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Greening EPA

How EPA Is Implementing the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings

Photo of the Andrew W. Breidenbach Annex 1 buildingEPA's AWBERC Main Building and Annex 2 in Cincinnati, Ohio, meet the Guiding Principles.The Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings (commonly referred to as the Guiding Principles) contain two sets of sustainable building requirements–one for new construction and modernization, and a second for existing buildings. Both sets of Guiding Principles address the following sustainable principles:

  • Employ integrated design principles
  • Optimize energy performance
  • Protect and conserve water
  • Enhance the indoor environment
  • Reduce the environmental impact of materials
  • Assess and consider building resilience

EPA implements the Guiding Principles for Sustainable New Construction and Modernization in new construction and modernization projects greater than 10,000 gross square feet. To meet the requirements of the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Existing Buildings, EPA developed a comprehensive, multi-step process to convert its existing buildings into high performance sustainable buildings.

In this multi-step process, EPA evaluates, improves and documents each facility’s operations and environmental performance against the Guiding Principles. As the first step, EPA performs sustainability assessments to gauge its facilities’ potential to meet the Guiding Principles and identifies gaps. The Agency implements green building projects and documents sustainable building management plans to bring buildings into compliance with the Guiding Principles.

After a building meets the Guiding Principles, the Agency must reassess the building every four years to ensure it remains compliant with the Guiding Principles.

EPA facilities around the country that meet the Guiding Principles include: