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Editorial Guidelines for Paper Content and Structure

I. Editorial Guidelines for Research Articles

Papers submitted for consideration of publication in the Journal of Green Building should advance the body of knowledge related to green, sustainable, or high performance built facilities and infrastructure systems. Acceptable paper topics include original reviews of past practice, present information of current interest, or exploration of new concepts pertinent to green building. Manuscripts should be free of evident commercialism or private interest, and all manuscripts of this nature will be returned without review. However, case studies and descriptions of new technologies are welcome, and in these papers it may be appropriate to use proper names or other identifying information to aid the reader's understanding. Papers should not have been published previously, and authors will be required to sign a copyright release form prior to publication certifying this fact.

All papers will be reviewed by at least two peers that are competent to evaluate the technical and professional quality of the work. At least two positive reviews are required for acceptance of the paper for publication, and two negative reviews are grounds for rejection of the manuscript. Revisions, with or without re-review, are often required conditions of acceptance. Review criteria for papers include originality of approach, concept, and/or application; intellectual merit of approach and findings; significance of findings and potential benefits and impact; and relevance to the domain of green, sustainable, or high performance built facilities and infrastructure systems. Both practical papers and theoretical papers are encouraged.

Topics of interest for the Journal span the whole scope of the green building domain and include, but are not limited to:

  • Indicators of sustainability for built facilities and infrastructure systems
  • Mathematical and systems modeling of facilities and infrastructure performance
  • Integrated design and facility life cycle methods and practices
  • Innovation and performance modeling for mechanical systems, building envelopes, lighting, and other key facility systems
  • Green building materials and structural innovations
  • Building science, energy performance, and indoor environmental quality issues
  • Alternative project delivery methods for green building projects
  • Information architectures for facilities data related to green building
  • Impacts of facilities on human performance
  • Life cycle analysis and assessment methodologies and models
  • Energy systems, conservation, and generation
  • Water, stormwater, and wastewater systems
  • Historic preservation and green building
  • The built environment as industrial ecosystem
  • Deconstruction methodologies and waste management innovations
  • Sustainability and security in facility and infrastructure design
  • Prevention and sustainable mitigation of mold and other building hazards
  • Barriers to sustainability implementation
  • Economics of green building and cost models/methods
  • Operational frameworks for sustainability implementation
  • Decision making and management of tradeoffs in green building projects
  • Research and education needs to support sustainability implementation
  • Emerging technologies for sustainable facilities & infrastructure
  • Urban and community sustainable planning
Initial submittal of papers will be accepted via electronic submission in Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf) as email attachments not to exceed 10 MB in size to For papers that exceed this size limit, authors may use an acceptable file transfer program like WeTransfer or Dropbox. Papers accepted for publication are to be submitted according to the guidelines below. Authors must also send along with their submission a signed release form. Papers may also be submitted on an ongoing basis for consideration in subsequent editions of the Journal, which will be published four times per year.

For more information, visit the Journal's home page or contact the Journal of Green Building, Publisher. Guidelines for formatting submittals are available online under the Submissions link.

The following subsections describe required and/or suggested components to be included in the structure of papers submitted to the Journal of Green Building:

Front Matter. Include a title for the paper of no more than 100 characters, including spaces between words. Authors should be listed sequentially by full name, with any professional registrations or other designations abbreviated after each name. A footnote should be included for each author listing his or her title, organization, and contact information.

Abstract. Include an abstract of 150-175 words that describes the problem or question addressed in the paper, the scope of the work and approach taken, and the key conclusions or major findings. It should be written for a technical audience and should avoid domain-specific jargon since the audience for the Journal will include multiple disciplines related to the built environment. Do not include mathematics or references to other literature in the abstract.

Narrative. The maximum length for papers submitted to the Journal of Green Building is 10,000 words. Special exceptions may be made for papers on topics that cannot be sufficiently addressed within these limitations. Publication standards of the primary author's domain or discipline (e.g., American Society of Civil Engineers, American Institute of Architects, American Planning Association) should be consulted for issues such as notation, units, and proper citation of references. If no such standards exist, the default standard for publication format and content shall be the American Society of Civil Engineers Author's Guide - see for more information. As a guideline, the narrative of the paper should include the following key components as appropriate for the content of the paper. Sections should be titled appropriately to reflect the specific contents of each section. Not all papers may fit this recommended structure, and authors should use their discretion to develop a structure for the paper that is most appropriate to clearly convey the information to the Journal's audience. Recommended sections to include in the body of the paper are:

Introduction. The introduction section of the paper should include a description of the problem or question being pursued in the work, and should provide an overview of the significance of the problem. It may also include sections establishing the scope of the work undertaken. It should clearly establish the purpose of the paper and the objectives of the work described therein.

