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Green Building - Resources
Buying Green Power
Education & Technical Assistance (National/International)
Education & Technical Assistance (Northwest)
Software Design Tools
Architects, Designers, Builders and Related Consultants
Newsletters and News Sources
Buying Green Power
U.S. Green Building Council
Consensus coalition promoting the understanding, development, and accelerated implementation of "Green Building" policies, programs, technologies, standards, and design practices.
National Association of Home Builders Research Center
Supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the NAHBRC has developed a set of nationally-applicable "Green Building Guidelines" and many other useful publications.
www.nahbrc.org (For publications, go to: www.nahbrc.org/bookstore.asp?TrackID=&CategoryID=1628&Type=)
Green Building Information Council
The Council is a Canadian non-profit organization whose mission is to disseminate information about energy and environmental issues in the building sector.
Building Better Buildings: A Blueprint for Sustainable State Facilities available at Greenbiz.com
California Integrated Waste Management Board
This guide offers (any) state government an overview of sustainable-building trends and explains how a commitment to green building can help states address energy shortages, dwindling natural resources, and concerns about air quality. Recommendations and action plans are included to assist in the development of successful initiatives.
International Initiative for Sustainable Built Environment (IISBE)
Manages the Green Building Challenge, a consortium of over 20 countries that is developing and testing a new method of assessing the environmental performance of buildings across national boundaries. IISBE also publishes a magazine on sustainable building and their website contains the proceedings from their annual conference.
Advanced Buildings: Technologies & Practices
A building professional's guide to more than 90 environmentally-appropriate technologies and practices targeted for commercial, industrial and multi-unit residential buildings. Design and construction issues covered include: indoor air quality, water conservation, waste management, electricity production, non-toxic materials, recycled materials, daylighting, and energy efficiency.
Rocky Mountain Institute
The Institute is an entrepreneurial, nonprofit organization that fosters the efficient and restorative use of resources to create a more secure, prosperous, and life-sustaining world. The Institute specializes in sustainable construction research and outreach.
Series of fact sheets and guidance documents on purchasing green building materials, efficient lighting, indoor air quality, addressing challenges to green code acceptance, and more.
Homes Across America
Search for green homes around the country and technologies used to build them, find builders and designers who have created resource efficient homes, study climate factors relevant to home designs in different areas, find local, non-biased technical assistance, and track trends and innovations in the residential market over time.
Global Environmental Options (GEO)
Promotes sustainable design and development of buildings, communities and national parks. Offers "Approach to Green Design", "Systems Integration", and links to consulting services.
Energy & Environmental Building Association (EEBA)
Promotes environmentally respectful development, including energy efficiency, through dissemination of information, training, and providing criteria for use by the housing industry, consumers and governmental agencies.
Virginia Housing and the Environment Network
Provides information, training, and conferences for environmentally friendly, resource-efficient buildings in sustainable communities.
Contact Annette Osso, 703-486-2966.
Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems - Austin, Texas
A non-profit education, demonstration, and research organization experienced in the application of appropriate technologies and sustainable design practices to meet the needs of a broad range of users, from individual home builders to regional planning and natural resource agencies.
Habitat for Humanity's Environmental Initiative
HFH has increased an effort to implement their Environmental Initiative through the "Green Team". Their mission is to create a national network of individuals who will educate Habitat Affiliates worldwide in sustainable building practices. They have developed educational materials and a newsletter.
Contact: Graham Davis, 719-963-0148.
The Master Home Environmentalist Program - American Lung Association of Washington
Promotes human health by increasing awareness of home environmental pollutants and encouraging action to reduce exposure. Their vision is for a safe and healthy home environment for all family members. They offer training, information, and free home assessments by trained Master Home Environmentalists.
Greenbuilder’s Sustainable Building Sourcebook
A comprehensive resource published by the City of Austin, Texas.
American Institute of Architect's Committee on the Environment
This membership organization advances the value of architects and architecture, providing members with resources and a collective voice for the profession. The Committee on the Environment is involved in education of the industry in sustainable construction and communities.
Brownfields Technology Support Center
Provides technical support to federal, state, and local officials across the U.S., on issues related to use of technology for site investigation and cleanup. Partners in the Center include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Argonne National Laboratory, and from the Northeast Hazardous Substance Research Center through the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Their projects consist of: (1) responses to requests for assistance from individual brownfields communities and (2) general publications that are prepared to assist all brownfields communities. The Center can help decision makers evaluate strategies to streamline the site investigation and cleanup process, identify and review information about complex technology options, evaluate contractor capabilities and recommendations, explain complex technologies to communities, and plan technology demonstrations.
