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Energy & Climate Change - New Buildings and Construction
Sustainability Resources

Planning and Construction Phase: Smart Growth and Sustainable Development

  • EPA's Heat Island Reduction Initiative works with communities and other partners to reduce the heat island effect caused by urban patterns of development.
    • Cool Roofs provides information about energy saving roofs.
    • Green Roofs provides information about water and energy saving vegetated roofs.
  • Parking Spaces / Community Places explores new, flexible parking policies that can encourage growth and balance parking needs with other goals.
  • EPA's GreenScapes program provides cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for large-scale landscaping that are designed to help preserve natural resources and prevent waste and pollution.
  • Additional Resources:

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Materials Selection: Environmentally Preferable Building Materials and Specifications

  • EPA's Industrial Materials Recycling Program provides information on how industrial materials, such as coal combustion products, foundry sand, and construction and demolition debris, can be recycled to meet the material needs of our construction industry. Industrial materials can be recycled in construction applications because they have many of the same chemical and physical properties as the virgin materials they replace. In some cases, they can even improve the quality of a product.
  • EPA's Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program aims to make the environment a factor in federal purchasing of all kinds of products, including building products.
  • EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines program designates products that are or can be made with recovered materials, and recommends practices for buying these products
  • EPA’s Coal Combustion Products Partnership (C2P2) program provides detailed information on coal combustion products (CCPs), their applications, and the environmental and economic benefits of their use. CCPs are used in a variety of building applications.

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Energy Use: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

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Indoor Air Quality

  • Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) (sometimes also referred to as Indoor Environmental Quality or IEQ) is a critical component of constructing "green" homes and buildings. EPA's Iendoor Environments Program offers several IAQ tools and programs designed to protect occupant health, promote comfort and productivity, and enhance the durability of structures.

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Advanced Refrigeration Technology

  • The GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership works with food retailers to promote advanced technologies, strategies, and practices that reduce refrigerant charges and emissions of ozone-depleting substances and greenhouse gases.
  • Advanced Refrigeration Technology helps food retailers reduce refrigerant charges and refrigeration emissions that harm the ozone layer and contribute to climate change.

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Waste Reduction

The Climate and Waste connection: Most people don’t realize that solid waste reduction and recycling help address global climate change. How? The manufacture, distribution and use of products – as well as management of the resulting waste – all result in greenhouse gas emissions. Waste prevention and recycling reduce greenhouse gases associated with these activities by reducing methane emissions, saving energy, and increasing forest carbon sequestration.

  • Reducing and recycling C&D materials conserves landfill space, reduces the environmental impact of producing new materials, creates jobs, and can reduce overall building project expenses through avoided purchase/disposal costs.
  • EPA's Industrial Materials Recycling Program provides information on how industrial materials, such as coal combustion products, foundry sand, and construction and demolition debris, can be recycled to meet the material needs of our construction industry. Industrial materials can be recycled in construction applications because they have many of the same chemical and physical properties as the virgin materials they replace. In some cases, they can even improve the quality of a product.
  • GreenScapes provides cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for landscaping helping preserve natural resources and prevent waste and pollution, minimizing the associated impacts on land, water, air, and energy use.
  • EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal Program supports the collection of used refrigerators, freezers, window air conditioning units, and dehumidifiers, and implementation of best practices for the recycling/disposal of these units in compliance with federal, state, and local laws.

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