7 Things That You Should Know before Installing Solar Panels 

There are many benefits to solar energy. Sunshine is a renewable resource, which means it doesn’t produce emissions or pollute the environment. Solar power is becoming increasingly affordable, thanks to advancements in technology and government incentives. Solar panels can also help you save money on your energy bills.  

However, while solar panels offer many benefits, there are also some downsides and factors that may influence your decision even if you decide in their favor. Here are five of the most important things to consider before installing solar panels on your home or property: 

1. Do your research. 

Installing solar panels is a big decision, so it’s important to do your research before making any commitments. Talk to other homeowners who have installed solar panels, read online reviews, and get quotes from multiple contractors before making a final decision. Consider the energy and pollution associated with their production, transportation, and installation. Calculate the breakeven point—how long after the panels are installed will it be before you begin to see savings? 

2. Your location matters. 

Solar panels need to be installed in an area that receives direct sunlight for most of the day and your roof needs to be in good condition. If your property is shaded by trees or other buildings, or your roof is not appropriately oriented, then you may not get enough sun exposure to make solar panels a worthwhile investment. Every state and country has its own laws and regulations regarding solar panel installation and power usage. You may also be eligible for tax credits or additional incentives depending on what type of solar panels you choose and a variety of other factors. 

3. Your savings will take time to materialize, and solar panels don’t last forever. 

Solar panels typically have a 20-year lifespan, so when you are tracking your savings, make sure to factor in the upfront and/or monthly costs of your system when determining your breakeven point. According to ecowatch.com, the average US homeowner will break even approximately eight years after having a solar system installed. At that point, you may want to divert your savings to an account earmarked for replacement of your solar panel system. 

4. You can lease or purchase solar panels. 

There are two options for obtaining solar panels: leasing and purchasing. When you purchase your solar panels, you may be eligible for tax credits and incentives. With the help of energy savings, you may be able to pay off your purchase in eight years or less. Alternatively, lease agreements are typically 20-year terms. You won’t get the incentives, but you’re less likely to put down as much cash up front, and you won’t be responsible for maintenance.  

5. Extreme weather affects their maintenance and lifespan. 

Solar panels can be damaged by severe weather conditions. Take this into consideration if your property is located in an area where hurricanes, tornadoes, or other extreme weather events are common. You will have to budget for repair and maintenance costs that may be higher than those of solar users in places that do not experience these events. Additionally, systems installed in these places may need to be replaced sooner. Your installer should know what is common in your region. Anticipated maintenance costs and the odds of early replacement may be reasons to choose to forgo tax credits and other incentives and lease your solar panels. 

6. There are different types of solar panels. 

The type of solar panels you have installed will also impact both cost and energy output. For example, monocrystalline panels are considered premium, as they have some of the highest efficiencies of any solar panels. However, this makes them the most expensive option. Thin film solar panels are the least efficient but most flexible option. Because of their affordability and ease of installation, these panels are very popular. Consider your ability to make an upfront payment as well as the anticipated breakeven point of the specific system that you are considering before making your decision. 

7. Your home’s value could be affected positively or negatively. 

If you plan on selling your home within the next 20 years, you’ll need to factor in the resale value of solar panels. Sometimes, solar panels can increase the value of your home, but this isn’t always the case. For example, if you are leasing your panels, you may have to pay off the lease with the proceeds from your home’s sale. Still, having well-maintained and paid-off solar panels can be an alluring incentive for potential buyers.  


There are many things to consider before installing solar panels on your home or property. Use these tips to make a decision that could benefit your wallet and our environment.  

10 Eco-Conscious Interior Design Ideas You Can Make to Elevate Your Home 

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important, especially when it comes to the home. People are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and live a more eco-conscious lifestyle. 

One way to do this is by incorporating eco-friendly design ideas into your home décor. Keep reading to learn about 10 eco-conscious interior design ideas that you can make to elevate your home. 

What is eco-conscious interior design? 

Eco-conscious interior design is a style of design that focuses on using sustainable, eco-friendly materials and products. This type of design is becoming more popular as people look for ways to reduce their environmental impact. However, eco-conscious design doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. While there are certainly more extensive home improvements you can make to boost your home’s efficiency and sustainability, there are also plenty of small touches and choices to enhance and elevate your living space. 

What are the benefits of this style? 

There are many benefits to incorporating eco-conscious design into your home. Not only will you be doing your part to help the environment, but you can also save money in the long run. 

Eco-friendly materials often last longer than traditional materials, so you won’t have to replace them as often. Additionally, sustainable materials can improve indoor air quality and create a healthier living space for you and your family. 

What are some eco-friendly design ideas that you can try in your home? 

Here are 10 eco-conscious interior design ideas that you can make to elevate your home: 

1. Use sustainable materials 

When selecting materials for your home, look for sustainable options like bamboo, cork, wool, or recycled glass. These materials are environmentally friendly and will help you create a beautiful, sustainable space. 

