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Alliance Between USGBC and AIA

There has been a lot of news out of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in the last few weeks, including the draft version of the new LEED standard. But an alliance between the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and USGBC will help bring green building even further into the mainstream.

June 6th

WaterSense: The New Symbol of Water Conservation

Get to know this symbol because chances are it’s going to be as ubiquitous as the blue star of EPA’s other conservation program, ENERGY STAR. Launched in 2006 the EPA’s WaterSense program seeks “to enhance the market for water-efficient products and services by building a national brand for water efficiency.” Viewed mainly as a program […]

May 21st

LEED Version 3 Is Coming

Since 2000, the U.S. Green Building Council has been transforming the built environment through the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program. If you’re at all paying attention to green buildings, you are well aware of LEED. There are now over 10,000 projects, representing over 3.5 billion square feet of buildings, that have been […]

May 19th

Eco-Tourism gets Political Boost

I remember reading the little placard on the bathroom vanity advising me to hang my damp towels with curiosity. We were on vacation and it was the first time I had ever heard of such a thing. We did this at home, but it seemed more practical – a way to avoid doing laundry each […]

May 18th

First LEED Certified MedSpa

Relaxation! Fashion! Celebrity! Botox! Booze! Interiors! Green! Yes, most of this list refers to the Brit series Ab Fab but if Eddy and Patsy turned in their smokes and cocktails for organic and sustainable munchies then they too would be excited for the opening of the Epi Center MedSpa, the first LEED certified MedSpa in […]

May 2nd

USGBC and ASID Launch REGREEN: Green Remodeling Guidelines

Under the FAQs for LEED for Homes is a question on whether the US Green Building Council has a LEED program for remodeling. The response is that they are “in active consideration.” It seems they’ve done more than just consider. Last month at the Interiors 08 conference in New Orleans, the American Society of Interior […]

April 10th

Architecture Week 2008 – Is It Sustainable?

Architecture Week was first established one year ago as part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the American Institute of Architects.  This year, for the second Architecture Week, there are three big programs the organization is promoting.  But sustainability gets only a passing mention in one of them, and seems not to be […]

April 7th

New Levels of LEED

A new top-level LEED classification called Unobtanium is being proposed to replace the currently proposed Protactinium level, leading to a possible schism in the growing green building rating system.  Whether Protactinium or Unobtanium becomes the new top-level of the LEED rating system…? Earlier this year, officials proposed a new level of LEED (Leadership in Energy […]

April 1st

What Does it Mean to Build Green?

In an MSNBC article last year, it was projected that by 2010 half of all new homes will be built green, since homebuilders see a big benefit to their business from going green. In a nationwide survey conducted in 2007 by Professional Builder Magazine, builders reported that they believed energy efficiency to be somewhat or […]

February 26th

Green Home Requirement in San Mateo County

Here in the Bay Area, it’s not just Berkeley who’s showing Green Big Brother mentality. Green home building will be required from all new homes built in the unincorporated region of San Mateo County. The county supes this week voted to add sweeping green regulations to green construction requirements to take effect later this year. […]

February 15th

Untangling the Green Building Standards

LEED-H. FGBC. Energy Star. HERS. Fortified Home. EarthCraft. These are all names of green building standards used around the country for homes. And now NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) is due to unveil its own Green Building Standard at the upcoming International Building Show in Orlando, Feb. 13-16.

January 31st

Photovoltaics and Firefighters

Safety concerns are going to start being an issue with alternative energy installations. With any new technology come unanticipated concerns, as that system leaves the ideal world of the drawing board (or the computer simulation) and enters the real world.  We are already well acquainted with the concerns about wind turbines and birds (for the […]

January 25th

GreenBuilder Magazine

I’m not a huge fan of paper magazines. They’re hard to recycle in my area (they’re no good for sheet mulching), and generally I want more in-depth discussion of a particular subject than a monthly can spare. But I might make an exception for one that is new to me, GreenBuilder. I’m impressed. Not only […]

January 9th