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Some people equate green architecture with outdated, 1970s designs that read as “hippie,” unsophisticated, and certainly not sleek or modern.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.   

A Look at the Greenest Buildings in America

Green building is on the rise across the United States today, presenting companies with the opportunity to not only protect the environment, but achieve impressive cost savings at the same time. Incorporating environmental responsibility and energy efficiency at every stage of development, green building has soared in popularity as forward-thinking companies come to realize the benefits in terms of both positive publicity and cost efficiency. 

In this article, we look at four of the most exciting green developments in the United States today. 

Bullitt Center – Seattle 

Certified the largest “Living Building” by the Living Building Challenge, this 52,000-square-foot office complex has established itself as the world’s greenest commercial building. 

Opened on Earth Day, 2013, the Bullitt Center was designed by Miller Hull Partnership, the $30 million construction distinguishing itself from other sustainable projects through the inclusion of composting toilets, and the elimination of 350 common toxic chemicals, including mercury, lead, PVC, BPA, phthalates, and formaldehyde. 

The facility operates within a strict water and energy budget to support self-sufficiency, having been designed to demonstrate that a carbon neutral office space can be both commercially viable and visually stunning. 

New Orleans BioInnovation Center – New Orleans 

Adopting elements of vernacular climate responsive strategies, including a rainwater collection facility, landscaped courtyard, sheltered porch, and slatted shutters, this award-winning building houses a private, not-for-profit business incubator dedicated to nurturing bioscience innovation throughout Louisiana. 

The New Orleans BioInnovation Center was created with the mission of inspiring local innovators, providing them with access to premier facilities, customized commercial services, and a comprehensive support network, empowering them to create their own successful biotech businesses. 

New Orleans’ first LEED Gold-certified laboratory building, the center features 66,000 square feet of state-of-the-art office, wet-lab, and conference space, providing the perfect environment for entrepreneurs to conceive and cultivate new bioscience ideas. Located in downtown New Orleans, the building was designed by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, a local company, working in collaboration with NBBJ of Seattle. 

Utilizing sustainable building technologies, the center features a range of amenities, including an interior atrium, beautifully landscaped interior courtyard, protected exterior balconies, and a large conferencing center equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment. 

Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building – Portland, Oregon 

Situated in the heart of Portland, this 18-story, 525,000-square-foot building is a base for 16 federal agencies, providing office space for more than 1,200 federal employees. 

Originally constructed in 1974, the facility underwent a major overhaul between 2009 and 2014. Today, the Federal Building is a cornerstone of the General Services Administration’s green building portfolio, incorporating all-new electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and data systems designed to make it one of the country’s most energy efficient office buildings. 

The result of a collaboration between Cutler Anderson Architects, SERA Architects, and Howard S. Wright Construction, the newly renovated Federal Building incorporates a range of sustainable, innovative, efficient technologies, including: 

  • A 13,000-square-foot solar roof capable of producing enough energy to meet 3% of the building’s total annual electrical requirements. 
  • Solar thermal panels providing 30% of the facility’s hot water. 
  • Modernized, energy-generating elevators. 
  • Shading devices incorporated on the south, east, and west facades capable of responding to sunny conditions; minimizing solar heat gain, and maximizing daylight during the summer months. 
  • Energy efficient water fixtures that, in conjunction with rainwater reuse, reduce the building’s overall water consumption by up to 60% compared with typical office buildings. 
  • A dedicated external air system providing 100% fresh air. 
  • An energy efficient electric lighting system incorporating advanced controls that reduce light energy expenditure by 40% compared to Oregon code. 

John and Frances Angelos Law Center – Baltimore 

Forming part of the University of Baltimore, the John and Frances Angelos Law Center opened in 2014. Located at the intersection of Mt. Royal Avenue and North Charles Street, this transformative building is a major architectural landmark for central Baltimore. 

Designed by Behnisch Architekten of Stuttgart, Germany, in partnership with Ayers/Saint/Gross, a Baltimore firm, the John and Frances Angelos Law Center was specially created to capture as much natural light as possible, while simultaneously reducing reliance on natural resources. 