2. Incorporate plants 

Plants not only add beauty to your home but also help purify the air. So, incorporate them into your décor. Place potted plants around the room or hang plants from the ceiling.  

One of the best plants for purifying the air in your home is colorful Barberton daisies. Are you looking for something lower maintenance? Try easy-to-care-for English ivy or snake plants. 

3. Let in natural light 

Natural light is not only good for your health, but it doesn’t require any energy to produce. So, take advantage of it. Keep your windows clean and open the curtains during the day to let in as much natural light as possible. 

4. Use LED bulbs 

LED bulbs use less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last longer too. According to the Department of Energy, LED bulbs typically use 75 percent less energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.  

5. Opt for recycled or upcycled furniture 

When shopping for furniture, look for pieces that have been made from recycled or upcycled materials. This will help you create a sustainable space that you can feel good about. If you can shop local furniture stores, even better—this can reduce transportation emissions that would come with shipping the piece. 

6. Choose eco-friendly paint 

When painting, look for eco-friendly paints that are low-VOC and non-toxic. This eco-conscious choice can directly impact your health. Harmful paint additives like synthetic dyes, vinyl resins, formaldehyde, and petrochemicals can cause health issues.  

7. Add an area rug 

Area rugs can add comfort and style to any room, but did you know that they can also help reduce noise pollution? Choose an area rug made from sustainable materials like bamboo or wool to help create a more peaceful environment in your home. 

8. Decorate with secondhand items 

If you’re looking for unique décor items, try shopping at thrift stores or yard sales. You can find some great hidden gems while also supporting reuse and recycling initiatives. 

9. Make your own cleaning products 

You can save money and reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals by making your own cleaning products. There are many recipes available online for DIY cleaners that are just as effective as store-bought options. 

10. Create a compost bin 

If you have a green thumb, start composting. Composting is a great way to reduce food waste while also creating nutrient-rich soil for your plants. 

Final thoughts 

As you can see, there are many ways to incorporate eco-conscious design into your home. These ideas are simple and easy to implement, and they can have a big impact on the way your home functions. 

By making even just a few of these changes, you’ll be on your way to creating a more sustainable space. As we all move toward a more sustainable future, these changes will become even more important.  

Top 10 Common Myths about Green Architecture—and the Valuable Truth! 

Green architecture encompasses a powerful set of building concepts, principles, materials, and techniques that can reduce humanity’s impact on our shared environment and even fight climate change. It’s more than just a passing trend; it’s a movement that is here to stay. But despite its importance, there are still many myths about green architecture that need to be debunked. In this blog post, we will explore 10 of the most common myths about green architecture and reveal the valuable truth behind each one. 

Myth One: Green building is expensive. 

A common refrain is that green buildings are expensive, from the design to the materials and maintenance and beyond.  

The Truth 

While it is true that green buildings can have a higher initial cost, the long-term savings on energy and water bills pay for themselves. In fact, energy- and water-efficient green buildings have been shown to have a significantly lower total cost of ownership over their lifetime. For example, design principles like passive solar design take advantage of sunlight to reduce a building’s heating and cooling needs. In addition, there are many ways to make green building more affordable at the outset. For example, builders can use reclaimed or recycled materials.  

Myth Two: It’s just a fad. 

Detractors are often quick to argue that green or sustainable architecture is a fad. Thus, they insist it isn’t worth investing in. 

The Truth 

The notion that sustainability is a fad couldn’t be further from the truth, especially given the reality of accelerating climate change. Energy efficiency and sustainability in our built environment is more important now than ever before. Given this increasing awareness of sustainability, more and more people are looking for ways to live and work in environmentally friendly buildings. They’re looking for homes and workplaces that protect their physical and mental health via features like natural sunlight, biophilic design elements, and non-toxic paints, furnishings, and other fixtures. Sustainable architecture is clearly here to say.  

Myth Three: All green buildings look like they were designed by hippies.   

Some people equate green architecture with outdated, 1970s designs that read as “hippie,” unsophisticated, and certainly not sleek or modern. Others have the idea that green architecture only produces “concept buildings” they would never consider owning. However, just because some famous examples of green architecture look a certain way, that doesn’t mean that sustainability is limited to a certain aesthetic.  

The Truth 

Green architecture encompasses a range of different styles and aesthetics, and it is certainly not limited to, for example, New Age-y geodesic domes or futuristic designs. There are many beautiful green buildings all over the world, from modernist masterpieces to more traditional buildings that have been retrofitted with sustainable features. In the end, the appearance isn’t that important. What these buildings have in common is a commitment to sustainability, whether it’s through the use of renewable building materials, energy-efficient systems, or water-saving fixtures. 

Myth Four: Sustainability requires sacrifice; otherwise, it’s unachievable.  

One common myth about green architecture is that it’s unachievable—that we can’t possibly make our buildings and homes sustainable without sacrificing our comfort, convenience, and a lot of our hard-earned cash.   

