Latest Posts

6 Jan 2014 | Posted By
Green Building Heroes Steve Loken and Ann Edminster Join EMERGE Faculty for Portland Workshop

For the January 24-25, 2014 EMERGE workshop, Steve and Ann will be joining workshop leader and Cascadia Fellow Kathleen O’Brien, who notes the faculty will be “intent on skill-honing, problem-solving, and community building, for the sole purpose of developing and expanding the participants’ leadership capabilities in the sustainable building arena.”

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31 Dec 2013 | Posted By
EMERGE: Leadership Training Tuned to the Needs of Green Building Professionals and Advocates

The Northwest based non-profit EMERGE Leadership Project is partnering with Earth Advantage Institute to offer intensive leadership training tuned to the needs of green building professionals and advocates.  The EMERGE Leadership Workshop, scheduled for Friday/Saturday January 24-25, 2014 features long time green building leaders Kathleen O’Brien, Steve Loken, Ann Edminster,

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16 Nov 2013 | Posted By
Energy Petal Workshops in PDX, Seattle

The Living Building Challenge Energy Petal is intended to signal a new age of design, wherein the built environment relies solely on renewable forms of energy and operates year round in a pollution-free manner. In this 4-hour in-depth review of the Energy Petal, participants will gain an understanding of how

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6 Nov 2013 | Posted By
AIA Portland Presents the 4th Annual  Portland 2030 Challenge Design Awards

The fourth annual 2030 Challenge Design Awards have been announced.  At the October 18, 2013 AIA Portland Honor Awards Ceremony,  AIA Portland and their Committee on the Environment (COTE), in collaboration with Architecture 2030 and BetterBricks, presented three awards in recognition of design excellence towards meeting the 2030 Challenge reduction

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4 Nov 2013 | Posted By
AIA Seattle’s Data-Driven Design Forum

The performance expectations of our built environment are exponentially increasing, creating a new demand for the rigorous collection, dissemination and deployment of hard research in the practice of architecture.
Firms at all scales are finding that the integrated utilization of research in design is critical to achieving public outcomes such

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21 Aug 2013 | Posted By

The 2013 BetterBricks Awards held today honored Oregon/Southwest Washington green building professionals whose efforts in promoting and implementing high performance design and operating solutions result in tremendous energy savings for the Northwest.
“This year’s BetterBricks Award winners demonstrate extraordinary leadership in sustainability with ideas and results that are replicated nationwide,” said Susan…

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25 Jul 2013 | Posted By
The World’s Greenest Buildings: Promise vs. Performance

i-SUSTAIN brings Dr. Ulf Meyer to Seattle to Speak on High Performance Buildings and Promise vs. Performance in Sustainable Design.…

The World’s Greenest Buildings: Promise vs. Performance in Sustainable Design provides the very first large-scale study comparing building performance data worldwide from the highest-rated large green buildings of the past

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11 Jul 2013 | Posted By Jeff Cole
2030 Palette Released: Take a Tour

The 2030 Palette… is the latest resource, crafted by Architecture 2030, to support those who have stepped up to the 2030 Challenge. BetterBricks gave it a look. Currently accessible in beta version only, the free online tool and interactive platform is meant to provide architects, planners, and designers with information

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11 Jul 2013 | Posted By
SERA Celebrates Sustainability Successes: 2030 Commitment Progress Reported

Portland’s SERA Architects has a well-deserved reputation and well-earned respect for their rich, long-standing focus upon sustainability and the manner in which that passion has been realized in the design of high performance, green buildings. Among firm sustainability milestones, SERA: adopted the Natural Step in 1997; created a Director of

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2 Apr 2013 | Posted By
The ENERGY STAR Challenge: Architects

Architects Submit Your Design Projects and Join the Race!
The Race is a friendly competition among organizations and architects across the country to see who submits the most projects that achieve Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR. The project’s region will be determined by zip code for one of three

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28 Aug 2012 | Posted By Erin McConahey

Many design practitioners believe that a collaborative design and construction team processes will lead to better decision-making, but improved relations alone do not necessarily mean increased energy efficiency. Along with the pursuit of deeper energy savings, Integrated Project Delivery (“IPD”) is one of the most intriguing current innovations in the…

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14 Jun 2012 | Posted By Jeff Cole
Portland Architects Batting .300 at COTE Top 10 Awards

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) 2012 selection of the nation’s top ten green projects sees Portland firms batting .300, with three out of the ten projects designed by local firms. This reflects well on the maturity of high performance sustainable design in

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16 May 2012 | Posted By Jeff Cole
What Makes it Green(er)?

