USGBC Wins Environmental Award From United Nations

The US Green Building Council has won the United Nations’ top environmental award, the Champions of the Earth award for Entrepreneurial Vision. The award is usually given to an individual, but the organization is being specially honored for its “outstanding contribution to sustainable building through its LEED green building rating system.”   Champions of the Earth Champions of the Earth is the United Nations’ flagship environmental award, which was launched in 2005, and it recognizes outstanding visionaries and leaders in…

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What Is LEED? – Innovation and Regional Priority Credits

This is the eighth and final post in a series on the LEED green building rating system. The first post provided an Introduction to LEED, and the remaining posts looked at each of the six credit categories: Sustainable Sites, Location and Transportation, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. We hope you have enjoyed the series!   Innovation Credits This credit is worth 1-5 points. Projects can earn additional credits for innovations in green building. There…

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LEED Dynamic Plaque screenshot

LEED Dynamic Plaque Provides Real-Time LEED Ratings

Digital plaque provides up-to-the-minute energy and water use, and provides a current LEED Rating for the building For those who wonder whether green buildings stay green after they are designed and built, the US Green Building Council is providing a chance for them to see for themselves. The new LEED Dynamic Plaque is available to projects who have already achieved LEED certification and wish to know how they are performing in real-time. According to USGBC, “The LEED Dynamic Plaque assesses…

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LEED plaque

USGBC Extends LEED 2009 Registration

Earlier this week, the US Green Building Council announced that it would extend the life of LEED 2009. Projects can still register under the 2009 version until October 31, 2016. The original cut-off date was set to be June 15, 2015, but resounding feedback from LEED users led to the decision.   LEED v4 LEED v4, the most recent version, has been available for a little over a year. It has increased the rigor of the program, as more and…

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Bark House Poplar Bark Panels

Green Materials Report – Wall Coverings

This post is part of the Green Materials Report series. GBE is providing information on various building materials and what makes them green. Each post focuses on one material. We will be looking at the ingredients in the material, how it is used, what makes it green, and any green product certifications that it has earned. We hope to develop a database of information to help consumers make informed choices about what goes in their buildings. Enjoy the series!   Wall Coverings…

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What Is LEED? – Indoor Environmental Quality

This is the seventh post in a series on the LEED green building rating system. The first post provided an Introduction to LEED, the second looked at the Sustainable Sites credit category, the third at the Location and Transportation credits, the fourth at Water Efficiency, the fifth at the Energy and Atmosphere credits, and the sixth at Materials and Resources.   Indoor Environmental Quality The quality of the air on the inside of a building is important to all the occupants, as it can contribute to illness…

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Which Is More Green – SFI or FSC Lumber?

The two main sustainable forestry certification programs (Sustainable Forestry Initiative, SFI, and Forest Stewardship Council, FSC) have been fighting for years to determine which is better. SFI has struggled to gain a foothold in the industry, and has been working to be approved by the US Green Building Council’s LEED green building rating system. In an attempt to fully understand the potential greenwashing, let’s take a look at the two wood certification systems compare, green-wise.   Harvest Requirements The FSC standard…

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What Is LEED? – Materials and Resources

This is the sixth post in a series on the LEED green building rating system. The first post provided an Introduction to LEED, the second looked at the Sustainable Sites credit category, the third at the Location and Transportation credits, the fourth at Water Efficiency, and the fifth at the Energy and Atmosphere credits.   Materials and Resources What materials are used, where they come from, how they are made, and how they are disposed of are instrumental in determining how green a project is. Using…

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Mercedes-Benz Net Zero Office Concept

Net Zero Buildings = the Future of the Commercial Market

The future of the green building market rests on net zero buildings. These projects promise innovative new design – like that seen in this net zero building proposal for a Mercedes-Benz office building in Armenia – integrate a number of advanced “green” materials to maximize efficiency with renewable energy sources that generate as much energy as the project uses on an annual basis. In other words, it uses zero energy, “net”. → Related product: Commercial metal buildings Senior Vice President of Turner…