The Truth 

While it’s true that sustainability requires a bit more thought and a greater initial expense, it’s definitely achievable, and it doesn’t require any real sacrifice. Green architecture creates buildings that promote people’s well-being. Plus, there are many small steps we can take to make our buildings more sustainable. For example, insulating our homes to reduce energy consumption, installing solar panels to generate renewable energy, or using low-flow fixtures to conserve water. All of these small steps add up to a big difference. 

Myth Five: It’s hard to source sustainable materials. 

A common concern about green architecture is that it can be difficult to find sustainable building materials.  

The Truth 

Thanks to the increasing popularity of green building, there are now more options than ever when it comes to sourcing sustainable materials. For instance, there are many companies specializing in eco-friendly products, from bamboo flooring to timbercrete to cross-laminated timber. And thanks to new technologies, it’s getting easier and easier to recycle and reuse existing materials as well.  

Myth Six: People don’t care about living or working in green buildings. 

One rather silly myth about green architecture is that people don’t really care about where they live or work.   

The Truth 

The truth is that more and more people are looking for ways to live and work in environmentally friendly buildings. A recent survey found that nearly two-thirds of respondents said they would be willing to pay more for a home or office that was certified green. And another study found that employees who work in green buildings are happier and healthier than those who don’t. It’s clear people do care about sustainability.  

Myth Seven: Green buildings don’t make a difference 

Another common myth about green architecture is that sustainable buildings don’t make a difference—that they’re just a drop in the bucket compared to the overall impact of industry, transportation, energy, and other sources of greenhouse gas pollution.  

The Truth 

It’s obvious that coal power plants and freeways packed with gasoline-powered cars produce significant amounts of the greenhouses gases that are driving climate change. But the truth is that our built environment generates around 50% of global carbon dioxide emissions each year. This means buildings contribute significantly to climate change—and green architecture is one way to reduce this impact.  

Myth Eight: It’s all about the tech. 

Some people think that green architecture is all about technology—for example, smart thermostats that can automatically adjust a home’s heating and cooling.   

The Truth 

Yes, there are some amazing technologies out there that can help make our buildings more sustainable, and we should embrace these solutions. However, green architecture is also about using simple, lower-tech strategies like passive solar design, natural ventilation, and daylighting. It’s about working with nature, not against it. 

Myth Nine: Construction waste management isn’t important. 

Another myth about green architecture is that construction waste management isn’t really significant, and that the operation of the building—its use of energy and water over its lifetime—is more important in assessing its sustainability.  

The Truth 

Though a building’s energy and water use is critical, construction waste accounts for a huge percentage of the waste generated each year. So, it’s important to make sure that we’re recycling and reusing as much as possible. By doing things like salvaging materials from old buildings or using recycled materials in new construction, we can reduce the amount of waste going into landfill sites. 

Myth Ten: Green buildings can’t work on a larger scale. 

Some people erroneously believe that green architecture is just for individual homes, usually owned by wealthy people. 

The Truth 

But the truth is that sustainable design is just as important for big projects as it is for small ones—green architecture can definitely go big. For example, materials like mass timber provide a way to create multi-story commercial buildings without the emissions associated with concrete and steel production. In addition, there are many examples of large-scale sustainable developments all over the world, from entire neighborhoods built using passive solar principles to district heating systems that provide energy-efficient heating to blocks of homes and businesses.     


So, there you have it: the top ten common myths about green architecture and the valuable truths behind them. These myths are persistent, so it’s worth spending time debunking them. The next time you hear someone spread these myths, counter them with the information you’ve learned here.   

Try Biophilic Design Ideas in Your Home for More Calm and Well-Being 

If you’re looking for ways to improve your well-being and beautify your surroundings, you may want to consider trying biophilic design ideas in your home and garden. Biophilic design builds on our need to connect with nature by incorporating natural elements into our home. In doing so, we can create spaces that are more calming and healing. In this blog post, we will discuss five ways to incorporate biophilic design into your home and garden, as well as some of the benefits of doing so. 

What is biophilic design? 

Biophilic design is a design theory based on the idea that humans have an innate need to connect with nature. This type of design seeks to create spaces that are more closely aligned with our natural environment. Biophilic design can be used in both indoor and outdoor spaces. 

The idea of biophilic design was introduced by renowned biologist E.O. Wilson in his 1984 book Biophilia. Wilson outlined a fundamental tendency of human beings to be attracted to nature and emulate its processes and structures in everyday life. 

Some common features of biophilic design include: 

  • Incorporating natural light into a space 
  • Using natural materials like wood and stone 
  • Adding plants to your home 
  • Creating views of nature from inside a space 
  • Providing access to outdoor spaces 
  • Incorporating water features 

Five ways to incorporate biophilic design into your home and garden 

There are many ways to incorporate biophilic design into your home and garden. Here are five ideas to get you started: 

Incorporate natural light—Make use of skylights, solar tubes, and windows to bring in more natural light. Consider using light-colored window treatments to help reflect light. You can also paint smaller areas lighter colors to help reflect more light and create a sense of space. 

