Category Archives: Green Building

Understanding the SITES Initiative and its Benefits

Understanding the SITES Initiative and its Benefits

Architects have been known for creating beautiful and functional buildings all while thinking about what materials can be used that are sustainable to our environment. Over the past several years, several robust green building standards have emerged in the marketplace, including LEED, WELL, Fitwel, and the Living Building Challenge. This commitment to sustainability in building design and construction is now spilling over into the landscape architecture arena, largely as a result of the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES). WHAT IS SITES?….

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Five Diagrams Every Design Team Should Know

Five Diagrams Every Design Team Should Know

Originally published on February 7, 2018 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog. They might be considered cliché; however, they might also be very true. The following are five diagrams that frequently work their way into slide decks about green building design and construction. You should be familiar with all of these. Let’s unpack each one briefly – going back to primary source material and acknowledging attribution. Read more…

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Tracking Energy Efficiency Improvements in ASHRAE Standard 90.1

Tracking Energy Efficiency Improvements in ASHRAE Standard 90.1

Originally published on January 17, 2018 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog. It may be the most well-known standard in the building design and construction industry: ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings, Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings (or more commonly, ASHRAE Standard 90.1). It serves as the basis for many energy codes across the U.S. It is also the energy standard referenced by LEED and other green building certification systems. Every few years, Standard 90.1 is updated by….

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Toward Benchmarking Embodied Carbon in Buildings

Toward Benchmarking Embodied Carbon in Buildings

Originally published on December 14, 2017 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog.   The term “Global Warming Potential” (GWP) is a measure of greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide and methane. These emissions are causing an increase in the absorption of radiation emitted by the Earth, increasing the natural greenhouse effect. This may in turn have adverse impacts on ecosystem health, human health, and material welfare. With regard to buildings, GWP is gauged by carbon emissions and….

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GBCI Ramps Up Service Offerings to Green Building Industry

GBCI Ramps Up Service Offerings to Green Building Industry

Originally published on November 15, 2017 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog.   You probably know Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) as the third-party entity that evaluates and certifies your office’s LEED projects. What you may not be aware of is that GBCI currently provides third-party verification services for certification and credentialing on a variety of platforms in addition to LEED. By implementing a standardized, scientific process through which a product, process, or service is reviewed by a….

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Leveraging Life Cycle Assessment in the Design Process

Leveraging Life Cycle Assessment in the Design Process

Originally published on October 11, 2017 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog. While environmentally responsible design and sustainable building practices have become increasingly prevalent in the design and construction industry, decision-making for building products and materials have historically focused on single attributes such as regional manufacturing, recycled content, or consisting of renewable materials or certified wood. It used to frustrate me that there was not an efficient way to make holistic decisions about building products and materials that….

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How to Determine if Your Project is in a Flood Hazard Area

How to Determine if Your Project is in a Flood Hazard Area

Originally published on September 18, 2017 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog. The debate about whether or not to build on floodplains will always follow flooding disasters. LEED and other sustainable design certification systems encourage teams to locate development above certain floodplains. However, referencing this information is not something architects and engineers do everyday. Do you know how to determine if your project is in a flood hazard area? In the digital age, it is very easy to….

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Energy Use Intensity (EUI) in Simple Terms

Energy Use Intensity (EUI) in Simple Terms

Originally published on August 17, 2017 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog.   Energy use intensity – or EUI. It has been called “the miles per gallon rating of the building industry,” but many design and construction professionals are not entirely sure how EUI is defined and what its utility is with regard to project. Below is a primer to help get anyone started.   Energy Use Intensity (EUI) Energy Use Intensity (EUI) can be defined as the….

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Applets for Energy and Environmental Design

Applets for Energy and Environmental Design

Originally published on July 10, 2017 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog. Newsflash: There are a lot of great (and free) online resources for design professionals. When I am having exchanges about energy and environmental design analysis with colleagues and students, it seems like I am constantly referring them to any number of small, accessible online utility programs for performing simple – yet highly sophisticated – functions. Some would refer to these small programs as applets. Below, I have….

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Why Fitwel? Good Health = Good Business

Why Fitwel? Good Health = Good Business

Originally published on June 21, 2017 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog. Over the past century, advances in infrastructure and the quality of the built environment have contributed to a drastic reduction in infectious diseases in the U.S. However, a coinciding shift toward a more sedentary lifestyle for a majority of Americans has spurred a similarly sharp increase in chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes – which are now among the most common, costly, and….

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