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Green Builder Online Archive

The following issues are available for online viewing.

If you want to directly download a pdf for offline reading (or printing) later, click HERE.

Some archived print versions are available for purchase here.

March/April 2017, Home of the Year Awards

Politics won't stand in the way of the coming energy revolution. As Wi-Fi-enabled products link renewable energy to home performance, net zero looks to become an ever-more-achievable benchmark.



January/February 2017, Smart Plus Solar

Politics won't stand in the way of the coming energy revolution. As Wi-Fi-enabled products link renewable energy to home performance, net zero looks to become an ever-more-achievable benchmark.


Jan-Feb 2017 issue 

November/December 2016, The Code Roadmap 

The public comment phase of the 2018 IECC hearings has passed, and final decisions will be made as this issue went to print. Here's what you need to know about key building code changes that will affect the industry.


Nov-Dec 2016 

Homeowner's Handbook 2016 

Our 7th Edition of the go-to green guide for homeowners celebrates solar innovation and new products, and brings you the in-depth information your clients need to know about sustainable construction.



September/October 2016, Testing Tradition 

This year's building science issue takes a closer look at envelopes, insulation and multi-zone heating and cooling. Learn which products and assembly details most impact overall energy performance.



July/August 2016, Cooling the Climate

Can greener business practices and smarter living slow our global nose dive toward climate disaster? Our annual Eco-Leaders issue looks at companies and ideas addressing what may be the toughest challenge in human history.



May/June 2016, Cleaner Machines

From biodiesel work trucks to hybrid excavators to electric cars, the way we live and work is changing with the times.


May/June 2016 

March/April 2016, The Return of the Garden

Our annual Eco-Landscaping issue looks at growing interest in lawn removal, natural stormwater retention and local food production. Join the garden resurgence, and grow new relationships with your clients.



February 2016, Visualizing Change

Our annual awards issue features our 2016 Hot 50 Editors' Choice and 2016 Readers' Choice Brand Survey.


February 2016 Green Builder 

January 2016, Energy Solutions

Imagine a future of renewable power and intelligently designed living. In this, our annual awards issue, we honor the nation's very best green homes and explore the innovative edge of housing.


January 2016 Green Builder 

November 2015, The 2015 Homeowner's Handbook

The Interconnected Home. Learn how the Internet of Things is changing the way your home works—saving energy, improving comfort and protecting your investment.


November 2015  Green Builder 

October 2015, Beyond Sticks and Bricks

It's a brave, new alternative construction universe out there. Here's our annual look at materials old and new.



September 2015, Tools For Change

Are you ready for the jobsite of the future? This issue, we look at new ideas and technologies that are changing the way buildings happen. From solar mapping tools to tough, energy-efficient trucks, here's what you need to know to work smarter and more sustainably.


September 2015 Issue 

August 2015, Room for Improvement

Advances in building science promise a second chance for drafty, poorly insulated older homes. But as our annual "behind the walls" issue demonstrates, new homes also benefit from deeper understanding of how systems work in the real world.


August 2015 issue 

July 2015, Numbers Don't Lie

Making sense of complicated data gets a lot easier, with the help of clever infographics. They're the visual centerpiece of this month's issue, which also takes a look at several game-changing net-zero-energy homes.


July 2015 issue 

June 2015, 2015 Eco-Leaders

Here is our annual look at companies that are making serious efforts to address climate change—plus an update on solar products and innovations.


June 2015 issue 

May 2015, Kitchens and Baths Evolve

New Products, new design concepts and changing expectations are transforming these pivotal living spaces. Throw in 3-D printing, and almost anything goes. Are you ready to rethink the most improtant rooms in the modern house?


May 2015 issue 

April 2015, Clearing the Air

As childhood asthma reaches epidemic levels, poor indoor air quality has become a national concern. This month, we'll show you how to address the problem in every project, from basements to chimney.


