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High Performance Buildings

  
LEED Gold Certified Brigade and Battalion Headquarters, Fort Carson, Colorado

Included in the High Performance Buildings Program Area are links to, and highlights from, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System,TM case studies of green construction efforts, software and databases to aid in determining which construction products and processes are the most effective, and assorted high performance construction guidelines and standards.

Executive Order 14057: Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability was signed by President Biden on 8 December 2021.

In relation to energy and environmental performance, EO 14057 states that it is the policy of the United States that the Federal Government leads by example to achieve a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035 and net-zero emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050. Through a whole-of-government approach, the United States will demonstrate how innovation and environmental stewardship can protect our planet, safeguard Federal investments against the effects of climate change, respond to the needs of all of America's communities, and expand American technologies, industries, and jobs.

EO 14057 directs federal facilities to transition Federal procurement and operations towards a focus on clean zero-emission technologies, this includes:

  • Achieving Net-Zero Emissions Buildings, Campuses, and Installations. Each agency shall achieve net-zero emissions across its portfolio of buildings, campuses, and installations by 2045 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent from buildings, campuses, and installations by 2032 from 2008 levels, prioritizing improvement of energy efficiency and the elimination of onsite fossil fuel use.
  • Increasing Energy and Water Efficiency. Each agency shall increase facility energy efficiency and water efficiency and shall establish targets for fiscal year 2030 for agency-wide facility energy use intensity and potable water use intensity, with consideration of performance benchmarks for categories of building types (e.g., hospitals, office buildings) and the composition of the agency's building portfolio.

The Implementing Instructions for EO 14057 issued August 2022 provides instructions to Federal agencies regarding the implementation of EO 14057 including agency planning, reporting requirements, and accountability.

E.O. 14057 establishes a goal of a net-zero emissions across the Federal Government's building portfolio by 2045. Federal facilities, which encompass buildings, campuses, and installations, drive more than 80 percent of Federal scope 1 and 2 emissions from standard operations and are the largest contributing sector of emissions from standard Federal operations. As part of a comprehensive, holistic approach to sustainability, agencies should integrate building decarbonization strategies, Carbon Free Electricity (CFE) procurement, and installation and operation of vehicle charging infrastructure to support the government-wide goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Reducing an agency's overall footprint drives emissions reductions and promotes energy and water efficiency and waste reduction. As part of a comprehensive portfolio management and transformation strategy, agencies first should consider space consolidation and optimization.

Targets:

  • Net-zero emissions building portfolio by 2045, including 50 percent reduction in GHG by 2032 from 2008 levels.
Metrics:
  • Reduction in annual scope 1 and 2 emissions (MT CO2e).
Progress Milestones:
  • Agencies will set annual emissions reduction targets in consultation with CEQ and OMB, beginning with FY 2023.
A Federal net-zero emissions portfolio under E.O. 14057 is one where, at an agency level, the targeted scope 1 and scope 2 GHG emissions from all facilities are reduced by the maximum extent feasible, and then the remaining emissions are balanced so the annual emissions equal zero. NOTE: As CEQ and OMB have not yet provided guidance on the appropriate use of emissions removal technologies, agencies should not employ emissions removal strategies or offsets at this time.

Existing Facilities: Energy Efficiency

Targets:

  • Agency-specific energy use intensity (EUI) target for FY 2030.
Metrics:
  • Site-delivered British thermal units (Btu) consumed per GSF per fiscal year (Btu/GSF/FY).
Progress Milestones:
  • Agencies will set annual EUI targets beginning with FY 2023.
Agencies should implement traditional energy efficiency measures (e.g., lighting upgrades, controls optimization, increasing insulation, equipment upgrades) in conjunction with efficient electrification and demand management, also known as demand flexibility, or grid-interactive efficient building (GEB) measures. To provide demand management, agencies should implement measures that reduce energy use at specific times of the day that have high energy costs, high GHG emissions, or both.

Consistent with sections 201 and 206 of E.O. 14057, agencies must propose an FY 2030 EUI target and identify annual progress targets. In FY 2022, CEQ, in coordination with OMB, will provide instructions for proposing and submitting targets for review and approval.

Existing Facilities: Water Efficiency

Targets:

  • Agency-specific potable water use intensity (WUI) target for FY 2030.
Metrics:
  • Annual agency potable WUI: gallons (Gal) per GSF per fiscal year (Gal/GSF/FY).
Progress Milestones:
  • Agencies will set annual WUI targets, beginning with FY 2023.
Consistent with section 201 and 206 of E.O. 14057, agencies must propose an FY 2030 WUI target and identify annual progress targets. In FY 2022, CEQ, in coordination with OMB, will provide instructions for proposing and submitting targets for review and approval.

Existing Facilities: Building Performance Standards

Targets:

  • Meet the building performance standards (BPS) by FY 2030.
Metrics:
  • Cumulative percentage of portfolio by floor area by GSF that meets the BPS.
Progress Milestones:
  • Agencies will set annual BPS targets in consultation with CEQ and OMB, beginning with FY 2024.
The Federal BPS targets deep reductions of scope 1 emissions from Federal facilities through building electrification. Electrification efforts should focus on equipment and appliances that typically use on-site fossil fuels, including space heating, water heating, clothes drying, and cooking. Electrification efforts should be designed in coordination with deep energy retrofit efforts.

The forthcoming Federal BPS will outline requirements for meeting the FY 2030 target. In FY 2022, CEQ will issue instructions for agencies to establish a baseline inventory of buildings eligible for electrification, composed of all EISA-covered, government owned facilities that are a source of scope 1 emissions, i.e., that consume fossil fuels on-site.

Existing Facilities: Deep Energy Retrofits

Under E.O. 14057, a deep energy retrofit is a facility retrofit or renovation project that reduces annual site EUI by at least 40 percent from a pre-renovation, FY 2019 baseline.

Targets:

  • Implement deep energy retrofits in at least 30 percent of owned covered facilities by FY 2030.
Metrics:
  • Percentage of GSF that completed deep energy retrofits, starting from FY 2019.
Progress Milestones:
  • Agencies will set annual deep energy retrofit targets beginning with FY 2023.
Existing Facilities: Leveraging Performance Contracting

Performance contracts are public-private sector partnerships between an agency and either an energy services company (ESCO) or a utility to implement energy and water efficiency improvements in Federal facilities. Performance contracting is an important tool for improving efficiency and resilience of Federal facilities, deploying clean and innovative technologies, and accelerating emissions reductions from building operations.

Targets:

  • Agency-specific target for scope 1 and 2 emissions reductions delivered through performance contracting by FY 2030.
Metrics:
  • Annual emissions (MTCO2e) reduction expected as a result of projects awarded during the FY.
Progress Milestones:
  • Agencies will set interim milestones for FY 2024 and FY 2027.
To meet the goals of E.O. 14057, agencies must develop a performance contracting strategy and integrate it into comprehensive facility portfolio planning and emissions reduction efforts. These strategies reinforce the requirements established in the Energy Act of 2020, which requires each Federal agency to use performance contracting to address at least 50 percent of life cycle cost effective energy and water saving measures identified through evaluations.

