alter  Photo: Maxime Brouillet via V2com   10/12/21  
This house looks like the most extraordinary and beautiful updated version of a Case Study House from California in the 1960s. Except it is not in California, it is on the shore of Lac-Brome, Quebec,…

Columbia Pledges That All Future Campus Construction Will Be Fossil Free

By Earth Institute   09/20/21  
As Climate Week NYC begins, the university explores creating a fully electrified campus. The Columbia Climate School is university partner of the weeklong climate showcase. Columbia University announced today that it will no longer install…

World Green Building Council Introduces New Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment

By LIoyd Alter   09/16/21  
According to the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), the construction sector is globally responsible for 35% of energy consumption, 38% of energy-related carbon emissions, and 50% of resource consumption. The WolrdGBC says a bold approach is needed…