WWW Virtual Library: Sustainable Development
Comprehensive list of Internet sites dealing with sustainable development, including organizations, projects and activities, electronic journals, libraries, references and documents, databases, and more.
The Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC)
WERC was formed to assist communities, government, industry and others address increasingly urgent hardwood resource use issues and overlapping interests in:
- Sustaining forests, forest products companies, and forest-based communities
- Efficiently using resources and protecting the environment
- Employing collaborative, multidisciplinary approaches to address diverse interests
- Ensure that eastern hardwood forests remain available and sustainable
High Performance Green Building Guidelines
Published by the Governor's Green Government Council of Pennsylvania
Sustainable Architecture Compendium
Downloadable biographies with hundreds of publications and articles.
Building Design Assistance Center (BDAC) at Florida Solar Energy Center
Promotes energy-efficient building design in Florida through free assistance to the architectural and engineering community. They offer design assistance through plan reviews, building energy simulations, construction details, and material and equipment selection. BDAC also conducts laboratory and field research to test effectiveness of new and existing products.
Education & Technical Assistance (Northwest)
Northwest Eco-Building Guild - Oregon/Washington
The Guild is an educational forum, encouraging sustainable building practices. Concepts the Guild promotes include: low toxic construction, resource and energy efficiency, and job site recycling. The Guild also publishes the Green Pages, a directory of green contractors. www.ecobuilding.org
SeaGreen: Greening Seattle's Affordable Housing
This City of Seattle's sustainable building guidebook features 101 action items that promote energy conservation and healthy indoor environments, and building practices that can save resources and reduce operating costs and utility costs for residents. It covers an array of green-building ideas, including site design, energy efficiency, indoor air quality and using recycled building materials.
Sustainable Design Resource Library
Maintained by Environmental Works Community Design Center, this library is available to residential and commercial building designers and developers, and homeowners searching for sustainable building information. The library contains books, journals, and CD-ROMs; a compilation of green building web sites; materials samples; and fact sheets. Free and open to the public by appointment at 206-329-8300 ext. 21.
Resource Guide for Sustainable Urban Development
Developed by the Urban Environment Institution (Seattle), this guide proposes goals, design principles and tools for designing and building sustainably in a mixed use development specific to the Northwest.
Seattle Sustainable Building Action Plan and Built Smart
Program may be able to provide free technical assistance and rebates: Technical assistance is available to facilitate builder acceptance and compliance.
Contact: Wayne Knipple, 206-684-4286.
Additional Assistance Available:
- Water Smart Technology / Incentives Program
Contact: Phil Paschke 206-684-5883
- Resource Efficient Design, Drainage, Solid Waste Issues
Contact: Lucia Athens 206-684-4643
- Centralized Recycling Collection And Pick-Up Design Requirements
Contact: Jim Lowenstein 206-233-3839
- Sustainable Landscape Design Assistance
Contact: David McDonald 206-684-7650
- Water Efficient Irrigation
Contact: Suzan Hill 206-684-4150
- Site Transportation Facilities Enhancement
Contact: Tim Lowry 206-263-5215
Construction Recycling/Sustainable Building
King County Department of Natural Resources - Provides information on integrating recycling and green building design into construction plans. Services include:
- Hotline: 206-296-8800 - staffed from 8:30-4:30
- Publications, brochures, and case studies
- Five ways to fight waste
- A more in-depth document on how to develop a plan for job-site
- Green building techniques
- Ways to get recognition for your environmental commitment
The Center for Resourceful Building Technology (CRBT)
A non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting environmentally responsible practices in construction. Its mission is to serve as both catalyst and facilitator in encouraging building technologies which realize a sustainable and efficient use of resources. Through research, education and demonstration, CRBT promotes resource efficiency in building design, materials selection and construction practices.
Peaks to Prairies - Montana State University Extension
A technical resource for information on green building in residential construction with a service focus on EPA Region 8.
Architects, Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR)
West Coast Architectural Resource Guide Data Base provides samples of the Architectural Resource Guides (ARG) information.
