Global Building Network online bibliography produced by University Libraries


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University Libraries’ Open Publishing unit recently published a digital bibliography, Global Building Network, which houses resources to support the Global Building Network (GBN), a joint initiative between Penn State and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

Established in 2018, GBN coordinates a worldwide effort to engage and convene a transdisciplinary group of stakeholders and partnerships to accelerate the development of research, education and case studies on the benefits of high-performance buildings. It aims to advance building science, construction processes and building management to create an international framework that will make buildings more sustainable, more efficient and healthier for people.

The bibliography is part of a GBN initiative to develop knowledge platforms for online information sharing in partnership with stakeholders from academia, public and private practice, and community sector organizations. Currently, the bibliography contains more than 170 resources related to buildings and built environments, ranging from the impacts of COVID-19 to energy efficiency and lead poisoning.

“Rising to the challenge of delivering high-performing buildings for everyone, everywhere, requires us to use existing information and knowledge efficiently and effectively,” said Esther Obonyo, associate professor of engineering design and architectural engineering and director of GBN. Obonyo compiled the bibliography with Sarah Lowe, high-performance housing specialist for the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center. Qin Yin and Azzah Eskandrani, doctoral students in architectural engineering, also contributed to the bibliography’s compilation.

GBN seeks to mitigate the destructive consequences of climate change by addressing the immense scale of building-related contributors to climate change. This requires cultivating and nurturing institutional partnerships on a global level, Obonyo said.

“The development of an open-source publication trailing repository will allow users to quickly identify resources in their topic of interest and help eliminate duplication of research efforts,” she continued.

“Publishing this bibliography provides a platform to pull together information in a fully searchable format and allows us to support the continued work of the Global Building Network,” said Ally Laird, open publishing program coordinator with Penn State University Libraries.

Libraries Open Publishing, the University Libraries’ Open Access imprint, is a unit within the Research Informatics and Publishing department. Libraries Open Publishing provides tools and support for Penn State-affiliated authors and groups to publish full-featured electronic scholarly journals, searchable annotated bibliographies, monographs and topical web portals using a variety of digital platforms. All publications are free to view online and download. Copyright is retained by the individual authors, where possible, or by the journals or sponsoring entity. Almost all are licensed for use under a Creative Commons license.

For more information about the program, visit or contact Ally Laird at


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Megan Lakatos