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Sustainable Forestry Initiative lumber

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Recognized By BREEAM

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) has been recognized by green building rating system BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) for its ability to allow the construction industry to responsibly source forest products. Their efforts to make one of the greenest building elements- wood!- even greener are definitely worth taking notice of! According to the BREEAM website, its “assessment uses recognized measures of performance, which are set against established benchmarks, to evaluate a building’s specification, design, construction, and use.” “The…

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What is LEED? – Energy and Atmosphere

This is the fifth post in a series on the LEED green building rating system. The first post provided an Introduction to LEED, the second looked at the Sustainable Sites credit category, the third at the Location and Transportation credits, and the fourth at Water Efficiency. Energy and Atmosphere Improving energy efficiency is one of the easiest ways to save money and improve the sustainability of a building. Therefore almost a third of the points available in LEED are found in…

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John Perlin Series: Five Major Breakthroughs in Solar Energy – Part II

I am pleased to post this second in a series of solar energy articles from John Perlin, based on his ground breaking book, Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy. Perlin discusses the major breakthroughs in solar energy over the millennia. Second Major Breakthrough – Solar Architecture and Solar Cities The second major breakthrough in solar occurred when the Chinese began to apply their knowledge of the changing position of the sun during the year, as discussed in the…

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Green Materials Report – Smog Eating Roof Tiles

This post is part of the green materials report series. GBE is providing information on various building materials and what makes them green. Each post focuses on one material. We will be looking at the ingredients in the material, how it is used, what makes green materials green, and any green product certifications that it has earned. We hope to develop a database of information to help consumers make informed choices about what goes in their buildings.   A team of students…

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LEED credentials in demand in job market

LEED is in High Demand in Today’s Job Market

Have you ever wondered if becoming a LEED Accredited Professional, or Green Associate, was really worth the effort? “Will it help me get a job?,” you wonder. According to a press release from the US Green Building Council, the demand for LEED accredited applicants in the North American job market has actually increased – by 46% in the last year, alone! “This figure tells a powerful story about the value that building-industry employers assign to knowledgeable, LEED-credentialed professionals,” said Rick…

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water efficiency

What Is LEED? – Water Efficiency

This is the fourth post in a series on the LEED green building rating system. The first post provided an Introduction to LEED, the second looked at the Sustainable Sites credit category, and the third at the Location and Transportation credits. Water Efficiency Fresh, drinkable water is a precious commodity that is only available in a limited supply. Therefore, prudent use and treatment of waste water are very important as we look to expand our built environment and shrink natural treatment areas. Credits…

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PEER certification evaluates power system performance

GBCI to Administer PEER Program for Power System Performance

The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) announced today that it will administer certification for the Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal™ (PEER) program. PEER is the nation’s first comprehensive, consumer-centric, data-driven system for evaluating power system performance and is modeled after the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program for buildings. “The PEER program provides a much more complete picture of the efficiency, quality, safety, resilience and reliability of energy generation, transmission and distribution systems than is currently available. It provides actionable…

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Public transportation connectivity

What is LEED? – Location and Transportation

This is the third post in a series on the LEED green building rating system. The first post provided an Introduction to LEED, and the second looked at the Sustainable Sites credit category. Location and Transporation The LEED Location and Transporation category of credits is based on where the project is located, its connectibility to public transportation, and making accommodations for those using alternative transportation modes. LEED for Neighborhood Development Location This credit is worth 3-16 points. If the project…

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Construction site

What Is LEED? – Sustainable Sites

This is the second post in a series on the LEED green building rating system. The first post provided an introduction to LEED. Sustainable Sites The first category of LEED prerequisites and credits has to do with the location and piece of land the project is built on. LEED Sustainable Sites credits deal with protecting natural habitat, keeping open spaces, dealing with rainwater, and heat island and light pollution reduction. Construction Activity Pollution Prevention This measure is required for LEED…

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