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More Resources—Green Building

General Information | Energy Efficiency | Water Usage | Building Materials
Indoor Environments | Building Sectors | Deconstruction/Recycling Building Materials
Specifications/Codes | Organizations | State-specific Information
Low Impact Development | Landscaping | Design Guides | Environmental Management Systems | Resilience

General Information

General Resources - Government

US EPA Green Building Standards. Many organizations have developed model codes or rating systems that communities can use to develop green building programs or revise building ordinances. Some of the major options are listed on this page.

Whole Building Design Guide. A portal used by Federal agencies and others for design information for public and commercial buildings.

U.S. Government Services Administration (GSA) – Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings. Portal to resources that provide information on green leasing, green technologies, research, sustainable design, and greening federal buildings.

National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) – National Performance Based Design Guide. Establishes performance-based requirements to be used in the programming, design, and documentation of new buildings, major and minor alterations, and work in historic structures of all kinds.

Other General Resources - Standards and Rating Systems

EarthCraft Sustainable Preservation – Southeast. ECSP is a regional green building certification program created specifically for historic buildings. ECSP offers third-party certification for environmentally responsible design and construction practices for historic buildings in the Southeast. 

Green Garage Certification. Promotes a holistic approach to garage performance and sustainability and encourages the adoption of emerging smart parking and intelligent transportation tools.

Green Globes. Certification programs geared towards managing existing buildings, the green design and construction of new buildings and interiors of commercial and institutional buildings. The GBI has a rating tool specific to healthcare facilities and green resources for federal agencies.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has developed a suite of green building rating system tools for new construction, interior design, building operations, neighborhood development and homes. LEED rewards excellence in integrative process, location and transportation, sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation and addressing regional concerns.

Living Future Challenges. A building certification program comprised of seven performance categories called Petals: Place, Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty. The Living Community Challenge helps planners and developers rethink how they design their community-scale projects, providing certification at both the master planning stages as well as for fully built community or campus scale projects.

National Green Building Standard (ICC-700). The National Association of Home Builders and the ICC partnered to establish a nationally recognizable standard definition of green building.

WELL Building Standard. Can be applied to commercial, institutional, and residential developments including new construction, core and shell, and tenant improvements. It is certified by GBCI, the same organization that provides certification for LEED. The WELL Building Standard® sets performance requirements in seven categories: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. On-site post-occupancy performance assessments that include air and water testing are required for certification.

Whole Building Design Guide. A portal used by Federal agencies and others for design information for public and commercial buildings.

Energy Efficiency

A Guide for Energy Efficient Lighting. Identifies practical, low-cost ideas for different lighting technologies and methods that can help reduce costs and energy use.

Energy Efficiency Resources for Homes & Apartments. Maintains useful links to various resources concerning energy efficiency.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network. The Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network (EREN) website provides a comprehensive resource for DOE's energy efficiency and renewable energy information, plus access to more than 600 links and 80,000 documents.

Building Energy Codes Toolkit for Contractors. In collaboration with AGC, the U.S. DOE Building Energy Codes Program (BECP) has compiled the following list of resources featuring the latest in building energy codes resource materials that pertain to the construction industry. Resources include links to information on code development, adoption, and implementation. Toolkit also includes links to e-learning and other BECP training tools.

Energy Star. Promotes partnerships with homebuilders, office building managers, product manufacturers, and many other organizations to improve the energy efficiency of homes, buildings, and various building components and appliances. Specific programs are available for labeling buildings that meet EnergyStar criteria. Specific building sectors covered include commercial, new homes, schools, and home improvement.

Green Power Partnership. A voluntary program designed to reduce the environmental impact of electricity generation by promoting renewable energy from a variety of sources, including landfill gas. 

Water Usage

EPA's WaterSense Program. A partnership program sponsored by the U.S. EPA. Its mission is to protect the future of our nation's water supply by promoting and enhancing the market for water-efficient products and services.

Building Materials

Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES). A software tool for selecting environmentally preferred, cost-effective building products. It updates data on more than 200 products and adds 30 new products for review. It also offers users the option of a new set of consensus weights for scoring the environmental impact of individual building products, based on a BEES stakeholder panel convened last year.

Green Seal. An independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the environment by promoting the manufacture and sale of environmentally responsible consumer products. It sets environmental standards and awards a "Green Seal of Approval" to products that cause less harm to the environment than other similar products.