The 2012 What Makes it Green Award Winners were announced April 18th, at Seattle City Hall. Established over a decade ago, by the AIA Seattle Committee on the Environment… (COTE), these awards recognize outstanding regional sustainable design, through a process designed to help other design professionals and interested parties to

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24 Apr 2012 | Posted By
The BetterBricks Awards Usher in New Crop of Energy Efficiency Champions

The BetterBricks Awards recently completed the annual tour around the Northwest, finishing up in Helena, Montana last month.  A total of 19 people throughout Oregon, Washington and Montana were recognized for their achievements in commercial building energy efficiency.  Since 2002, nearly 200 people have been honored with a BetterBricks Award…

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16 Apr 2012 | Posted By John Jennings
The Future is Now – Two Buildings Certified as “Net Zero”

Earlier this year, we covered the launch of the International Living Future Institute’s Net Zero Energy Certification.  The certification, which is the first program that provides third party certification of net zero energy performance, builds upon the Living Building Challenge framework made up imperatives focusing on performance criteria.  Read …

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12 Apr 2012 | Posted By Jeff Cole
The AIA 2030 Commitment Series 3 of 3: An Interview with ZGF

The following review of ZGF’s experience with the 2030 Commitment is the third part of our consideration of the 2030 Commitment and its impact upon Pacific Northwest architecture firms. Part 1, summarizing national results and the experience of Mithun Architects can be read here. Part 2 discussed NBBJ’s experience…

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21 Mar 2012 | Posted By Jeff Cole
The AIA 2030 Commitment Series 2 of 3: An Interview with NBBJ

Our coverage of NBBJ’s experience with the 2030 Commitment is the second part of our mini-series about the 2030 Commitment and its impact upon Pacific Northwest architecture firms. Part 1, summarizing national results and the experience of Mithun Architects can be read here ….
NBBJ is one of the

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8 Mar 2012 | Posted By Jeff Cole
The AIA 2030 Commitment: The Experience of Some Pacific Northwest Firms

This is the first installment of a three-part series focusing on the work of Northwest firms as it relates to the 2030 Commitment.
The AIA (American Institute of Architects) 2030 Commitment… program is a call to action for firms to voluntarily track and report on the performance of their designs

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27 Feb 2012 | Posted By Jeff Cole
Hennebery Eddy Architects – Firm Profile

Hennebery Eddy Architects are on a roll. This past fall, their net zero energy PCC Newberg Academic Center won the 2011 Portland AIA Sustainable Design Award. A year before, the firm’s Willamette University Ford Hall project won a 2010 Portland 2030 Challenge Design Award…, As Built category and

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14 Feb 2012 | Posted By Sarah Lazzaro
One of the Best Performing Buildings in the Northwest

This post originally appeared in New Buildings Institute’s ZNE Newsletter.

Rice Fergus Miller Zero-Energy Capable Building | Bremerton, WA…
With an Energy Use Intensity (EUI) in the low 20′s, the Rice Fergus Miller Office and Studio is one of the best performing buildings in the Northwest. Certified as LEED Platinum, the existing building

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7 Feb 2012 | Posted By Jeff Cole
What Makes It Green?

How well do your projects stack up against the green competition? Are you sure? Have it confirmed by a jury of your peers, by entering the AIA Seattle Committee on the Environment What Makes It Green?… (“WMIG?”) 2012 awards program. Separate categories are open to projects completed as of December

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7 Feb 2012 | Posted By
Integrative Design Workshop

ULI is offering a high impact workshop on the fundamentals and benefits of the Integrative Design Process to achieve enhanced asset performance and value. Two of the nation’s most respected authorities on Integrative Design will demonstrate how the Integrative Process may help mitigate both project and market risk by providing

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7 Feb 2012 | Posted By John Jennings
New Study on Environmental Value of Building Reuse

In late January, Preservation Green Lab released a new study, The Greenest Building: Quantifying the Value of Building Reuse.  This research finds that reusing existing buildings typically offers environmental savings over demolition and new construction—even if that new construction is energy-efficient.
The report looked at six very different building types

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18 Jan 2012 | Posted By Jeff Cole
Net Zero Energy Certification Launched

The International Living Future Institute, responding to market demand, has launched the Net Zero Energy Building Certification…, the first program that provides third party certification of net zero energy performance. Building upon the success of the Institute’s Living Building Challenge (“LBC”) the new initiative is designed to address

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17 Jan 2012 | Posted By John Jennings
DOE Announces Guide for More Energy Efficient Retail Buildings