Under 42 U.S.C. 8253(f)(3), agencies must perform energy and water evaluations of covered facilities every 4 years to identify potential cost-effective energy- and water-saving measures. Energy and water evaluations can be accomplished through performance contracting development activities, such as preliminary assessments, and further refined through investment grade audits.

Contracting Vehicles: Agencies can use the following Federal contracting vehicles and programs for performance contracting:

  • Energy Savings Performance Contract: A contract between a Federal agency with an ESCO for a term of up to 25 years that provides energy and water cost savings with guaranteed performance. All Federal agencies may use DOE's ESPC indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract to obtain ESCO services.
  • ESPC ENABLE: A DOE-FEMP program available through GSA Supply Schedule SIN 334512 that provides a streamlined contracting process to implement small-scale projects with a limited scope in six months or less, focusing on highly cost-effective improvements such as lighting, water, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) replacement or controls, solar photovoltaics (PV), and water conservation measures.
  • Utility Energy Service Contract (UESC): A limited-source contract between a Federal agency and a serving utility for energy management services, including energy and water efficiency improvements, demand-reduction services, and, potentially, EVSE.
  • Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT): A DOE-FEMP program that provides grants to agencies that can be combined with a performance contracting project for the development of energy and water efficiency projects, electrification and emissions reductions projects, and EVSE.
Section 205(c)(iii) of E.O. 14057 requires all modernization and renovation projects at existing Federal facilities to implement CEQ's Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings (Guiding Principles).

CEQ, in coordination with OMB, will develop target setting instructions and tracking guidance for agencies to use when establishing GHG emissions reduction delivered through performance contracting. To evaluate GHG impacts of energy-and water-saving measures, eProject Builder (ePB) provides a calculator.

New Construction and Modernization: Net-Zero Emissions

Targets:

  • All new construction and modernization projects greater than 25,000 GSF must be designed to be a Federal net-zero emission building/facility by FY 2030.
Metrics:
  • Annual percentage and gross floor area of Federal net-zero emissions new construction projects.
Progress Milestones:
  • Agencies to track progress annually.
As part of a comprehensive GHG emissions reduction strategy, agencies also should seek to apply the goal to projects less than 25,000 GSF, where practicable.

A Federal net-zero emissions building is an efficient, all electric building that is designed and operated so scope 1 and scope 2 GHG emissions from all facility energy use equal zero on an annual basis, when connected to on-site renewable energy or a regional grid that provides 100 percent CFE on a net annual basis.

New Construction and Modernization: Sustainable and Equitable Siting

Consistent with E.O. 14057, M-22-06, and sections 201 and 219 of E.O. 14008, it is the policy of the Federal Government to promote sustainable locations for Federal workplaces and strengthen the vitality and livability of the communities in which they are located. When making siting decisions for Federal workplaces, agencies should advance:

  • Sustainable land use that promotes conservation of natural resources, reduced GHG emissions, and increased resilience to the impacts of climate change;
  • Efficient use of and integration with existing local infrastructure;
  • Expanded use of and broad access to public transportation;
  • Equitable development that promotes environmental justice and spurs economic opportunity for disadvantaged communities that historically have been marginalized and overburdened by pollution and underinvestment; and
  • Coordination and alignment with the development plans of Tribal, State, and local governments that advance these and related goals.
New Construction and Modernization: Cross Cutting Strategies and Requirements

Under section 205(c)(iii) of E.O. 14057 agencies must ensure all new construction and modernization projects over 25,000 GSF are designed, constructed, and maintained to meet and, wherever practicable, exceed Federal sustainable design and operations principles for new construction and modernization projects in accordance with CEQ's Guiding Principles.

New construction and modernization projects should use sustainable materials and low embodied carbon materials, as determined by whole building life-cycle assessments; must include requirements to reduce and divert construction and demolition debris from treatment and disposal facilities, landfill, combustion and incineration, and track diversion; and should include installation of necessary infrastructure and EVSE to support a fully electric fleet, consistent with agency mission, facility security, and technical feasibility.

Leased Space: Green Leasing and Leasing in Net-Zero Emissions Buildings

Targets:

  • All new lease solicitations issued after 30 September 2023, for at least 25,000 rentable square feet (RSF) where the Federal Government occupies at least 75 percent of a building are to be green leases.
Metrics:
  • Percentage of new lease solicitations issued in the fiscal year that are green leases.
Progress Milestones:
  • Agencies to track compliance annually, starting with FY 2024.
These requirements apply to both fully serviced leases and net leases, where the government leases space in a privately owned, commercial building. The net-zero lease requirement applies to leases for at least 25,000 RSF where the Federal Government leases at least 75 percent of the total building square footage, consistent with the green lease requirement.

A green lease is a lease for space in a privately owned, commercial building that includes environmental and sustainability criteria for the building and operations to:

  • Reduce energy, water, material resource use, and emissions;
  • Improve indoor environmental quality;
  • Reduce negative impacts on the environment;
  • Increase the use of sustainable products and services;
  • Increase reuse and recycling opportunities;
  • Reduce impacts of transportation through building location;
  • Consider the effects of the building on human health and the environment; and
  • Track impacts of emissions, energy, water and waste.
Leased Space: Cross-Cutting Strategies and Requirements

Agencies should optimize space usage to avoid unnecessary real property expenditures and reduce emissions, energy and water usage, and waste. Under section I.F.2 of M-22-06, and consistent with section 207 of E.O. 14057, agencies must track municipal solid waste (MSW) generated from operations in leased spaces and construction and demolition (C&D) debris generated during tenant improvement.

Cross-cutting: Sustainable Federal Building Goals and Requirements

Targets:

  • All new construction and modernization projects greater than 25,000 GSF must apply the Guiding Principles.
  • All renovation projects must apply the Guiding Principles, to the greatest extent technically feasible.
Metrics:
  • Percentage of buildings (new and existing); and
  • Percentage of GSF that qualifies as a Sustainable Federal building.
Progress Milestones:
  • Agencies will track compliance annually.
Qualification of a sustainable Federal building: Agencies may qualify sustainable Federal buildings, including existing buildings, new construction, and major renovations, using one of the following, provided in the Guiding Principles:
  1. Guiding Principles criteria, checklists in Appendix A or B; or
  2. Third-party building certification systems or standards identified by GSA's Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings. Agencies that choose to use a third-party building certification system must continue to ensure relevant statutory and regulatory requirements are met.

Consistent with section 503 of E.O. 14057 and section IV.A of M-22-06, agencies must track progress and provide reporting on sustainable buildings. Agency progress and performance data for buildings will be collected through established Federal reports and systems including:

  • Annual Energy Management Data Report (Annual Energy Report): Agencies submit this annual report to DOE-FEMP. It includes reporting of annual energy, and water use, CFE, investments in facility efficiency, new building design compliance, metering, and GHG emissions data.
  • Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) 432 Compliance Tracking System (CTS): DOE-FEMP manages this system, which tracks compliance with statutory requirements for building benchmarking, audits, and implementation of energy conservation measures (ECMs) and water conservation measures (WCMs).
  • Federal Real Property Profile Management System (FRPP-MS): GSA manages this system for real property data, including data on sustainable buildings.

