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Page Updated:
Dec. 13, 2022


• LEED Certification Defined


News Stories (Latest Stories First) - One Year's Worth

  • • Beating the Heat in a Desert City
    A Blend Ancient and
    Modern Could be the Answer


    Dec. 9, 2023 -Dubai is full of futuristic, glazed skyscrapers. That’s problematic, from a sustainability perspective, in a city where temperatures regularly climb past 100 degrees Fahrenheit for several months each year. Air-conditioning can be so strong in the summer that some people wear jackets and scarves inside.

    But a growing number of architects in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which is currently hosting the United Nations climate summit, are now designing buildings in more sustainable ways...

  • • Cutting Petrochemicals Use In Buildings Today
    Let's Start With Buildings


    Oct. 10, 2023 -RMI’s report We Can Cut Petrochemicals Use Today: Buildings provides an overview of the use of petrochemicals in the construction and renovation of buildings in the United States and what steps can be taken to lower buildings’ embodied emissions based on petrochemical use efficiency.

    This report details the actions decision makers should prioritize to lower buildings’ embodied emissions due to petrochemical use and thereby mitigate health, fossil-resource, and carbon risks.

  • • The Chameleon’s Guide to Making Buildings Green
    No Energy Required!

    AF Logo

    Sept. 28, 2023 -A simple, low-cost coating can change color like a chameleon to stay cool when it’s hot outside and warm up when it is cold. It could one day help bring down the energy use of heating and cooling buildings.

    Click now for the whole story.

  • • Sublime Systems Receives ASTM
    Certification For Low Carbon Cement
    It Performs as Well as the Traditional Variety


    Sep. 17, 2023 -Sublime Systems, a company that makes cement without releasing massive clouds of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. It is one of many ideas to come from the fertile brain of Yet-Ming Chiang, the creative genius at MIT who is responsible for several innovative companies, among them American Superconductor Corporation, A123 Systems, Desktop Metal, Form Energy, and 24M Technologies.

    Making Portland cement is responsible for about 8% of all carbon emissions globally every year. There are two reasons for that. First, limestone needs to be heated to around 2700º F in giant kilns to create the basic materials for cement. It takes a lot of energy to do that, energy that typically comes from burning methane gas. Second, the chemical reaction inside those kilns releases even more carbon dioxide.

  • • Making Stronger Concrete
    With Old Coffee Grounds
    Engineers Close a
    Circular Economy Loop


    Sep. 1, 2023 -Researchers have given tons of waste coffee grounds a “double shot” at life, by infusing it into concrete—where it not only increases material strength by 30%, but also could be a significantly more sustainable alternative to the mined sand on which the concrete industry depends.

    “This waste-to-resource approach creates a closed-loop circular economy,” says Rajeev Roychand, materials scientist at RMIT University, Australia, and the study’s lead author.

  • • A Huge Cut in Building Emissions is Possible
    Could Be as Much
    as 90-Plus Percent


    Aug. 31, 2023 -When it comes to cutting carbon emissions, a renewable power grid and electric vehicles are the big-ticket items. But buildings, which produce about 40 percent of global carbon emissions, are also a key part of the transition to net-zero emissions.

    According to a new study, the U.S. has the potential to cut building emissions by 91 percent compared to 2005 levels. That could save the country over $100 billion per year on energy costs, researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report in the study published in One Earth.

  • • Europe’s Cities Rely on Age-Old Ways to Stay Cool
    This, As Heat Waves Intensify


    July 29, 2023 -There is no single architectural technique that can solve the problem of sweltering heat, which has gripped large parts of Europe this summer. But on a continent where air-conditioning is relatively limited, sustainable building techniques can go a long way in protecting residents, according to experts.

    Those features, which include courtyards, heavy shutters, reflective painting and white-stone facades, can keep homes cool naturally and reduce the need for air-conditioning. The problem, particularly for Mediterranean cities that have endured scorching temperatures this summer, is that many newer buildings have been built using Western styles that trap heat, said Marialena Nikolopoulou, a professor of sustainable architecture at the University of Kent in England.

  • • These Tiny Homes Take Just Weeks to Build
    They're Digitally Fabricated

    July 21, 2023, (Treehugger) - Once upon a time, tiny houses as we know them were mainly rustic, do-it-yourself affairs that were mostly cobbled together by their owners. But the tiny house movement and tiny house building industry have evolved and matured significantly since those early years, and now we have a dizzying range of diversity, from low-budget, handcrafted little dwellings made with salvaged materials to tiny smarthomes and other high-end deluxe builds with sticker prices to match.