Environmental Landscape Certification
(Program still in development)
Washington Association of Landscape Professionals, Seattle Public Utilities, and King County partnered to develop the first environmental landscape certification program. The goal is to provide landscapers with the knowledge to offer environmentally sound services, and bring city officials and landscape professionals together in implementing landscaping best management practices.
Contact: Peter Dervin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental Handbooks for Oregon Construction Contractors - Regulatory Guidance
November 1994. Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Commissioning for Better Buildings in Oregon
Commissioning is the process of ensuring building systems are designed, installed, functionally tested, and capable of being operated and maintained according to the owner's operational needs. Commissioning also can restore existing buildings to high productivity through renovation, upgrade and tune-up of existing systems. Available: Commissioning Tool Kit: Commissioning Guidelines, Guide Specifications and Sample Functional Performance Tests.
Building Commissioning Association (BCA)
BCA promotes building commissioning practices that maintain high professional standards, and fulfill building owners' expectations.
Total Building Commissioning
A website established to support development of National Institute for Building Sciences guidelines for total building commissioning.
Article: "Integrated Commissioning Avoids IAQ Pitfalls Through Quality Construction"
March 1999, by Ronald J.Wilkinson, P.E.
Abstract: In spite of the increased use of innovative construction processes, building owners need to commission buildings to assure reliable IAQ throughout the life of the structure. Article available in pdf format from periodical Heating/Piping/AirConditioning at:
Software Design Tools
Disclaimer: This list of tools is provided as a service to people interested in green building. The PPRC does not use these software tools and therefore cannot vouch for the usability of the software or accuracy of results.
Green Matrix CD-ROM (GRNMTRX)
Ratcliff (Emeryville, California) developed a tool to help designers integrate sustainability in design. Green Matrix helps navigate the world of green design resources, and currently cross-references five sustainability topics (site, water, energy, materials and indoor environment) with seven design phases. For a free copy of the beta version of GRNMTRX 2.0, contact email@example.com. (Excerpt from GreenClips.219 07.16.03)
King County's (Washington) Supplemental Software to LEED™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
This online tool helps design and construction professionals comply with national standards for environmental performance. It also provides information on how local codes in King County relate to the LEEDTM green building rating system.
"Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability" or BEES 3.0
National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST)
The new version of this software system assesses the following environmental impacts for building products: ozone depletion, smog, ecological and human toxicity, global warming, acid rain, natural resource depletion, indoor air quality and solid waste. Version 3.0 incorporates life cycle analysis calculations.
Green Power Analysis Tool
The World Resources Institute's new tool to help corporate energy, environment and facility managers make decisions about green power. , an Excel-based set of spreadsheets, is a free tool that allows managers to assess the financial characteristics of green power projects and the contribution those projects make to clean air and climate change goals. It quantifies the reduced emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide associated with different green power projects and calculates the cost of achieving those reductions in standard metrics such as dollars per ton of emission avoided. Users can input data about their own green power projects or learn more about green power markets by exploring several green power projects pre-installed into the tool.
Download the tool at http://www.thegreenpowergroup.org/gpat
Building Life-Cycle Cost (BLCC) Software
An aid for performing life-cycle cost (LCC) analyses, the BLCC programs, BLCC4 and BLCC5, use conventions familiar to energy managers. The BLCC4 program has been used extensively for almost 25 years, while a a new, Windows-like version, BLCC5 is now available. The software allows evaluation of long-term costs and benefits of energy and water conservation, and renewable energy projects.
ATHENA Environmental Impact Estimator 2.0
This modeling tool can be used to predict the life-cycle environmental burdens of a building project across six categories: energy consumption, solid waste emissions, air pollution, water pollution, global warming potential, and resource use.
The Whole Building Design Guide
A comprehensive, Internet-based portal to a wide range of federal and private sector, building-related guidance, criteria and technology. By creatively linking information across disciplines and traditional professional boundaries, the WBDG encourages integrated thinking and a "whole building" performance perspective.
Developed by the International Initiative for Sustainable Built Environment (IISBE) (mentioned above), this tool is an assessment framework for the Green Building Challenge, which allows a full description of the building performance, and allows users to carry out assessments relative to regional benchmarks.
Using rudimentary building and occupant data, the software outputs annual energy use value required if the building is to perform in the top 25 percent of U.S. building stock. Complements the LEED rating system.
EnergyPlus Building Simulation Program
Distributed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and a winner of the 2003 Annual R&D [R&D Magazine] 100 Awards, this tool models expected energy use in commercial and residential buildings.
