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Commercial Green Building Resources

Green Building Guidelines:

 U.S. Green Building Council The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization that certifies sustainable businesses, homes, hospitals, schools, and neighborhoods. USGBC is dedicated to expanding green building practices and education, and its LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™.

LEED Resources  Resources to help with LEED certification, including reference guides for each rating system, templates for submitting projects’ documentation, and other reference documents.

Green Building Certification Institute  The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) provides third-party project certification and professional credentials recognizing excellence in green building performance and practice. GBCI administers project certification for commercial and institutional buildings and tenant spaces under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating Systems™ addressing new construction and ongoing operations. GBCI also manages the professional credentialing programs based upon the LEED Rating Systems including the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP credentials.

Credentials for Green Professionals  The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) has developed a multi-faceted credentialing system that ensures that LEED professionals have the latest knowledge and understanding of green building practices and that they are recognized for distinction.

Harvard Green Building Resource  The Harvard Office for Sustainability has developed this Green Building Resource to support the implementation of Harvard’s Green Building Guidelines and Sustainability Principles. The Resource includes Harvard’s Green Building Guidelines, an extensive set of implementation tools, a database of green products and technologies with specifications and cut sheets, case studies, and sample LEED submittals.

Green Building Initiative (Green Globes)  Green Globes is a green management tool that includes an assessment protocol and a rating system and guide for integrating environmentally friendly design into both new and existing commercial buildings. GBI™ offers the Green Globes software suite as a guide for integrating environmentally friendly design into new or existing buildings. The system includes an assessment protocol, rating system and suggestions for making buildings more environmentally friendly.

Green Guide for Healthcare  The Green Guide for Health Care is a best practices guide for healthy and sustainable building design, construction, and operations for the healthcare industry.

Whole Building Design Guide  The WBDG is a web-based portal providing government and industry practitioners with one-stop access to up-to-date information on a wide range of building-related guidance, criteria and technology from a ‘whole buildings’ perspective.

Advanced Buildings Core Performance Guide  Advanced Buildings™ is a recognized suite of technical resources, trainings and information that provides a prescriptive path for the design team wishing to create high performance commercial buildings that stand out for their energy efficiency and healthy environments. Core Performance™ is Advanced Buildings’ step-by-step simplified approach to achieving predictable energy savings in small to medium-sized buildings without the need for modeling. It also provides work-saving tools for professionals already experienced in sustainable design.

Energy Star Commercial Building Design  This site provides information about commercial buildings to help architects make informed decisions about energy efficiency during the design process.

BetterBricks   BetterBricks is an initiative of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance which is chiefly funded by Northwest electric utilities. NEEA’s mission as a non-profit is to make affordable, energy-efficient products and services available in the marketplace. BetterBricks provides information, resources, tools, and events to help businesses in the Northwest become more energy efficient.

Green Schools:

Collaborative for High Performance Schools  CHPS has developed technical resources for schools, districts and practitioners on the design, construction, maintenance and operations of high performance schools.

DOE’s EnergySmart Schools  Information from the Department of Energy about planning, financing, designing, and constructing energy efficient schools.

High Performance Green Schools  Information on high performance green school facilities, compiled by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, including sustainability and green design issues, cost and funding concerns, and educational and community benefits.

Technologies and Products:

Harvard Green Building Resource  Harvard has successfully implemented hundreds of products with green features into its buildings. This section provides an easy way to browse those products with pdfs of cut sheets, MSDSs and other documentation available for download.

BuildingGreen Green Spec  The online GreenSpec® Directory lists product descriptions for over 2,000 environmentally preferable products.

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing  Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) is designed to help vendors, businesses and consumers find and evaluate information about green products and services; identify federal green buying requirements; calculate the costs and benefits of purchasing choices; and manage green purchasing processes.

Building Commissioning:

Whole Building Design Guide  This section of WBDG organizes commissioning information, guidance, and resources under three broad principles, including Determine Project Performance Requirements, Plan the Commissioning Process, and Document Compliance and Acceptance. It provides an overview of commissioning drivers, benefits, goals, and principles and general commissioning guides, standards, and resources.

Sustainable Sites Resources:

International Erosion Control Association  The International Erosion Control Association (IECA) is a non-profit, member organization that provides education, resource information and business opportunities for professionals in the erosion and sediment control industry.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities  The green roof infrastructure industry association.

U.S. EPA Low Impact Development  LID is an approach to land development that works with nature to manage stormwater as close to its source as possible. By implementing LID principles and practices, water can be managed in a way that reduces the impact of built areas and promotes the natural movement of water within an ecosystem or watershed.

Low Impact Development Center   The Low Impact Development Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of Low Impact Development technology. They provide a wide range of publications, fact sheets, and brochures.

The Sustainable Sites Initiative  The Sustainable Sites Initiative is an interdisciplinary effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the United States Botanic Garden to create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design>, construction and maintenance> practices.

Green Infrastructure Municipal Handbook The Municipal Handbook is a series of documents to help local officials implement green infrastructure in their communities. Handbook topics cover issues such as financing, operation and maintenance, incentives, designs, codes & ordinances, and a variety of other subjects.

Water Efficiency Resources:

WaterSense  WaterSense is a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The site provides links to learn about WaterSense labeled products, saving water, and how businesses and organizations can partner with WaterSense.

Water Wiser: The Water Efficiency Clearinghouse  A comprehensive clearinghouse of resources on water conservation, efficiency, and demand management from the American Water Works Association.