Use natural materials—Use wood and stone and add plants throughout your home. Incorporate these elements into furniture, flooring, walls, and landscaping. This is an easy way to incorporate biophilic design into your home, because you can achieve it with small purchases, such as a woven mat made of natural plant fibers in your kitchen.  

Add plants— Potted plants can bring a touch of nature to your home. A fern is a great choice for an indoor plant, as it is easy to care for and can actually help purify the air in your home. 

Create views of nature—If you have a view of nature from inside your home or garden, make the most of it. Position furniture so that you can enjoy the view while relaxing or working. If you live in a city, consider adding plants in visible places around your home. Lavender is a wonderful plant to keep in bedrooms, as it thrives indoors and releases a gentle, soothing aroma. 

Provide access to outdoor spaces—If possible, create a direct connection between indoor and outdoor spaces. Include features like French doors, sliding glass doors, and screened porches. 

Incorporate water features—Water has a calming effect on the mind and body. You can incorporate water features into your home or garden with fountains, ponds, streams, and waterfalls. One indoor option for including more water in your home would be to add a fish tank or small fountain in your entryway. 

Benefits of biophilic design 

There are many benefits to incorporating biophilic design into your home and garden. Some of these benefits include: 

Increased calm and relaxation—Studies have shown that exposure to nature can help reduce stress levels and promote feelings of calmness and relaxation. By incorporating biophilic design into your home or garden, you can create a space that is more conducive to relaxation. Whether it’s something as elaborate as a reflecting pond in your garden, or as simple as a lavender plant in the bedroom, these changes can help create a more soothing environment. 

Improved focus and concentration—The presence of nature can also help improve focus and concentration. If you work from home or have trouble staying focused, biophilic design may be a good solution for you. 

Enhanced creativity and productivity—The calming effect of nature can also lead to enhanced creativity and productivity. If you’re looking for ways to boost your creativity, biophilic design may be worth exploring. 

Increased sense of well-being—Overall, exposure to nature has been shown to increase feelings of well-being. By incorporating biophilic design into your home or garden, you can create a space that is more supportive of your mental and physical health. 


If you’re interested in trying biophilic design ideas in your home or garden, we hope this blog post has been helpful. Remember, there are many ways to incorporate biophilic design into your space, and the benefits of doing so are numerous.  

Cool Roofs to Offset Hotter Summers: Can It Make a Difference? 

As the Earth’s temperatures continue to rise, we are seeing more and more extreme weather conditions. One of the most notable effects of climate change is the increase in average temperatures, especially in urban areas. This phenomenon is known as the urban heat island effect. 

In this blog post, we will discuss rising temperatures caused by urban heat islands and how cool roofs have the potential to offset hotter summers. Plus, you will learn how you can switch to a cool roof. 

Rising Temperatures 

Over the past 20 years, the Earth’s average temperature has risen six-tenths of a degree. From 1880 to 1980, the Earth’s temperature rose steadily at about .14° F per decade. However, the rate of warming in the four decades since has more than doubled.  

While this may not seem like much, it is enough to cause more extreme weather conditions such as heat waves, droughts, and floods. 

Additionally, with rising temperatures comes an increased demand for energy to support air conditioning. It is estimated that by 2070, the electricity demand for cooling will triple. This increase in demand will not only put a strain on the power grid but will also contribute to increased greenhouse gas emissions. 

Urban Heat Islands 

An urban heat island (UHI) is an area that is significantly warmer than its surroundings. UHIs are created when there is a lack of vegetation and an abundance of manmade structures. These conditions cause cities to retain more heat than rural areas. 

As cities continue to grow, the problem of UHIs will become more prevalent. It is estimated that by 2050, 68 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. This increase in urbanization will only exacerbate the problem of UHIs. 

These metropolitan areas are significantly warmer than their surrounding rural areas due to human activity. UHIs can be up to 22°F (12°C) warmer than the cooler, rural areas that surround them. 

The heat island effect is caused by a number of factors: 

  • The large amount of concrete and asphalt in urban areas absorbs and radiates heat. 
  • The lack of trees and vegetation in urban areas decreases evapotranspiration, which helps to cool the air. 
  • The high density of buildings in urban areas prevents wind from flowing freely, thus trapping hot air. 

Fortunately, there are steps we can take to mitigate the effects of climate change and reduce the urban heat island effect. One such solution is cool roofs. 

What Are Cool Roofs? 

A cool roof is made of roofing material that reflects more sunlight and absorbs less heat than a traditional roof. Cool roofs can be made of a variety of materials, such as metal, tile, or asphalt. They are often white or light in color to reflect more sunlight. By reflecting sunlight, cool roofs can stay up to 50°F (10°C) cooler than dark-colored roofs. 