GreenSpec/EPA CPG Recycled Content Project. This database of green specifications includes more than 1,650 product vendor listings that EPA Comprehensive Procurement Guideline products flagged and added information on EPA Region 9 major metropolitan area product availability. 

Indoor Environments

EPA's Indoor Environments Division. Conducts numerous research and educational projects to improve indoor environmental quality, including indoor air and other factors affecting building occupant health, comfort, and productivity.

Health House Advantage (American Lung Association). A nationally recognized program for raising the standards of residential air quality and energy efficiency.

Building Sectors

LEED Resources. Find resources you need to help you achieve LEED certification, including reference guides for each rating system, templates for submitting projects' documentation, other reference documents, and the tools you need to keep your projects' status up to date.

Deconstruction/Recycling Building Materials

Asphalt Shingle Recycling. Developed through a grant from EPA Region 5 to the Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA), with technical support from the University of Florida, this site provides extensive information on asphalt shingle recycling, including research results, market data, regulatory information, and additional links


International Green Construction Code (IGCC). Developed by the International Code Council (ICC) and several partnering organizations, provides a model code that incorporates sustainability measures into building design and construction. 

Growing Greener: Conservation by Design. These "conservation subdivision" ordinances plan development around natural resources and set aside at least half of every development parcel as open space, accelerating land conservation in growing communities at little public cost.

Model Green Construction Specifications on the Whole Building Design Guide. Developing model construction specification language to assist federal agencies in meeting green goals and mandates (e.g., CPG, EnergyStar, E.O. 13101, LEED, EPA Waste Minimization Priority Chemicals, NTTAA, etc.).

EPA Green Buildings. EPA facilities and green features are listed. Many EPA green building and lease projects are ongoing.

CALGreen Code. The California Building Standards Commission has implemented this green building standards code.


NAHB Research Center Green Buildings Fact Sheet. This toolkit is designed to equip and support builders and remodelers choosing sustainability or who want to learn more. It includes a wide variety of educational materials as well as information about national green building programs.

US Green Building Council. A coalition representing the green building industry, developing the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System, and providing policy guidance, education, and marketing tools. 

State-specific Information

Green Building State Resource Locator. A resource to help you locate green building information for your state.

California Green Building Design and Construction. This website offers a lot of information on sustainable design or building "green". Includes are a Sustainable Building Tool Kit, a blueprint for state facilities, a review of construction projects using sustainable materials, and training programs for state and local government.

Low Impact Development

EPA Green Infrastructure Website. Green infrastructure techniques, which utilize natural systems, or engineered systems that mimic natural landscapes, to capture, cleanse and reduce stormwater runoff using plants, soils and microbes.

Smart Growth. This EPA site provides information on various smart growth topics, and links to other helpful websites. 

The Low Impact Development Center, Inc. A non-profit national research organization that focuses on sustainable stormwater management solutions for urban and developing areas.


Greener Landscaping. EPA provides environmentally preferable approaches to landscaping products and services.

Design Guides

Whole Building Design Guide. The Whole Building Design Guide is a complete Internet resource to a wide range of building-related design guidance, criteria, and technology.

Environmental Management Systems

AGC's EMS Toolkit. An EMS is an organizational tool a company can use to manage environmental responsibilities throughout the company or on a jobsite. Construction companies have most frequently used an EMS to house information helpful for compliance with regulatory requirements: checklists, permits, best management practices, environmental toolbox talks, required training, inspection records, etc. The EMS structure also incorporates sustainability efforts. A company can use the EMS to track any environmental goals or document its contributions to a client's environmental/sustainability priorities for a project.


Building Climate Resiliency with Green Infrastructure. US EPA Information relative to how green infrastructure can improve communities' resiliency by helping manage flood risk, prepare for drought, reduce urban heat island effects, and protect coasts.

Preparing Buildings for the Next Natural Disaster – (Resilience Series Part 1). As news reports of the human and infrastructure tolls of natural disasters become ever more prevalent, so to do discussions on how to make our buildings and other infrastructure more resilient to those forces.

Preparing Buildings for the Next Natural Disaster – (Resilience Series Part 2). As news reports of the human and infrastructure tolls of natural disasters become ever more prevalent, so to do discussions on how to make our buildings and other infrastructure more resilient to those forces.


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