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Green Buildings

What's Hot
  • The Department of Interior  announced $100 million for the Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program,  The competition will fund projects that promote resilient natural systems while enhancing green spaces and wildlife habitat in needed areas along the Sandy-impacted landscape, enabling coastal communities and key habitats to withstand the impacts of future storms.  Click here for the Request for Proposals and application details!
  • 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.
Green buildings, or high performance buildings, incorporate strategies to achieve efficient and environmentally sound use of resources during construction and throughout operations. Green buildings employ designs to achieve high quality indoor air and efficient use of energy and water using recycled or sustainable building materials. On the outside, green buildings can use native landscaping or green roofs, and provide infrastructure links that encourage using mass transit, bicycling and walking.

What You Can Do

Whether you are a renter, homeowner, building owner, architect or builder, you can help to green our built environment.

Renters: Start by cleaning with natural products, installing Energy Star appliances and taking steps to improve indoor air quality. Replace incadescent lights with compact fluorescent lightbulbs. Turn off and unplug appliances when not in use. Use low- volatile organic compounds (low-VOC) paint and green power options for your electricity.

Homeowners: Install energy and water efficient fixtures and appliances, and replace old windows with insulated low-emittance or "low-e" windows. Install low-VOC carpeting and use recycled and sustainable materials for renovations. See if you are eligible for Energy Star product rebates for products like insulation, furnaces and more.

Building owners and Managers: Have your building commissioned to determine current resource consumption and recalibrate the systems for optimum efficiency and comfort. Provide recycling receptacles for tenants and investigate if a green roof is appropriate for your building to conserve energy and mitigate stormwater runoff. Use Energy Star's Portfolio Manager tool to track and assess energy and water consumption in your buildings, and get recognition for your successes.

Architects and Developers: Employ green building techniques in the design and throughout the construction process. Use green building standards to design a green scheme and have the building certified. Save money and prevent waste using specifications language for Deconstruction and Demolition Waste Reduction.

NYC Green Building Competition

Financial Incentives and Resources for Green Building


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