Links to statutory requirements, reporting mechanisms, and additional CEQ guidance is provided below. Please use the links to quickly jump to the information area needed or scroll down to view all items.


Regulations, Guidance, and Policy
 
Executive Orders
Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad
January 27, 2021
The EO has three overarching objectives 1) promote safe global temperature, 2) increase climate resilience, and 3) support financial a pathway toward low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development. The EO reinstates the Presidential Memorandum of September 21, 2016 (Climate Change and National Security), establishes the Climate Policy Office within the Executive Office of the President and establishes a National Climate Task Force. In addition, the EO aims to use Federal procurement to support robust climate action including a carbon pollution-free electricity sector, no later than 2035 and clean and zero-emission vehicles for Federal, State, local, and Tribal government fleets.
Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability
December 8, 2021
President Biden has signed an Executive Order that demonstrates how the United States will leverage its scale and procurement power to lead by example in tackling the climate crisis. The executive order will reduce emissions across federal operations, invest in American clean energy industries and manufacturing, and create clean, healthy, and resilient communities.
Guiding Principles / LEED
Dated December 2020, this document updates and replaces the February 2016 Guiding Principles along with the Guidance for Federal Agencies on Sustainable Practices for Designed Landscapes (Dated October 2011) and the Implementing Instructions-Sustainable Locations for Federal Facilities (Dated September 2011). The six Guiding Principles for sustainable Federal buildings incorporated into this Guidance were developed based on fundamental sustainable design practices and reflect progress in building design, construction, and operation best practices as well as ensuring efficient operations; protecting occupant health, wellness, and productivity; and promoting resilient buildings.
Description: This document is a companion to the revised "2016 Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings" and metrics for agencies to use to evaluate compliance with the Guiding Principles.
This website provides information, guidance, and recommendations to federal agencies on achieving high-performance facilities. The website is separated into broad topics (e.g. Climate, Energy, Water, Health, etc.) within each topic ways to reduce utility costs and improve occupant health in facilities is provided.
Agency-specific Policy
A voluntary product stewardship agreement achieved through multistakeholder dialogue. It has been signed by 7 states, the USEPA, and more than 95% of the industry. The focus of the MOU is a series of goals for reuse, recycling, and waste diversion of carpeting by 2012.
The purpose of this memorandum, dated January 17, 2017, is to update the sustainable design and development (SDD) policy for Army construction activities. This policy applies to all infrastructure planning, design, sustainment, restoration, modernization, and construction activities on Army installations regardless of funding source.
Guidance & Policy
This website contains guidance and tools to help facility managers implement the ISO 50001-based energy management system.
This September 2015 DOE publication states that a Zero Energy Building is "an energy-efficient building where, on a source energy basis, the actual annual delivered energy is less than or equal to the on-site renewable exported energy." This definition also applies to campuses, portfolios, and communities. In addition to providing clarity across the industry, this new DOE publication provides important guidelines for measurement and implementation, specifically explaining how to utilize this definition for building projects.
This presentation provides an overview of the updates in 10 CFR 433 (Baseline Energy Efficiency Standards Update for New Federal Commercial and Multi-Family High-Rise Residential Buildings) and 10 CFR 435 (Energy Efficiency Standards for the Design and Construction of New Federal Low-Rise Residential Buildings Baseline Standards Update).
Revised in December 2019, this FEMP document is an in-depth, step-by-step guide for incorporating efficiency requirements into solicitations. It covers a wide range of service and product solicitation types including information technology (IT) and electronics, appliances, lighting replacements, building renovation, design/build, operations and maintenance, food services, and laundry services. Each project type includes information on relevant covered product categories, a checklist for writing effective solicitations, and model contract language.
This DOE Building Technologies Office slide deck provides guidance and strategies for federal buildings to decarbonize to help agencies meet the targets established in E.O 14057.
This presentation discusses GSA's new embodied carbon reduction measure at federal facilities.
This updated document reflects the requirements of the 5 December 2013 Presidential Memo on "Federal Leadership on Energy Management." The updated guidance clarifies the criteria for "metered buildings" subject to the requirements of Section 432 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) (42 U.S.C. § 8253(f)(8)) and designates the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Portfolio Manager as the sole benchmarking tool for Federal agencies to use in fulfilling the benchmarking requirements. The criteria and process for requesting non-disclosure of building performance for national security reasons are also described in the guidance.
This website contains the October 2022 update on Federal metering along with additional guidance, templates, best practices, and more.
This template is intended to assist agencies in complying with the new Federal Building Metering Guidance.
The Green Building Advisory Committee provides expert advice to GSA's Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings to advance the greening of the Federal building portfolio. This website includes the resolutions and advice letters approved by the Committee and presented to GSA. As the products of an independent advisory committee, these proposals may or may not be consistent with current GSA policy.
This document reflects GSA's has review of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Version 4 (LEED v4), the new version of the LEED green building certification system published in November 2013 by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The purpose of the review was to examine how LEED v4 aligns with existing federal statutory, regulatory, and Executive Order green building requirements.
The Advisory Committee provides independent policy advice and recommendations to GSA's Office of Federal High-Performance Buildings, as required by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), to advance federal building innovations in planning, design, and operations to reduce costs, enable agency missions, enhance human health and performance, and minimize environmental impacts.
Federal agencies have discovered many effective practices to make their buildings sustainable. Many share policies, strategies, case studies and tools through the Interagency Sustainability Working Group (ISWG). This website provides a repository for broad policies and strategies covering the whole government or entire agencies, services or bureaus, which set the context for achievements in Federal high-performance buildings.
The purpose of this guide is to provide information on effective energy and water metering strategies, relevant metering technologies and communications, how to collect and use metered data, and how to develop a metering plan. This guide is designed to serve as a resource for facility, energy, and water management and technical staff. It does not try to represent the universe of metering-related material.
The goal of these reports is to provide a guide to a private sector-led, industry-wide decarbonization effort that is deeper and faster than it would otherwise be and that directly benefits fenceline communities by emphasizing environmental justice and the creation of good jobs. Key highlights from the reports: 1) The pressing need for deep decarbonization in carbon-intensive industrial sectors. 2) Current U.S. industrial strategies risk falling behind net-zero targets. 3) Potential pathways for industries to remain on track with decarbonization targets. 4) A call to action for significant capital investment and robust technological adaptation across sectors. The release of these reports underscores the DOE's commitment to providing actionable insights and strategies to drive the U.S. towards a more sustainable industrial future.
Supporting Information and Tools
 