April 2015 issue 

March 2015, Sustainable Landscaping Guide

From ecology-based landscape design to graywater reuse, this year's guide takes resource conservation to the next level.


March 2015 issue 

February 2015, The Hot 50

From geothermal systems to water-saving faucets, complete wall assemblies to advanced solar panels, this year's short list of leading products shows just how far and fast the industry is moving toward sustainability.


February 2015 issue 

January 2015, Living Together

In the final chapter of our year-long Celestia Project, we look at the push and pull of human interactions. As the Internet of Things connects us ever more closely with technology, how do we maintain the bonds of community and family?


January 2015 issue 

December 2014, Prepare for the Future

Our Green Home of the Year Award winners combine the best of tradition and technology - homes of great beauty that are also resilient and flexible.


December 2014 issue 

November 2014, The Homeowner's Handbook

Our fifth annual guide to green building and renovation features updated tips, technology, products and professional advice for both current and would-be homeowners.


November 2014 issue 

October 2014, Material World

As man-made carbon emisissions pass dangerous new levels, the production of high-intensity materials such as concrete and steel threatens to make matters much worse. What can the building industry do to lighten the Earth's load?


October 2014 issue 

September 2014, One Water

New thinking about water conservation could head off many of the worst scenarios of deprivation and desertification. The right combination of "fit to purpose" water supplies, along with changes in our diet, clothing and sanitary practices could restore the balance.


September 2014 issue 

August 2014, Energy Independence

Our annual building science issue includes a special focus on renewable energy. Recent innovations, especially in solar cells, could turn our current energy portfolio upside down. Get ready for a new age of geothermal heating, Passive House construction and smart conservation.


July 2014, Playing God

Special Eco-Leaders Report: See who made the list! Plus, emerging building technology has the potential to solve many of our biggest challenges: labor shortages, volatile material costs - even poor durability. It's time to let machines do the dirty work, and create the green buildings and cities of our imaginations.


June 2014, Irresistible Cities

As population rises and climate change looms, the best hope for future generations is rapid and thoughtful urbanization: living closer and living smaller, but also living better. here's how we can make it happen.


May 2014, Finding Balance

New ideas about how to save species from extinction and restore biodiversity offer a plan for action: Throw out old zoning, embrace urban habitats, and let nature take its course.


April 2014, The Path to Abundance

The way forward begins with food security. This month, as part of the first chapter of The Celestia Project, we imagine the kitchen of the future: an exploration of the trends and technology likely to shape our lives over the next century.


March 2014, Slowing the Flow

Our annual Landscaping Guide looks at new techniques and innovations that are making fresh water management easier and more affordable. Can we achieve the same gains with water conservation that we have with zero-net-energy construction?


February 2014, Rise of the Machines

This year's "Editor's Choice" products show how technology is converging to save energy, water and resources. The age of the Internet of Things has begun.


January 2014, World-Changing Ideas

The seeds of a sustainability revolution have taken root, and they're growing into something much bigger - from solar electric vehicles to gravity-powered lighting to crowdsourced community planning, the future looks bright.



December 2013, Green Home of the Year Awards

Real Homes. Real Lives. This year's award winners cleverly integrate high-tech and low-tech approaches to sustainability.



November 2013, The Homeowner's Handbook

Your annual, essential guide to building or remodeling a sustainable home.



October 2013, Radical Simplicity

We often talk about durability as a key aspect of sustainability. But what about materials and structures that can be easily dismantled, moved - or simply allowed to biodegrade? In this year's Alternative Construction Update, we look at the idea of "temporary" and earth-based housing as legitimate answers to some of the world's ongoing environmental woes.



September 2013, Solar Sunrise

American college students once more have shown what the sun-powered housing of the future could look like. This year's Solar Decathlon demonstrates that the U.S. could lead the way in sustainable living. All it takes is thinking differently about how housing should look and function.