The center is one of the greenest buildings in Baltimore today, its heating and cooling systems incorporating state-of-the-art equipment to capture and reuse rainwater. In addition to its rainwater harvesting system, the building also incorporates several other remarkable features, including a green roof, sunken garden, and terraces featuring endemic and adapted plants; non-emergency lights that automatically turn off after business hours; and a dedicated air management system that maximizes the flow of clean air through classrooms, offices, and open spaces, reducing energy needs in high-use periods in good weather. 

Incorporating 15 classrooms with advanced technology, a 300-seat event space and moot courtroom, 29 study spaces, and a 32,000-square-foot library, this groundbreaking facility has been recognized with several awards, including The Architect’s Newspaper’s Best of Design Award for Facades 2014; the American Council of Engineering Company’s Engineering Excellence Award, 2014; and the US Green Building Council Maryland’s Excellence in Sustainable Design Award, 2012. 

How Green Architecture Can Save the Environment

The world is facing many environmental challenges. We are overpopulated, water is scarce, and our planet’s natural resources are being destroyed at an alarming rate. However, it isn’t all bad news. A newer trend called green architecture can help ease many of these problems. Read on to learn the benefits of green architectural practices and how they can help save the environment.

What Is Green Architecture?

Green architecture refers to the design and construction of environmentally friendly buildings. Green buildings use natural resources sustainably, which means they do not negatively impact the environment. Green architecture can include the use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, as well as features that conserve water and reduce energy consumption.

It can also relate specifically to materials, such as those that are sustainably sourced. For example, bamboo and eucalyptus are much more environmentally friendly flooring options than traditional hardwood.

How Can Green Architecture Save the Environment?

There are many benefits to green architecture. These are related to design, ingenuity, and materials. The following are a few positive impacts green architecture has on the environment:

Conserving Natural Resources

One of the most important aspects of green architecture is that it can help conserve natural resources. Renewable energy sources are free and abundant, so using them in place of more traditional methods decreases our reliance on fossil fuels. This reduces pollution created by burning coal or gas for heat or power, which harms the environment. Green architecture can also help conserve water and other natural materials.

Reducing Energy Costs

Green architectural practices also have economic benefits. They may cost slightly more to implement at first, but they will save money over time because they reduce costs associated with heating and cooling buildings and purchasing electricity from utility companies.

Green buildings often use high-quality insulation materials to keep warm air inside during winter months while blocking hot temperatures during summer months. Natural light is also used to brighten rooms and reduce the need for artificial lighting. By utilizing environmentally friendly materials and careful design, green buildings can reduce energy costs and reliance on utilities.

Saving Water

Additionally, rainwater harvesting systems can be installed to collect rainwater from rooftops and use it for gardening or flushing toilets. This reduces demand on local water supplies, which is important given the growing problem of water scarcity around the world.

Many buildings designed with an emphasis on green architecture also utilize other methods of reducing water consumption. For example, dual-flush toilets or waterless urinals can be installed to use less water. This is also a great example of how even small changes, accessible to the average homeowner, can make a big difference.

Increasing Green Spaces

Green architecture can also help improve our environment in other ways. For example, it can create more green spaces by installing plants and trees on roofs or balconies. These green spaces act as “green lungs” that improve air quality and provide a natural habitat for birds and other animals.

Green spaces have been shown to have numerous environmental impacts. They fight pollution, lower rising temperatures, and contribute to better physical health for nearby residents.

Reducing Temperatures

One of the most innovative new trends in green architecture is using materials that can help lower temperatures. For example, in very warm places like Phoenix, Arizona, decades of urban sprawl and concrete construction have created an “urban heat island.” This is a metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than its surroundings due to the large number of dark surfaces (such as asphalt and concrete) that absorb heat during the day and release it at night.

Green architecture can help by using reflective materials that bounce sunlight back into the atmosphere instead of absorbing it. This helps reduce temperatures in urban areas, which improves air quality and reduces energy costs for residents and businesses.

