With green living and sustainable building on the minds of nearly every American—from consumers to contractors to government officials—2008 saw no shortage of breaking news, cool projects, and innovative products. Here’s a look at some of our favorites from a phenomenal year in green.

Historic Financial Bailout Legislation Extends Tax Credits for Renewable Energy
President Bush signs bill that contains $18 billion in energy tax credits for homeowners and businesses.

Obama Wins, Green Movement Wins
Barack Obama's election as U.S. president could have a significant impact on green issues affecting building pros, such as building efficiency, renewable energy initiatives, and green jobs.

California Tops List of States Adopting Energy Efficiency Policies
Scorecard considers building codes, utility programs, appliance efficiency standards, transportation, and more.

What You Need to Know About Greenwashing
In an atmosphere where many consumers are ready to lay out hefty sums for products they consider green, companies are playing up every aspect of their product that is healthy for the environment. In so doing, some manufacturers are taking their claims too far and, intentionally or not, misleading buyers. The practice could lead to problems for building professionals who find customers more cynical about green products—and who face the risk of becoming misled themselves.

LEED 2009 Passes Member Ballot While LEED-ND Opens for Public Comment
The USGBC made key announcements on the eve of the Greenbuild Conference and Expo.

NAHB Reaches 1,500 Certified Green Professionals
Mark is triple what association had hoped to reach by end of 2008.

Loft Townhomes Showcase Contemporary Green in Tulsa, Okla.
Unique to this Midwest market, the Tulsa Loft attached units boast eco-friendly features such as a green roof, low-flow toilets, and attention to daylighting.

Vanguard Homes Builds First EPA WaterSense House
The North Carolina house, part of a pilot program, will save more than 10,000 gallons of water a year.

Lopez Island, Wash., Utilizes Local Resources for Affordable Straw-Bale Homes
Community looks to achieve zero net energy within five years.

Green Remodeling Provides a Second Chance at Sustainability
Projects in Madison, Wis., and Berkeley, Calif., showcase the many ways eco-friendly details can make all the difference in existing homes.

Home Depot Foundation Award Winners
Each year, The Home Depot Foundation recognizes innovative affordable housing built responsibly. This year’s winners and runners-up:

            Matthei Place, Bellingham, Wash. 
            Margot and Harold Schiff Apartment Complex, Chicago 
            Troy Gardens, Madison, Wis. 
            Solara Apartments, Poway, Calif. 

2008 Editors’ Choice Awards
Eleven products unmatched in their innovation, performance, and contribution to more efficient and healthier homes.

Water-Conserving Landscaping
Foreseeing water shortages for even historically rain-rich regions, developers and landscape architects are employing a range of techniques to reduce outdoor water use, including native plants, rain barrels, and smarter irrigation controls.

Solar Energy
The latest PV systems look to meet the public’s demand for both curb appeal and better control of their energy costs.

Natural and Zero-VOC Paints
Eco-friendly paints are gaining ground as performance catches up to that of conventional coatings.