Databases/Software Tools
The AIA-CLF Embodied Carbon Toolkit for Architects serves to provide architects with an overview and the necessary steps to be taken to reduce embodied carbon in their projects. This website provides a quick overview of available tools for architects, engineers, and consultants to evaluate the environmental impacts of buildings and building materials using life cycle assessment. Some of these tools conduct whole building LCA (evaluation of a full building or systems) while others are calculators that focus on individual materials or assemblies.
Developed by DoE, AIRMaster+ provides comprehensive information on assessing compressed air systems, including modeling, existing and future system upgrades, and evaluating savings and effectiveness of energy efficiency measures. Available for free.
This website compiles, and makes searchable, practical and ready to replicate solutions. Designed to be quick reads and to help you not recreate the wheel, these solutions include checklists, questionnaires, calculators, and other tools for use in your energy savings projects and programs.
The Center, launched by DOE, is an online tool designed to provide building professionals with fast, free and reliable building science and efficiency knowledge. The tool is designed to enable professional homebuilders, remodelers, architects, designers, building science educators, researchers and code officials to have access to proven innovations and best practices from Energy Department-approved building science research for hundreds of high-performance home technologies. The Building America Solution Center brings together recommendations from the country's top building science experts to help participating builders and remodelers continuously improve their construction practices. At the heart of the Building America Solution Center are the guides -- a compilation of content covering eight critical topics for applying each individual measure. Users can also use a browser to view galleries of content - such as images, CAD files or case studies - or filter the results by keyword.
This collection of building energy software tools is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). DOE developed this directory because many Office of Building Technology, State and Community Program (BTS) programs develop software tools to help researchers, designers, architects, engineers, builders, code officials, and others involved in the building life-cycle to evaluate and rank potential energy-efficiency technologies and renewable energy strategies in new or existing buildings.
BEES is a free software tool for selecting environmentally preferred, cost-effective building products. Version 4.0 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 at NIST last year.
Developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to provide computational support for the analysis of capital investments in buildings. The focus is analysis for energy and water conservation and renewable energy projects based on the type of construction funding supporting the projects (MILCON, EO 13123, etc).
BPD, sponsored by DOE, unlocks the power of building energy performance data. The platform enables users to perform statistical analysis on an anonymous dataset of tens of thousands of commercial and residential buildings from across the country. Users can compare performance trends among similar buildings to identify and prioritize cost-saving energy efficiency improvements and assess the range of likely savings from these improvements.
The CLASIC tool is a screening tool utilizing a lifecycle cost framework to support stormwater infrastructure decisions on extent and combinations of green, hybrid green-gray and gray infrastructure practices. Users can create scenarios of stormwater control measures including climate and land use projections to assess lifecycle costs, performance, and co-benefits associated with those scenarios.
A part of the SFTool, this tool is designed to help identify upgrades and energy conservation measures that can enhance your building's sustainability. Get started by selecting your building size and climate zone. The resulting information provides estimated payback time, capital cost, energy savings, and cost savings for a variety of potential upgrades and conservation measures.
The Data Center Profiler (DC Pro) Tools are "early stage" profiling tools designed for data center owners and operators to diagnose how energy is being used by their data centers and determine ways to save energy and money.
The Decarbonizing the U.S. Economy by 2050: A National Blueprint for the Buildings Sector, is a comprehensive plan to reduce GHG emissions from buildings by 65% by 2035 and 90% by 2050. DOE led the Blueprint's development in collaboration with the HUD, the EPA, and other federal agencies. The Blueprint is the first sector-wide strategy for building decarbonization developed by the federal government.
ENERGY STAR® has launched an upgraded version of its on-line energy benchmarking tool for buildings, which is called Portfolio Manager. Portfolio Manager's features enables users to benchmark and label their buildings; track their buildings' energy and space use over time, set performance targets and monitor successes; compare buildings in their portfolio and set priorities for investing in and rewarding improved performance; track energy use and benchmark improvement over time, both for individual buildings and for the total portfolio; and make quick, first cut portfolio benchmarking easier.
This is an energy analysis and thermal load simulation program. Based on a user's description of a building from the perspective of the building's physical make-up and associated mechanical and other systems, EnergyPlus calculates heating and cooling loads necessary to maintain thermal control setpoints, conditions throughout a secondary HVAC system and coil loads, and the energy consumption of primary plant equipment.
The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) offers links to tools that can help agencies reduce energy use and meet federal laws and requirements. Tools include software, calculators, data sets, and databases created by the U.S. Department of Energy and other federal organizations.
The Green Building Initiative (GBI) is an international nonprofit organization and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Developer dedicated to reducing climate impacts by improving the built environment. Founded in 2004, the organization is the global provider of the Green Globes® and federal Guiding Principles Compliance building certification and assessment programs.
The Sustainable Facilities Tool is a one-stop online resource to support decision-making regarding sustainable building principles, materials and systems. Targeted to help project personnel identify and prioritize cost-effective, sustainable strategies for small projects that do not normally engage workplace consultants or designers, the Sustainable Facilities Tool helps users understand and select environmentally preferable solutions for renovations, alterations and leases.
This database showcasing examples of sustainable building projects in the federal government. Use the database to examine project details or to explore some construction or retrofit ideas for your facility. The High Performance Buildings Database is research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy; it seeks to improve building performance measuring methods by collecting data on various factors that affect a building's performance, such as energy, materials, and land use. The database includes information from buildings around the world, ranging from homes and commercial interiors to large buildings and even whole campuses and neighborhoods. These may be certified "green" projects, or simply projects that have one or more notable environmental features. The information has been reviewed for consistency and presentation, but in most cases, the details have not been independently verified.
Developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), OpenStudio is the foundation for a number of end-user tools that help architects, building engineers and building energy modelers produce building simulations with more consistent results. It is a cross-platform (Windows, Mac, and Linux) collection of software tools to support whole building energy modeling using EnergyPlus and advanced daylight analysis using Radiance. OpenStudio is a free, open source project to facilitate community development, extension, and private sector adoption. OpenStudio includes graphical interfaces along with a Software Development Kit (SDK).
You can use the Power Profiler to generate a report about your own electricity use. All you need is your ZIP code.
Developed by DoE, the Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool (PHAST) provides an introduction to process heating methods and tools to improve thermal efficiency of heating equipment. Use the tool to survey process heating equipment that uses fuel, steam, or electricity, and identify the most energy-intensive equipment. You can also perform an energy (heat) balance on selected equipment (furnaces) to identify and reduce non-productive energy use. Compare performance of the furnace under various operating conditions and test "what-if" scenarios. Available for free.
RADIANCE is a highly accurate ray-tracing software system for UNIX computers that is licensed at no cost to users for non-commercial use; commercial use licenses including distribution rights are available for a fee. Radiance was developed with primary support from the U.S. Department Of Energy and additional support from the Swiss Federal Government. It is copyrighted by the Regents of the University of California.
