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

HOAs are blocking solar panels and native lawns. Here’s how to fight back

By Michael J. Coren 04/02/24
Joseph Schiarizzi started his rebellion by planting heirloom tomatoes. With the pandemic raging in spring 2021, his front yard, in a picturesque community just outside D.C., transformed from a sparse lawn to an explosion of…
Read more

Green mortgages set to take off as US makes homes fit for future

By Carey L. Biron 04/02/24
Jules Fishelman had ambitious plans to green up his century-old home in Burlington, Vermont, but the cost and logistics felt overwhelming. "I've had in mind dozens of things I really wanted to do to make…
Read more

A blizzard put a hyper-efficient home to the test. It passed.

By YCC Team 04/02/24
When the power goes out on a cold winter night, some people head to a hotel. Others huddle around a fireplace bundled up in hats and blankets. But after a blizzard knocked out the power…
Read more

The Gas Industry Gutted Green Building Codes. Now, Republicans Want To Go Further.

By Alexander C. Kaufman 03/28/24
A week ago, fossil fuel companies pulled off an 11th-hour win in their fight to keep climate-friendly measures out of the next national homebuilding guidelines, successfully lobbying the private entity that writes the country’s model…
Read more

Gas Industry Blocks Building Codes Meant To Make Going Electric Cheaper

By Alexander C. Kaufman 03/21/24
The natural gas industry pulled off an 11th-hour victory in its campaign to strip climate-friendly rules out of the latest update to the homebuilding guidelines used in most of the United States.
Read more

A Growth Spurt in Green Architecture

By Stephen Wallis 03/06/24
In the lineup of climate villains, architecture towers above many. The building and construction industries account for some 37 percent of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions, according to the United Nations Environment Program. Three of the…
Read more

Gas Industry Loses Bid To Block Green Building Codes

By Alexander C. Kaufman 03/05/24
The natural gas industry lost its initial bid to strip key climate-friendly measures out of national homebuilding guidelines, HuffPost has learned. The rules in the model building code will require new homes to come equipped…
Read more

Low-income communities will soon get $7 billion for local solar

By Alison F. Takemura 02/29/24
Per a new analysis of 35 proposed state programs, the historic climate-law funding would benefit more than 700,000 low-income households. Here’s how.
Read more

New Sustainable Florida Homes Survived Hurricane–as Nearby Homes Were Devastated–and Never Lost Power

By Andy Corbley 02/22/24
These cute little Florida townhomes are tougher than they look. While they may be as green as a budding daffodil, they have a backbone like reinforced concrete.
Read more

Texan builds stunning ‘passive house’ that uses 75% less electricity than most homes: ‘The best way to build’

By Laurelle Stelle 02/08/24
Passive houses are made to be as airtight and insulated as possible. This helps lock in the comfortable temperature inside, protecting residents from both heat and cold, while dramatically lowering the need for heating and…
Read more

Building in paradise

02/05/24
An open house facing the beautiful Caribbean landscape. A house where the concept of inside-outside is constantly being questioned. A garden that penetrates, that climbs. The greenish blue waters of the Caribbean Sea merge with…
Read more

How to convert your home into a small power plant, and make your money back doing it

By Alexa Coultoff 01/30/24
Mathew Tuttelman decided he was never going to pay a utility bill again — no gas, oil, or outside electricity to heat, cool, or power his 3,500-square-foot home. He was going to build a net-zero…
Read more

KEY RESOURCES

SIPs for High-Performance Enclosures: Faster, Better, and Greater Value

12/21/23
We are proud to feature the Structured Insulated Panel Association, one of our valued sponsors. “We have a visibly obvious crisis in our industry—a lack of innovation in home framing,” said Sam Rashkin, author of…

5 Ways Community Solar Empowers Solar for All

07/06/23
Solar power is a long-lasting and cost-cutting renewable energy solution, but installing a home solar panel system isn’t feasible for everyone. Luckily, the benefits of solar aren’t limited to those who have panels on their…

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…

The Promise of Carbon-Neutral Steel

09/18/21
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

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

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,…
Read more

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

By Kristin Musulin   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,"…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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.…
Read more