Background or Point of Departure. The background section of the paper should describe prior work conducted to address the problem or answer the question described in the introduction, and should establish a clear point of departure for the work described in the paper. It may also include a summary subsection to clearly articulate the research need based on gaps in the literature or problems being addressed.

Methodology or Approach. The methodology section of the paper should clearly describe the research design and decisions underlying that design, the instruments and/or apparatus used to conduct the research, the population(s) being studied, any analytical methods employed, and other details that would allow readers to repeat the work or evaluate its validity. Authors may refer readers to Appendices containing details about the methodology if the detail contained therein would interrupt the flow of the narrative itself.

Findings. The findings section of the paper should describe the primary outcomes of the work based on application of the methodology. Include summaries and/or analysis of data in this section of the paper. Authors may refer readers to Appendices containing details about the data or analysis if the detail contained therein would interrupt the flow of the narrative itself.

Conclusions. The conclusion section of the work should discuss the significant implications of the findings described earlier. This section should refer back to or otherwise discuss the original problem or question being investigated, and should present the author's evaluation of the work. The conclusion should also include areas for further research, benefits and impacts, and significance of the work.

Acknowledgments. Acknowledgements may be included to recognize financial or technical support received for the work described in the paper. They are not required for manuscript submission.

Appendices. If necessary, appendices may be included to provide additional detail or data essential to understanding or replicability of work described in the paper. All appendices should be clearly referenced at least once in the main body of the paper. Appendices should be included when estimating the total length of the paper.

References and Bibliography. All information in the manuscript derived from other sources should be clearly referenced in the body of the text using the author-date method. For instance, one author might be cited as (Jones 2001), two authors as (Jones and Lang 2001), and three authors or more as (Jones et al. 2001). Direct quotes or other information linked to specific locations in the text should include page numbers, e.g., (Jones 2001, p. 35). Formatting of all sources listed in the references and bibliography should follow the guidelines of the primary author's domain, with the American Society of Civil Engineers being the default format. Reference lists should contain sources cited directly in the manuscript, and should be included in all papers. Bibliographies may be included separately to list other key resources of interest to the reader but not specifically cited in the text.

II. Editorial Guidelines for Industry Corner, New Directions in Teaching and Research, and Campus Sustainability Articles

Industry Corner articles are generally written by architects, engineers, and building construction professionals with other practicing professionals in mind.  The goal of these articles is to offer best practice and guidance in creating buildings and landscapes that achieve sustainable goals.  As such, they are applied in focus and authors are encouraged to cover building, architectural and engineering processes in enough detail and with enough supporting examples to enable fellow practitioners to repeat these sustainable goals in future projects.  Campus Sustainability articles are written by academics and members of the university community actively engaged in sustainable design, construction, and programs that collectively enhance sustainability on campus.   Articles may focus on building projects (e.g. dormitories, libraries, classrooms, athletic and dining facilities, and research buildings) that achieve notable objectives like the Living Building Challenge, Net Zero Energy, or various country specific green building standards—LEED, Green Star, BREEAM certification, to name a few.  Articles from members of university environmental stewardship programs and departments of building, construction and facilities management are especially welcome.  New Directions in Teaching and Research articles are written by academics who either wish to share teaching modules and curriculum guidance that enhances sustainable student instruction or discusses emergent and important research topics and their likely direction for future research.

Industry Corner, Campus Sustainability, and New Directions in Teaching and Research articles are reviewed by our in house editorial staff and by members of our editorial board who will suggest necessary corrections and revisions.  These articles must adhere to the highest standards of excellence and clarity, and those that do not meet these criteria will not be published. 

The author and publisher will agree at the outset on the general scope and aims of each article.  A minimum 6,000-word count is expected along with supporting diagrams and photographs.  The article must not have been published previously and upon completion may not be published elsewhere with the exception of the author’s own promotional materials.  All authors are fully credited by name and contact information.

Please note that all submissions should be made in the native word-processing format and in a PDF format.  Illustrations should be saved at the highest resolution possible, with 600 dpi being a minimum.  We can handle most image file formats.  A more detailed description of submission guidelines can be found above under our Research articles guidelines.

Submission of all articles should be directed to the Publisher, Journal of Green Building, at  If article files are too large to email, then please use a file transfer program such as WeTransfer or Dropbox.

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