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



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.


New Skyscraper, Built to Be an Environmental Marvel, Is Already Dated

By Ben Ryder Howe 02/14/23
One Vanderbilt, a commanding new skyscraper in the heart of Manhattan, seems to be reaching for the future. One of the world’s tallest buildings, it pierces the sky like an inverted icicle and fuses seamlessly…
Read more

Does Your Home Have Backup Power? We Want to Hear From You.

By Peter Eavis 02/08/23
Sales of generators and home batteries are up as people look to protect themselves from power outages, which are becoming more common....
Read more

Here’s 3 Ways To Cut The Carbon Out Of Cement Right Now

By Mike Scott 02/07/23
Concrete is not just the most common man-made material on earth, and the most widely used material after water, it is also one of the most polluting when it comes to carbon emissions.
Read more

Heat pumps are defying Maine’s winters and oil industry pushback

By Anna Phillips 02/07/23
The video starts with a Maine radio show host dressed in a bright red jumpsuit walking through the snow to a stranger’s door and delighting her with an offer of free heating oil. “My name’s…
Read more

We Earthlings: Make the Switch to LED Light Bulbs

By Earth911 02/07/23
“If every American home replaced just one light bulb with one LED bulb that has earned the ENERGY STAR, we would save about $580 million in energy costs and prevent 7 billion pounds of greenhouse…
Read more

Zero Energy Ready Homes Are Coming to a Neighborhood Near You

Alejandro Moreno is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
Read more

This Maine home can stay 70 degrees without a furnace, even when it’s freezing outside

By Keith Shortall 01/25/23
What if you could design a house that on a cold day in January would stay at 70 degrees inside — without running the furnace? Or even having a furnace? It's already being done. In…
Read more

Why everyone is going to need a heat pump

By Robert Gebelhoff 01/04/23
The bad: You’re going to want to replace that system with heat pumps eventually, and it might be expensive. The good: The government can help you, and the change will have huge benefits for you…
Read more

The Key to Green Building Is to Use Less Stuff

By Lloyd Alter 12/21/22
Making cement emits a lot of carbon dioxide: Every year more than four billion tons of cement are used to build highways, bridges, apartments, and office buildings. Steel is just as bad, with 1.6 billion…
Read more

Indoor Living Walls Can Boost The Health Of Workers, Study Finds

By Jamie Hailstone 12/08/22
Air-circulating indoor green or living walls can improve the skin quality and immune system of office workers in less than a month, according to a new study. The study by Finnish scientists is first of…
Read more

EPA to further slash emissions from climate super-pollutants

By Allyson Chiu 10/20/22
The latest actions aim to reduce emissions from chemicals that can be thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide in warming the planet.
Read more

Researchers Find Benzene and Other Dangers in Gas Piped to California Homes

By Elena Shao 10/20/22
The gas that is piped into millions of California homes contains hazardous air pollutants including benzene, a chemical linked to cancer, a new study found.
Read more



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

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

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

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

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

“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…

The Promise of Carbon-Neutral Steel

teel production accounts for around seven per cent of humanity’s greenhouse-gas emissions. There are two reasons for this startling fact. First, steel is made using metallurgic methods that our Iron Age forebears would find familiar;…

Buildings and Climate Change

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Integrated Planning for Your Community's Future

California Solar Data Current Through: Q4 2019

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

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

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

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

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…


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…
Read more

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

By Katie Brigham   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…
Read more

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

By Nick Aspinwall   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…
Read more

How We Fully Electrified Our Very Old House

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.
Read more

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

By Shira Rubin   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…
Read more

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

By 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…
Read more

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

By Lloyd Alter   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…
Read more

Energy-efficient infrastructure projects hold a key opportunity for contractors

By Dean Zerbe   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…
Read more

NYC Could Ban Gas in New Buildings This Year

By Colin Kinniburgh   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…
Read more

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

By Candace Jackson   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…
Read more

How ‘Cool Roofs’ Can Help Fight Climate Change

By Christina Poletto   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…
Read more

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

By Michael 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…
Read more

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).…
Read more

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…
Read more

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

By Lloyd Alter   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,…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

Vermont digs in on incentives to boost geothermal heat pumps

By David Thill   09/01/21  
Vermont this summer launched an initiative to spur a challenging but potentially crucial market in the state’s decarbonization goals: ground-source heat pumps.
Read more