The Roof Savings Calculator was developed as an industry-consensus roof savings calculator for commercial and residential buildings using whole-building energy simulations. It is built upon the DOE-2.1E engine for fast energy simulation and integrates AtticSim for advanced modeling of modern attic and cool roofing technologies. An annual simulation of hour-by-hour performance is calculated for the building properties provided based on weather data for the selected location. Annual energy savings reported are based upon heating and cooling loads and thus this calculator is only relevant to buildings with a heating and/or cooling unit.
This tool allows you to create up to a 3-pressure-header basic model of your current steam system. A second model can then be created by adjusting a series of characteristics simulating technical or input changes. This allows you to see how each component and adjustment impacts the others and what changes may be most beneficial to increasing the overall efficiency and stability of the system. An interactive diagram is provided for each model and includes comprehensive steam properties and operational details for clarity and ease of use. The modeler was developed to provide accurate results for the specific cases it represents and does not include a variety of variables that can and do impact any given steam system. Any final decisions should be made by appropriately qualified personnel and, if necessary, be based upon the use of more extensive analytical tools that can be more specifically tailored to your unique system.
Use the Submetering Wizard to learn about submetering techniques and benefits by system. You can also mark which benefits you've already attained and print or export your customized list of benefits. Start by selecting the type of system you want to meter.
Directories/Catalogs/Newsletters
A newsletter published by the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS).
Each online issue of Ecotecture focuses on a particular aspect of the ecological design field, such as the redesign of cities for better ecological performance, sustainable agriculture, ecological housing, and alternative energy. The site also features interviews with a leading ecological designer and a forum for sharing ideas, designs, and the results of experiments.
An online newsletter about responsible forestry and green building.
This is a quarterly magazine is published by ASHRAE with a mission to help decision makers in the building community learn about the benefits of innovative technologies and energy-efficient design and operation. We do this with case studies of exemplary buildings, developed through the support of leading practitioners in the sustainability movement. High Performing Buildings is available in digital form at no cost.
A listing of proven green building strategies that have been submitted and utilized by LEED Certified projects.
This voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing a high-performance, sustainable building was created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED can be applied to every building type and phase of a building lifecycle. Specific programs exist for the following building types: new commercial construction and major renovation projects; multiple buildings and on-campus building projects; existing building operations and maintenance; commercial interiors; core and shell development projects; homes neighborhood development, schools, and retail operations.
The roster search and referral system is accessible to anyone contemplating the use of consensus building and dispute resolution services where environmental, natural resources, or public lands issues are involved.
Libraries/Repositories
A part of GSA's SFTool, this is a detailed repository of education and information about policies, strategies, case studies and tools developed in the process of greening their buildings and shared with the Interagency Sustainability Working Group (ISWG).
This library contains on-line resources on water conservation and efficiency. Subject matter covered in the library include: drought management, alternative supplies, conservation programs, water saving tips, residential efficiency, and metering.
The Center, launched by DOE, is an online tool designed to provide building professionals with fast, free and reliable building science and efficiency knowledge. The tool is designed to enable professional homebuilders, remodelers, architects, designers, building science educators, researchers and code officials to have access to proven innovations and best practices from Energy Department-approved building science research for hundreds of high-performance home technologies. The Building America Solution Center brings together recommendations from the country's top building science experts to help participating builders and remodelers continuously improve their construction practices. At the heart of the Building America Solution Center are the guides -- a compilation of content covering eight critical topics for applying each individual measure. Users can also use a browser to view galleries of content - such as images, CAD files or case studies - or filter the results by keyword.
Sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council, GBIG provides tools that allow project teams, portfolio managers, investors, product manufacturers, researchers - and the general public - to discover green buildings around the world, generate insights and accelerate market transformation. Users can look for particular LEED Certified projects as well as more general information.
In partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE), I2SL is hosting the Smart Labs Toolkit. This free, online resource provides a step-by-step guide to assist laboratory owners and users when implementing their own Smart Labs program. The toolkit identifies four main phases (plan, assess, optimize, and manage) to help increase sustainability, efficiency, and safety in laboratories and related high-tech facilities. The phases and tasks laid out in the toolkit can be undertaken to mitigate risk, reduce waste, and provide safe and productive workplaces.
This is a collection of DOE protocols for determining energy savings from energy efficiency measures and programs. The first protocols were published in April 2013.
This is an extensive electronic library of construction guide specifications, manuals, standards and many other essential criteria documents. Published and updated continuously, this library contains the complete unabridged, approved, current electronic equivalents of over 5,000 documents direct from participating federal agencies. Documents are mainly available in Adobe Acrobat PDF. Some documents are also furnished by agencies in editable format, such as Microsoft Word or SpecsIntact specification processing program format used by the Army, NAVFAC and NASA. Documents are organized by agency and document type.
Organizations/Programs
The AIA COTE annually selects its "Top Ten" examples of architectural and "green" design solutions that protect and enhance the environment.
Through the supply of technical support, tools, best practices, analyses, and the introduction of technologies, the Center of Expertise assists federal agencies and other organizations implement data center energy efficiency projects.
The Energy Efficient Building Association promotes a systems approach to ensure energy efficiency, building durability, occupant comfort and health, and environmental responsibility. Its Web site provides downloadable information (in PDF format) for energy- and resource-efficient buildings and assists small, low-rise commercial buildings with specific criteria for design, construction, and comprehensive rehabilitation.
Help protect our environment by designing buildings with superior energy performance. Top performing facilities that are designed to earn the ENERGY STAR require less money to operate and are responsible for fewer greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Take advantage of tools and resources from EPA, and join building design professionals from around the country who are demonstrating their commitment to creating sustainable architecture.
GBI is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate the adoption of building practices that result in energy-efficient, healthier and environmentally sustainable buildings by promoting credible and practical green building approaches for residential and commercial construction.
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities' mission is to increase the awareness of the economic, social, and environmental benefits of green roof infrastructure across North America and rapidly advance the development of the market for green roof products and services.
HBN is a team of researchers, engineers, scientists, building experts, and educators. Whose mission is to pursue healthy building practices that increase transparency in the building products industry, reduce human exposures to hazardous chemicals, and create market incentives for healthier innovations in manufacturing.
NIBS is a non-profit, non-governmental organization bringing together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests to focus on the identification and resolution of problems and potential problems that hamper the construction of safe, affordable structures for housing, commerce and industry throughout the United States.
A consortium of twelve federal government Member agencies and over 350 non-federal Cooperators representing various disciplines within the conservation field: biologists, botanists, habitat preservationists, horticulturists, resources management consultants, soil scientists, special interest clubs, non-profit organizations, concerned citizens, nature lovers, and gardeners. PCA Members and Cooperators work collectively to solve the problems of native plant extinction and native habitat restoration, ensuring the preservation of our ecosystem. This site contains state or regionally-specific guides on native plant landscaping, grant programs, in invasive species.
The U.S. Green Building Council is the nation's foremost coalition of leaders from across the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.
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Lessons Learned
 
