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…

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…

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…

MORE NEWS

What’s A Passive Solar House?

By Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss   03/05/21  
A passive solar house is typically designed from scratch factoring in several considerations to boost the structure’s ability to naturally keep the interior living spaces a comfortable air temperature without using conventional emissions-spewing HVAC appliances.

The battle over climate change is boiling over on the home front

By Steven Mufson  Photo: Barbara Sax/AFP/Getty Images   02/23/21  
Municipalities want new buildings to go all electric, spurning gas-fired stoves and heating systems. The gas industry disagrees
NPR

Seattle bans natural gas in new buildings

By John Ryan   02/02/21  
The city of Seattle has banned most uses of fossil fuels in new buildings. The ban on appliances like gas furnaces and gas water heaters in new construction is part of a revised energy code…

Solar panels, digital tech, green roofs: How buildings are changing

By Anmar Frangoul  Photo by Getty Images   01/27/21  
In the future, buildings will need to be functional, eye-catching and sustainable.

A new initiative could make cities more biodiverse: Here’s how

By Børge Brende and Ivan Duque   01/27/21  
The need to transform the relationship between cities and nature has become ever more urgent. Over half of the world’s population lives in cities, with an estimated 1.5 million additional people per week expected to…

Linear City Proposed as ‘Solution To Our Ecological Problems’

By Liyod Alter  Photo by Gilles Gauthier   01/14/21  
Like Chambless a hundred years earlier, Gauthier puts the transport system at the bottom, but in three layers: a local metro/subway, a regular train, and then a TGV (train à grande vitesse, or high-speed train)…

As priorities shift, world’s largest cement firm inks $3.4 billion deal to focus on solar, green roofs

By Anmar Frangoul  Photo: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg/Getty Images   01/11/21  
Cement maker LafargeHolcim has agreed to buy specialist roofing company Firestone Building Products for $3.4 billion, in the latest example of shifting priorities within the building industry.

Decarbonizing cities – how to harmonize buildings, mobility and infrastructure

By Francesco Starace and Jean-Pascal Tricoire  Photo by Getty Images   01/11/21  
An integrated approach is needed to fully decarbonize cities. Digitalization across buildings, mobility and energy infrastructure is key to achieving net zero carbon. Decarbonizing cities will not just benefit the environment, but also the jobs…

We can’t tackle the climate change crisis without changing construction. Here’s why

Thin Lei Win  Photo: REUTERS/Toby Melville   01/04/21  
Planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions from buildings and construction are jeopardising global goals to keep devastating climate change at bay, a U.N.-backed coalition warned, after data showed they hit an all-time high in 2019.
CNN

This company is making building tiles out of polluted air

Isabelle Gerretsen  Photo: Carbon Craft Design   01/03/21  
Determined to make construction more sustainable and tackle India's air pollution, Sidnal launched Carbon Craft Design in 2019. The startup takes black carbon extracted from polluted air and upcycles it to make stylish, handcrafted building…

Green buildings ‘unheralded hero’ in emissions fight, experts say

By Chris Teale  Photo by Gage Skidmore   12/10/20  
President-elect Joe Biden's plan to upgrade the buildings sector and make it more energy efficient could be critical to help fight the effects of climate change, elected officials said Wednesday during a webinar hosted by…

Outdoor Heaters Seem Like a Huge Waste. Are They Really?

By Susan Shain  Photo by Jim Wilson   11/25/20  
It’s getting chilly out there. And whether you’re hosting an alfresco Thanksgiving celebration or just trying not to freeze while working from home, you may be curious about the best way to heat yourself, but…

Philadelphia architecture firm installs wild solar project to maximize onsite power production

By Billy Ludt   11/10/20  
Solar systems are predominantly installed on rooftops in urban settings, where open land is scarce but multi-level buildings are aplenty. Often, the roof space on these structures isn’t large enough to host solar systems that…

Lessons From Livermore: Look at the Big Picture to Figure Out Where We Have to Go

By Lloyd Alter   08/13/20  
Every year when I start teaching my course in Sustainable Design at Ryerson University School of Interior Design, I start with the latest Sankey diagram or flow chart from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and…
GTM

Generac, the Backup Generator Giant, Launches Souped-Up Home Solar-Storage System

By Jeff St. John   08/10/20  
Solar-battery systems may be useful for providing backup power during power outages. But many of the systems on the market today don’t pack enough punch to start up power-hungry air conditioner or pumps, or store…

‘Climate Pledge Arena’ Will Be The Name Of Amazon’s New Seattle Sports Center

By Ken Silverstein   07/06/20  
When companies commit to reducing their carbon footprints, they do so either to meet regulatory obligations, bolster their images with customers, or because it makes financial sense. But oftentimes those efforts seem amorphous and they…

Retrofitting homes, small businesses for clean energy appliances will stimulate economy and fight climate change

By Srinidhi Sampath Kumar and Panama Bartholomy   06/26/20  
As California grapples with grim economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we must work together to craft an economic response that meets the significance of this moment.