  • • Climate Shocks Are Multiplying
    Designers Seek Holy Grail:
    Disaster-Proof Homes


    July 16, 2023 -Jon duSaint, a retired software engineer, recently bought property near Bishop, Calif., in a rugged valley east of the Sierra Nevada. The area is at risk for wildfires, severe daytime heat and high winds — and also heavy winter snowfall.

    But Mr. duSaint isn’t worried. He’s planning to live in a dome.

    The 29-foot structure will be coated with aluminum shingles that reflect heat, and are also fire-resistant. Because the dome has less surface area than a rectangular house, it’s easier to insulate against heat or cold. And it can withstand high winds and heavy snowpack.

    • • The Ultimate Eco Building
      Made of Salt, Sunflowers and Recycled Urine


      June 5, 2023 - You’ve heard of farm-to-table food? Well, this is farm-to-building architecture: the latest low-carbon weapon in the battle against the climate crisis. “We call it bioregional design,” says Jan Boelen, artistic director of Atelier Luma. Given that the built environment accounts for around 40% of global CO2 emissions, he argues it is time we embraced locally sourced, organic methods of construction.

    • • The Prizker Prize Winner
      Architecture’s Highest Honor Has Gone to the British Designer, Who Focuses On Issues of Environmental Sustainability and Social Equity


      Mar. 7, 2023 -If “uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” David Chipperfield is feeling somewhat uncomfortable about having been awarded architecture’s highest honor, the Pritzker Prize.

      That is not because he’s ungrateful — “it’s nice to be recognized,” Chipperfield, the 69-year-old British architect, said in a telephone interview. It is because he has long thought that “architecture is more important than architects,” and because he believes that “we’re facing two existential crises: social inequality and climate collapse.”

    • • New Skyscraper, Built to Be an
      Environmental Marvel, Is Already Dated
      The Design Landscape and City Rules Have Changed Quickly


      Feb. 14, 2023 -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 with an expanding network of trains and other transport at its foundations.

      It is also the rare skyscraper designed with climate change in mind. It holds a self-contained, catastrophe-resilient power plant capable of generating as much energy as six football fields of solar panels. The building captures every drop of rain that falls on it, and reuses that runoff to heat or cool its 9,000 daily visitors.

    • • Are Tiny Homes a Solution to the Housing Crisis?
      At the International Builders’ Show, Exhibitors Offered Mini Prefab Houses and More


      Feb. 10, 2023 -A tug of war is being waged over the size of the American home.

      Pulling in one direction are the forces of expansion: the well-financed dream for many of a sprawling single-family house; the NIMBY activism that prevents the incursions of multifamily buildings into low-density neighborhoods; and — not least, in the age of Covid — the desire to contain one’s life and work under a single roof without losing one’s mind.

    • • The Extraordinary Benefits
      of a House Made of Mud
      Architects are Finding Ways to Keep Mud’s Beauty and Function Alive in a Warming World


      Jan. 19, 2023 -On a mid-May morning in the village of Koumi, Burkina Faso, Sanon Mousa has nearly finished annual maintenance on his three-room house.

      He replaced termite-ridden roof supports with freshly cut beams and reinforced the heat-defying mud walls, some of which are a yard thick and more than a hundred years old. After replenishing the roof thatch and sacrificing a goat to the memory of his ancestors, all that remains is applying layers of rainproofing to the exterior.

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    Articles of Interest

    • • Hemp is Making an Industrial Comeback
      Does It Really Deserve It's Tarnished Reputation?


      Aug. 18, 2023 -Industrial hemp has been used in construction since Roman times. But in the mid-twentieth century, it got lumped in with its psychoactive relative, marijuana, and innovation fell on hard times. Now, in the wake of the 2018 Farm Bill’s legalization of production, it has bounced back into the limelight—this time with a distinctive twenty-first-century twist: carbon capture.

    • • LEED Gold for Portland State University’s New Hall
      View the Slideshow

      Nov. 2, 2021, (INHABITAT)-Portland State University (PSU) located in the heart of Portland, Oregon has a long history of providing innovation and education to the pacific northwest city. So when the campus discussed Fariborz Maseeh Hall, a building constructed in the 1960s, the choices were to demolish it or renovate it. PSU decided to leave the structure in place and hired Hacker’s design team to lead the transformation.