Award Winners
AIA's Committee on the Environment (COTE) has announced its Top Ten awardees for sustainable design in 2020. The 2020 COTE® Top Ten program highlights projects that meet the AIA Committee on the Environment's rigorous criteria for social, economic, and ecological value. The COTE® Top Ten Plus designation denotes projects with exemplary performance data and post occupancy lessons.
Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the winners of its 2022 Housing Innovation Awards, the highest honor builders can receive for constructing Zero Energy Ready Homes. These high-performance homes are so energy efficient--often 40 to 50% more efficient than typical new homes--that they can offset most or all the energy they consume with a renewable energy system. The Housing Innovation Awards recognize top builders of homes certified to DOE's Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) specifications, which set the federal government's highest bar for energy and environmental performance in new residential construction. This year's awards featured 26 homes across 18 states.
Beneficial Landscaping
Tips for pollinator friendly landscapes
This EPA website includes links to examples of tribal building codes, an assessment tool (with tribal case studies) for identifying and prioritizing structures the community wants to build, funding opportunities, and multiple other resources supporting sustainable design in tribal communities.
Case Studies
This report discusses the impact of indoor environments on people and the impact of buildings on the environment.
A collection of projects and practices which Federal agencies have implemented to achieve green building goals. Information is categorized by the headings "Policies and Strategies," Tools and Training," and "Best Practices and Case Studies." Subjects covered within these categories include, but are not limited to: water conservation, energy efficiency, metering, NetZero, lighting, green leasing, sustainable acquisition, and design.
The U.S. EPA has published a collection of case studies, titled, Off-site stormwater management case studies, featuring Delaware DOT, Washington, DC, Grand Rapids, MI, and St. Paul, MN. The multiple benefits of green infrastructure are most significant when nature-based solutions are installed throughout a community. Off-site stormwater management can provide options for operators of development and redevelopment projects to meet post-construction stormwater performance standards outside the right-of-way or limit of the area of development in some circumstances. This flexibility can facilitate achieving additional environmental and planning goals in the community, such as implementation of green infrastructure in areas not undergoing development. EPA recently developed these off-site stormwater management case studies to provide examples of a range of strategies used by local and state governments.
This report commissioned by the Office of Federal High Performance Green Buildings includes a literature review of 200 research studies, in-depth analysis of green roof benefits, an original cost-benefit analysis, discussion of challenges and best practices, and assessment of further research needs. The report estimated a 6.2-year payback for this technology on commercial and public buildings.
Developing and delivering a cost-effective proactive replacement strategy for RTUs is challenging because it involves many complex factors. To successfully optimize energy and cost performance, the strategy must include evaluation of a range of economic and non-economic factors. This November 2015 document introduces the key elements to consider in making the business case for a proactive high efficiency RTU replacement strategy for facility maintenance staff and building engineers who are responsible for energy management.
This technical support document, dated September 2009, was created by the DOE national laboratories under the direction of DOE's Building Technologies Program. It describes the assumptions, methodologies, and analyses used to reach 50% energy savings over ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004. This report provides recommendations and user-friendly design assistance to designers, developers, and owners of highway lodging properties and is intended to encourage steady progress towards net-zero energy performance in these buildings.
Plug and process loads (PPLs) consume about one-third of the primary energy in U.S. commercial buildings. PPLs cover a wide variety of electronic, computer, refrigeration, and cooking devices, including essential equipment for information processing, medical treatment, and food service businesses. The December 2015 decision guides found in this resource were created to help building owners find the right control strategy for PPLs in their buildings. Developed by the Better Building Alliance, the guides are developed for different building types and outline the costs, potential savings, complexities, and user friendliness of various control strategies and their applications to each building type. The guides also aim to help building owners determine whether a control is appropriate for particular project applications such as staged retrofit projects, whole-building retrofits, new construction projects, and projects that involve tenants and landlords. Lastly, the guides provide links to additional resources that can further help building owners assess and reduce the energy use that is associated with PPLs, find rebates for PPL control measures, and procure the right control types for their building equipment.
Military Construction and Major RenovationsNational Research Council, concludes that green building certification systems such as LEED offer frameworks for successfully reducing energy and water use in buildings. The report is based on a review of empirical studies related to energy-efficiency and green building standards.
This August 2018 EPA case study demonstrates the environmental and health benefits of green roofs for Kansas City, Missouri. The case study lays out a replicable analytical framework using free quantitative tools created by EPA and others that state and local decision-makers and practitioners can use to assess the multiple benefits of green roofs.
To help the Army and Fort Carson achieve their Net-Zero goals, GSA partnered with them to conduct the Fort Carson Energy Research Project. The research team tested and analyzed strategies to minimize energy use, including both improving building systems and influencing occupant behavior. The researchers targeted strategies with the highest return on investment over the lifecycle of the buildings studied. This report was issued in 2014.
Sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council, GBIG provides tools that allow project teams, portfolio managers, investors, product manufacturers, researchers - and the general public - to discover green buildings around the world, generate insights and accelerate market transformation. Users can look for particular LEED Certified projects as well as more general information.
This is a database that provides case studies of projects ranging from homes and commercial interiors to large buildings and even whole campuses and neighborhoods. These may be certified green projects, or simply projects that have one or more notable environmental features. The information has been reviewed for consistency and presentation, but in most cases the details have not been independently verified.
The slide deck provides an overview of GSA's Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center's (RRBITC) National Deep Energy Retrofit (NDER) ESPC project. The presentation provides project details, the various ECMs and how the project will meet its goals of electrification and decarbonization.
Federal agencies have discovered many effective practices to make their buildings sustainable. Many share policies, strategies, case studies and tools through the Interagency Sustainability Working Group (ISWG). This website provides a repository for casestudies of specific practices and projects that agencies have actually employed.
In this June 2018 study GSA compares 100 GSA high-performance buildings to 100 GSA legacy stock buildings looking at actual performance data in five key metrics from the last three years. The comparison found that high-performance buildings save energy, save water, cost less to operate, produce less waste, and have more satisfied occupants compared with typical buildings.
A listing of proven green building strategies that have been submitted and utilized by LEED Certified projects.
The document begins with a review of LID, its purpose and methods. It also includes numerous examples of the application of LID at DOD training areas. It then devotes the majority of its pages to a set of fact sheets on such topics as "Secondary Roads", "Small Weapons Firing Ranges", "Maneuver Corridors", and "Bioretention Technology". It ends with good number of plans and drawings for the hard-corps planning/engineering staff.
Contains information on studies conducted by the Army and the Air Force on the costs and requirements of meeting energy efficiency, sustainability, and ASHRAE standards.
This study, published September 2012 by the Harvard Business School, examines the impact of environmentally friendly government procurement policies on private-sector adoption of the targeted products. Key concepts include: government purchasing preferences can accelerate the diffusion of products and services, potentially replacing the need for subsidies and government procurement policies can specify particular product standards can foster their adoption by the private sector.
This report compares different green building rating systems for Federal use. The report was authored by Pacific Northwest National Lab.
This report, released by the National Trust's Preservation Green Lab provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the potential environmental benefit of building reuse. The report uses a life cycle assessment approach to compare the environmental impacts from reuse of existing buildings with demolition and construction of new buildings.
This website provides a brief overview of the role of green roofs in mitigating the heat island effect, including green roof types, other environmental and social benefits, and cost-benefit considerations.
Construction Design
A summary of the impact of the Energy Star Program in homebuilding.
The Center, launched by DOE, is an online tool designed to provide building professionals with fast, free and reliable building science and efficiency knowledge. The tool is designed to enable professional homebuilders, remodelers, architects, designers, building science educators, researchers and code officials to have access to proven innovations and best practices from Energy Department-approved building science research for hundreds of high-performance home technologies. The Building America Solution Center brings together recommendations from the country's top building science experts to help participating builders and remodelers continuously improve their construction practices. At the heart of the Building America Solution Center are the guides -- a compilation of content covering eight critical topics for applying each individual measure. Users can also use a browser to view galleries of content - such as images, CAD files or case studies - or filter the results by keyword.