Cool roofs have many benefits. For one, they can reduce the amount of heat transferred into the building. This can lead to lower cooling costs in the summer months and improve indoor comfort. Additionally, cool roofs can extend the life of the roof by protecting it from UV damage and thermal cycling. 

Not only do cool roofs keep buildings cooler, but they can also save energy and money. It is estimated that cool roofs can reduce air conditioning costs by 10 percent to 30 percent. 

How to Switch to a Cool Roof 

If you’re interested in switching to a cool roof, there are a few things you should keep in mind. 

First, it’s important to select the right material for your roof. For example, metal roofs are good reflectors of sunlight, but they are also good conductors of heat. As such, they may not be the best choice for cool roofs in hot climates. 

Second, you’ll need to consider the climate when choosing a cool roof. If you live in an area with hot summers and cold winters, you’ll want a material that can withstand both extremes. One option is white membranes, which are reflective and durable. 

Finally, you’ll need to make sure that your cool roof is properly installed. This means ensuring that there are no gaps or holes in the roofing material. If your roof is not properly sealed, it will not be as effective at reflecting sunlight and keeping your building cool. 


There’s no question that the Earth’s temperature is rising and that manmade changes  

are hastening this impact. However, there are things we can do to mitigate the damage and slow things down. Cool roofs are just one way that homeowners can take control of their impact and lower energy costs. 

5 Green Building Philosophies Making It to the Mainstream 

As awareness of climate change and its effects grows, an increasing number of people are looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact. More and more, this is leading them to consider green building practices.  

While green building has been around for a while, there are some new philosophies and approaches that are making their way into the mainstream. In this blog post, we will look at five of the most popular green building concepts and innovations that are currently popping up in designs around the world. 

The Rising Popularity of Green Architecture and Design 

Green building is a form of sustainable architecture and design, which prioritizes environmental responsibility. This means using building materials that are renewable or recyclable, minimizing waste, and maximizing energy and water efficiency. 

Besides the need to reduce our environmental impact, there are many reasons for the increase in interest in sustainable buildings, including the fact that sustainable buildings often cost less to operate and maintain than traditional buildings. They can also provide a healthier indoor environment for occupants. 

Popular Trends in Green Architecture 

Automated IoT HVAC Systems 

One popular green building concept is the use of automated IoT (Internet of Things) HVAC systems. These systems are designed to optimize comfort and energy efficiency by automatically adjusting the building’s heating and cooling based on real-time data. 

IoT HVAC systems are becoming increasingly popular in both commercial and residential buildings as they offer several benefits over traditional HVAC systems. For example, IoT HVAC systems can save energy by only heating or cooling specific areas of a building when it is occupied. They can also improve indoor air quality by monitoring and adjusting ventilation rates based on air quality data. 

Biophilic Design 

Biophilic design is another green building philosophy that is gaining popularity. Biophilic design is all about incorporating elements of nature into the built environment. This can be done in a number of ways, such as using natural materials, providing views of nature, allowing in natural light, and incorporating living plants into the design of a space. 

Biophilic design is becoming more popular as we recognize the importance of connecting with nature. Studies have shown that biophilic design can have many benefits, including reducing stress levels, improving cognitive function, and increasing productivity. 

Biophilic design can be seen throughout history and across cultures. In fact, one of the wonders of the ancient world could be considered as adhering to this philosophy. A current example would be the Bosco Verticale in Milan, Italy. These residential towers feature walls and balconies covered in thousands of lush shrubs and bushes, fed by a captured rainwater irrigation system.  

Retrofit Wherever Possible 

One of the most important green building philosophies is the idea of retrofitting existing buildings rather than demolishing them and starting from scratch. Retrofitting means making changes to an existing building so that it meets current standards for energy efficiency and sustainability. 

This is important because it helps to reduce waste and save energy. It also means that we can still use existing buildings that are already part of our built environment, rather than having to replace them from the ground up with new buildings. 

There are several ways that architects are retrofitting existing buildings to be more sustainable. Focusing on space utilization and energy management are just two ways to make buildings more sustainable and efficient. Depending on the building in question, it can also be possible to add water recycling systems, green roofs, or other cool roofs that reflect instead of absorb sunlight and heat.  

Green Building Materials 

Another important green building philosophy is the use of green building materials. Green building materials refer to those that are sustainable, renewable, or recyclable, and those that do not contain chemicals that are harmful to human health, such as paint made without VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Such materials are often made from natural or recycled materials and they have a lower environmental impact than traditional building materials. 

Using green building materials is important because it helps to reduce our impact on the environment. It also means that we can create buildings that are healthier for the people who use them.  

Some popular green building materials include bamboo, cork, reclaimed wood, recycled metals, stone, and sheep’s wool. Other green building materials can also include energy-rated windows and doors, as well as the aforementioned zero-VOC paint.  

