Buildings & Design

  • Closeup of a sign reading "United Nations Climate Change COP28 UAE" with blurred groups of people standing in the background
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    Sean Gallup/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    HUD announces new building decarbonization efforts at COP28

    As the U.S. pledges to make near-zero-emissions buildings the “new normal” by 2030, the housing agency is teaming up with other departments for access to the best available data and research.

    By Dec. 7, 2023
  • A person on a ladder reaches over to repair an air conditioning unit on a house
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    Brandon Bell/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    Cooling cities while reducing emissions: 3 takeaways from UN report

    Increasing air conditioning and refrigeration needs threaten to drive up greenhouse gas emissions, pushing experts to recommend more passive solutions in a Dec. 5 report.

    By Dec. 6, 2023
  • smart city, smart cities Explore the Trendline
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    jamesteohart via Getty Images
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    Top 5 Stories from Smart Cities Dive

    Flying taxis and expanding high-speed rail promise to transform the urban transportation landscape, as cities increasingly harness the natural and built environments to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts.

    By Smart Cities Dive staff
  • Silhouette of hills and light emanating from faraway buildings under starry night sky
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    Nazar Rybak via Getty Images
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    3 communities turning to the dark side with dark-sky retrofits

    Reducing light pollution has tourism, sustainability, safety and health benefits, proponents say.

    By Kalena Thomhave • Dec. 4, 2023
  • A sustainable green coworking office space
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    Imaginima via Getty Images
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    Demand for sustainable buildings outstripping supply, JLL says

    Rising demand has led to an over 7% rental premium on green-certified office buildings across major U.S. and Canadian markets, with significant variations from city to city.

    By Nish Amarnath • Nov. 30, 2023
  • Rendering of Mutual of Omaha's $600 million tower in downtown Omaha, Nebraska
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    Courtesy of Mutual of Omaha
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    Office construction may never return to pre-pandemic levels

    Despite some massive office towers breaking ground, the chief economist for a construction analytics firm expects starts in the sector to continue to tumble.

    By Sebastian Obando • Nov. 29, 2023
  • A view of tall buildings with a solar panel outside.
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    Zu-kuni via Getty Images
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    As building performance standards gain steam, noncompliant owners face business risks

    Some cities respond to policy violations with financial penalties, but green lease clauses and submetering provide other levers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, says real estate firm CBRE.

    By Joe Burns • Nov. 29, 2023
  • The Department of Energy (DOE) sign is seen at its headquarters, the James Forrestal Building, nicknamed the Little Pentagon, in Washington, DC.
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    hapabapa via Getty Images
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    DOE releases $31M+ in grants for retrofits, infrastructure upgrades

    Some cities will use the funds for resilience hubs, while others plan to conduct energy audits and upgrade facilities. Local governments can continue applying for the grants through April 2024.

    By Nish Amarnath • Nov. 28, 2023
  • A view of windows that show renovation work in an office of a commercial building
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    FangXiaNuo via Getty Images
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    Without significant interventions, US building emissions will continue to increase

    Federal, regional and local government bodies must collaborate to create “consistent and stringent building standards,” a new report says.

    By Nish Amarnath • Nov. 27, 2023
  • Aerial shot of colorfully painted plaza with people sitting on benches
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    Courtesy of Sander and Arber Marra
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    How 7 cities transformed asphalt with art in 2023: photos

    Bloomberg Philanthropies recently announced which 25 cities will receive Asphalt Art Initiative grants to undertake projects in 2024.

    By Nov. 27, 2023
  • A rendering of a remodeled office / modern apartment
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    Mirror Image Studio via Getty Images
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    Office-to-residential conversion costs can be 30% lower than new construction: Gensler

    However, only 25% of the office buildings the firm assessed for adaptive reuse were deemed suitable for conversion, according to the analysis. 

    By Nish Amarnath • Nov. 21, 2023
  • Aerial shot of homes in a city
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    Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.
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    Plans to get an entire block off the natural gas system take shape in one California city

    Albany, California, wants to lay the groundwork for widescale adoption of this emerging building decarbonization approach.

    By Nov. 20, 2023
  • President Joe Biden, dressed in a dark suit with white hair, stands behind a podium in front of a brick tunnel and train.
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images
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    2 years in, infrastructure law has funded 40,000 projects

    The largest portion of 2021 infrastructure law money is flowing to road and bridge construction, according to White House data analyzed by CNBC.