The following post appeared in Environmental Design and Construction on January 10.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the release of the third installment in a series of four 50% Advanced Energy Design Guides (AEDGs)…. This latest guide will help architects, engineers, and contractors design and build highly

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5 Jan 2012 | Posted By John Jennings
Pushing Energy Efficient Retro Fits Closer to the Tipping Point

Rocky Mountain Institute’s Michael Bendewald recently penned an article for TriplePundit.com about the $4 billion President Obama… committed to building retrofits.  In the article, Bendewald provides a number examples demonstrating how deep energy retrofits are bolstering the economy through job creation and inching closer to the tipping point for the mainstreaming

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12 Dec 2011 | Posted By Jeff Cole
CAES Study

The Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), a public-private partnership of Boise State University, Idaho State University, and the University of Idaho, located in Idaho Falls, Idaho, is tasked with delivery of “innovative, cost-effective, credible energy research leading to sustainable technology-based economic environment”. A new case study by NEEA’s BetterBricks…

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5 Dec 2011 | Posted By Jeff Cole
PCC Newberg Center – Portland AIA 2011 Sustainable Design Award Winner

A 2011 Portland AIA Design Awards jurist commented upon the Portland Community College Newberg Center…, winner of this year’s Sustainable Design Award, saying “the building is a diagram of itself”. What might that mean? Well, unlike the hidden building systems in many facilities, you can get a good sense

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9 Nov 2011 | Posted By John Jennings
Call for Entries for 2011 Beyond Green High-Performance Building Awards

 
The Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) has opened the call for entries for the 2011 Beyond Green™ High-Performance Building Awards…. The awards recognize buildings, initiatives and products that shape, inform and catalyze the high-performance building market. The award winners will be invitedto present their projects on Capitol Hill

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9 Nov 2011 | Posted By Jeff Cole
Atlas Shrugged:  The Burden of Energy Performance

As an architect or engineer striving to increase building energy performance, do you often feel the weight of the world on your shoulders? The combined load of client expectations, the 2030 Commitment…, energy models addressing multiple baselines, and LEED documentation, must all be optimized within budget constraints as you

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12 Oct 2011 | Posted By John Jennings
The Search is On For Champions of Energy Efficiency

The BetterBricks Awards return to for the ninth year in Oregon and the seventh year in Washington to recognize local professionals who are taking significant strides in reducing the energy consumption and carbon footprint of Northwest commercial buildings.  Green building professionals are encouraged to submit a nomination no later than

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19 Aug 2011 | Posted By John Jennings
Deep Energy Retrofits – Chicago’s Energy Efficiency Opportunity

Retrofitting our existing building stock to achieve substantial energy savings is quickly becoming a major theme for city governments across the nation in an effort to cut energy consumption – and save taxpayers money.  In a recent GreenBiz article written by Rocky Mountain Institute’s… Michael Bendwald, the author looks at

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3 Aug 2011 | Posted By Jeff Cole
On the Path: Rating the Energy Performance of Commercial Buildings

Wouldn’t it be convenient to compare the energy performance of commercial buildings as readily as you can compare the mileage ratings of different vehicles? Local and state governments around the Northwest are implementing programs to facilitate this process. While the proposed programs, so far, will all rely on EPA’s ENERGY

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11 Jul 2011 | Posted By Jeff Cole
The Bullitt Foundation’s Cascadia Center’s Energy Performance


Designed to be the most energy efficient commercial building in the world – at least for the moment – the Bullitt Foundation’s Cascadia Center… will achieve this objective through integrated architectural and engineering design, cutting-edge technology and components, carefully selected building materials and conscious choices by tenants.
In 2007, Congress

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20 Jun 2011 | Posted By John Jennings
An Interview with Ulf Meyer, Ingenhoven

Ulf Meyer is an accomplished architectural critic and author who has been published in major newspapers and architectural magazines both in Germany and abroad. He is the editor of ARCH+ journal and serves as the German correspondent for World Architecture. NEEA’s BetterBricks… caught up with Ulf during a visit to

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6 Jun 2011 | Posted By Jeff Cole
Spreadsheet Sustainability

Don’t let the title, Spreadsheet Sustainability, of Russell Fortmeyer’s McGraw Hill Construction—Continuing Education Center… article mislead you. Yes, he does make the case that a surprisingly large amount of advanced sustainability strategies are analyzed and designed not with sophisticated, packaged, integrated design models, but with sophisticated, proprietary spreadsheets, crafted

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24 May 2011 | Posted By Jeff Cole
Free Design Guidance for Small and Medium Office Buildings

The U.S. Department of Energy has released the Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small and Medium Office Buildings: Achieving 50% Energy Savings Toward a Net Zero Building…—the first in a series of four new construction Advanced Energy Design Guides (AEDGs). K-12 Schools, Medium to Big Box Retail

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19 May 2011 | Posted By John Jennings
Call for Entries: ECO-STRUCTURES’s Evergreen Awards

ECO-STRUCTURE is once again looking for environmentally responsible projects throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico for its Evergreen Awards.  Note that entries are due by May 31, so act fast.… Below are award and submission details
Enter your high-performance projects in ECO-STRUCTURE’s annual Evergreen Awards and be recognized for

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16 May 2011 | Posted By Jeff Cole
What’s in Your Net Zero Energy Design Toolkit?