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…
Read more

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.
Read more

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.
Read more

A 21st-Century Space in Edwardian Clothes

By Tim McKeough   12/04/18  
Can an antique house ever be as green as new construction? One architect was determined to prove it was possible, using his own San Francisco home.
Read more

Architects Worldwide Invent Groundbreaking Waterborne Solutions To Climate Change, Part 2

By Y-Jean Mun-Delsalle   12/02/18  
Groundbreaking solutions are being invented by forward-thinking architects to show how coastal cities can become more resilient, viewing climate change as an opportunity to lead the way in waterborne and flood-resistant architecture.
Read more

Architects Worldwide Invent Groundbreaking Floating And Flood-Resistant Solutions To Climate Change, Part 1

By Y-Jean Mun-Delsalle   11/25/18  
Groundbreaking solutions are being invented by forward-thinking architects to show how coastal cities can become more resilient, viewing climate change as an opportunity to lead the way in waterborne and flood-resistant architecture.
Read more

This new Florida neighborhood has zero emissions, tons of smart tech, and is hurricane-proof

By Adele Peters   11/08/18  
Using solar, batteries, and Google Home, the Hunters Point neighborhood outside of Tampa is a model for how smart buildings can lower emissions and create a clean grid.
Read more

Healthy World: Vertical Forests

By Gary Diedrichs   11/02/18  
You professional meeting planners are hard to impress—for the very reason that you’re hard to surprise. Your jobs routinely bring you into contact with the latest and greatest. But there we were, a bus full…
Read more

10 contractors profiting from sustainable building

By Kathleen Brown   10/29/18  
The U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications and other sustainability standards have come to be expected by building owners, businesses and consumers. And while contractors and their customers may…
Read more

What Is a “Healthy” Home?

By Lloyd Alter   10/11/18  
Today, a lot of people are thinking about how to build healthy houses once again, as we learn about the dangers from chemicals within the home and pollution without. And once again, architects people are…
Read more

Amphibious Architecture

By Emily Anthes   10/01/18  
Last June, not long after a catastrophic thunderstorm swept through southern Ontario, bringing a month’s worth of rain in just a few hours, a group of 75 architects, engineers, and policymakers from 16 countries gathered in…
Read more

Portland joins world commitment to make all buildings carbon neutral

By Steve Law   09/13/18  
Portland has joined 18 other major cities around the world to pledge that all new buildings in their cities will be "net-zero carbon" by 2030. 7 more cities are in the US: Los Angeles, New…
Read more

MIT experiments with wood for sustainable construction

By David L. Chandler   08/06/18  
MIT class designs a prototype building to demonstrate that even huge buildings can be built primarily with wood. The construction and operation of all kinds of buildings uses vast amounts of energy and natural resources.…
Read more

The art of reinvention: how cities and architects unite to combat climate change

By Ellie Stathaki   03/19/18  
What do you get when you combine one successful urban experiment, 19 cities from around the world, and 19 sustainability conscious mayors? Reinventing Cities is a global initiative that invites architects to explore different ways…
Read more

Wooden skyscrapers could be the future for cities

By The Economist   02/01/18  
Wooden skyscrapers are an ambitious and innovative solution to the problems posed by urbanisation. Not only are they faster to build, they have smaller carbon footprints than high-rises made of concrete and steel. 
Read more

Climate change: The massive CO2 emitter you may not know about

By Lucy Rodgers   12/17/18  
Concrete is the most widely used man-made material in existence. It is second only to water as the most-consumed resource on the planet.
Read more

New York City Enacts Greenhouse Gas Emission Limits for Major Buildings

05/02/19  
On April 22, 2019, the New York City Council celebrated Earth Day by enacting the “Climate Mobilization Act” into law. The centerpiece of this important legislative package is Introduction 1253-2018 (“Intro 1253”). This local law…
Read more

Climate change means the US must start building big things again

By James Temple   01/15/20  
The bullet train promised to ease commutes, cut greenhouse-gas emissions, and tie together the state’s far-flung economic hubs. California established a state agency to begin planning the more than 500-mile (800-kilometer) railway back in 1996.…
Read more

Tesla Solar Roof: 9 Things You Don’t Realize Until You Own One for a Year

By Mike Brown   06/04/19  
Super fans think you're amazing. Others will think you don't actually exist.
Read more