Buildings consume lots of energy – here’s how to design whole communities that give back as much as they take

By Charles F. Kutscher   05/26/20  
Although the coronavirus pandemic has dominated recent headlines, climate change hasn’t gone away. Many experts are calling for a “green” economic recovery that directs investments into low-carbon energy sources and technologies.

The Underground Solution To Climate Change

05/22/20  
Geothermal is the renewable source of heating, cooling, and power that no one is talking about. Learn more about The Geothermal Exchange Organization and their Geothermal For All Campaign here.

Pittsburgh’s 2030 District includes 556 buildings that are greatly reducing energy usage. It’s healthier for all of us.

By Michael Machosky  Photo by TH Carlisle   05/13/20  
ittsburgh’s buildings are not only getting more energy- and cost-efficient, they’re also getting healthier, which benefits us all. Since it launched in 2012, the Pittsburgh 2030 District has aimed “to commit commercial buildings in the…

Critical mass: Can low-carbon wood construction catch on in the U.S.?

By Lisa Provost  Photo: Generate and Placetailor   04/22/20  
In Boston, two firms designing affordable housing using cross-laminated timber hope it can be replicated elsewhere.

Denmark Took a Mountain of Trash and Made a Ski Hill

By Tom Vanderbilt  Photo by Rasmus Hjortshøj   02/13/20  
On a cold, windy December day in Denmark, Amager Bakke might look, at least through severely fogged goggles, like any other ski slope. Near the top, helmeted skiers slalom down steep black-diamond runs, while at…

NYC’s roofs are getting a sustainable makeover

By Cailley LaPara  Photo by Alex Potemkin vis Getty Images   01/22/20  
It's been two months since New York's Sustainable Roof Laws, part of the Climate Mobilization Act, took effect. Now architects and officials must decide: Are green roof systems or solar systems best?

The super-cool materials that send heat to space

By XiaoZhi Lim  Photo by Jyotirmoy Mandal   12/31/19  
Paints, plastics and even wood can be engineered to stay cool in direct sunlight — but their role in displacing power-hungry air conditioners remains unclear.

Green roof law repealed, replaced in Denver

By Katie Pyzyk   12/20/19  
The Denver City Council unanimously voted to repeal and replace its green roof law that required rooftop greenery on buildings larger than 25,000 square feet, according to The Denver Post. The revised law instead will…

These tiny model homes are teaching big concepts in building weatherization

Photo: Community Health Partners / Courtesy   12/18/19  
The dollhouse-size models come with miniature props that show how poorly executed weatherization can backfire.

Norway’s net-positive buildings show how Massachusetts could raise the bar

Photo: Robbie Shade / Flickr / Creative Commons   11/26/19  
Massachusetts is among the top states for energy efficiency, but its standards and ambitions still lag the Nordic country.

How Bamboo Building Can Cool the Climate

11/21/19  
By Kieran CookeThere could be a way of countering one key aspect of the climate emergency by making much greater use of a widely-available plant: bamboo...

Cost, comfort emphasized as building electrification takes off in Colorado

Photo: teofilo / Wikimedia Commons   11/18/19  
A Boulder campaign is making a pitch to residents that they can save money and breathe easier by switching from gas.

In Cambridge, efficiency ‘concierge’ will help large buildings cut energy use

Photo: Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism / Flickr/Creative Commons   11/12/19  
The energy conservation program is a partnership between the Massachusetts city and utility company Eversource.

All New Rooftops Must Be Covered in Plants or Solar Panels in France

By Sara Burrows   11/12/19  
Frances’s new “green roof” law is cooling city streets, cutting heating and air conditioning costs, reducing water and air pollution, providing local, organic food and ecosystems for birds, bees and hundreds of other species

Green Buildings Are the New Thing, But What About Green Construction Sites?

By Roy Berendsohn  Photo: Joel Johnson   10/31/19  
15 years ago, Milwaukee revolutionized power tools. Can it do the same with construction equipment?

