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Green Buildings

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  • Find videos from EPA's Smart Growth Program and the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities on our Webinars, Videos, and Podcasts page. Here, you can watch how communities across the country are putting smart growth in action!
  • Check out EPA’s Smart Location Database, a consistent nationwide data resource for measuring location efficiency. It includes over 90 variables characterizing the built environment, transit service, destination accessibility, employment, and demographics at the census block group scale. You can download data for your selected region, view data online in an interactive map, or access the data through a variety of web services.
  • EPA hosts the Local Climate and Energy Webcast Series to assist local governments as they explore and plan climate change and clean energy efforts. Check out the upcoming webcasts  here.

Environmentally sound buildings are central to any local sustainability effort.  These buildings try to minimize their energy profile by reducing not only the energy used to power them, but also the energy used to manufacture building products, bring water to the building, and convey and treat wastewater from them.  They are also located in a way as to minimize the energy used to commute to and from the building.

Energy efficiency is only one element of a green building. Other elements include renewable energy, water efficiency, environmentally preferable building materials and specifications, waste reduction, toxics reduction, indoor air quality, and smart growth and sustainable development.

A recent boom in green building has brought with it a wealth of new resources. Green building products, services and in­formation are more accessible than ever before. The cost of green building has be­come cheaper too. The cost gap between green and conventional building is closing.

To find out what local governments can do to fight climate change, look at the Green Building Chapter of Planning for a Sustainable Future - A Guide for Local Governments [PDF 4.9 MB, 58 pp].

What You Can Do

Invest in green building for your municipal buildings.  The economic and environmental benefits will pay back quickly for your community.  There are also opportunities to get recognized for the community’s green buildings.  Energy-efficient buildings can be certified as ENERGY STARÒ certified buildings.  Go to http://www.energystar.gov to learn more.

You can also work through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leader­ship in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System to get your building certified.  Learn more by going to: http://www.usgbc.org.

Success Story:

New Sunrise Yard in New York will be the base of operations for the facilities maintenance group of the NYC Department of Transportation and is part of the NYC Department of Design and Construction’s sustainable design pilot program. Using an integrated, consensus driven process, the project achieves a 65% energy savings over the technical baseline through measures such as use of high performance glass, clerestory roof system, a high efficiency lighting system, radiant floor heating, demand based ventilation, and use of high efficiency boilers. Demolition waste will be reused and water efficiency will be achieved through native landscaping and maximizing pervious services. Runoff is contained on the site and construction vehicles will use ultra low-sulfur diesel fuel.

EPA Region 2 Green Buildings Page
EPA HQ Green Buildings Page

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