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Green Architecture & Design

What is green architecture and design? Find out about sustainable interior design, green buildings, LEED certification, home renovations, recycled building materials, green home design, energy use, lighting, contractors and architects, solar energy and urban planning for the environment.

The 7 Hallmarks of a Green Building
Ever wonder what makes a green building green? Sustainable building design is not just a fad, as energy efficiency, green products and safe, healthy buildings become more prominent worldwide. These seven criteria define green buildings, sustainable architecture and green homes.

8 Benefits of Green Buildings
Why do people build green buildings? There are many benefits to green sustainable architecture. Construction costs may or may not be higher, but energy efficiency and water conservation mean green buildings and sustainable architecture are actually cheaper -- in the short run and the long run. Get the facts on green building benefits.

Green Design on a Budget
Green design has a reputation for being expensive. But designer Cindy Ojczyk, LEED AP, has a few suggestions on how to create a great green interior design on a budget.

What Is Sick Building Syndrome?
Sick building syndrome describes a range of health problems that can occur to occupants of a particular home or office building. Sick building is usually brought on by indoor air pollutants like mold, radon, smoke or other types of indoor pollution.

8 Reasons to Love LED Lights - And 1 Reason Not To
LED lights are shining bright these days. Discover why LEDs, also known as light-emitting diodes, are being used in LED home lights and elsewhere.

U.S. Green Building Council
The USGBC is a nonprofit organization responsible for developing and implementing the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system.

Briefing: Green Retirement, LEED and the USGBC
When the USGBC certifies a green retirement community as LEED-certified, what makes that place different from other facilities?

ArchitectureWeek - Green Architecture
Celebrating the best in sustainable architecture, ArchitectureWeek presents a lively critique of green building design.

An excellent resource for architects and designers, BuildingGreen.com presents product reviews and case studies of contemporary sustainable architecture.

Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility
ADPSR, established in 1981, has focused much of its efforts on ecologically and socially responsible design and development.

Let's Talk About Straw Bale Homes
Straw bale homes have been around for hundreds of years, but are now back on the green radar as a smart way to build sustainable homes and green buildings. Architects, contractors, designers and home owners are looking at strawbale houses for their great energy-saving potential and soundproofing, as well as the speed and ease of straw bale...

What Is LEED?
What are LEED-certified buildings -- and are they really green? The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification means that the construction of a home or commercial building is designed to save energy, water and other resources. But are all LEED buildings really green? Many architects and contractors say no.

Does LEED Really Work?
The LEED certification process has come under fire for not doing enough to encourage the construction of green buildings. What has the U.S. Green Building Council, or USGBC, done to address them?

What Is the USGBC?
The US Green Building Council, or USGBC, is a non-profit group dedicated to the development of cost-efficient, energy-saving green buildings. They are best known for their management of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, program. What else does the USGBC do, and how effective is the LEED green building certification...

Is Bamboo Green?
A sustainable bamboo floor has the look and hardness of a hardwood floor, with the reputation of being a sustainable, green flooring option. But is bamboo green when used as flooring or other uses?

What Is a Xeriscape?
Xeriscape is a type of landscape design that emphasizes the beauty of drought-tolerant plants that need less water to thrive. But what does xeriscaping look like, and is a xeriscape landscape design a good idea for places like Florida, Texas, Arizona, Colorado and California?

Plant a Wind Break to Save Energy
How can a tree help you save energy? A wind break or even a single shade tree, if planted in the right place, can greatly reduce your home's electric bills. Learn how wind breaks and shade trees can save energy while beautifying your home.

How to Find a Green Architect
Hiring a green architect is one of the first steps in constructing a green building. Find one with real experience in sustainable or LEED architecture, and learn what questions to ask before you sign a contract. Get the facts on hiring a green builder.

10 Questions to Ask a Green Builder or Architect
Before you decide on a green builder or a green architect, it's important that you know what their professional credentials are in sustainable design and green architecture. Here's a list of questions to ask before you hire them.

