High Performance Building

From the desk of Drew Lavine

How do you know if a building is really green? If you are a prospective tenant looking for space, an employee looking for a healthy environment, or you are just interested in architecture and design, where do you go? How do you find out what people think of the places they work? As of today, you can go to Honest Buildings, a startup that lets you “See what’s happening inside buildings and connect with people who live, work and spend time there. Read more…


I saved a copy of this National Trust report in our library under “Reports Existing and Historic.” It delves into the LCA of renovating existing buildings vs. building new. Here are the cliff notes…

The study finds that it takes 10 to 80 years for a new building that is 30 percent more efficient than an average-performing existing building to overcome, through efficient operations, the negative climate change impacts related to the construction process.

This validates what is intuitive about older buildings compared to more recent construction…

“…data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) demonstrates that commercial buildings constructed before 1920 use less energy, per square foot, than buildings from any other decade of construction…The comparative advantage of some older buildings may in fact be explained by the original building design, form, massing, and materials, as well as the window-to-wall ratio, limited installed equipment, or occupant density.”

From the desk of Jenn Rezeli