Issued by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), this report, dated 1 December 2008, highlights combined heat and power (CHP) as a realistic solution to enhance national energy efficiency, ensure environmental quality, promote economic growth, and foster a robust energy infrastructure.
A government-backed program helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency.
EPA has partnered with the Federal Environmental Executive and the Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) to develop the Federal Green Construction Guide for Specifiers. The intent of the document is to address the need for a comprehensive guide for procuring green building products and construction services within the Federal government.
This document reflects GSA's has review of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Version 4 (LEED v4), the new version of the LEED green building certification system published in November 2013 by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The purpose of the review was to examine how LEED v4 aligns with existing federal statutory, regulatory, and Executive Order green building requirements.
The Green Building Initiative (GBI) is an international nonprofit organization and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Developer dedicated to reducing climate impacts by improving the built environment. Founded in 2004, the organization is the global provider of the Green Globes® and federal Guiding Principles Compliance building certification and assessment programs.
Guiding Principles of Sustainable Design published by the US Department of Interior and National Park Service.
Based upon benchmark measurements of operating data centers and input from practicing designers and operators, the Design Guidelines are intended to provide a set of efficient baseline design approaches for data center systems. This guide was produced by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).
This is a collection of resources to support the design, construction, and operation of high-performance laboratories. The tools include design guides, case studies, a performance rating system, a video, and other products that are planned or under development.
This voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing a high-performance, sustainable building was created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED can be applied to every building type and phase of a building lifecycle. Specific programs exist for the following building types: new commercial construction and major renovation projects; multiple buildings and on-campus building projects; existing building operations and maintenance; commercial interiors; core and shell development projects; homes neighborhood development, schools, and retail operations.
A voluntary public-private partnership that identifies and promotes high performance products and programs that help preserve the nation’s water supply (EO 13423, Section 2(c)).
WaterSense makes it easy to find and select water–efficient products that can help your wallet and the environment. WaterSense labeled products are backed by independent, third–party certification and meet EPA's specifications for water efficiency and performance. Products include toilets, faucets, irrigation sprayers, and others
Construction Guidelines and Criteria
This guide was released May 2012. It targets standard mid- to large-size hospital, typically at least 100,000 ft2 in size, but the strategies apply to all sizes and classifications of large hospitals. Space types covered include cafeterias and kitchens; conference and office areas; reception and waiting areas; examination and treatment rooms; clean and soiled workrooms; nurse stations; nurseries and patient rooms; operating, procedure and recovery rooms; sterilizer equipment areas; pharmacies and laboratories; triage, trauma, and emergency rooms; physical therapy and radiology/imaging rooms; storage, receiving, and mechanical/electrical/telecom rooms. This Guide does not directly address other, atypical or special-use spaces. This guide was developed through the collaboration of ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES), and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), with support from the Department of Energy (DOE), to help meet all of an owner's energy performance requirements. In an effort to promote building energy efficiency, ASHRAE and its partners has made this guide available for download (PDF) at no charge.
These guides offer contractors and designers the tools, including recommendations for practical products and off-the-shelf technology, needed for achieving a 30% energy savings compared to buildings that meet the minimum requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-1999. These guides have been developed through the collaboration of ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES), and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), with support from the Department of Energy (DOE), to help meet all of an owner's energy performance requirements. Sector-specific guides are available for: small hospitals and healthcare facilities; lodging facilities; small warehouses and self-storage; schools; small retail buildings; small office buildings. ASHRAE and its partners have made these guides available for download (PDF) at no charge.
This guide provides the tools, including recommendations for practical products and off-the-shelf technology, needed for achieving a 50% energy savings compared to buildings that meet the minimum requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004. The guide applies to small to medium office buildings up to 100,000 ft2, including a wide range of office types and related activities such as administrative, professional, government, bank or other financial services, and medical offices without medical diagnostic equipment. Also provides a greater emphasis on integrated design as a necessary component in achieving 50% energy savings.
This checklist was developed by EPA. Called GreenCheck, the process provides a method for EPA to track the compliance of projects at facilities it owns and/or occupies where Federal sustainable building requirements apply.
The Green Building Initiative (GBI) is an international nonprofit organization and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Developer dedicated to reducing climate impacts by improving the built environment. Founded in 2004, the organization is the global provider of the Green Globes® and federal Guiding Principles Compliance building certification and assessment programs.
This is a companion document to the GSA LEED Cost Study, which outlines an evaluation process in which the predicted first cost impacts of the individual LEED prerequisites and credits (developed from the Cost Study) are used as a basis for structuring an overall LEED project approach. The process also illustrates how LEED criteria relate to existing GSA mandates, performance goals, and programmatic requirements.
Two building types (new construction courthouses and Federal Building modernization) are modeled against two scenarios for each LEED rating (Certification, Silver, Gold), identifying differential costs of construction, design, and documentation/submission requirements.
This guide is offered by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP). The FEMP guide walks users through renewable energy options to help select appropriate types of renewable energy technologies and integrate these technologies into all phases of new construction or major renovation projects. This Guide also provides introductory information on why Federal agencies should consider renewable energy, specific guidance on major renovations, and guidance and resources for training and outreach for projects that use renewable energy.
This voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing a high-performance, sustainable building was created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED can be applied to every building type and phase of a building lifecycle. Specific programs exist for the following building types: new commercial construction and major renovation projects; multiple buildings and on-campus building projects; existing building operations and maintenance; commercial interiors; core and shell development projects; homes neighborhood development, schools, and retail operations.
This guide is for the construction company owner, contractor, architect, and other personnel involved in construction and development. Use this guide during the pre-bid phase to learn what is required; use it during the pre-construction phase to assign environmental responsibilities; and during the construction phase to find answers to ongoing environmental questions or conducting self audits.
This May 2014 document was developed by VA's Office of Construction and Facilities Management in cooperation with other VA partners. The intent of the document is to consolidate the wide range of sustainable design requirements into one easy-to-navigate resource.
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. Currently organized into two major categories--Design Guidance and Project Management. Development of the WBDG is a collaborative effort among federal agencies, private sector companies, non-profit organizations and educational institutions.
Indoor Air Quality
A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers This guide provides practical suggestions on preventing, identifying, and resolving indoor air quality (IAQ) problems in public and commercial buildings.
This document was designed to meet the needs of building owners and managers who want an easy-to-understand path for taking their building from current conditions and practices to the successful institutionalization of good IAQ management practices.
This US Department of Energy presentation covers assistance programs available to states to retrofit their buildings and principles for implementing retrofits.
The starting point for EPA's Indoor Air Quality Program.
Includes the best practices for design, construction, and commissioning of new non-residential buildings. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and an industry consortium developed this reference.
EPA website devoted to IAQ in large buildings such as office buildings.
This ASHRAE guide is designed for architects, design engineers, contractors, commissioning agents, and all other professionals concerned with indoor air quality.
Planning
EPA has partnered with the Federal Environmental Executive and the Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) to develop the Federal Green Construction Guide for Specifiers. The intent of the document is to address the need for a comprehensive guide for procuring green building products and construction services within the Federal government.