Researchers calculated how many lives energy-efficient buildings could save

By Sarah DeWeerdt   08/31/21  
An intensive push to improve energy efficiency in buildings throughout the United States could prevent 1,800 to 3,600 premature deaths every year, according to a new modeling study. What’s more, combining this with efforts to…
Read more

It’s time to rethink air conditioning

By Rebecca Leber   08/26/21  
What if the most American symbol of unsustainable consumption isn’t the automobile, but the air conditioner? In cool indoor spaces, it’s easy to forget that billions of people around the world don’t have cooling —…
Read more

Heat pumps could be key to fighting climate change, but how? We answer your burning questions

By Sabrina Shankman   08/25/21  
Massachusetts has sworn to get 1 million homes and other buildings off fossil fuel by the end of the decade, a target made even more urgent by recent revelations that the climate is in worse…
Read more

Inside Clean Energy: Which State Will Be the First to Ban Natural Gas in New Buildings?

By Dan Gearino   08/19/21  
A new California building code is a leap forward for reducing the use of natural gas, with rules that set a strong preference for electric heating in new construction. That’s the glass-half-full view of the…
Read more

California greenlights first-of-its-kind energy code to encourage electrified buildings

By Kavya Balaraman   08/12/21  
The California Energy Commission (CEC) on Wednesday adopted energy efficiency standards for newly constructed and renovated buildings that stakeholders say are the country's first statewide building code that strongly incentivizes all-electric construction.  
Read more

What Is Sustainable Architecture?

By Kristin Hohenadel   08/11/21  
Sustainable architecture is a general term that refers to buildings designed to limit humanity's impact on the environment.1 An eco-friendly approach to modern-day building encompasses every aspect of the planning and construction process, including the choice…
Read more

California Panel Backs Solar Mandate for New Buildings

By Ivan Penn   08/11/21  
California regulators voted Wednesday to require builders to include solar power and battery storage in many new commercial structures as well as high-rise residential projects. It is the latest initiative in the state’s vigorous efforts…
Read more

The Fight to Change US Building Codes

By Emma Foehringer Merchant   08/02/21  
On Sept. 9, 2020, California Energy Commission Chair David Hochschild opened a scheduled meeting with a somber observation. That morning, Bay Area residents woke to darkness, as wildfire smoke blotted out the sun and an…
Read more

Towns Trying to Ban Natural Gas Face Resistance in Their Push for All-Electric Homes

By Katherine Blunt   07/31/21  
Massachusetts is emerging as a key battleground in the U.S. fight over whether to phase out natural gas for home cooking and heating, with fears of unknown costs and unfamiliar technologies fueling much of the opposition to…
Read more

How to cool your home without relying on air conditioning

By Sarah Kaplan   07/26/21  
As the mercury ticked upward in Portland, Ore., last month, I braced for my apartment to become unbearable.
Read more

5 of the Least Wasteful Ways to Build Your Forever Home

By Earth911   07/22/21  
After experiencing the dangerous escalation of climate impacts like drought, wildfire, flooding, and extreme weather, people want to make better and more sustainable choices to reduce their environmental impact. It is no surprise then that…
Read more

Austin housing project offers Tesla large-scale test bed to address challenges with energy products

By Jason Plautz   07/21/21  
A planned Austin neighborhood is touting itself as "the nation’s most sustainable residential community," with homes outfitted with solar panels and battery storage from Tesla.
Read more

U.S. seeks to speed rooftop solar growth with instant permits

By Nichola Groom   07/17/21  
 The Biden administration on Thursday will roll out a tool that enables instant local permitting of rooftop solar installations, addressing a major source of industry delays and possibly lowering costs for homeowners, the Energy Department…
Read more

Rethinking our roofs, parking lots, and sidewalks could save money and lives

By Angely Mercado   07/15/21  
A recent heatwave that swept over the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. and Canada challenged infrastructure in areas that aren’t used to such high temperatures. Even with heat advisory warnings from public health officials and efforts to…
Read more

DOE to propose first efficiency standards for manufactured homes in almost 25 years

By Robert Walton   07/14/21  
The U.S. Department of Energy is considering new energy efficiency standards for manufactured housing, and plans to release a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNOPR) by Aug. 16 that will be based on the 2021…
Read more

The Building Industry Needs to Take Embodied Carbon Seriously, Says New Report

By Lloyd Alter   07/08/21  
Embodied carbon is the carbon emitted during the manufacturing of building materials and the construction process. It's a confusing name, because the carbon is not embodied in the building, but is in the atmosphere already,…
Read more

Heat Pumps Are Ready to Have a Moment

By Brian Kahn   07/07/21  
It took nearly 170 years, but geothermal heat pumps are finally ready to have a moment. The poorly named appliance—they heat and cool buildings—could be the key to ensuring our homes are more comfortable and…
Read more

Can Solar Panels Damage Your Roof?