Net Zero Cycle 

The net-zero cycle is a philosophy that is becoming increasingly popular in the world of green building. The net-zero cycle approach aims to create a closed loop system where all waste is either reused or recycled. In a closed loop system, there is no need for new materials to be created, which means that we can save energy and resources. 

Final Thoughts 

The ideas mentioned above are just a few of the most popular green building philosophies that are making their way into the mainstream right now. As more people become interested in sustainable architecture, we are likely to see even more innovative and exciting green building approaches being developed and used—which is better for all of us! 

Looking For Architectural Inspiration? These 5 Books Can Help 

If you’re looking for architectural inspiration, look no further. These five books will introduce you to the latest movements in architecture and show you how green architecture is changing the way buildings are being designed. 

Each of these books is packed with stunning photos and interesting facts that will leave you inspired to make your mark on the world of architecture. 

Architectural movements of the 20th century 

The past century was a melting pot of design.  Architects were influenced by a variety of factors, from the rise of the automobile to the fall of the Berlin Wall. 

Styles shifted and new movements emerged, each with their own unique take on how buildings should look and function. One of the most recent and rapidly growing movements in architecture is green design, or green architecture. This style focuses on creating buildings that are environmentally friendly and sustainable, using natural materials and energy sources whenever possible. 

How green architecture fits in 

So how does green architecture fit into the landscape of 20th-century movements? For one, it builds on many of the same principles that other styles do. Like Prairie School before it, green architecture emphasizes harmony between humans and nature, and like Bauhaus design, it seeks to strip away unnecessary ornamentation, creating clean lines and simple forms.  

But green architecture also has a few unique aspects that set it apart. 

One of the most important things that green architects do is try to minimize the environmental impact of their buildings. This means using sustainable and renewable materials while incorporating features like solar panels and green roofs. Green architects also often try to take advantage of natural ventilation and lighting, which can save energy. 

In addition to being environmentally friendly, green architecture is designed to be healthy for the people who live in it. This means using materials that don’t off-gas harmful chemicals and incorporating features like good indoor air quality and daylighting. 

5 green architecture books to inspire you 

As our world becomes more aware of the impact we have on the environment, architects are being challenged to design buildings that are sustainable and energy efficient. 

Green architecture is about more than just using eco-friendly materials. It’s about designing buildings that work with nature, not against it. 

Check out these books that take you on a journey of how green architecture is changing the way buildings are being designed. The following five books are must-reads for anyone interested in green architecture or inspiration: 

1. Green Building Illustrated by Francis D. K. Ching and Ian M. Shapiro 

This is a complete, illustrated guide to how and why we need to build green. It includes the theories supporting sustainable construction techniques and offers practical solutions presented through graphical depictions of the theory, practices, and complexities of sustainable design.  

2. Living in Nature: Contemporary Houses in the Natural World by Phaidon Editors 

While green architecture can certainly be integrated into urban life, this book delves into the greenest of the green: homes immersed deep in nature. Living in Nature takes the reader to sustainable design projects across the world, from Asia (Vietnam and Japan) to Europe (Scotland) and the US (Joshua Tree). This book is sure to awe and inspire. 

3. Studio Gang Architecture by Jeanne Gang 

For nearly three decades, Studio Gang has been known for designing imaginative projects that address pressing environmental issues. This book features stunning visuals, including 300 illustrations, and short essays highlighting 25 of the firm’s projects that best showcase its award-winning work across the US and abroad.  

4. Building Reuse: Sustainability, Preservation, and the Value of Design by Kathryn Rogers Merlino 

This book makes a passionate case for the concept of reusing and reimagining existing buildings. The author addresses facts and myths about the reuse of existing buildings, sometimes a contentious point in the green architecture movement. Featuring case studies and hard facts about carbon emissions, this book is sure to make you think about—or rethink—your position on sustainability in design.  

5. Vitamin Green by Johanna Agerman Ross and Joshua Bolchover 

This carefully curated book features completed projects and those still in production at the time of publishing. It includes engaging and visually appealing illustrations of sustainable designs to inspire a new generation of architects. 


Green architecture is still a relatively new field, but it’s already having a major impact on the built environment. And as awareness of the need for sustainable buildings grows, green architects will only become more in demand. So if you’re interested in a career in architecture, dive into one of these books about green and sustainable design.

Which Countries Are Leading the Way in Green Building and Renewable Energy? 

The world is moving towards a more sustainable future, and many countries are acting. Green building and renewable energy are two important aspects of sustainability, and both are seeing impressive growth worldwide. 

Here, we will define “green building” and list the design principles associated with it, as well as outline its benefits. We will also provide information about renewable energy sources, explore how they can be used to counteract climate change, and learn which countries are leading the way. Here’s what you need to know: 

Defining Green Building 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), green building is “the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and deconstruction.” 