August 2013, Thinking Deeper

When is solar hot water a viable, practical upgrade? What's the best way to retrofit an apartment building? Do range hoods perform as advertised? This month, we tackle some tough, important questions about performance, to help you make the most of your construction and renovation budgets.


July 2013, Leading by Example

In this, our annual Eco-Leadership issue, we take a closer look at companies that are manufacturing green building products here in the United States. It's a trend that's being driven by both market and cultural forces.


June 2013, The Power of Sustainable Design

Good design has been proven to not only make people want to buy things. It also influences their behavior. Can today's product and building designers re-imagine forms in such a way that they become desirable, sought after features?


May 2013, Living Small

As the great downsizing continues, compact housing has come of age - thanks to truly innovative small house floorplans, packed with multi-purpose products and amenities. The future is small, smart and super efficient.


April 2013, Envisioning Change

In this special issue, seven leading innovators and thinkers talk about sustainability, from car sharing to wildlife conservation, from green cities to radical ways we might repair our nation's dysfunctional politics.


March 2013, Landscaping and Outdoor Living

This year's annual guide offers outdoor makeover design ideas, plus tips on weighing the "green" aspects of various composite decking brands, along with a case study of high-rise rooftop gardening - and more.


February 2013, The Hot 50

Our annual collection of editors' choice products includeds both low-tech and high-tech solutions, from tougher drywall to smarter thermostats.


January 2013, Doing the Math

When does upgrading a furnace make more sense than adding insulation? Which wall system delivers the best performance for the buck? New research and powerful software can offer precise comparisons before the first contractor's truck arrives on the job site.



December 2012, Green Home of the Year Awards

If one trend could summarize this year's entries, it's "trending toward zero". The sustainability bar keeps rising, and these ten projects hint at the new normal for future housing.

November 2012, The Homeowner's Handbook

Share this annual guide with your customers, co-workers and friends, to help them understand the fundamental concepts and products used in sustainable construction

October 2012, Beyond the Basic Box

Our annual look at alternative to stick-framed housing goes way outside the comfort zone for most American buyers. But ideas that are ahead of their time today may offer the solutions we need for the future.

September 2012, Natural Selections

Our annual Design Idea Guide features some of the best built, most self-sufficent homes and multi-family units we've ever seen. These conscious, clever designs tread lightly on the planet, with respect for the natural world apparent in every material choice.

August 2012, Some Assembly Required

Our annual Hands-On Handbook presents nine how-to projects with various levels of difficulty. Each one aims to reduce some aspect of a home's environmental impact - whether by improving durability, collecting rainwater or controlling the variables that cause paint to fail.

July 2012, Leading the Eco-Revolution

Find out which companies are doing more to save resources, reduce waste and generally act as better corporate citizens.  We go outside the building industry to look at 10 environmental initiatives that are worth emulating.

June 2012, Nature Strikes Back

New evidence of the impact of humans on the environment leaves no room for doubt.  We're in big trouble, and so are thousands of the species at our mercy.  Will we rise to the challenge and become stewards of the Earth, or pay the ultimate price?

May 2012, VISION House® Los Angeles: Behind the Walls

As our West Coast demonstration home nears completion, here's a sneak peak at 25 products that put it on the leading edge of innovation.

April 2012, Green Home Plan Book

Our second annual set of eco-friendly plans includes a more thorough evaluation of energy performance, so you can pick the design that meets both lifestyle and performance goals.

March 2012, Soil & Landscaping Guide

Forget everything you think you know about soil ecology. The latest research on how soils, plants and people interact unveils a complex, living underworld.

February 2012, The Hot 50 Products

Looking for eco-friendly products that you can trust? Here's our annual list of editors' picks, chosen for their overall impact, innovation and reliability.

January 2012, Solar Homes of the Future

If you're looking for innovative, exciting ways to integrate solar energy into your next project, you've just hit paydirt. Here's our comprehensive coverage of the 2011 Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C.

2016 Homeowners Handbook Green Builder


See the Winners

See the Hot 50 Products of 2017