    • • Sunnyside Yard: A Carbon-neutral Masterplan in NYC
      PAU Unveils Carbon-Neutral
      Sunnyside Yard Masterplan in NYC

      Mar. 13, 2020 (inhabitat) -Global architecture firm Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) has revealed a masterplan for transforming over 180 acres of underutilized land in Western Queens’ Sunnyside Railyard into a thriving mixed-use neighborhood with a net carbon-neutral footprint. Developed in collaboration with a multidisciplinary design team on behalf of the City of New York, the ambitious urban revitalization project seeks multiple sustainability targets, from equitable economic growth and placemaking to the implementation of on-site renewable energy and energy storage systems.

      Created in partnership with New York City’s Economic Development Corporation and Amtrak, the Sunnyside Railyard masterplan envisions a mixed-use program comprising 12,000 new 100% affordable residential units, 60 acres of open public space, a new Sunnyside Station to connect Western Queens with the Greater New York region, ten schools, two libraries, over 30 childcare centers, 5 healthcare facilities and five million sf of new commercial and manufacturing space to stimulate new middle-class job growth. Walkability and livability will be major drivers behind the design and have informed decisions to incorporate more mid-rise scale buildings, anti-displacement strategies and an abundance of connective green space.

      Click now for the story, and a slideshow.

    • • Wood Waste Can Make Recycled Concrete Stronger
      Wood Waste Makes Recycled Concrete Stronger Than Ever

      Feb. 21, 2020 (New Atlas) — Production of the cement used in concrete is a huge source of CO2 emissions, so the more that we can recycle existing concrete, the better. That's where a new study comes in, which indicates that discarded concrete becomes even stronger than it was before, when wood waste is added to it.

      Concrete is made by mixing an aggregate such as gravel with water and cement. Once the mixture has cured, the cement hardens, and binds with the aggregate to form a solid block of material.

      Led by Asst. Prof. Yuya Sakai, scientists at The University of Tokyo ground pieces of such concrete into a powder, then added water, along with lignin obtained from wood waste. Lignin is a highly cross-linked organic polymer, and is a key component of the support tissue in vascularized (water-conducting) plants – it's what gives wood its rigidity.

    • • 'Czech' Out This Climate Change Inspired Building
      Climate Change-Inspired
      Skyscraper Could Become Czech
      Republic’s Tallest Building

      Oct. 18, 2019  (inhabitat)-Inspired by the apocalyptic imagery from climate change projections, sculptor David ?erný and architect Tomáš Císa? from the studio Black n´ Arch have proposed a visually striking skyscraper that’s sparked controversy with its inclusion of an enormous shipwreck-like structure. Dubbed the TOP TOWER, the project proposed for Prague rises to a height of 450 feet, which means that if built, the tower would be the tallest building in the Czech Republic. The project is led by developer Trigema who aims to create a multifunctional, LEED Gold high-rise that includes rental apartments, a public observation area and commercial uses on the lower floors.

      Click now for the story and a slideshow.

    • • Greening the College Campuses
      11 Ways Colleges are Moving
      Toward 100% Renewable Energy

      Nov. 7, 2018-America's colleges and universities are playing a huge role in helping the world transition to 100 percent renewable energy.

      On Oct. 16, Environment America Research & Policy Center released a report titled "Renewable Energy 101," detailing 11 of the best strategies and tools that universities can use to move towards meeting 100% of their energy needs with renewable sources. Among them: microgrids and energy storage, electric and sustainable transportation, geothermal heating and cooling, and more.

      Click to read the whole
      story from Environment America.

    • • Toronto’s New Green Building Achievement
      Studio Gang to
      “Sustainably Grow” Toronto with
      this Energy-Efficient Tower

      July 20, 2018 -American architecture practice Studio Gang has unveiled designs for One Delisle, a new residential tower that marks the firm’s first foray in Canada. Located in downtown Toronto on the corner of Yonge and Delisle, the project is envisioned as a standout architectural icon that combines a striking hive-like design with energy-efficient performance. The proposed building intends to achieve Tier 2 of the Toronto Green Standard.

      Inspired by plant growth, the sculptural, 16-sided One Delisle features eight-story modules stacked together in a spiraling formation to reach a height that surpasses 500 feet. The 550,000SqF building will comprise 263 residential units as well as a two-story base with retail space and restaurants. The area around the tower will also be redesigned to include wider landscaped sidewalks, an expanded park and other improvements for a more pedestrian-friendly experience. The main street character will be preserved to respect the existing neighborhood architecture.

      Click now to learn more from
       CleanTechnica, and view the slideshow.

