EPA Green Buildings
In This Section
Typical green buildings often incorporate the following features:
- Careful site selection to minimize impacts on the surrounding environment and increase alternative transportation options.
- Energy conservation and use of renewable energy to ensure efficient use of natural resources and reduced utility bills.
- Use of daylighting and individual occupant-controlled lighting to reduce energy and improve indoor lighting for occupants.
- Water conservation to ensure maximum efficiency and reduced utility bills.
- Responsible stormwater management and native landscaping to limit disruption of natural watershed functions and reduce the environmental impacts of stormwater runoff.
- Material reduction, recycling, composting, and use of "green" building materials.
- Improved indoor environmental quality during construction and operation phases through the use of low volatile organic compound products and careful ventilation practices during construction and renovation.
- Reduced urban heat island effect to avoid altering the surrounding air temperatures relative to nearby rural and natural areas.
In the United States, buildings account for:
- 36 percent of total energy use and 65 percent of electricity consumption
- 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions
- 30 percent of raw materials use
- 30 percent of waste output (136 million tons annually)
- 12 percent of potable water consumption
Source: U.S. Green Building Council
Learn more about EPA's Green Buildings in the sections below:
EPA's Best Practice Lease Provisions are available for use in new lease solicitations. The provisions include sustainable building requirements and other building best practices that EPA aims to pursue in its leased buildings. Learn more about the Best Practice (Environmental) Lease Provisions and download a copy.
EPA created a form known as "GreenCheck" as a framework for “greening” its real estate projects and streamlining and tracking its facilities’ compliance with federal requirements. GreenCheck consolidates various federal requirements into a user-friendly checklist to be evaluated at the inception of a project. Learn more about GreenCheck and download the GreenCheck form.
EPA leases most of its major office buildings. The Agency works to improve the environmental performance of its leased buildings—often build-to-suit projects—through green lease specifications and riders. These amendments to traditional lease language emphasize energy, water, and resource conservation and include procedures to ensure the long-term environmental performance of a property.
To further carry out its green building mission, EPA uses the LEED® certification for new construction (NC), a green building rating system, as one tool to help set environmental performance standards for new building design and construction and to provide independent verification of design adequacy and proper construction. EPA also employs the ENERGY STAR® for buildings; energy efficiency requirements that obtain 30 percent better energy performance than ASHRAE 90.1-2004; and WaterSense® labeled products. Additionally, the Agency has adopted its own water conservation measures; resource conservation, recycling, and use of sustainable building materials requirements; and measures to protect indoor air quality. EPA's Green Buildings Vision and Policy Statement serves as a guide for a holistic, systems approach to sustainable building design, renovation, and maintenance.
The following EPA facilities are actively pursuing or have achieved green building certifications:
|EPA Facility||Green Building Certification||Certification Date|
|Arlington, VA - Potomac Yard||
- LEED-NC 2.1 Gold
|- June 2006
- July 2008
- December 2011
|Boston, MA - Region 1 Office||- LEED-NC 2.2 Gold||June 2010|
|Chelmsford, MA - New England Regional Laboratory||- LEED-NC 1.0 Gold||February 2003|
|Cincinnati, OH - Laboratory Annex 2||- LEED-NC 2.1/2.2 Gold||December 2008|
|Dallas TX - Region 6 Office||- LEED-EB: O&M Silver||January 2012|
|Denver, CO - Region 8 Office||- LEED-NC 2.1 Gold||September 2007|
|Fort Meade, MD - Environmental Science Center||- Guiding Principles certification for existing buildings||Pending|
|Grosse Ile, MI - Large Lakes Research Station||- Guiding Principles certification for existing buildings||November 2012|
|Guaynabo, PR - Caribbean Environmental Protection Division||- LEED-CI 2009 Gold||October 2012|
|Gulf Breeze, FL - Gulf Ecology Division Laboratory Building #67||- LEED-NC 2.2 Silver||April 2009|
|Kansas City, KS - Science and Technology Center||- LEED-NC 2.0 Gold||August 2003|
|Lacey, WA - Region 10 Washington Operations Office||- LEED-EB 1.0 Silver||February 2005|
|Lenexa, KS - Region 7 Office||- LEED-NC 2.2 Silver||February 2009|
|Los Angeles, CA - Southern California Field Office||- LEED-EB 2009 Gold||November 2011|
|Research Triangle Park, NC - National Computer Center||- LEED-NC 2.0 Silver||January 2005|
|Research Triangle Park, NC - First Environments Early Learning Center||- LEED-NC 2.1 Silver||February 2008|
|San Francisco, CA - Region 9 Office||- LEED-EB 2.0 Gold||May 2009|
|Seattle, WA - Region 10 Office||- LEED-EB 2.0 Platinum||November 2009|
|Washington, DC - William Jefferson Clinton Building North and South||- LEED-EB: O&M Silver||July 2013|
- EPA's Green Building website
- The Green Building Initiative aims 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. GBI oversees and administers Green Globes™, 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.
- The Living Building Challenge is a building certification program offered by the International Living Future Institute™ considered to be one of the most rigorous performance standards for the built environment.
- Region 3's Green Building website
- U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)The USGBC 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.
- Additional green building resources and organizations