Using Carbon-Smart Materials

Steel and concrete production contributes massively to pollution and carbon emissions. This takes a huge toll on our environment. However, many architects are now opting for “carbon smart” materials versus traditional building materials. These green materials include bamboo, hempcrete, sheep’s wool, straw-bale, and wood.

Retrofitting Existing Buildings

It may seem like many green features are only available in new buildings. While that’s somewhat true, that’s not the whole story. Many architects and cities are working to retrofit existing buildings and spaces. Homeowners can retrofit their properties to help the environment and lower energy costs, as well.


Green architecture has many benefits for our environment. It can save energy, conserve natural resources, and reduce temperatures in cities. By using green architectural practices both in our homes and on larger, public projects, we can make our world a more sustainable place for future generations.

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Your LEED Green Building Certification

Did you know that since 1901, the average global temperature has been rising by roughly 0.16 degrees Fahrenheit each decade? The decade 2011-2020 was the warmest on record worldwide, and eight of the top ten warmest years for the U.S. have occurred since 1988. It’s clear that climate change is accelerating.

Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide—the primary cause of climate change—is more important than ever, if we want to avoid runaway climate change.

One way to do this is to design and build more sustainable homes, businesses, and communities. LEED certification can help people do exactly this.

 To learn more about what this certification means and why it matters, keep reading.

What Is LEED?

So, what is LEED? LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is one of the most widely used rating systems for green buildings around the world. Created by the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED can be used to rate just about any type of structure and provides guidance on constructing environmentally friendly buildings.

Having a LEED certification is important for developers and building owners because it is a symbol of leadership and achievement in the field of sustainability. Because of its global recognition, this building certification is a way for companies to receive international acknowledgement for their efforts in protecting the planet.

One of the many advantages of using the LEED certification system is that it can be used for all types of buildings and buildings at various phases of construction. This means newly constructed buildings, interior fit-outs, shell buildings, and more all fall under the umbrella of the LEED certification.

What Are the Benefits of Getting LEED Certified?

Building projects that become LEED certified are able to take advantage of a number of different benefits. These benefits can transform organizations in many different ways.

One of the first benefits of getting a building project LEED-certified is that it helps the building owner save money. Not only does it reduce energy and water use and shrink operating costs, but it also can give the building owner a competitive edge.

LEED-certified buildings also provide health benefits. Buildings that have undergone the changes needed to become LEED-certified have less pollution, better air quality, and improved indoor environments, leading to a healthier overall place to live or work.

Finally, LEED-certified buildings can lead to positive change in communities. They inspire others in the community to take the same steps and to work toward a healthier world.

How to Get LEED Certified

With all the benefits of becoming LEED-certified, it’s no wonder that many organizations are choosing this option. And, luckily, becoming LEED-certified is a fairly straightforward process.

To start, project leads will need to identify their building project’s type. There are eight types of LEED certification rating systems:

  1. Building Design and Construction (BD+C): For new construction or major renovation projects
  2. Interior Design and Construction (ID+C): For interior fit-outs.
  3. Building Operations and Maintenance (O+M): For buildings that already exist and are being reconstructed or having minor work done.
  4. Neighborhood Development (ND): For redevelopment or new land development projects for commercial, public, and residential uses.
  5. Homes: For low or mid-rise multi-family homes or single-family homes.
  6. Cities and Communities: For sub-sections of cities and entire cities.
  7. Recertification: For maintaining LEED certification in any of the above categories.
  8. LEED Zero: For LEED projects aiming for net-zero in carbon and resources.

Once the correct type of project has been identified, it’s time to start earning points according to the LEED rating system. Projects earn points by meeting certain sustainability prerequisites related to innovation in design, building materials, site development, energy efficiency, water savings, indoor environment quality, and regional priorities.

As a project earns more points, it moves up in rankings. Projects can be rated in the following categories:

  • Certified: 40-49 points
  • Silver: 50-59 points
  • Gold: 60-79 points
  • Platinum: 80+ points

Once a project has between 40 and 49 points, that building is considered LEED certified. That’s just the beginning for businesses interested in reducing the environmental impact of their buildings.

