Building Green for Quality of Life Improvements

The quality of life or residents might be the best way to measure the benefits of green building programs, according to the president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council.

1 minute read

November 30, 2019, 1:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Green Buildings

Tom Grundy / Shutterstock

Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council, writes for Smart Cities Dive to make the case for improvements in building construction for the benefit of quality of life in the United States.

Ramanujam uses the example of Atlanta to begin the story:

Utility costs are a very real concern in Atlanta, where residents spend on average 48% of their income on housing, utilities and transportation. And for the more than 336,000 households whose incomes are at or below the poverty line, that percentage can be even higher.

Building better, according to Ramanujam, can be a powerful way to improve quality of life. "Better homes, better schools, better hospitals, better offices." In fact, writes Ramanujam, the true measure of success of buildings won't necessarily be measured in terms of environmental outcomes, but in the health and well-being of residents.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019 in Smart Cities Dive

Aerial view of homes on beach in Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii Passes First Legislation Regulating Short-Term Rentals Statewide

The new law will give counties the power to limit number or short-term rentals and convert existing short-term rental units back into long-term residential housing.

May 13, 2024 - USA Today

Google office building in Virginia.

Virginia Data Centers Draining State’s Water Supply

Being the world’s largest data center hub is having a severe impact on local water resources.

May 9, 2024 - Grist

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state.

Northwest Power Demand Could Surge as Data Centers, Transportation Electrification Ramps Up

New estimates project a steady increase in electricity demand due to population growth, data centers, and the shift to electric power in homes, buildings, and transportation.

May 17 - Governing

Blurred traffic speeding by on freeway with Los Angeles skyline in background.

California Testing Per-Mile Gas Tax Alternatives

A summer pilot program will test the fairness and efficacy of collection mechanisms for mileage-based fee options.

May 17 - Newsweek

Close-up of 'Pay rent' note in red marker on day 1 of monthly calendar.

After Months of Decreases, Rents Nationwide Are Going Up

Average rents rose by $12 around the country so far this year.

May 17 - Smart Cities Dive

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.