Where does our power go? While pipelines and petroleum often get the bulk of the media coverage, commercial and industrial buildings account for a surprisingly high amount of America's overall energy usage (40%), and contribute half of our overall climate emissions, according to the EPA. Office parks and high-rises add up, and while the idea of spending 40 hours a week in one can be daunting enough, those looking to curb emissions need to consider time on an entirely different scale. Three-quarters of buildings in the United States will be either new or renovated by 2035, according to the EPA; now’s the time to start encouraging smarter, savvier, and more energy efficient practices.
We’ve rounded up our favorite examples of green commercial construction—from a living building in Seattle to an off-centered brewery renovation with its own treehouse—to showcase spaces that work toward affecting a different bottom line.