How to Build Green
Build green with these tips on getting started with green architecture and sustainable development. Information on green building materials, how to find a green architect or builder, LEED buildings, the USGBC and more.

The Micro-Apartment is Huge in New York
The micro-apartment is suddenly all the rage - unless you can do better, which isn't often the case in crowded cities like New York and Tokyo. Check out these new micro-apartments supported by Mayor Bloomberg, part of the burgeoning tiny house movement.

Discover Zero-Energy Buildings
Zero-energy buildings and net-zero homes are the next wave of architecture, since they are free of heating, cooling, electrical and other energy costs. Find out what makes a home or office a net-zero building.

Briefing: Radon Risk
A radon map reveals the areas where radon risk is highest. Learn how radon can affect your health.

Let's Talk About Indoor Pollutants
Indoor air quality is affected by asbestos, radon, carbon monoxide, mold and other kinds of indoor pollutants. Get the facts on air quality and health, sick building syndrome, healthy ventilation and indoor air pollution.

The New Wave: Shipping Container Homes
Shipping container homes have captured the imagination of architects and residents alike. Creative builders are crafting beautiful, elegant shipping container architecture made of ISBU blocks.

College Life: Find a Green Dorm
What does it take to make a dormitory green? And which college has the best green dorm life? Find out in this list of the best green dorms.

What Is Light Pollution?
Most people are familiar with air and water pollution, but few have even heard of light pollution. The effects of light pollution on people and the environment -- especially birds, insects and other migratory species -- are profound. Here's a light pollution map and other info from the International Dark Sky Association.

Briefing: Sustainable Cities and Energy Costs
Dense urban areas are usually more sustainable and greener than rural areas, many experts claim. Find out why sustainable cities have energy costs and other features that make them more green, and which cities are greener due to climate control and energy bills.

The Green Benefits of a Roof Garden
If you're looking for a great way to conserve energy, save money, enjoy fresh local produce and reuse wasted space, consider a roof garden. The popularity of rooftop gardens is soaring as people discover the many benefits of using formerly empty roof areas. A roof garden can be a simple or extensive, depending on how much you can invest in...

What Good Is a Green Roof?
A green roof is an energy-smart way to reuse the often-wasted space on top of buildings. Whether it's used for rooftop gardening or is a simple grassy meadow, the idea of turning rooftops into green roofs is remaking the look of urban and suburban areas worldwide.

Make Your Own Vertical Farm
Green walls and vertical farms are as old as the fabled Hanging Gardens of Babylon, but architects, building managers and urban gardeners are taking a new look at an old idea. Discover the benefits of green walls, vertical gardens and vertical farming.

Patrick Blanc's Plant Walls
Patrick Blanc is a famous designer of plant walls, the lush indoor and outdoor fantasies also known as live walls, green walls or - in his native French - "le mur vegetal."

The Plant Walls of Patrick Blanc
Patrick Blanc is one of the foremost designers of plants walls, also known as live walls, green walls or, in his native French, le mur vegetal. Discover the design innovations that are greening up homes, offices, hotels and other buildings.

R-Value and Insulation
What is an R-value? If you're installing insulation, or insulating any structure, understanding the different r-values for foam, rolls and loose insulation is critical to project success.

Briefing: ICF Construction
An ICF building is made with modular blocks of hollow foam. These ICFs, or insulating concrete forms, fit together to form a wall with a higher R-Value than standard wood frame construction, and manufacturers like ECO-Block have made ICF construction a model of energy efficiency.


The Tiny House Is Huge
Living in a tiny house might sound difficult, but people who have joined the micro-house movement consistently describe their mini-homes as more liberating than confining. Is a mini-home - like those offered by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company - in your future?

Welcome Home to the Micro-House Movement
More information on the micro-house movement than you can probably fit in a mini-house.

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