Blog image

The Lifecycle Building Challenge

Posted May 16, 2009 12:43 PM by Mark Piepkorn
Related Categories: Awards, Events, Product Talk, The Industry
A design competition for professionals and students, the Lifecycle Building Challenge is sponsored by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, the American Institute of Architects, and West Coast Green. The competition is focused on design for adaptability, material reuse, and minimizing lifecycle impacts from products. Registration and participation is free. Submission deadline is August 30 2009. From the website:
Lifecycle building is designing buildings to facilitate disassembly and material reuse to minimize waste, energy consumption, and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Tough Choices on the AIA Top Ten Jury

Posted April 29, 2009 4:37 PM by Nadav Malin
Related Categories: Awards, Behind the Scenes
I've been involved with the AIA Top Ten Awards Program for a long time. In the early years, when Gail Lindsey started it as an informal program to generate some recognition for a handful of green projects, Environmental Building News was one of the very few media outlets available to provide that publicity. Later we participated in conversations with the national Advisory Group of AIA's Committee on the Environment (COTE) as they worked to refine the metrics and formalize the program. In recent years, BuildingGreen has provided technical support to the AIA Top Ten Awards. Because we manage US DOE's High Performance Buildings Database, which also hosts the Top Ten online submission forms, we've supported those submission forms — updating them with changes each year, providing technical support to applicants, and then editing and preparing the winning projects for publication on the website. As we edited and published the winning entries each year, I thought it would be great to sit in on the jury process and learn more about how they make their selections.

Videos from Greenbuild '08 at Greenbuild 365

Posted December 24, 2008 7:40 PM by Mark Piepkorn
Related Categories: Awards, Behind the Scenes, Events, Greenbuild '08

Being 22.1% (give or take) of the Top Ten Feels Darned Good!

Posted November 22, 2008 1:06 PM by Mark Piepkorn
Related Categories: Awards, Events, Greenbuild '08, LEED, Product Talk, The Industry
Preston Koerner, over at Jetson Green, posted his "Top 10 Tidbits from Greenbuild 2008." Check out numbers 2, 4, 6, and 7:
2. The LEED AP Program undergoes major overhaul and the GBCI talks about LEED Green Associates, Legacy LEED APs, LEED AP Fellows, and the other family of LEED APs (ID+C, BD+C, Homes, O+M, and ND).
This item links to a post our own Tristan Korthals Altes wrote here on's blog.

4. BuildingGreen soft launches a new online information resource on residential green building and remodeling called
That's us.

Alex Wilson Receives USGBC Leadership Award

Posted November 20, 2008 4:40 PM by Mark Piepkorn
Related Categories: Awards, Events, Greenbuild '08
Posted live from Greenbuild. This has been long in coming, and judging by the response of the audience this afternoon, I'm not the only one who thinks so. Yes, I work for the guy, but I'm no sycophant. He's one of the most focused, dedicated, knowledgeable people I've ever known. A press release sent out from the USGBC today said this:
Executive Editor of Environmental Building News, Alex Wilson, received the award in the Education category. For more than 25 years, Wilson has been bringing unbiased, reliable information, tools and resources to the building industry. He is the author of numerous books and textbooks on sustainable building, and has written hundreds of articles for publications outside of EBN, including Popular Science and Architectural Record. He served as the executive director of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association and on the board of directors for the USGBC, and is currently a trustee of The Nature Conservancy — Vermont Chapter.
Take a couple minutes to listen to this... it's audio of the announcement and a very short film (kinda like the Oscars). The recording is poor but understandable, and lasts less than three minutes.

COTE's Top Ten Green Projects Presentation at AIA'08

Posted May 17, 2008 11:00 AM by Mark Piepkorn
Related Categories: AIA Convention, Awards, Case Studies, Events, LEED
Michael Wentz being interviewed after the presentation
The AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Green Projects awards for sustainable design excellence is a big deal, and the nearly hour-and-a-half presentation was standing room only.

Lifecycle Building Challenge, Take Two

Posted April 23, 2008 12:19 PM by Allyson Wendt
Related Categories: Awards
Last year, our own Alex Wilson served as a judge for the Lifecycle Building Challenge, a competition organized by West Coast Green, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Building Materials Reuse Association, The American Institute of Architects, Collaborative for High-Performance Schools, and Southface Energy Institute. There are two main categories: buildings and ideas. In either category, the idea is to design a project that takes a material's entire lifecycle into account. In other words, you want to design a building that can be disassembled for reuse or recycling. Ditto for a wall assembly or some other piece of a building. This year, the contest requires entrants to provide estimated square footage for buildings and estimated construction debris savings for their projects or ideas. There are also three new awards for outstanding achievement: best greenhouse gas reduction, best school design, and best residential design. We wrote up last year's winners here. I'd like to have some really cool winners to write about here or in EBN in the fall, so get to it!

Recent Comments

The Building Envelope: Our Third Skin

Robert Riversong says, "I helped mix and install wood-chip clay-slip in a double-wall envelope, and it was done thoughtfully with a mixture of aggregate sizes, including..." More...

steven case says, "Hi Tristan I was wondering if you new or now of anyone that is living in a house of clay chip. I would be interested in speaking with them...." More...

Tristan Roberts says, "Hi Steven, the material you are referring to is usually called light clay, or sometimes Leichtlehm, from the German. It can be made with straw or..." More...

steven case says, "I just finished a class about clay and wood chip infill for walls have you ever done any testing or an article about them. All the oldest homes still..." More...

What Is a Hygrothermal Building Assessment?

Robert Riversong says, "As all water transport mechanisms and driving forces other than gravity are bi-directional (water is indifferent to which way it moves), there are..." More...