Environmental Management Resources:

PEER Center  PEER stands for Public Entity EMS Resource Center and provides a broad array of information and tools to help public entities sustainably manage their organizations using a proven Plan-Do-Check-Act framework embodied in environmental management systems and similar approaches.

Case Studies:

Harvard Green Building Resource  Case studies for completed LEED projects at Harvard.

McGraw Hill’s GreenSource Project Case Studies  GreenSource’s project case studies provide examples of sustainable design and green-building performance. Archives can be searched using more than a dozen criteria—from location to LEED scores and LEED ratings; from total cost to carbon footprint and energy usage; from project program to project size to which brand of products were used—in 40 categories.

Idaho Resources:

Idaho Chapter U.S. Green Building Council   The website for the Idaho Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council with news, information, resources, and events promoting green building in Idaho.

Idaho Power Energy Efficiency Programs Summary  A list of Idaho Power’s Energy Efficiency Programs

Idaho Energy Star  A resource for energy efficiency for Idaho residents and businesses.

Catalog of Stormwater Best Management Practices for Idaho Cities and Counties  A catalog providing more than 100 ways to control erosion and sediment during and after construction from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.

The Integrated Design Lab  The Integrated Design Lab in Boise [IDL] is dedicated to the development of high performance energy efficient buildings in Idaho and Eastern Oregon. This is approached through research, education and outreach efforts with students, owners and professional design and construction teams to with the goal of designing and constructing buildings that are more comfortable for people, require less energy to maintain and operate, and enhance the health and productivity of inhabitants.

Idaho Small Business Development Center  The Idaho Small Business Development Center (Idaho SBDC) is a university-based organization offering confidential no-cost business consulting and low-cost training to help small businesses and entrepreneurs start and grow.

City of Boise Climate Protection Program – Information about the City of Boise’s five step plan to reduce greenhouse gases emissions in the local community through such measures as energy-efficient building practices, alternative fuels, and improved transportation and land-use planning. The City of Boise was the first city in Idaho and the 280th city in the nation to endorse the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.


Costing Green: A Comprehensive Database  This 2004 research report from Davis Langdon uses extensive data on building costs to compare the cost of green buildings with buildings housing comparable programs, which do not have sustainable goals. The foundations are also laid to analyze incremental costs over starting budgets, and to compare the costs for different specific measures and technologies. Additionally, the report presents a budgeting methodology that provides guidelines for developing appropriate budgets to meet the building program goals, including sustainability goals.

The Cost of Green Revisited  This 2007 research report from Davis Langdon builds on the work undertaken in the earlier paper “Costing Green: A Comprehensive Cost Database and Budget Methodology,” released in 2004.

Policy, Codes and Incentives:

American Institute of Architects Local Leaders in Sustainability  The Local Leaders Report examines the current state of green building laws in American cities as of 2007. Since 2003 the number of cities with green building programs has increased greater than 400%, due to a concerted effort by local political leaders, officials, architects and others within the design/building industry, and grassroots support. The primary goal of this analysis is to provide a tool for communities as well as other levels of government that seek to design green building programs in the future. It is based on research conducted by the AIA on all American cities with a population greater than 50,000 (661 communities) to spotlight the growth and effectiveness of green building policies.

Citizen Planner: Growth Through Green Development  This online education module presents an introduction to the many facets and perspectives of green development. The goal of this module is to increase awareness of green development strategies, techniques and tools that can be used when planning sites, neighborhoods, communities and regions.

U.S. EPA Clean Energy Programs  EPA’s Clean Energy Programs are working with state policy makers, electric and gas utilities, energy customers, and other key stakeholders to identify, design and implement clean energy policy and technology solutions.

International Green Construction Code  A multi-year initiative by the International Code Council to develop a new set of green codes.

Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency  A list of tax credits for consumers with links to tax credits for homebuilders, tax deductions for commercial buildings, and stimulus information for State and local governments.

DSIRE: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency  DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the NC Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

City of Moscow, Idaho Green Building Program

Arlington Virginia Green Buildings and Energy

Austin Energy Green Building

Build San Antonio Green

City of San Jose Green Building

City of Boulder Green Building Program

City of Portland Green Building Program

City of Seattle Green Building

Town of Taos Planning & Zoning

Sustainable Atlanta

Calculators and Models:

Idaho Power Lighting Calculator  An Excel-based tool to assess potential savings from upgrading to more energy efficient alternatives. The calculator can estimate incentives and analyze the cost-benefit of potential projects.

eQUEST  Department of Energy’s modeling tool designed to perform detailed analysis of building energy use without requiring extensive experience in building performance modeling.

ENERGY-10  This software analyzes and illustrates the energy and cost savings that can be achieved by applying up to a dozen sustainable design strategies. Building types that are most frequently simulated using this software include retail and office buildings, warehouses, schools, restaurants, residences, lodging facilities, and more.

Building Energy Software Tools Directory  This directory provides information on 370 building software tools for evaluating energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability in buildings. The energy tools listed in this directory include databases, spreadsheets, component and systems analyses, and whole-building energy performance simulation programs. A short description is provided for each tool along with other information including expertise required, users, audience, input, output, computer platforms, programming language, strengths, weaknesses, technical contact, and availability.

News and Information:  A comprehensive online resource on designing, constructing, and operating environmentally responsible commercial buildings. addresses key environmental issues facing today’s architects, contractors, facilities and operations managers, and real estate and property management professionals, and shows how greening building operations can improve the bottom line.