Buildings & Design

  • Energy Department Secretary Jennifer Granholm behind a podium speaking.
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    Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images
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    Rooftop heat pump technologies can save US businesses $5B annually: DOE

    A new U.S. Department of Energy program aims to bring higher-efficiency rooftop heat pump technologies to market as soon as 2027.

    By Nish Amarnath • April 9, 2024
  • A crane demolishing a house
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    temmuzcan via Getty Images
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    This city wants to deconstruct buildings to balance climate goals with growth

    Tacoma, Washington’s city council recently directed the city manager to propose ways to boost deconstruction and salvage in the community. It may be challenging given that demolition is often cheaper and easier.

    By April 9, 2024
  • 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

    From worsening climate change to a shifting transportation landscape and the housing affordability crisis, cities have their work cut out for them in 2024.

    By Smart Cities Dive staff
  • Inside the rise of groundwater-based geothermal heat pumps

    The technology, which is cost-effective across 75% of the U.S. landmass and ideal for space-constrained users, could eventually displace utility gas service, proponents say.

    By Brian Martucci • April 5, 2024
  • Two people on a residential rooftop drilling solar panels in
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    Mario Tama/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    These 8 nonprofits got $20B from the Biden administration for local clean energy financing. Now what?

    The “green bank” funds must be obligated by September 2024 amid efforts by Republican lawmakers to repeal the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

    By April 5, 2024
  • Aerial shot of buildings in dense urban setting
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    AerialPerspective Works via Getty Images
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    High-priority local actions in Biden’s new plan to slash building GHG emissions

    The Department of Energy blueprint lays out specific goals to lower U.S. building emissions 90% by 2050 compared with 2005 levels.

    By April 3, 2024
  • A person in a crowded room
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    Drew Angerer/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    DC mayor brokers $515M deal to keep two pro sports teams downtown

    The city’s new downtown revival plan is among the factors that reportedly convinced the owner of the Wizards and Capitals to keep them in downtown D.C. instead of proceeding with plans to move them to the Virginia suburbs.

    By March 28, 2024
  • Silhouette of power line infrastructure at sunset
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    Sanghwan Kim via Getty Images
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    To chart its path away from gas, Massachusetts launches energy transformation office

    Headed by a former utility executive, the office will convene a task force with representatives from utilities, municipalities, business, labor and the supply chain industry.

    By March 25, 2024
  • Construction cranes and street light at sunrise
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    Jaimie Tuchman via Getty Images
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    DC’s downtown revival plan, from office conversions to ‘neighborhood safety centers’

    Facing public safety concerns, the possible loss of two professional sports teams and costly office-to-residential conversions, Washington, D.C., officials released highlights of a proposed revitalization.

    By Danielle McLean • March 22, 2024
  • A rooftop solar installation against the backdrop of the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building in midtown Manhattan.
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    FernandoAH via Getty Images
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    New York City bill would mandate solar panels on public buildings

    The legislation would prohibit the use of power purchase agreements to meet solar targets, leaving the city to figure out who should handle routine operations and maintenance of the systems.

    By Nish Amarnath • March 12, 2024
  • The U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C.
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    Douglas Rissing via Getty Images
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    ASHRAE commercial building code standard now requires on-site renewables

    The Energy Department estimates that ASHRAE’s updated Standard 90.1 will drive energy savings nationwide. States have two years to certify that they have reviewed and, if needed, updated their codes.

    By Nish Amarnath • March 8, 2024
  • A Chicago elevated train snakes through downtown buildings.
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    Mlenny via Getty Images
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    Think holistically about infrastructure, new president of civil engineering group urges

    The American Society of Civil Engineers’ Marsia Geldert-Murphey talks about why public transit is the most underfunded infrastructure sector and how to build climate change-ready structures.

    By Julie Strupp • March 7, 2024
  • Construction framing of wood building.
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    ribeirorocha via Getty Images
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    Building energy code revamps can get another $90M from DOE

    More energy-efficient homes can remain habitable longer during extreme heat and cold events, which could save lives, a Department of Energy-commissioned study finds.

    By March 5, 2024
  • An aerial view of Los Angeles, California.
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    Adam Kaz via Getty Images
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    LA City Council plans to streamline solar, battery installation review process

    The move, which echoes a similar initiative in New York City, aims to help Los Angeles reach its goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035.