Analytical software? Diagnostic tools? Have you started putting a toolkit together? Do you know where you’d begin?
A team of University of Oregon undergraduate architecture students, members of the UO student ASHRAE… (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers) chapter, will soon be able to provide some advice.

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29 Apr 2011 | Posted By
Energy models not just for the uber green anymore

Oregon’s Daily Journal of Commerce recently reported that energy modeling is not just for sustainability geeks anymore!… NEEA’s BetterBricks initiative has held that view for awhile and has partnered extensively with regional and national experts to research energy modeling tools and methods and educate architects and engineers.
NEEA’s BetterBricks asked

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26 Apr 2011 | Posted By Jeff Cole
Award Season: AIA COTE Picks Their 2011 Top Ten

Every year, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE)… invites submission of projects for selection among the top ten green projects of the year. Sustainability bragging rights are awarded to these select projects, based upon a comprehensive, balanced set of measures and metrics, including a category

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18 Apr 2011 | Posted By Jeff Cole
Deep Retrofit Resources

If you are not familiar with the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)… you should be. With a mission “to drive the efficient and restorative use of resources”, the non-profit develops strategies “to map and drive the transition from coal and oil to efficiency and renewables.” For up-to-date resources supporting high performance

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14 Apr 2011 | Posted By Jeff Cole
Introducing the Daylighting Pattern Guide

Looking for new tools to enhance your ability to daylight commercial building spaces? Want increased certainty that your daylighting strategies will perform as designed? Need to streamline the effort required to integrate daylighting into your projects? If you can get to Seattle for a three-hour workshop… the morning of April

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31 Mar 2011 | Posted By Elaine Miller
Touring the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Office Building

After wowing over 300 guests at the Portland BetterBricks Awards, Kevin Kampschroer, Director of the Office of Federal High Performance Green Buildings for the U.S. General Service Administration (GSA), was invited by SERA Architects… and NEEA’s BetterBricks initiative to tour the extensive energy efficient renovation of GSA’s Edith Green

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28 Mar 2011 | Posted By Elaine Miller
The Empire State Strikes Back

Q&A: Dana Schneider, VP, Sustainability Services Market Lead, Jones Lang LaSalle
By Brian Libby, for NEEA’s BetterBricks Initiative
In 2009, owners of one of New York City’s great architectural landmarks, the Empire State Building… embarked on a renovation to reduce the skyscraper’s energy use by more than one-third by 2013.

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18 Feb 2011 | Posted By John Jennings
Better Building Initiative

The President signed an Executive Order directing federal agencies to achieve zero net energy by 2030 and employ high-performance and sustainable design principles for all new construction and alterations. At least 15 percent of existing buildings need to meet these guiding principles by FY 2015.  Read more HERE….

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3 Jan 2011 | Posted By John Jennings
Zero Carbon Emissions Office Building Prototype

Check out this article by HOK titled “The Path to Net Zero C o2urt – Where Form Follows Performance”.  An integrated design team led by HOK and energy and daylighting consultant The Weidt Group… undertook a 10-month virtual design charrette to create a prototype market-rate, zero-emissions design for a

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30 Nov 2010 | Posted By Jeff Cole
Brand New Energy Modeling Guidelines

While you may not find them on the racks at airport bookstores, COMNET’s recently published Commercial Buildings Energy Modeling Guidelines and Procedures… are a lot more interesting than you might imagine. While intended as a guideline for building energy modelers and simulation software developers, architects interested in learning to increase

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10 Nov 2010 | Posted By John Jennings
Portland AIA Chosen for Launch of Inaugural 2030 Challenge Design Awards

Architecture 2030… handed out its first ever awards for significant energy and carbon reductions to a group of well-deserving Portland-based architecture firms.  In collaboration with AIA Portland and their Committee on the Environment (COTE) and NEEA’s BetterBricks initiative, Architecture 2030 presented the inaugural 2030 Challenge Design Awards in recognition of

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