The Cost of Getting LEED Certified

While it would be great if the opposite were true, getting LEED-certified isn’t free. Any project that aspires to be LEED-certified must pay certain associated fees.

The good news is that the registration fees include several benefits. For one, all projects receive access to Arc. The Arc platform allows businesses and project managers to track their project’s progress.

In addition to the Arc platform, registration fees provide project leaders with access to a dedicated LEED Coach. The LEED Coach helps guide managers through the certification process.

The cost of certification varies based on a few different factors. For one, the location of the project will affect the cost, as will the size of the building and the category of LEED certification the project is pursuing. USGBC members receive discounts.

Get LEED Certified Today

Getting LEED certified is a big decision. It’s a project that takes a lot of energy and time. However, it’s also a decision that can have a hugely positive impact on the environment. According to some estimates, buildings are responsible for about 40% of global carbon dioxide emissions every year. The LEED certification process provides a way for individual building owners and entire communities to rethink their built environment, reduce their carbon footprint, and create a healthier future.

5 Eye-Catching Trends in Green Architecture You’re Sure to Love

Green architecture is on the rise. With more and more people becoming environmentally conscious, architects are designing buildings that take green living to the next level. Many of these trends focus on sustainability, renewable energy sources, and livable spaces for all types of plants, animals, and humans.

There’s a wide range of incredible developments in this field. To find examples, look no further than one of the international green building expositions, such as Greenbuild 2021. At this premier event for the green building industry, attendees got up close and personal with some amazing examples of green architecture and sustainable design concepts and learned all about the latest trends in this area. Read on to learn more about these eye-catching green architecture trends.

1.    Natural Air Filtration

The first trend focuses on improving indoor air quality by using plants as natural filters for pollutants within buildings. This concept has been around since NASA was studying ways to improve air circulation on space stations, but it seems that now architects are beginning to recognize their potential as well when designing green buildings. 

Other air filtration systems include innovative air filtration panels that can be attached to exterior building facades. These trends are particularly of interest to some of the world’s most populated cities, such as Singapore, Tokyo, and Mexico City. 

2.    Improved Airflow

The next big trend to keep an eye on is natural ventilation. Architects are achieving this through the design of strategic openings, shading devices, and efficient airflow systems. It’s no surprise that this idea has been around for centuries. However, what was once considered a luxury item is now becoming increasingly common as architects recognize its potential impact on indoor air quality as well as energy efficiency.

In the past two years, improving airflow in buildings has also become a major focus of public health. With the increased risk of airborne viruses and other pollutants, more people are concerned about airflow than ever before.

To keep this trend “green,” architects are focusing on natural ways to improve airflow. For example, so-called “natural ventilation” introduces fresh and cool air without using air-conditioning or other types of mechanically driven devices. This is created by the differences in the distribution of air pressures around a building. Air moves from high-pressure areas to low-pressure areas, with gravity and wind pressure affecting the airflow. 

3.    Solar Panels

This third eye-catching design goes far beyond those rooftop glass boxes you normally see at international green building expositions. The concept here focuses on strategically placing solar panels across facades and roofs, giving them a unique look. 

While solar panels are not new by any means, they are getting smaller and more flexible, allowing architects to use them thoughtfully in design. Thus, they are less utilitarian and more integrative overall. Innovations in this area include glass roof tiles, integrative solar roof tiles, and solar panel windowpanes. Some designers are even working on creating solar panels that can be painted right onto buildings.

4.    Sustainable Communities

The fourth trend is a little bit more ambitious. This trend is focused on creating entire cities that are designed with the environment in mind, from their energy systems to transportation networks, as well as the building structures themselves. These concepts aim to create fully sustainable communities that will help those who live there reduce their carbon footprint. They will also focus on other aspects of life, such as housing, education, and health care.

