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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

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 several GSA 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
EarthCraft Sustainable Preservation (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. The program is designed to evaluate and highlight what is inherently sustainable about historic buildings while providing guidance on appropriate alterations to make them more energy and water efficient. Launched by Southface and The Georgia Trust. Information courtesy of

Green Garage Certification
The Green Parking Council launched a new program, Green Garage Certification, to define and recognize sustainable practices in parking structure management, programming, design, and technology. Built through the collaboration of over 200 professionals from the parking, real estate, technology and sustainability worlds, Green Garage Certification promotes a holistic approach to garage performance and sustainability and encourages the adoption of emerging smart parking and intelligent transportation tools. Information courtesy of

Green Globes
The Green Building Initiative (GBI) has developed Green Globes certification programs geared towards managing existing buildings, the green design and construction of new buildings and interiors of commercial and institutional buildings. Green Globes rewards excellence in project management, site, energy, water, materials and resources, emissions and indoor environment. The GBI also has a rating tool specific to healthcare facilities and green resources for federal agencies. Information courtesy of

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. The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) provides project certification to the requirements of the LEED Rating Systems and a related professional credentialing program. Information courtesy of

Living Future Challenges
The International Living Future Institute has released the Living Building Challenge certification and the Living Community Challenge. A building certification program, the Living Building Challenge is 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. Information courtesy of

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. The resulting ICC 700 National Green Building Standard® is the first and only residential green building rating system to undergo the full consensus process and receive approval from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Information courtesy of

Sustainable SITES
The SITES v2 Rating System has been released by the Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™) program for use by landscape architects, designers, engineers, architects, developers, policymakers and others who work in land design and development. The SITES v2 Rating System and an accompanying Reference Guide provide a set of best practices, performance benchmarks and tools for creating and evaluating sustainable landscapes. Successful projects are recognized with certification. The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) provides project certification to the requirements of the SITES v2 Rating System and a related professional credentialing program. Information courtesy of

WELL Building Standard
The International Well Building Institute (IWBI) released v1.0 of the WELL Building Standard in late 2014. The WELL Building Standard® can be applied to commercial, institutional, and residential developments including new construction, core and shell, and tenant improvements. The WELL Building Standard® 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. Information courtesy of

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

Energy Efficiency

A Guide for Energy Efficient Lighting. This site 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. Yellow Key Reality 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
The program 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 new voluntary program designed to reduce the environmental impact of electricity generation by promoting renewable energy from a variety of sources, including landfill gas. The Partnership will demonstrate the advantages of choosing renewable energy, provide objective and current information about the green power market, and reduce the transaction costs of acquiring green power.

Water Usage

EPA's New WaterSense Program
WaterSense is a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 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. Saving water is easy—many products are already available for use, and it doesn't require changing the way most of us live or do business. By choosing products labeled through the WaterSense program, you know you'll be saving water for future generations.

Building Materials

Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES) 
BEES version 4.0 is 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
Green Seal is the 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. This industry-standard green building information is used by approximately 10,000 subscribers and more than 7,500 web hits are recorded monthly.

Indoor Environments

Indoor airPLUS. EPA created Indoor airPLUS to help builders meet the growing consumer preference for homes with improved indoor air quality.

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

Collaborative for High-Performance Schools—

LEED Resources
Find all the resources you need to help you achieve LEED certification, inlcuding 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

Residential Reuse Program, Phoenix, AZ
Stardust Building Supplies, Inc., a nonprofit organization, review demolition and renovation permits, and contacted realtors to provide deconstruction services. The organization diverts reusable building materials from landfills and offers them to nonprofit housing and shelter groups and the public at discounted rates.


International Green Construction Code (IgCC)
Developed by the International Code Council (ICC) and several partnering organizations, the 2012 IgCC provides a model code that incorporates sustainability measures into building design and construction. The IgCC creates a regulatory framework for new and existing buildings, establishing minimum green requirements for buildings and complementing voluntary rating systems, which may extend beyond baseline of the IgCC. Information courtesy of

Growing Greener: Conservation by Design
Using development to save land sounds like a contradiction. But this is exactly what 42 municipalities throughout southeastern Pennsylvania are doing, since they adopted Growing Greener: Conservation by Design ordinances developed by Natural Lands Trust. 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.).

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standards
The Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Program has been working to engage nongovernmental standards-developing organizations in developing environmental standards. Specifically, there has been a great deal of success in ASTM's Performance of Buildings Committee. The Subcommittee on Sustainability is focusing its efforts on revising E2129 "Standard Practice for Data Collection for Sustainability Assessment of Building Products" to include questions specific to certain types of building products such as cement, wood, HVAC systems, and floor coverings. The intended audience for the standard includes building industry professionals -- architects, engineers, contractors, planners, developers, and others -- who possess a broad, general understanding of sustainability issues relative to the performance of buildings, but who would benefit from additional data to inform their product choices. Other efforts within this ASTM Subcommittee include the development of a Standard Guide laying out general principles of sustainability (economic, environmental, and social) as it relates to building, and a Standard Practice for assessing, documenting, and reporting sustainability as it relates to building.

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 a green building standards code called CALGreen. Resources are available online at


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
The leading 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. EPA supports program development, participates on LEED content development, promotes LEED training, and participates in local Chapters.

National Association of Homebuilders Research Center (NAHBRC)
NAHBRC supports residential green building helping the home building industry to understand the "how" and "why" about this trend, providing training, and developing reference documents and tools. EPA has supported NAHBRC research and training.

State-specific Information

California Green Building Design and Construction website 
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, training programs for state and local government, and much more.

Low Impact Development

EPA Green Infrastructure Website
An informational site on 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.

Rooftops to Rivers—Green Strategies for Controlling Stormwater and Combined Sewer Overflows.
This May 2006 report is a policy guide for decision makers looking to implement green strategies in their own area, including nine case studies of cities that have successfully used green techniques to create a healthier urban environment.

Smart Growth
This EPA site provides information on various smart growth topics, and links to other helpful websites. Three EPA publications described and linked at this site are: Using Smart Growth Techniques as Stormwater Best Management Practices, 2005 (EPA 231-B-05-002); Protecting Water Resources with Higher-Density Development, 2006 (EPA 231-R-06-001); and Parking Spaces/Community Places: Finding Balance through Smart Growth Solutions, 2006 (EPA 231-K-06-001)

The Low Impact Development Center, Inc. website

Low Impact Development Guidance Documents. Credit Valley Conservation, located near Toronto, has developed green infrastructure retrofit guides for road rights-of-way, public and institutional lands, business properties, and residential lands. The goal of this documents is to guide the proper construction of LID designs.


Water Efficient Landscaping. This booklet describes the benefits of water efficient landscaping. It includes several examples of successful projects and programs, as well as contacts, references, and a short bibliography.

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.


Federal Government Initiatives Drive Push toward Resilient Infrastructure - (Resilience Part 1). The Obama Administration directed Federal agencies to factor climate resilience into their programs and provide information and resources for the states and local governments to improve disaster preparedness and resilience.  These initiatives are now underway and may lead to changes in how we build infrastructure, commercial, and residential spaces in the coming years and decades.

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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