By Emily Rhode   06/30/21  
Solar panels will not damage your roof if you take the time to consider your particular situation and have a professional install the panels. Knowing the requirements for a roof that can support solar before…
Read more

Is it possible to buy a climate-friendly air conditioner? We asked an expert

By Janelle Nanos   06/20/21  
The heat is rising, you’re feeling sweaty, and you’re contemplating whether it might be time to invest in air conditioning. But if your gut tells you that A/C isn’t the most eco-friendly option, you’re correct.…
Read more

This Minneapolis Passivhaus Deals With Temperature Extremes

By Lloyd Alter   06/17/21  
One often hears the original Passivhaus concept was designed for a temperate middle European climate where it's never too hot or too cold. That's why Tim Eian's Good Energy Haus in Minneapolis, Minnesota is so…
Read more

Are Floating Neighborhoods a Solution for Rising Sea Levels?

By Sarah Lozanova   06/15/21  
As sea-level rise threatens cities throughout the world, some are looking at how humans can adapt. In North Amsterdam, a collaborative team created a floating neighborhood called Schoonschip on a canal. It consists of 46…
Read more

Electric heat pumps use much less energy than furnaces, and can cool houses too – here’s how they work

By Robert Brecha   06/14/21  
To help curb climate change, President Biden has set a goal of lowering U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 50%-52% below 2005 levels by 2030. Meeting this target will require rapidly converting as many fossil fuel-powered activities…
Read more

‘Cool’ roofs, cooler designs as the building industry embraces energy sustainability

By Ben Ikenson   06/08/21  
The southwestern New Mexico town of Columbus, site of a 1916 raid by Pancho Villa, is now home to a border entry center that is powered by the sun and landscaped with recycled concrete “sponges”…
Read more

‘Cool’ roofs, cooler designs as the building industry embraces energy sustainability

By Ben Ikenson   06/08/21  
The southwestern New Mexico town of Columbus, site of a 1916 raid by Pancho Villa, is now home to a border entry center that is powered by the sun and landscaped with recycled concrete “sponges”…
Read more

Tips: How to weatherize your home

By Daisy Simmons   06/02/21  
A few simple yet effective weatherization strategies will boost your home’s comfort and efficiency, as well as help you save on energy bills. Here’s how to safeguard your home and your wallet from the weather,…
Read more

The social contagion of solar packs a lot of power

By Sarah DeWeerdt   06/01/21  
The strongest predictor of whether a house will have solar panels is the density of solar panels on neighboring properties, according to a new study. The findings suggest that “seeding” solar panels on a few…
Read more

Battle Brews Over Banning Natural Gas to Homes

By Katherine Blunt   05/31/21  
A growing fight is unfolding across the U.S. as cities consider phasing out natural gas for home cooking and heating, citing concerns about climate change, and states push back against these bans. Major cities including…
Read more

Rooftop solar and home batteries make a clean grid vastly more affordable

By David Roberts   05/28/21  
Energy nerds love arguing over the value of distributed energy resources (DERs), the rooftop solar panels and customer-owned batteries that are growing more popular by the day. There’s a fight in California right now over…
Read more

Go green on new housing

By Dana Bourland   05/26/21  
Two of the biggest problems we face today — a shortage of decent, affordable housing and climate change — are connected. Fortunately, the solutions are connected as well. That’s why we must not only “build…
Read more

This Apartment Building in Vienna Is a Highrise of Huts

By Lloyd Alter   05/25/21  
Many people in Germany and Austria have Schrebergartens, similar to allotment gardens with garden sheds. They are a place to get away from the city. A German Girl in America describes it as a place…
Read more

The cooling economy of F-gases and HVAC

By Kimberly Zou and Sophie Purdom   05/14/21  
It’s just about that time of the year (in NYC, at least) when that special type of condensation starts falling from millions of overworked AC window units. As we performed electrician acrobatics reinstalling our own…
Read more

DuPont Introduces HFC-Free Spray Foam Insulation

By Lloyd Alter   05/13/21  
DuPont introduced a new version of its spray polyurethane foam insulation that is HFC-free. This is a big step for the climate and a big step in building. There are two major sources of greenhouse…
Read more