Green Website Roundup: Six Authoritative Commercial and Residential Building Resources for Pros

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There are hundreds of websites and blogs dedicated to almost every facet of green construction and design, but it can be difficult and time consuming to indentify which websites offer quality information. In this post, the Griffin team has compiled six of the best green commercial and residential building websites for professionals. These sites were chosen because they provide comprehensive information about green building, and are excellent resources for readers who want to increase their knowledge about sustainable design and practices.

GreenSource: The online component to McGraw Hill’s respected GreenSource publication, the website features much of the print content as well as coverage of green building news and policy updates, thoughtful opinion pieces on the state of green building and project profiles of LEED® Platinum buildings. The website also features a wealth of video content containing tours of notable green projects and interviews with important players in green design. Likewise, it hosts several important industry blogs, including the official blog of the U.S. Green Building Council, which directs the LEED program As a provider for AIA and USGBC continuing education courses, Greensource is a good resource for architects who need to earn CEUs.

BuildingGreen: This is the website of BuildingGreen, Inc., the venerable independent publishing company behind Environmental Building News and greenspec.com. The professionals at BuildingGreen have been writing about green building practices for more than 30 years, before “green” technology began steadily gaining ground in the mainstream building industry. BuildingGreen, Inc. founder, Alex Wilson, is one of the foremost thought leaders in sustainable building and is a recipient of the 2010 Hanley Wood Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing. Wilson and his team’s green building insight shows throughout the site, which offers nuanced forays into green building science. Users can purchase a subscription ($19.95 a month, or $199 per year) for complete access to the website, which contains, among other things, green building news and information on new green building products. A High Performance Buildings Database contains case studies of commercial and residential projects that showcase notable green certifications or practices. As an independent publishing company that accepts no advertising, Buildingreen.com is one of the best sources available for the most unbiased information on sustainable products and technology.

Inhabitat: With coverage of everything from news, to tips, to product information, to profiles on green buildings and homes, Inhabitat features a wealth of knowledge from the practical to the fanciful. Visitors will find features ranging from a practical guide of how one school profited from installing solar panels to artistic renderings of architectural eye candy like this City in the Sky post, which features gorgeously designed bio domes, perched high above a major metropolitan area. Founded by environmentally conscious architects, Inhabitat contains the latest on emerging trends in green design and endeavors to provide case studies and project profiles that show “green” and good design are not mutually exclusive.

ecohome: This website is the premier online source for green building products and technology for residential builders, remodelers and architects. Ecohome.com contains insights on green building products and tips that are in depth, but digestible. The site also features project profiles on noteworthy green home building installations. The ecohomemagazine.com website is running an ongoing feature called Vision 2020, which will report on its year of research and analysis that aims to identify the key challenges the building industry faces in setting new milestones on the path to sustainability. Through in-depth features and coverage, Vision 2020’s goal is to map a clear path towards sustainability in residential construction between now and 2020, with the goal of tracking the industry’s progress towards the goals set by the 2030 Challenge.

Green Building Advisor: A product of one of the leading building industry publishing houses, Taunton Press, Green Building Advisor draws on more than 25 years of experience in residential construction publishing. It provides practical information useful to both hardcore DYIers and pros on technology and products that builders and remodelers can use when making green choices for projects. For green building novices, the website contains a helpful “Green Basics” page that hosts all the information a builder or remodeler would need to know about green building practices. Beyond the basics, the website features a green building encyclopedia containing articles organized the way a builder would construct a house — from Design, Building Lot, Structure and Shell through Mechanicals. There’s also a special Remodeling Section. Users pay a subscription to access all of the articles on this site, but for pros, this cost ($14.95 per month, or $149.95 for a year) is well worth it.

Jetsongreen: Created by a lawyer turned green building advocate, this website covers green building, conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy and green technology for both pros and homeowners who are passionate about going green. Jetsongreen features case studies of traditional and modern homes, new products, book reviews, news, and opinion articles on green trends. The website also features helpful guides for professionals on topics such as finding employment in the green design field, how to take advantage of local energy rebates and tips on finding pros for green contract jobs. The site also features “How To” articles for the green DIYer containing tips on projects like sealing leaky air ducts and finding the most energy-efficient appliances.

Homeowner Resources
There are online resources just for homeowners, too. Notable ones include Treehugger.com, which is one of the leading and most respected consumer green sites that offers a wealth of information on a wide variety of topics.

Also check out the recently launched USGBC/Home Depot green products microsite, which can be found on the Home Depot website. The site only includes products available at Home Depot and isn’t comprehensive of all of Home Depot’s green product offerings yet.