    • • University Solar Parking Project
      Salisbury University Completes
      Solar Parking Canopy Project

      August 23, 2017 - Standard Solar, a leading solar energy company, announced the completion of its solar installation with Salisbury University (SU). Standard Solar constructed and will operate, own and maintain the 541.8 kilowatt (kW) solar system featuring four solar canopies and five electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The canopies will cover a parking lot to provide shade for the University’s Parking Lot H, as well power to the adjacent educational buildings

    • • A New Approach to Green Building
      Parasitic Wooden Cubes
      Slash Parisian Buildings
      Energy Consumption by 75%

      Mar. 3, 2017 -Stéphane Malka has designed a clever way of optimizing the energy efficiency of older urban structures while working within the restrictions of Parisian building codes.

      Her Plug-in City 75 design envisions attaching parasitic wooden cubes to the facade of a 1970s-era building, extending the living space and significantly reducing the building’s annual energy consumption by approximately 75%.

      The story includes a slideshow

    • The Dirty Secret of So-Called 'Fossil-Fuel Free' Buildings
      The ‘Embodied Carbon’ in the Building
      of Glass and Steel Blocks
      Makes Them Anything But Green

      Apr. 3, 2021 (The Guardian), -Hanging plants smother the walls of a new office block proposed for Salford, giving it the look of something from an abandoned post-Covid city, reclaimed by nature. The ivy-covered tower, designed by Make Architects, has been trumpeted as “fossil-fuel free”, set to run on 100% renewable energy and reach net zero operational carbon, with tenants enjoying the biophilic benefits of dangling foliage. But not everyone is convinced.

      “It’s strange to see something described as ‘fossil-fuel free’ when it is made of concrete, steel and glass,” says Joe Giddings, coordinator of the Architects Climate Action Network (Acan) campaign group.

    • • What a Real Green Roof Looks Like
      Amazing Green-roofed School Melts
      Into the Mountains of France

      Feb 10, 2017 -In the 1960s, the Jean Moulin High School in Revin, France was artfully tucked into the town’s grass-covered hills. However, over the years, the old building began to fall apart due to neglect and severe weather. When the town decided to renovate the damaged structure they called upon Duncan Lewis Scape Architecture (slideshow included).

    • • Building in S. Africa Goes for LEED
      Schneider Electric Building
      in South Africa Aims for
      LEED Gold Certification

      Feb 7, 2017 -The Midrand Waterfall Development in South Africa will soon receive a couple of world-class, energy-efficient additions aiming for the highest green certification in the country. The first among them, the Schneider Electric office designed by Aevitas Group is a star-shaped structure optimized for a superior energy performance, targeting a LEED Gold certification.

    • • Bamboo: Green Material Spotlight
      Bamboo: Green Material Spotlight

      Oct 31, 2016 -Bamboo is not only loved by cute, cuddly panda bears, but these days it’s a green material of choice among builders and homeowners alike.

      When considering green building materials, bamboo is right up there with the best of them. Stronger than steel and twice as strong as concrete, this renewable resource is home to wildlife, needs little energy for growth, prevents the erosion of soil, and also provides biomass.

    • • Have Your New House 3D Printed
      And It Can Be Done in Less than 24 Hours

      Aug. 21, 2021, (The Economist)-A BATCH OF new houses across California is selling unusually fast. In the past two months, 82 have been snapped up, and the waiting list is 1,000 long. That demand should, though, soon be satisfied—for, while it can take weeks to put up a conventional bricks-and-mortar dwelling, Palari Homes and Mighty Buildings, the collaborators behind these houses, are able to erect one in less than 24 hours. They can do it so rapidly because their products are assembled from components prefabricated in a factory. This is not, in itself, a new idea. But the components involved are made in an unusual way: they are printed.

    • • Washington's African American Museum
      African American Life, History and
      Culture in LEED Certified Building

      July 12, 2016 -The enveloping lattice opens the building to exterior daylight, which can be modulated according to the season. In one sense, this is architecturally practical and sustainable—and will help the building become the first Smithsonian museum to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification.

    • • Getting to Net Zero With Geothermal
      Going Net-Zero in California
      with the Help of Geothermal

      July 12, 2016 -When it was time to build its Americas headquarters in California to LEED Platinum and net-zero standards, power management solutions provider Delta looked to a geothermal exchange system for the building's heating and cooling functions.

    • • Battery Maker Pushes Clean Energy
      Total(™) to Buy Battery Maker Saft
      in Push to Expand Clean Energy

      May 9, 2016 -Total SA agreed to buy French battery maker Saft Groupe SA in a 950 million-euro ($1.1 billion) deal, ratcheting up investments in clean energy by one of the world’s largest oil companies.

