Buildings & Design

  • A person sits on the ground outside painting a colorful bench, while another lays behind the bench. Buckets of paint sit next to them.
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    Permission granted by Chattanooga Urbanist Society
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    Guerrilla urbanists are ‘doing it our damn selves’

    Some people decide to install bus stop benches, crosswalks and bike lanes without official approval. Experts say it’s an opportunity for cities to engage with the community.

    By Adina Solomon • May 23, 2024
  • Overhead view of brick, multistory buildings along a one-way street.
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    deberarr via Getty Images
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    Legal battle over NYC’s building emissions law resurfaces in appellate court

    A panel of New York State Supreme Court judges said the defendants, including New York City, have failed to show that the state’s existing climate legislation does not preempt Local Law 97. 

    By Nish Amarnath • May 20, 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
  • Two workers in yellow vests and hard hats ride on the back of a truck spraying gray liquid onto a city street
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    Retrieved from City of San Antonio on YouTube on May 20, 2024
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    How cool pavement, heat risk data are helping a Texas city prep for summer

    With heat-related illness on the rise in San Antonio, “it’s critical that we direct resources to those most in need of relief,” said the city’s chief sustainability officer.

    By May 20, 2024
  • The hallway of a home with white walls, with a thermostat that reads "70" on the wall. Above it is a panel that reads "Year-Round Comfort & Savings."
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    Dylan Slagle, BGE

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    EPA launches new Energy Star residential standard

    Requirements for certification include heat pumps, resident electric vehicle charging stations, electric cooking appliances and highly energy-efficient construction.

    By Mary Salmonsen • May 17, 2024
  • Ground view of high rise buildings
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    Zhou Yilou via Adobe Stock

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    Sponsored by Dow

    Structural integrity and safety begins with the right materials

    By selecting only high-quality materials that help infrastructure meet—or exceed—minimum building codes and standards, we can ensure our community’s structures are safe, durable and cost-effective.

    May 13, 2024
  • Apartment building with three cars parked in front
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    Retrieved from Bauer House on Facebook on May 09, 2024
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    HUD’s $4.8B green retrofit program announces first construction project deal

    A new heat pump system will replace the existing gas-powered system at an apartment community housing low-income older adults.

    By May 9, 2024
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    Courtesy of Brookfield Properties, photo credit Nick Fochtman
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    ‘The death of the mall was a myth’: Brookfield Properties CEO on the evolution of an aging retail concept

    The right mix of retailers depends on the local community, Kevin McCrain said.

    By Daphne Howland • May 8, 2024
  • A person walks through knee-high floodwaters in front of a house.
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    Andrew Burton/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    HUD tightens flood-protection rules for new and rebuilt homes

    One floodplain manager predicts similar state and local standards may pop up nationwide, but those in real estate finance decried the rule.

    By May 1, 2024
  • Landscape shot with trees in the foreground and a downtown skyline in the background
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    graphiknation via Getty Images
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    Atlanta office conversion goes to foreclosure

    Atlanta, like many cities, has plenty of office conversion candidates. However, those projects come with challenges. 

    By Leslie Shaver • April 30, 2024
  • Energy Department finalizes rule to phase out fossil fuels in federal buildings

    The elimination of on-site fossil fuel use in new projects after 2030 is part of the Biden administration’s push for net-zero emissions from federal facilities by 2045.

    By Nish Amarnath • April 29, 2024
  • Aerial shot of red and blue stripes painted on a street
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    Permission granted by GAF
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    Results are in for a Los Angeles cool pavement experiment

    The covered neighborhood saw cooling benefits, a new study finds. But some researchers contend shade is king when it comes to protecting people from heat.

    By April 26, 2024
  • A suburban office building, with a highway and more buildings behind.
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    Hal Bergman via Getty Images
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    Suburban office markets show better rent growth, lower vacancy rates than urban ones: Moody’s

    Top-performing properties had less access to local amenities, a Moody’s analysis found, challenging the common belief that high-performing properties must be in growing parts of metropolitan areas.

    By Joe Burns • April 18, 2024
  • 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
  • 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