While some of these ideas seem futuristic, some are very practical and immediately applicable. For example, changing climate and weather patterns are impacting urban design. Many cities are beginning to integrate resiliency and environmental impact into their plans.

5.    Indoor “Agro”

Finally, we have an eye-catching design that marries indoor agriculture with architectural concepts. This includes using plants and natural elements throughout the interior spaces within a structure. This idea can take many forms, but one popular way architects and designers implement this concept is by adding vertical gardens and rooftop hydroponic gardens onto their buildings. These serve both functional and aesthetic purposes.

In fact, whether contact with vegetation is active, such as gardening, or passive, such as simply viewing vegetation through a window, research has shown a consistent pattern of positive effects. These include stress reduction, mood improvement, better focus and attention, and even reduced pain and faster recovery when studied in healthcare settings. With these benefits, this trend is sure to grow in interest and impact.


While these are interesting trends in green architecture, there are so many more out there. This exciting field of green architecture and design is growing in leaps and bounds each year as increasingly more architects focus on sustainable design concepts, livable spaces, renewable energy sources, and indoor air quality when designing the homes and workplaces of future generations.

Green Building Practices in Exterior and Interior Designs

Based in Montgomery, Texas, William “Bill” Starkey was the CEO of Starkey Construction, LLC, for more than 35 years. William Starkey emphasized using project oversight that adheres to the highest levels of sustainability when it comes to building materials and energy efficiency.

An article in the Harvard Business Review provides in-depth information on just what makes building practices “green” and how this objective can be attained at various levels. One aspect of this involves the actual shape and configuration of the building. For example, a structure that is narrow and extends lengthwise, depending on its position relative to the sun, surrounding buildings, and natural features, can maximize available ventilation and natural lighting.

At the same time, placing fixed elements such as HVAC and other mechanical systems, bathrooms, and stairs within the interior core allows for an open perimeter design. This enables maximum sunlight to reach offices and workspaces and cuts down on energy usage. Another aspect of this centers on operable skylights and windows that allow for natural ventilation when the temperature is moderate. Low-emission glazing on windows can further cut glare and interior solar heat gains to the minimum. The result of these building design innovations is energy usage that is substantially less than standard buildings of comparable size.

Affordable and Sustainable Housing for Low-Income Households

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A Montgomery, Texas resident, William “Bill” Starkey led Starkey Construction for more than 35 years. The company built luxury homes, schools, churches, and hospitals using premium materials. Besides custom-built homes, William Starkey is also interested in sustainability regarding house design, construction methods, and execution.

Advocates of sustainable design and construction assert that low-income individuals and families will benefit more in the long run if they live in houses that are not only affordable but also energy-efficient, durable, and have better indoor air quality. This notion comes at an opportune time when state housing agencies are prioritizing building more affordable housing for millions of low-income households.

To reach a middle-ground, designers and architects that are pro-green housing analyze different ways to achieve affordable and sustainable living for people in need. Some are diverting funds from landscaping and other non-essential parts of a house into energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, doors, windows, and appliances. In some cases, switching to eco-friendly paints and coatings can reduce exposure to harmful chemicals. Meanwhile, using low-flush toilets is efficient and economical.

Structural Wood Products Used in Construction


Based in Montgomery, Texas, William “Bill” Starkey served as CEO of Starkey Construction for 37 years. As an industry leader, William Starkey follows trends and developments through BuildingGreen, an online resource for eco-friendly and sustainable design and construction techniques.

One of the featured articles in BuildingGreen explores the different types of structural wood products that claim to have a low carbon footprint. Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is made of structural panels or planks that are layered and glued perpendicularly to each other. CLTs are often used in constructing walls, roofs, and floors. Builders use CLTs because of their strength, dimensional stability, and flexibility.

Another type of structural wood product used in constructing roofs, ceiling frames, and floors is an I-joist or I-beam. An I-joist places a piece of plywood between two pieces of wood, which serve as the top and bottom flanges, forming a letter “I” in cross section. I-joist’s unique form make them lighter and stronger than standard lumber joists, capable of resisting bending and meeting performance standards.