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Green Builder Online Archive

The following issues are available for online viewing. This is a flash version.
(***Note: Some archived print versions are available for purchase here.)

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.

December 2011, Green Home of the Year Awards
This year's sustainable home competition showcases designs that range from small, simple and austere to super-efficient luxury on a grand scale.  Here's inspiration for any site, at any budget.

November 2011, The Homeowner's Handbook, Second Edition
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 2011, Alternative Structural Systems Update
From SIPs to ICFs, cordwood to straw bale, Earthships to engineered wood framing, here's a roundup of best practices for getting better performance from both old and new wall systems.

September 2011, Sustainable Sales and Marketing Guide
We've packed this issue with ideas for closer collaboration with lenders, realtors, manufacturers and code officials. You'll also find important marketing research, with tips on how to connect with even the most skeptical of mainstream buyers.

August 2011, Building Science Update
Which is greener - vinyl or cedar siding? Is fly ash a safe concrete additive? How do heating systems compare, from an environmental perspective? In this issue, we tackle some of the industry's toughest technical challenges.

July 2011, Net-Zero Energy Housing Review
Are communities and housing that create all of their own power on-site the inevitable next step in the building revolution?

June 2011, Technology and Innovation Update
Can digital home design, electric cars, durable computers, and honest product labeling reverse negative environmental trends? Perhaps, but only if human behavior changes for the better.

May 2011, The Retro-Renovation Guide
How to restore historic buildings with green principles in mind.

April 2011, Green Home Plan Book
Award-winning green homes you can build to suit any client, any regional style.

March 2011, The Eco-Friendly Landscaping Guide
Learn how to convert a boring, high-maintenance yard into a haven of earthly delights.

February 2011, The Hot 50 Products
Our annual products guide showcases the best green products available for your houses today.

January 2011, The Retrofit Idea Book
Now is the time of adaptation and evolution. Will your company make the transition or be left behind?

Also available: December 2010 The Green Design Guide; November 2010 The Homeowner's Handbook First Edition; October 2010 Green Plumbing; September 2010 Stunning Green Remodels; and July/August 2010 Driving Forces: A Special Report on the State of Green Vehicles.

Issues prior to July/August 2010 are available in print only.  Contact us for more information.

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