Buildings & Design: Page 2

  • 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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    Deep Dive

    Commercial-to-residential conversions could accelerate under HUD initiative

    Building industry experts say the Housing and Urban Development Department grant will give much-needed guidance on projects stalled by zoning hurdles and outdated permitting processes.

    By Nish Amarnath • Aug. 4, 2023
  • A row of green bicycles on a rack next to a sidewalk.
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    Diy13 via Getty Images
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    How to safely store e-bikes, e-scooters in apartments

    The uptick in micromobility battery fires shows electrification is "moving faster than we’re able to necessarily adapt to," a fire protection expert at an engineering consulting firm said.

    By Mary Salmonsen • Aug. 3, 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
  • A man speaks at a podium with out of focus construction machinery behind him.
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    Courtesy of Office of Gov. Josh Shapiro
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    $400M job training program in PA aims to boost infrastructure projects

    Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro has created a workforce development grant designed to help employers pay wages and training costs.

    By Zachary Phillips • Aug. 1, 2023
  • A red construction frame in front of a high-rise building under construction.
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    JARAMA via Getty Images
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    Apartment construction slows amid difficult financial conditions

    Starts of buildings with five or more units fell 11.2% YOY in June, according to federal data.

    By Leslie Shaver • July 31, 2023
  • U.S. flag reflects on the glass facade of the DOE.
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    Timothy Epple via Getty Images
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    Energy-efficient buildings save lives during extreme weather events: Department of Energy

    Meeting or exceeding current codes can improve habitability by up to 140% during extreme heat events, a report found.

    By Joe Burns • July 28, 2023
  • New building codes targeting net-zero and climate goals are placing substantial strain on facilities managers whose roles have traditionally focused on keeping buildings safe and secure.
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    Porcorex via Getty Images
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    Building code, energy code updates face pushback due to cost concerns

    Codes that seek to curb emissions and fossil fuel consumption will save money in the long run, supporters say, but builders and facility managers wonder if “the juice is worth the squeeze.”

    By Nish Amarnath • July 26, 2023
  • An exterior shot of an Indeed office building.
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    Screenshot: Google Maps

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    Regulations, building layouts impede office conversion projects

    Even as Congress faces pressure to overhaul outdated permitting processes, builders, architects and property owners cite complex zoning laws as barriers to converting existing office space to residential and other uses.

    By Nish Amarnath • July 24, 2023
  • Electric vehicles charge under a solar panel.
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    John Moore via Getty Images
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    Colorado releases new statewide building energy codes

    The standards, set to take effect July 1, will require local municipalities to meet minimum requirements, including electric vehicle and solar panel compatibility.

    By Joe Burns • Updated July 25, 2023
  • Exterior view of multifamily residential building under construction.
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    Sundry Photography via Getty Images
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    Vermont delays residential building energy code implementation to July 2024

    A legislative committee wants more time to create a state entity to improve international energy conservation code compliance.

    By Nish Amarnath • July 24, 2023
  • Downtown Los Angeles California skyline cityscape skyscrapers
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    dszc via Getty Images
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    California clears path for safe conversion of underused commercial buildings

    The California Building Standards Commission’s vote to amend existing building code allows multiple compliance paths for adaptive reuse.

    By Nish Amarnath • July 24, 2023
  • A low-angle look towards the Charlotte, NC, skyline
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    Darwin Brandis via Getty Images
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    Cost concerns spur North Carolina’s move to delay vote on building code update

    The state’s Building Code Council has shelved a vote on a proposed overhaul of building energy efficiency rules as it waits for reports detailing the costs and benefits of implementing the changes. 

    By Nish Amarnath • July 24, 2023
  • Sustainable glass office building with trees for reducing carbon dioxide.
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    Fahroni via Getty Images
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    Northampton mulls adoption of energy efficient opt-in stretch code

    The Massachusetts city is weighing the pros and cons of embracing a specialized stretch energy code to dissuade fossil fuel use in new building construction.

    By Nish Amarnath • July 24, 2023
  • U.S. Government Accountability Office
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    Federal agencies struggle with office utilization, excess space

    Officials noted that reconfiguration costs and uncertainty over in-office attendance policies are roadblocks to effective space utilization.