    By Julie Strupp • Nov. 17, 2023
  • Scorched and crumbling columns stand beneath a section of I-10 damaged by an intense fire.
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    Caltrans District 7/AP

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    LA’s I-10 to reopen in 3 to 5 weeks after intense blaze

    No demo is needed to repair the freeway, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday. He called the damage "substantially greater” than a portion of Interstate 95 that collapsed on the East Coast in June.

    By Joe Bousquin • Nov. 15, 2023
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    Scott Eisen/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    Boston ends efforts to ban fossil fuels in new buildings through state program

    Massachusetts’ largest city pursued inclusion in the state climate pilot program, but the mayor reported she got “clear indications” that Boston would not be selected for the last of 10 spots.

    By Nov. 15, 2023
  • The U.S. Federal Building and Courthouse in Ft. Lauderdale
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    Felix Mizioznikov via Getty Images
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    23 federal properties on the chopping block to ‘right-size’ government’s real estate

    The U.S. General Services Administration said it will engage with local communities to “maximize the benefits of new uses and minimize any potential adverse impacts."

    By Nish Amarnath • Nov. 13, 2023
  • Interior of a coworking office space with computers and laptops in desks. Modern open plan office with no people.
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    alvarez via Getty Images
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    75% of companies plan to cut office space in 2024

    Of more than 500 business owners and facilities managers surveyed, 82% are concerned about their ability to retain current office space, according to a report from workspace platform provider Robin.

    By Nish Amarnath • Nov. 10, 2023
  • A shift to remote work has softened the demand for office space, accelerating the need for commercial-to-residential conversions.
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    Fang Xia Nuo via Getty Images
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    White House advances office-to-residential conversions with new resources

    The guidance, financing and technical assistance aim to address a 30-year high in office vacancies and ease the affordable housing crisis.

    By Oct. 30, 2023
  • New York CIty tall buildings at night.
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    Yongyuan via Getty Images
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    Debate swirls at NYC hearing on proposed delays to building emissions enforcement

    Participants weighed in on whether “good-faith efforts” toward compliance should delay penalties and whether renewable energy credits provide a worrisome loophole.

    By Joe Burns • Updated Oct. 30, 2023
  • A city skyline beneath a cloudy, orange sky.
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    Kruck20 via Getty Images
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    Is Phoenix’s construction market hot? It depends on who you ask.

    With few natural disaster risks, a stable climate and business-friendly practices, the Arizona metropolis has experienced a burst in industrial building.

    By Matthew Thibault • Oct. 26, 2023
  • Technicians install heat pump systems at a training facility.
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    Leon Neal via Getty Images
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    Deep Dive

    Heat pumps are hot, but commercial retrofits face cold realities

    Government decarbonization strategies call for widespread deployment of heat pumps for building heating and cooling, but experts warn of retrofit costs, disruption and other concerns.

    By Nish Amarnath • Oct. 23, 2023
  • A building inspector is completing an inspection form on clipboard.
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    Pixsooz via Getty Images
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    NYC project looks to support climate law with building inspection tech

    The AI-powered technology under development uses robots and drone scans to detect structural flaws that reduce energy efficiency.

    By Nish Amarnath • Oct. 16, 2023
  • A street sign above floodwaters
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    tornadochaser via Getty Images
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    FEMA makes ‘key changes’ to $1.8B climate resilience grant programs

    Amid concerns that some communities struggle to access federal climate resilience funding, the agency moved to lower the administrative and financial burden for certain applicants.

    By Oct. 13, 2023
  • New York City skyline
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    Gian Lorenzo Ferretti Photography via Getty Images
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    NYC launches ‘smart city testbed’: Here are the first 3 pilot technologies

    Initial projects aim to pull pollution out of the air and scan buildings for flaws that reduce energy efficiency.

    By Oct. 12, 2023
  • Aerial shot of city with lines connecting different locations
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    alexsl via Getty Images
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    Notable 2024 conferences for smart city leaders

    Get ahead on planning for next year’s events, which will cover everything from the latest tech innovations to urban parks.

    By Updated Dec. 7, 2023
  • The U.S. General Services Administrations' building.
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    Douglas Rissing via Getty Images
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    ‘Empty’ federal buildings under scrutiny

    Unused office space poses financial and environmental issues federal agencies must address, lawmakers from both parties said at a Senate committee hearing.

    By Nish Amarnath • Oct. 9, 2023