Embodied Carbon Reductions in Design & Materials
gb&d Magazine
by Jeanne Yacoubou
2d ago
Story at a glance: Embodied carbon is the term for the carbon emissions of a material released during its extraction, transport, and manufacture plus the carbon emission associated with its disposal. Embodied carbon can represent up to 90% of all the carbon emissions associated with a building. Designers and builders have a large number of options to lower embodied carbon in their structures including low-carbon concrete and green steel. The building sector, contributing almost 40% of global carbon emissions, has come under increasing scrutiny to reduce this percentage by reforming its tradi ..read more
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A Guide to Understanding All-Electric Buildings
gb&d Magazine
by Jeanne Yacoubou
6d ago
Story at a glance All-electric building laws being enacted at all levels of government signal how the building sector can rapidly reduce its carbon emissions. Electric heat pumps will become the major way to heat and cool buildings. It is unclear if and when all-electric building laws will transfer to new residential builds. Heating and cooling of residential and commercial buildings represents the largest percentage of energy use by all sectors at 40%, according to the US Department of Energy. Similarly, the EPA attributes the greatest amount of greenhouse emissions (31%) to the building se ..read more
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What is a VRF System?
gb&d Magazine
by Andrew Biro
1w ago
Story at a glance: A variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system is a type of HVAC technology that uses refrigerant and variable speed controls to efficiently heat and cool a building. Heat recovery VRF systems allow for simultaneous heating and cooling within different zones of the same building. VRF systems are among the most energy-efficient HVAC technologies currently on the market. As global temperatures continue to rise and more people are affected by urban heat islands, there’s a great need for high-quality, energy-efficient air conditioning. And while North America has long favored split ..read more
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Bracing for Change: Innovative Design at 800 Fulton Market
gb&d Magazine
by Laura Rote
1w ago
Story at a glance: The SOM-designed 800 Fulton Market project in Chicago is defined by its X-braced facade—an evolution that dates back to the Hancock Tower. Combined with an offset cantilevered core made of glass, the structural system allows for large, open floor plates and flexible, light-filled workspaces. The design respects the history of the formerly industrial area in palette and material while meeting the project’s modern needs. Flexible floor plates and innovative braces are just some of the award-winning design strategies of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)—dating all the way ..read more
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How is California Fire Code Changing Construction?
gb&d Magazine
by Andrew Biro
2w ago
Story at a glance: The California Fire Code is one of the strictest fire codes in the nation and is heavily based on the International Fire Code. Thanks to California’s robust economy, changes to the state’s building and fire codes can have far-reaching implications within the construction industry. In recent years,the California Fire Code has influenced a growing demand for Class A fire-resistant construction materials. Fire codes are some of the most important building-related codes in the world and dictate the rules and standards for fire safety and prevention in the built environment. Mo ..read more
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Adaptive Reuse, Color, and Whimsy at Kimpton Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh
gb&d Magazine
by Laura Rote
2w ago
Story at a glance: The interior design of this hotel in downtown Pittsburgh was led by Kimpton’s Ave Bradley. The hotel’s design celebrates the building’s 20th century history while adding fun details. The hotel also offers complimentary bikes and has a program committed to improving the property’s energy efficiency. The motto at Kimpton Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh is “luxury without the attitude.” From the moment you exit the busy downtown streets and enter this Kimpton there’s a feeling of both excitement and coziness. You’ll find vibrant colors and playful decor—a floral installation hangs fr ..read more
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Understanding Volatile Organic Compounds Sources
gb&d Magazine
by Jeanne Yacoubou
2w ago
Story at a glance: Eliminating volatile organic compound (VOC) sources is essential to good indoor air quality (IAQ). ASHRAE proposes a four-step plan to control VOC sources in buildings. Integrating only Red List-Free products in design and construction is crucial to limiting VOCs. Poor indoor air quality is common in well-insulated, new buildings due to a large number of chemical contaminants known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), according to the EPA. More designers and builders are looking to limit VOCs, demanding to know what’s in their building materials and choosing nontoxic alte ..read more
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When to Consider a Seismic Retrofit
gb&d Magazine
by Jeanne Yacoubou
2w ago
Story at a glance: Fortifying an existing building against earthquakes, ground motions, or soil collapse is possible with seismic retrofits. Typical costs for seismic retrofits run from $3,000 to $10,000 but could be higher. Expansion joints and EIFS are two common ways to retrofit structures for protection against earthquakes and other types of ground movements. An earthquake is a builder’s worst nightmare. Fortunately it’s possible to fortify structures after their construction is completed with a seismic retrofit. Let’s look at some ideas and examples that may help projects withstand mode ..read more
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What is Tactical Urbanism?
gb&d Magazine
by Jeanne Yacoubou
2w ago
Story at a glance: Tactical urbanism refers to a type of urban planning that is shifting away from car-centrism into making cities greener, safer, less polluting, and more equitable. In this shift to sustainability, tactical urbanism emerges to redesign public places to be people-centered by creating, for example, pedestrian plazas. Examples of tactical urbanism exist worldwide in both large and small cities, heralding the transition to healthier car-free zones. What do traffic cones, raised lane separators, and plant-filled wooden crates have in common? They make up the arsenal of tactical ..read more
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A Complete Guide to Sustainable Interior Design
gb&d Magazine
by Jeanne Yacoubou
3w ago
Story at a glance: There are seven sustainable interior design principles based on climate, health, and equity. Designers and builders can make their work fit in a circular economy by following these principles. Repurposing buildings and integrating reclaimed materials in projects are happening all over the world. Many designers and builders are accustomed to creating solutions for their clients using new building materials—from countertops to flooring and everything in between. It’s convenient to purchase them from a catalog or online, ship to the construction site, and install. But it’s be ..read more
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