    By Joe Burns • July 24, 2023
  • City skyline
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    RoschetzkyIstockPhoto via Getty Images
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    These 5 cities aim to cool down by scaling up ‘smart surfaces’ in coming years

    The benefits of implementing these surfaces across a city may far outweigh the costs, according to the nonprofit Smart Surfaces Coalition, which is leading the initiative announced Thursday.

    By July 24, 2023
  • A view of the Comcast offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Comcast Center is one of the tallest LEED-certified buildings in the U.S.
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    Cindy Ord via Getty Images
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    $90M for greener building energy codes awarded by DOE

    “Modernizing energy codes is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses and make communities more resilient to extreme weather events,” the Energy Department said.

    By July 14, 2023
  • A mid-rise apartment building on a street corner.
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    Christian Columbres

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    Oregon plans to install 500,000 new heat pumps by 2030. Who’s going to do the work?

    The state plans to train and provide provide technical assistance on installing energy-efficient appliances to developers, builders, contractors, technicians and others. 

    By Kavya Balaraman • July 13, 2023
  • Daytime scene of a housing and shopping district in Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona
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    adogslifephoto via Getty Images
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    Scottsdale, Arizona, greenlights commercial green code for new construction, renovations

    Scottsdale is Arizona’s first city to implement an amended edition of the 2021 International Green Construction Code.

    By Nish Amarnath • July 10, 2023
  • An aerial view of the iconic pier and boardwalk on the beach in Santa Cruz, California.
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    Courtesy of Granite Construction
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    California greenlights $4.3B funding for energy efficiency, targets underserved and rural communities

    The funding will support energy efficiency efforts from 2024 through 2027. Regulators also approved a forecasted budget of another $4.6 billion from 2028 through 2031.

    By Kavya Balaraman • July 5, 2023
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    Sean Pavone via Getty Images
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    Massachusetts city mandates net-zero emissions for some large buildings by 2035

    Cambridge, Massachusetts, touted its new requirements as the most aggressive in the country, as building performance standards emerge as a key tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing buildings.

    By June 30, 2023
  • In an aerial view, cars drive by the San Francisco skyline as they cross the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
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    San Francisco invites proposals to convert downtown office spaces into housing, other new uses

    The city’s initiative to repurpose underused downtown commercial space solidifies legislation passed last week to simplify commercial building conversion processes.

    By Nish Amarnath • June 29, 2023
  • two girls ride bikes away from the viewer on a tree-lined street partially covered with water from flooding.
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    Brendan Hoffman via Getty Images
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    Coastal cities are sinking as sea levels are rising, increasing flood risks

    Individual communities are limited in their ability to stop either phenomenon, experts say, but governments can take steps to minimize the flooding that might result.

    By Adina Solomon • June 28, 2023
  • Facilities retrofit
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    Win McNamee via Getty Images
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    US will need to triple building retrofit rate to meet decarbonization targets: report

    The report urges building owners and occupiers to strengthen their relationships, upskill the labor force and electrify major building systems to avoid a “brown discount” on lease negotiations.

    By Joe Burns • June 26, 2023
  • Modern residential buildings with trees and grass in the foreground.
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    sl-f via Getty Images
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    To improve multifamily housing energy efficiency and resiliency, HUD offers $4.8B for retrofits

    The first round of the $4.8 billion GRRP covers upgrades for 28 rent-assisted properties.

    By Mary Salmonsen • June 22, 2023
  • Houses and parked cars along a street lit with an orange glow. An open, brightly-lit garage at center. Trees, smoke and a line of wildfire on hills in the background.
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    David McNew via Getty Images
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    When wildfires hit, homes built under fire-resistant codes are surviving. Communities are noticing.

    Building code changes resulted in more saved homes in the 2018 Camp Fire in California. With more frequent, intense wildfires likely, Western communities are taking a look but hearing concerns about costs and property rights.

    By Amanda Loudin • June 16, 2023
  • Seattle skyline.
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    Philip Kramer/DigitalVision via Getty Images
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    To reduce carbon footprint of existing buildings, Seattle proposes new standards

    Mayor Bruce Harrell called the legislation “among the most impactful proposals [the city] can advance to reduce emissions.”

    By June 15, 2023