This document was developed to assist and educate field workers, supervisors and managers in making decisions that help the project team meet sustainable project goals. The field guide is designed to fill a significant void in available information for sustainable construction methods. It systematically draws together and organizes information on many aspects of construction that can assure the sustainability of a facility. Simple methods and suggested practices are presented for the major phases of construction in the field guide.
Green infrastructure is an approach to wet weather management that is cost-effective, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. Green Infrastructure management approaches and technologies infiltrate, evapotranspire, capture and reuse stormwater to maintain or restore natural hydrologies.
This January 2017 EPA publication outlines more than 70 policies local government officials, staff, and boards can consider to help adapt to current or projected flooding and extreme precipitation, sea level rise and storm surge, extreme heat, drought, and wildfire. These policies range from modest adjustments to wholesale changes, giving communities a range of options to consider depending on their needs and context. The publication includes examples of communities implementing these policies, resources for more information, and metrics that communities could use taken from three community-scale sustainability rating systems.
Building owners, architects, and engineers can use the charrette process to save time and money by identifying and solving design problems before design and construction begin. A charrette is an intensive workshop in which various stakeholders and experts are brought together to address a particular design project. It is the mechanism that starts the communication process among the project team members, building users, and project management staff.
LID is an approach to land development (or re-development) that works with nature to manage stormwater as close to its source as possible.
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Training, Presentations, and Briefings
Offered as part of the Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) Continuing Education Courses, this course will provide an introduction to the concepts and technologies of low impact development, with an overview and emphasis on strategies for protecting and conserving water on site. If you don't have a WBDG account, you will have to register (for free) before gaining access to the courses.
The focus of this 2-hour EPA course is retrofitting stormwater management practices into watersheds that have already been developed. This approach can help restore watersheds by providing stormwater treatment in locations it was not originally included.
An overview of commissioning information, guidance, and resources is presented under three broad principles, including Determine Project Performance Requirements, Owner's Role and Responsibilities in the Commissioning Process, and Commissioning Document Compliance and Acceptance. All three principles are applied over the life-span of a capital design and construction project, and that it takes a multi-disciplined effort involving owners, design professionals, construction managers, and commissioning providers to achieve optimal results from the commissioning process.
This course is offered by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The purpose of this course is to enable you to reduce operating cost and provide energy savings to the building a student is responsible for. Students will learn the initial steps involved in re-tuning a building controlled via a building automation system (BAS). Interactive exercises are included to provide students "hands-on" practice of the re-tuning process within a virtual building. Students will practice identifying opportunities for energy improvement and then deciding how to re-tune for more efficiency. The intended audience for this course is onsite employees responsible for day-to-day building operations; offsite contractors (retro-commissioning agents or control vendors) hired to improve a building's energy efficiency; and college students interested in entering this field. The focus is on large (100,000 sq. ft.) commercial buildings (office buildings, malls, and schools), but the concepts and techniques presented can be applied to any type and size of facility that has a BAS.
This course is designed for Energy and Facility Managers who manage commissioning processes for existing Federal buildings. Focusing on proven strategies in the Federal sector, the training is designed to achieve the maximum benefits of commissioning efforts. Specific Federal applications such as laboratories and data centers are discussed within the overall context of helping Federal staff maximize operational efficiencies including cost and energy savings. There is an emphasis on employing best practices to select and execute improvements that incorporate processes to ensure the persistence of the efficiency outcomes. This course is offered through the Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) and the National Institute of Building Sciences.
The focus of this 2-hour EPA course is how to develop an effective SWPPP. IT includes a discussion of common problems found on construction sites.
This interactive training will educate learners about energy management best practices including the value of setting goals, developing a plan, identifying milestones, and documenting the tasks associated with those goals and milestones. During the training, you will discover why it's important to identify key stakeholders and core team members for each project or task and to get their support and buy-in.
This webinar series, hosted by EPA's Indoor Environments Division, features presentations on a variety of scientific and technical issues related to indoor air quality delivered by widely-recognized experts.
Facility managers, energy managers, contractors, and others need to understand the latest information about energy and water management in order to help the Federal government be save energy and money and meet energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation goals. With targeted and up-to-date courses, FEMP helps Federal energy managers become more proficient in energy management and learn about alternative forms of financing energy-saving projects. Additional classes are listed also.
This course is intended for design and construction professionals interested in green building rating systems. It provides an overview of the Green Globes rating system with a primary focus on the Sustainable Interiors (SI) program, which is based on an ANSI Standard (ANSI/GBI 01-2010: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings). This is a free, 90-minute webinar approved for 1.5 AIA Health/Safety/Welfare credits.
Federal agencies have discovered many effective practices to make their buildings sustainable. Many share policies, strategies, case studies and tools through the Interagency Sustainability Working Group (ISWG). This website covers and links to systems, methods, databases, calculators, checklists, etc. designed to help Federal officials and their partners achieve their high-performance building goals.
Historic property management combines preservation maintenance with modern systems management. Learn how to read your building, search for solutions, and then care for the building envelope by maintaining its historic materials. Explore how to balance the environmental needs of the building with its users. Understand the impacts on historic properties of pest management practices and mechanical building systems--HVAC, plumbing, fire, security, and lighting. Discuss how to train in-house staff and when to hire a specialist to identify a problem or a contractor to handle a specific task.
Sponsored by the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA), this 1-day workshop includes information on the EEBA, building science principles, window and door systems, foundations, mechanical systems, and the case for green buildings in general. This course does offer CEU credits.
This seminar provides an overview of operations and maintenance best practices with a focus on corrective, preventive, and predictive infrastructure requirements and commissioning for existing buildings.
Earlier this month, more than 2,000 people attended this year's Virtual Leadership Symposium. Leaders from across the U.S. shared their expertise, insight, and experience as they engaged with attendees on topics including workforce development, healthy buildings, project financing, resilience, and more. View your favorite sessions from the 2020 Summit – or check out one you may have missed. Each recording is accompanied by a downloadable slide deck and transcript.
Recordings of the lower carbon construction materials webinars are now available on the EPA website. The webinars covered topics related to new programs made possible by a $350 million investment from the Inflation Reduction Act such as a new carbon labelling program for construction materials and products, how to improve data on embodied greenhouse gas emissions and new programs to help businesses calculate and report these emissions.
Throughout this course, you will learn the initial steps involved in re-tuning a building controlled via a building automation system (BAS). Interactive exercises are included to provide you "hands-on" practice of the re-tuning process within a virtual building. You will practice identifying opportunities for energy improvement and then deciding how to re-tune for more efficiency. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has developed a Building Re-tuning approach to detect energy savings opportunities and implement improvements.
The purpose of this course is to enable you to reduce operating cost and provide energy savings to the building you are responsible for. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has developed a Building Re-tuning approach to detect energy savings opportunities and implement improvements.
Offered as part of the Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) Continuing Education Courses, this course will provide you with an introduction to the Historic Preservation process with a special focus on how to balance sustainability goals and operations and maintenance practices with preservation solutions. If you don't have a WBDG account, you will have to register (for free) before gaining access to the courses.
This 2-hour EPA training includes guidance on conducting a program self-assessment, developing effective stormwater management criteria, and incorporating credits for LID and runoff reduction.
Simply click on the Search button for a complete list of workshops that are currently open for registration or enter specific search criteria for a filtered list. Please note that our calendar is frequently updated, so continue to check back to find upcoming workshops. After clicking the Search button, the page will refresh and you will need to scroll down to see the workshop listings.
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Last Updated: October 04, 2022