Constructing and operating buildings requires energy, water, and materials and creates significant amounts of waste. Where and how they are built affects the ecosystems around us in countless ways. And the buildings themselves create new indoor environments that present new environmental problems and challenges.
As the environmental impact of buildings becomes more apparent, a new field called green building is arising to reduce that impact at the source. Green or sustainable building is the practice of creating healthier and more resource-efficient models of construction, renovation, operation, maintenance, and demolition. This section of the compliance center will provide links to green building activities and related documents covering various topics, such as:
- Energy: Designing and operating buildings to use energy efficiently and to use renewable sources of energy, including solar, wind, and biomass.
- Water: Designing and operating buildings to use water efficiently.
- Materials: Using building materials that, in comparison to competing brands, have a reduced effect on the environment throughout their life cycle (e.g. recycled content, low toxicity, energy efficiency, biodegradability and/or durability).
- Waste: Reducing the waste from construction, remodeling and demolition.
- Indoor Environment: Designing and operating buildings that are healthy for their occupants.
EPA Green Building Website. Portal to numerous EPA websites covering green building issues including Energy Star, Indoor Air, Water, C&D Debris, Brownfields, Smart Growth and more.
Green Building State Locator. This resource identifies state-specific information.
National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) States Collaborative. A Collaborative to support states in developing community solar deployment goals, as well as tracking and reporting progress towards these goals.
US Green Building Council. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non-profit organization committed to expanding sustainable building practices. USGBC is composed of more than 12,000 organizations from across the building industry that are working to advance structures that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.
Florida Green Building Coalition. The FGBC Green Local Government Standard designates Green Cities and Green Counties for outstanding environmental stewardship.
Green Building Resources. Annotated links to Green Building resources covering 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, directories and design guides.
High Performance Buildings Database. In this online resource, you can explore completed studies that cover areas including design processes, energy and renewable energy performance, and other green building features.
The case studies are presented through the High Performance Buildings Database, a tool sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy that seeks to improve building performance and measuring methods.
USBC Local Chapter Locator. USGBC Chapters provide local green building resources, education and leadership opportunities. Get involved in your local chapter to connect with green building experts in your area; share strategies, resources, and best practices; tour green building projects and more.
EPA Green Building Funding Opportunities. Numerous sources of funding for green building are available at the national, state and local levels for homeowners, industry, government organizations and nonprofits.