    • • Environmentally Friendly Environment Center
      The Net-Zero Frick
      Environmental Center: One
      of the World’s Greenest Buildings

      May 14, 2018 -This Pittsburgh building just became the first municipally owned building in the U.S. to achieve Living Building certification — arguably the most rigorous proven performance green building standard in the world. Designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the FEC is among the world’s greenest certified buildings and it earned LEED Platinum certification last year.

      The 15,600-square-foot building produces as much energy and water as its consumes annually and it incorporates a wide array of other sustainable features including geothermal heating and cooling, locally sourced non-toxic building materials and daylight dimming controls and sensors.

      Click now for the story and
      slideshow from Inhabitat.

    • • Sustainable Sports Stadiums
      Five of The World’s Most
      Sustainable Sports Stadiums

      From Green Building Elements:

      Sustainability is one of the most important aspects of any new architectural design and in recent years we’ve seen this spread into the world of sports stadiums.

    • • Greenbuild Philly
      Sponsored by Greenbuild Nation

      The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non-profit organization committed to expanding sustainable building practices. USGBC is composed of more than 15,000 organizations from across the building industry that are working to advance structures that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work.

    • • China’s Future City
      China's Future City

      November 18, 2014 -One might take Tianjin Eco-City for just another of the many residential areas sprouting up all over China. But this place is different. The roadside trash cans are covered with PV panels so they can light up at night...

    • • De Blasio’s Green City
      Green City Sets Goals
      for Building Efficiency

      September 20, 2014 - In a sweeping effort to reduce its environmental impact, NYC is planning to overhaul the energy-efficiency standards of all its public buildings and to pressure private landlords to make similar improvements.

    • • Turning Our Windows into Solar Panels
      Totally Transparent Solar Cells Could
      Turn Our Windows Into Solar Panels

      Sept. 14, 2014. -In the future, you'll be able to charge your phone just by placing it in the sun, and you'll generate electricity through your windows, not just from the panels on the roof. How? By covering glass in a material that captures energy from the invisible parts of the light spectrum, but still lets in visible light. In other words: translucent solar cells.

    • • Bali Green Village
      The Green Village of Bali

      Set along the slopes of the Ayung River in Sibang, Bali, Green Village is a master-planned community of eighteen dramatically unique homes, each custom designed, rigorously engineered, and hand-constructed to embody the inherent strengths and versatility of bamboo...

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    Click on any link image
    to go to it's website.

    Building Green Magazine

    BG Logo
    A publication for green builders, featuring news stories, opnion page, education opportunities and more. Free trial membership.

    Carlson Studio Architects

    A Florida-based, full service firm, committed to design excellence, comprehensive project delivery and personal attention to each project, promising the highest quality solutions, cost control and innovative use of technology. Principal of the firm, Michael Carlson has been practicing in Sarasota since 1986.  It's the only architectural firm in the SW Florida Region with 8 LEED Certified Projects

    Colby College

    Colby College LogoEnvironmental sustainability is one of Colby’s seven core values.  As part of Colby’s institutional commitment to reducing its environmental impact (see Green Colby for additional information) the College has committed to reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other gasses that contribute to climate change.  In April 2013 the College declared carbon neutrality.

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    Clean Edison

    Their mission is to promote sustainability and green building practices by offering expert advice and best-in-class education. Courses taught in LEED certification

    Green Real Estate

    Searches for country wide homes with sustainability in mind

    National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

    The market for high-performance homes and workplaces is soaring. Explore this website to find out how building green can boost your bottom line. Get tips for streamlining design and construction. Learn which strategies deliver the biggest paybacks. And discover ways to get your project noticed.

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    U.S. Green Building Council

    4The USGBC is a non-profit composed of leaders from every sector of the building industry working to promote environmentally  responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. Our more than 10,500 member organizations and our network of 75 regional chapters are united to advance our mission of transforming the building industry to sustainability.

    U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency (EPA)

    1The buildings in which we live, work, and play protect us from Nature's extremes, yet they also affect our health and environment in countless ways. The design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal of buildings takes enormous amounts of energy, water, and materials, and generates large quantities of waste, air and water pollution, as well as creating stormwater runoff and heat islands. Buildings also develop their own indoor environments, which present an array of health challenges. Where and how they are built affects wildlife habitat and corridors and the hydrologic cycle, while influencing the overall quality of human life