Constructing Green

From Urban and Industrial Environments

Constructing Green

The Social Structures of Sustainability

Edited by Rebecca L. Henn and Andrew J. Hoffman

Foreword by Nicole Woolsey Biggart

Experts consider green construction and the social, institutional, and cultural changes associated with it, through a sociological and organizational lens.





Experts consider green construction and the social, institutional, and cultural changes associated with it, through a sociological and organizational lens.

Buildings are the nation's greatest energy consumers. Forty percent of all our energy is used for heating, cooling, lighting, and powering machines and devices in buildings. And despite decades of investment in green construction technologies, residential and commercial buildings remain stubbornly energy inefficient. This book looks beyond the technological and material aspects of green construction to examine the cultural, social, and organizational shifts that sustainable building requires, examining the fundamental challenge to centuries-long traditions in design and construction that green building represents.

The contributors consider the changes associated with green building through a sociological and organizational lens. They discuss shifts in professional expertise created by new social concerns about green building, including evolving boundaries of professional jurisdictions; changing industry strategies and structures, including the roles of ownership, supply firms, and market niches; new operational, organizational, and cultural arrangements, including the mainstreaming of environmental concerns; narratives and frames that influence the perception of green building; and future directions for the theory and practice of sustainable construction. The essays offer uniquely multidisciplinary insights into the transformative potential of green building and the obstacles that must be overcome to make it the norm.

ContributorsLauren Barhydt, Clayton Bartczak, Lyn Bartram, Olivier Berthod, Nicole Woolsey Biggart, Lenora Bohren, Bertien Broekhans, William Browning, Zinta S. Byrne, Michael Conger, Jennifer E. Cross, David Deal, Beth M. Duckles, Brian Dunbar, Robert Eccles, Amy Edmondson, Bill Franzen, Ronald Fry, Rebecca L. Henn, Jock Herron, Stephen Hockley, Andrew J. Hoffman, Kathryn B. Janda, Nitin Joglekar, Gavin Killip, Alison G. Kwok, Larissa Larsen, Michelle A. Meyer, Christine Mondor, Monica Ponce de Leon, Nicholas B. Rajkovich, Stuart Reeve, Johnny Rodgers, Garima Sharma, Geoffrey Thün, Ellen van Bueren, Kathy Velikov, Rohit Verma, Robert Woodbury, Jeffrey G. York, Jie Zhang


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262019415 424 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 5 b&w photos, 10 charts, 11 graphs, 3 figures, 1 table


$35.00 X ISBN: 9780262519625 424 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 5 b&w photos, 10 charts, 11 graphs, 3 figures, 1 table


Rebecca L. Henn

Rebecca L. Henn is Assistant Professor of Architecture at the Pennsylvania State University, doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan, and a principal in the firm Celento Henn Architects and Designers.

Andrew J. Hoffman

Andrew J. Hoffman is Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan, with joint appointments at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the School of Natural Resources and Environment. He is the author of Carbon Strategies: How Leading Companies Are Reducing Their Climate Change Footprint and other books.


Nicole Woolsey Biggart.


  • This overview of sustainable building is both timely and critical to the continued forward progress of the green building 'mission.' I am enthusiastic and inspired by the inclusive qualities of the authors' perspectives. Governance and urban policy issues are becoming much more significant to architecture than ever before. This is one of the first books to provide a landscape and a map of this field that will be a true guide to architects.

    Bill E. Roschen

    FAIA, President, Los Angeles City Planning Commission, and Principal, Roschen Van Cleve Architects, Los Angeles

  • Constructing Green is a true eye-opener. It demonstrates that, in addition to technology, a new cultural mindset is needed to meet the challenges of sustainability. No other book tackles green building so effectively and in such rich detail.

    Mauro F. Guillén

    Director of the Lauder Institute, Wharton School

  • The challenge of 'constructing green' continues to perplex us. We know buildings are responsible for a significant proportion of our carbon emissions and that we have the technical know-how to tackle this problem. Yet progress appears frustratingly slow. This book demonstrates why this is so and what we might do about it. As such, it is essential reading.

    Simon Guy

    Head of School of Environment, Education and Development and Professor and Director of Manchester Architecture Research Centre (MARC), The University of Manchester


  • Honorable Mention, 2014 Best Book Award from the Organizations & Natural Environment Division of the Academy of Management.