While historically, building practices focused more on things like utility and comfort, green building includes environmental factors on the list of considerations. This includes factors such as water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality improvement, and waste reduction. 

Guiding Principles of Green Building 

There are several guiding principles associated with green building. One is that buildings should be designed to reduce the overall amount of energy used. This can be accomplished through a variety of strategies. For example, passive solar design takes advantage of natural sunlight to heat a space. Using daylighting techniques maximizes the use of natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting.  

Another principle is that buildings should be designed to minimize water use. This means using water-efficient fixtures, such as low-flow toilets and showerheads. It may also involve rainwater harvesting, which is another way of saying collecting rainwater to use for irrigation or other purposes. 

Green building also considers the impact of the materials used during the construction process. Using recycled materials or sustainably grown wood helps to reduce the overall environmental footprint of a building project. Using energy efficient windows and insulation will decrease energy costs and waste in the long run. 

Finally, green buildings are designed with occupant health and comfort in mind. This means prioritizing features such as good indoor air quality, acoustical comfort, and thermal comfort. 

Green Building around the World 

China is home to the world’s largest number of LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) projects outside the US, with over 1,077 certified projects in 2021. This includes both commercial and residential buildings. And the nation isn’t stopping there—it plans to achieve independence from fossil fuels by 2060. 

India has been working hard to promote green building practices, as well. In fact, as of 2021 the country has the third-largest number of LEED-certified projects. That’s a 10 percent increase over the previous year, marking a big leap forward for Indian architecture and construction.  

The United Arab Emirates also has an impressive number of LEED-certified projects, with 73 developments in 2021. The country’s government has made a commitment to develop a structured plan to achieve net-zero carbon buildings for all new construction by 2050. 

The US is also working towards increasing its number of green buildings. Overall, the majority of LEED-certified buildings worldwide are in this country. In fact, as of 2021, the US boasted over 280 million square feet of LEED-certified construction.  

All about Using Renewable Energy 

In addition to green building practices, another important way to reduce our impact on the environment is to use renewable energy sources. But what exactly is renewable energy? 

Renewable energy is energy that comes from natural sources that are constantly replenished, such as sunlight, wind, water, and geothermal heat. Using renewable energy helps to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, which release harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. 

There are many reasons using renewable energy is beneficial. For one, it helps to protect the environment by reducing pollution. It also creates jobs in the renewable energy sector. Renewable energy can also help improve public health by reducing the harmful emissions that come from burning fossil fuels. 

Countries at the Forefront of Renewable Energy  

Many countries are working towards increasing their use of renewable energy. China is the world’s leading producer of renewable energy, with over 1,000 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity as of 2021. Other countries leading the transition to renewable energy include Brazil, Canada, India, Japan, and Germany. 

Why Is the US Behind? 

Despite being a leader in many areas, the United States is not at the forefront of the implementation of renewable energy. The US has historically been reliant on fossil fuels, which are inexpensive and easy to obtain. Another reason is that there has been little government support for renewable energy projects in the past. However, this is beginning to change as more people recognize the importance of using renewable energy. 

How Green Building Programs Are Changing American Urban Design for the Better 

Green building programs are changing the landscape of American urban design. Cities are beginning to embrace green architecture as a way to improve sustainability and reduce their environmental impact. Green building has come a long way in the past few decades, and it is now an important part of our society. 

Here, we will explore the history of green building programs in the United States and discuss why they are so important for our cities. 

Green Architecture in the 21st Century 

Green building is a term used to describe the process of designing and constructing buildings with the environment in mind. This includes using sustainable materials, increasing energy efficiency, and reducing the overall impact of the built environment on our planet. 

In the 21st century, this approach is replacing previous beliefs about building and urban design. Universities everywhere are teaching the importance of sustainable practices to the future of our built environment. The US Green Building Council (USGBC) is a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable building practices and provides Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. 

The History of Green Building Programs in the US 

The history of green building programs in the United States can be traced back to the early 1970s. At that time, there was a growing awareness of the need for more environmentally friendly practices in the construction industry. The first green building code was developed in 1976 via the Energy Conservation and Production Act, and it has been updated several times since then. 

The first green building program was established in 1978 by the Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE’s goal was to reduce the energy consumption of new buildings by 30 percent. This program spurred a movement that would eventually lead to the development of LEED certification and other green building standards. 

In 1993, the USGBC was founded with the mission to “transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built, and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, prosperous, and sustainable future.” Since then, the USGBC has been instrumental in promoting green building practices in the United States. In 2000, it developed the LEED rating system, which has become the most widely used green building standard in the world. 

A Changing Approach to Urban Design 

The way we think about urban design is changing as well. In the past, cities were designed for cars instead of people. This resulted in large highways cutting through downtown areas and neighborhoods being isolated from each other. 

Nowadays, there is a shift towards designing cities for pedestrians and cyclists. This new approach is called “complete streets” or “active transportation.” The goal is to create a more sustainable and livable city by reducing dependence on cars, encouraging walking and biking, and improving public transit. 