From Thomas Edison to now, efforts in building a modern, low-carbon future

Photo: Shutterstock / gualtiero boffi   10/31/19  
The post From Thomas Edison to now, efforts in building a modern, low-carbon future appeared first on Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

Buildings are bad for the climate. Here’s what we can do about it.

By Bill Gates   10/28/19  
There are two ways in which buildings are responsible for greenhouse gases. The first is the construction phase: Buildings are made of concrete and steel, both of which produce a lot of emissions when they’re…

A small Minnesota city is deploying drones to scan for building heat loss

10/21/19  
The city of Warren hopes its aerial thermal images will help building owners recognize energy efficiency opportunities.

One Thing You Can Do: Consider a Heat Pump

By Tik Root and Nadja Popovich  Photo by Tyler Varsell   10/16/19  
It was a long, blistering summer, but many of us will soon be turning the heat back on. That means a lot of greenhouse gas emissions.

Building Resilience in Vieques, Puerto Rico

09/20/19  
In the two years since Hurricane Maria, the Urban Design Lab has been working with the small island community to design resilient homes, community centers, and sustainable infrastructure. ...

When it comes to the most energy-efficient buildings, deep pockets are still needed

09/18/19  
Tech companies are creating demand for green buildings in the high-end market, but the added costs mean few can follow their lead....

LEED v4.1 Goes Zero

By Bruce Sullivan  NASA photo by Fred Deaton   09/09/19  
The US Green Building Council (USGBC) is going zero. Their new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification has now reached its fourth version. LEED v4.1’s energy performance prerequisite will be based it on…

Net-zero hour: Pittsburgh energizes plan to curb carbon emissions from public buildings

09/04/19  
The effort, part of the city's Climate Action Plan 3.0, seeks to make buildings produce as much energy as they consume.

Where are the architects who will put the environment first?

08/31/19  
Should we stop building airports? Return to mud and thatch? The climate crisis is an opportunity for creative thinking, but the values of architecture need a radical overhaul Nearly 40% of UK greenhouse gas emissions,…

Michigan cities’ climate plans count on voluntary building efficiency upgrades

08/26/19  
Detroit and Grand Rapids each see building efficiency improvements as a key element of meeting emissions goals.

Is Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) the Concrete of the Future?

By José Tomás Franco   08/19/19  
Concrete, an essential building material, has for decades offered us the possibility of shaping our cities quickly and effectively, allowing them to rapidly expand into urban peripheries and reach heights previously unimagined by mankind. Today,…

Berkeley, CA sets historic law banning natural gas from new buildings

By Kristin Musulin  Photo: Wikimedia Commons   07/18/19  
The Berkeley, CA City Council unanimously voted this week to ban natural gas infrastructure in new low-rise residential buildings, beginning Jan 1. 2020. The legislation also requires that all new buildings in Berkeley be "electric-ready,"…

The Future Of Real Estate Investment: Smart And Climate-resilient Buildings

By Daniel Neiditch   06/24/19  
Climate change has created a huge demand for sustainable and resilient design and construction. Climate-resilient design focuses on the design of buildings, landscapes, communities and regions to respond to natural disasters and the effects of…

Toronto’s Newest Skyscaper Will Be Completely Covered In Trees

By Jordyn Posluns   05/27/19  
Toronto's urban canopy is already home to over 10 million trees, which currently envelops 26% of the city's surface area.  Mayor John Tory, however, has bigger plans for Ontario's capital; he wants to transform Toronto into…

Heat Pumps Coming of Age?

By Peter Sinclair   03/25/19  
Huge impediment to carbon free economy is heating and cooling existing and new buildings. Gas and oil have to go. What’s the alternative? Until recently, heat pumps have been a promising, but prohibitively expensive option.…

Tesla Solar Roof: Elon Musk Declares 2019 Will Be the Year of the Roof

By Mike Brown   03/15/19  
Tesla is going to focus its efforts on the Solar Roof for the coming year, CEO Elon Musk told an audience Thursday. The company’s energy-collecting tiles, which look like a standard roof to the untrained…

Illinois tops 2018 USGBC ranking for LEED buildings

By Jason Plautz   02/05/19  
llinois topped the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) annual ranking of states for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building, followed by Massachusetts, Washington and New York.

Post Carbon Landscape Architecture

By Steve Austin   02/04/19  
Post carbon landscape architecture means that there will be no use of fossil fuels for construction, transportation, or even the creation of many of the materials commonly used by landscape architects.