    By Joe Burns • March 5, 2024
  • An engineer checking a maintenance pipe system for ventilation and air conditioning on the rooftop of a building.
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    Amorn Suriyan via Getty Images
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    NYC defines ‘green economy,’ projects job growth in new action plan

    The 124-page plan released yesterday is the city’s latest signal that it is hungry to be at the center of climate change-related business and workforce growth.

    By Feb. 29, 2024
  • A facade of a building with the General Services Administration signboard
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    Douglas Rissing via Getty Images
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    JLL urges governments to right-size leased space, focus on talent retention in 2024

    Agencies must reimagine workspaces to attract younger workers amid a looming “talent cliff,” according to the firm’s 2024 government trends report.

    By Brian Martucci • Feb. 27, 2024
  • A modern heat pump in a cold, snowy setting
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    Klubovy via Getty Images
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    Heat pumps would cut energy bills for majority of US homes: NREL research

    Even so, “we need work to bring down the cost of installing heat pumps,” said a senior research engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

    By Feb. 23, 2024
  • A rendering of a streetscape with The Field Residences written on one of the buildings.
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    Courtesy of Riverside Investment & Development
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    5 of the largest office-to-residential conversions underway across the US

    Over 55,000 residential units are in the pipeline, concentrated in major metros.

    By Mary Salmonsen • Feb. 22, 2024
  • A facade of a sustainable glass office building with a tree for reducing carbon dioxide.
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    Fahroni via Getty Images
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    Building decarbonization guide to be developed by ASHRAE, Noresco

    The guide will provide case studies, guidance and key takeaways to help building owners and operators establish robust plans and feel confident in their decarbonization endeavors, says the chair of the guide’s working group. 

    By Nish Amarnath • Feb. 21, 2024
  • An airplane flies over a rooftop with a solar array in Los Angeles, California
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    moodboard via Getty Images
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    Los Angeles public-private partnership works to advance industrial solar

    The decade-old Feed-in Tariff program pays property owners for solar energy, but long grid interconnection queues and lingering “mistrust” hinder adoption, a business group leader notes.

    By Brian Martucci • Feb. 14, 2024
  • A bird's eye view of the West Facade of the U.S. Capitol Building and Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., as seen from a window in a downtown office building.
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    dkfielding via Getty Images
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    Washington, DC, readies tax abatement program for commercial-to-residential conversions

    The incentive provides property owners up to $2.5 million for each fiscal year from 2024 through 2026 through a provision that a local attorney describes as “critical to the lifeblood of the city.”

    By Nish Amarnath • Feb. 12, 2024
  • A person speaking into a microphone in front of a brick wall
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    Retrieved from Screenshot: Boston City TV/YouTube on February 09, 2024
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    Boston’s first networked geothermal project will electrify 7 public housing buildings

    Geothermal systems are a promising approach to transitioning communities off fossil fuels for heating and cooling, experts say.

    By Feb. 9, 2024
  • An HVAC worker is seen to perform heat pump maintenance
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    welcomia via Getty Images
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    9 states pledge to accelerate zero-emission heat pump sales

    The pledge sends a clear market signal, said the senior policy advisor for an association of Northeastern state air quality agencies.

    By Feb. 7, 2024
  • Aerial shot of city buildings on a sunny day
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    adamkaz via Getty Images
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    Neighborhood-scale building decarbonization: 2 approaches

    Relying on the replacement of one appliance at a time isn’t enough to meet federal and state climate goals, said the Building Decarbonization Coalition’s executive director. 

    By Feb. 6, 2024
  • An industrial chimney releasing fumes, steam and polluting gases.
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    Jose Gulias Trigas via Getty Images
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    ASHRAE, ICC unveil draft standard for GHG emission assessment in buildings

    The proposed Standard 240P intends to provide a common platform to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions of buildings, the organizations say. 

    By Nish Amarnath • Feb. 5, 2024
  • Pedestrians and cyclists in front of stores
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    John Moore/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    3 ways Washington cities are reimagining downtowns

    Facing empty offices and shops and less pedestrian activity, these cities are seizing the opportunity for creative placemaking.

    By Adina Solomon • Feb. 5, 2024