As cities become more densely populated, it is crucial to consider the health of residents when designing urban areas. For example, parks and green spaces are essential for providing residents with a place to relax and exercise. In addition, trees can help to reduce air pollution and noise levels in our cities. 

US Cities Embracing Green Building 

In recent years, there has been a shift away from traditional design principles in American urban areas. Cities are starting to realize that they need to address climate change and other environmental issues if they want to be sustainable in the long term. As a result, many of them are now incorporating green building practices into their urban design plans. 

Many cities across the United States have already started to embrace green building practices. San Francisco has been a leader in this area, and it requires all new buildings to meet certain sustainability standards. The city has also created an Energy Action Plan which sets goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy efficiency. 

Boston is another city that is working towards becoming more sustainable. It has a goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 80 percent by 2050, and it is using green building practices to help achieve this. Chicago is also working on improving its sustainability, and it has set a goal of having all new buildings be carbon-neutral by 2030. 

Why It Is So Important 

Cities need to start incorporating green building practices into their urban design plans because it will help them become more sustainable in the long term. Green building not only reduces the impact of the built environment on our planet but also makes cities more resilient to climate change. 

In addition, green building can have several other benefits for cities. It can create jobs, improve public health, and increase property values. As more and more cities start to adopt green building practices, we will begin to see a major shift in the way our urban areas are designed. 

A Greener Future 

As cities continue to grow and become more densely populated, it is important to consider the environment when designing urban areas. Green building practices are a great way to create more sustainable and livable cities as well as create a greener future for our planet. 

The Best Path for Visionary New Architects Looking to Go Green 

Green architecture is the future. If you’re a new or aspiring architect who wants to help make the world a more sustainable place, then this is the perfect time to get into the field. 

But where should you start? What are the best degree programs for aspiring eco architects? And which green architects should you be looking up to for inspiration? In this blog post, we will answer all of those questions and more. 

All about green architecture 

As we become increasingly aware of the importance of sustainability, the demand for green architecture is only going to grow. 

Green architecture is all about designing buildings and structures that are eco-friendly and have a minimal impact on the environment. This can mean using sustainable materials, incorporating renewable energy sources, or employing energy-efficient design principles. 

Whatever the specific strategies are, the goal is always the same: to create a more sustainable built environment. 

Green architecture as a historic movement 

The origins of green architecture can be traced to the early 20th century when architects started to become more aware of the environmental impact of the built environment. 

One of the earliest and most influential green architects was Swedish architect and urban planner Erik Gunnar Asplund. Asplund was a key figure in the Scandinavian modern movement, and his work was deeply influenced by Nordic tradition and the natural landscape. 

Asplund believed that architecture should be in harmony with nature, and he incorporated this belief into his designs. For example, the entryway to his Woodland Cemetery is designed to resemble a grove of trees, and the building itself is surrounded by a forest. 

How to become a green architect 

If you’re interested in becoming a green architect, there are a few different paths you can take. The most important thing is to get a degree in architecture from an accredited university. Once you have your degree, you can then start working toward becoming a certified green architect. 

There are many different certification programs available, but one of the most popular is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. To become LEED certified, you need to earn a certain number of credits by completing green building projects. Once you have enough credits, you can then take the LEED exam and become certified. 

Degree programs for an aspiring eco architect 

If you’re interested in becoming a green architect, many different degree programs can help you achieve your goal. For undergraduates, many aspiring architects will study in degree programs such as environmental architecture and design, urban design, or traditional architecture. 

One of the most popular degrees for graduates is a master’s in sustainable architecture. Another option is a master’s in environmental management. This degree program will teach you everything you need to know about designing eco-friendly buildings, from the use of sustainable materials to the incorporation of renewable energy sources. 

Schools with great programs for green architecture 

If you’re an aspiring green architect beginning your journey, it can help to know which schools offer great environmental architecture and design degrees. According to Niche, which provides in-depth profiles of every college in America, the top three choices for environmental architecture are Cornell University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of California – Berkeley. 

Famous green architects to look up to 

Many famous green architects are doing amazing work all over the world. Some of the most famous green architects include: 

– William McDonough: An American architect who is known for his work in sustainable design and his use of upcycled materials. 

– Ken Yeang: A Malaysian architect and ecologist who is known for his work in sustainable design. Yeang’s Singapore National Library project was awarded a top platinum rating under Singapore’s governing Green Mark system.  

– Peter Busby: A leader in the field of education and sustainability whose philosophy is that good design must feature green design.  

These are just a few of the many famous green architects who are making a difference in the world. If you’re interested in becoming a green architect, be sure to follow these inspiring individuals for guidance and inspiration. 


Becoming a green architect is an amazing way to help make the world a more sustainable place. Do you have a passion for sustainability? Are you interested in making a difference in the world? If so, then becoming a green architect may be the perfect career path for you.