In addition to promoting good building practices and initiatives, utilizing sustainable products and systems is equally important for any green building project. Improving technology in areas such as air conditioning, water, and energy efficiency can greatly increase building performance, which in turn results in financial savings and better indoor and environmental living conditions.
The selection of products for green projects depends on various factors, such as the project goals, available financing, and the various green building rating systems. “Building green” does not mean following one particular system. However, adopting one rating system can streamline the tracking and performance evaluation of a building and provide additional opportunities for financing and subsidies.
The list below consists of products (building materials, chemicals, renewable, etc.) and systems (wind turbines, geothermal systems, HVAC, etc.). This section also presents various tools, guides, and directories for selecting green products, evaluating building performance, and assessing design needs. In some instances, state locators are also included to facilitate searches within a region of interest.
- Rating and Assessment Systems
- Materials and Products
- Green Building Systems
- Renewable Energy Technology/Systems
- The Living Building Challenge
This program provides a framework for design, construction and the symbiotic relationship between people and all aspects of the built environment
- Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS)
STARS is a voluntary, self-reporting framework offered by the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) to colleges and universities for gauging their relative progress toward sustainability.
- The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™
Offered by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is a third-party certification program and nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.
- NAHB National Green Building Program
Through this program the National Association of Home Buildders offers green certification as well as resources and tools to help members learn about the methods and benefits of green building.
- Green Globes
The Green Globes system is an environmental design and management tool developed in Canada and offered by the Green Building Initiative (GBI) in the USA. It delivers an online assessment protocol, rating system, and guidance for green building design, operation, and management.
- Green Advantage®
Developed in collaboration with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and the University of Florida, Green Advantage provides certification programs and services for building sector practitioners and organizations, and promotes green building education.
- Built Green
Built Green is a residential building program of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties in the state of Washington. The website provides consumers with easy-to-understand rating systems that quantify environmental building practices for remodeling and new home construction.
- Earth Craft House
EarthCraft House is a voluntary green building program of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association that provides a model for healthy, comfortable homes that help reduce utility bills and protect the environment.
- Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Initiative
The Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Initiative is a government research program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that focuses on improving the energy efficiency of commercial buildings in the United States. It encompasses all activities that support the goal of marketable net-zero energy commercial buildings by 2025 including industry partnerships, research, and tool development. Click here to learn about the Research Support Facilities, a Net-Zero facility by the DOE on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Campus.
These resources provide an introduction to the technical aspects of green building materials, products and systems.
These resources provide information on specific green building materials, products and systems.
These resources provide information about green building systems, such as the renewable energy systems, heating ventilating and air conditioning systems, water efficiency systems, stormwater management systems, surfaces, garages and parking, green roof technologies, landscaping, and systems employed for sustainable laboratories.
- Sourcebook for Water, Energy, Building Materials and Solid Waste – Green Builder
- Green Power Partnership Guide - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Improve Energy Efficiency - Energy Star Challenge
- Innovative Products & Processes - PATH Technology Inventory - Toolbase Services
- Energy Efficient Buildings - Research and Markets
- 8 Tips for a Smooth Handoff of New Green Buildings
- Locate State Available Green Power Partnership Opportunities - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
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