Buildings & Design

  • An HVAC worker is seen to perform heat pump maintenance
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    welcomia via Getty Images
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    Electrifying neighborhoods could save California billions on gas line replacements

    Utilities could save around $20 billion in gas pipeline replacement costs by 2045 while only affecting about 3% of current gas customers, says a new analysis prepared for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

    By June 20, 2024
  • New York City Mayor Eric Adams fields questions during a press conference.
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    Adam Gray via Getty Images
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    NYC approves second set of zoning changes

    The changes aim to boost commercial corridors, promote life sciences activity and bolster manufacturing in the city. One ends a decades-old rule that barred certain commercial building uses.

    By Joe Burns • June 13, 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
  • Aerial shot of buildings in a downtown. A tree-covered hill sits in the background.
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    Davel5957 via Getty Images
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    Tax on gas-powered large buildings will go to voters in Berkeley, California

    A 2023 court decision that struck down Berkeley’s first-in-the-nation ban on gas hookups in new construction is part of what led to the ballot measure, an organizer said. 

    By June 10, 2024
  • A facade of a Department of Energy building
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    MingzheZhang via Getty Images
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    5 states, DC get $45M to finance energy efficiency retrofits

    The revolving loan funds established with the federal awards can unlock millions in private capital for energy efficiency improvements, says the U.S. Department of Energy.

    By Nish Amarnath • June 10, 2024
  • U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm holds a news conference at the Department of Energy headquarters to announce a breakthrough in fusion research on December 13, 2022 in Washington, DC.
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    Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images
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    DOE releases zero-emissions building definition, part 1

    The definition will bring clarity to the public and private sectors, supporting their efforts to decarbonize buildings and ramp up clean energy, said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

    By Nish Amarnath • June 7, 2024
  • A person wearing a tee shirt, sneakers and shorts walks out of a public toilet.
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    Stephen Chernin/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    Finding public bathrooms in New York City just got easier

    The city this week unveiled a Google Maps layer showing the locations of its public restrooms. 

    By June 7, 2024
  • A person in a blue shirt and black pants and shoes wears a surgical face mask and walks past a window. In the window, a sign reads "Retail for Lease."
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    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    5 US cities prime for office-to-residential conversions

    An Urban Institute analysis names the cities that could benefit most from adaptive reuse projects based on office real estate markets and housing supply needs.

    By June 6, 2024
  • A worker in a hard hat and yellow vest lays a large pipe in the ground. On the side of the pipe, the word "geothermal" is written three times.
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    Permission granted by Ania Camargo
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    Geothermal system is a US first

    The networked, utility-owned system in the pilot could replace fossil fuel for heating and cooling across entire neighborhoods.

    By June 5, 2024
  • Three people in dark suits sit at a table with a black curtain in the background and people in chairs in front of them.
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    Julie Strupp/Smart Cities Dive
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    Code compliance not enough to protect builders from lawsuits amid climate change

    Contractors and engineers must keep up with more frequent, severe extreme weather despite outdated building codes, said legal experts at a recent building innovation conference.

    By Julie Strupp • June 3, 2024
  • Fermata Energy has partnered with the City of Boulder on a vehicle-to-grid charging project
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    Permission granted by Fermata Energy
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    EVs will power buildings in Colorado city’s ‘transformative’ pilot

    The pilot will inform how vehicle-to-everything charging technology can be used in areas at high risk of prolonged outages due to natural disaster or emergency events, a utility partner said.

    By Robert Walton • May 31, 2024
  • Looking up at skyscrapers against a blue sky
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    aiisha5 via Getty Images
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    Top cities for certified energy-efficient buildings announced by EPA

    Los Angeles has dominated the rankings for Energy Star-certified buildings year after year. The U.S. EPA has some ideas on why. 

    By May 24, 2024
  • 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
  • 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