A powerful design tool that analyzes – and illustrates – the energy and cost savings that can be achieved through more than a dozen sustainable design strategies.
Provides information about software that is used for "applying a comprehensive set of energy-conscious urban design and growth management measures in conjunction with the master planning process across a range of urban settings from neighborhoods (or discrete portions of a military installation) to associated regions (or entire military installations) in order to build more sustainable communities."
Energy Accounting Software (EZSim from Stellar Processes)
Uses actual utility bills to reveal the patterns of use in commercial buildings, calibrates savings estimates to agree with actual energy usage, estimate energy end-uses within the facility, validate vendor claims, and generate performance targets.
Green Building Advisor
A software tool that identifies the specific design strategies that can improve the environmental performance, cost-effectiveness, and healthiness of a building.
Steam Use Analysis
The Department of Energy has three steam specific software programs: Steam Scoping Tool which profiles and grades steam system operations and management; 3E Plus which determines whether boiler systems can be optimized by insulation of steam lines, and Steam System Assessment Tool which helps demonstrate cost, energy and emissions savings from potential steam-system improvement opportunities.
UNIX freeware for lighting design and rendering, developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Swiss federal government, copyrighted by the Regents of the University of California.
SUNREL - Building Energy Simulation Program
A detailed, hourly building energy simulation program that aids in the design of small energy-efficient buildings where loads are dominated by the dynamic interaction between the building's envelope, its environment, and its occupants. It is especially useful for buildings with passive design features such as natural ventilation, windows with performance coatings, scheduled window insulation and shading, Trombe walls, phase change materials, and thermal storage. While the program was designed to provide sophisticated thermal models, it is simple to use and flexible enough to accommodate additional computational modules. (The program was no longer maintained on the web site when this link was last updated in 4/02.)
RETScreen - Renewable Energy Software
A free analysis tool that helps users identify, compare and evaluate opportunities for renewable energy projects, including solar space heat, solar hot water, photovoltaics, passive solar, wind, small hydro, and biomass. The tool was developed by a Natural Resources Canada energy laboratory.
The Energy Solutions Database lists a variety of software design tools for solar and passive design, water heating, geometry, codes, building design, energy use, and more.
Environmental Design Guide for Engineers (EDGE)
A database and accompanying Pollution Prevention Design Assessment Guidebook, produced by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for US Department of Energy, helps engineers and designers incorporate sustainability measures into facility design to reduce life-cycle costs and increase materials and energy efficiency. .
Facility Energy Decisions Systems (FEDS)
Under Department of Energy's Rebuild America Program
This software offers detailed information on energy efficiency retrofits at sites ranging from single buildings to multi-site complexes. The software is intended for facility managers, architects, engineers, consultants, utilities, and government energy agencies. The software is free for local and state governments, federal agencies and their contractors, and partners in the U.S. Department of Energy's Rebuild America partnership program. For others, the cost is $750.
Contact: Rosemarie Bartlett, 509-375-6606
To find out more about Rebuild America, visit
Envest - Environmental Impact Estimating (For purchase)
The tool is aimed at the UK's commercial building sector and was produced by the Building Research Establishment's (BRE) Centre for Sustainable Construction. It enables comparison of the environmental implications of various building design and operations options, from building shape to materials selection. Envest's scoring system uses "Ecopoints," an assessment method developed by BRE that relies on many environmental factors, including ozone depletion potential, water consumption data and the effect of consuming natural resources.
Energy Efficient Affordable Housing Program - Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs
They are sponsoring a green, affordable rehab project, and offer a direct subsidy to a non-profit housing developer, "to develop housing that is affordable, energy efficient, healthy and good for the environment, that can serve as a model for other affordable housing developers".
Contact: Paul Knight, 708-386-0345
Texas Veterans Land Board (TVLB)
Since 1997, the TVLB has offered reduced rate mortgages to vets who build to the program's green standards. Declaring these homes to be "better, cheaper, and easier on the earth", the TVLB considers the dwelling and the loan recipient to be a "better risk". Reduced life cycle cost leads to increased cash, which, in turn reduces the possibility of default. In less than two years, they have qualified around 500 homes, most of which received a full point reduction.
The Energy Foundation
A grant making institution endeavoring to assist in the nation's transition to a sustainable energy future by promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Home Depot Grants
Home Depot offers grants for projects in "Sustainable and Green Building Practices" Proposals are accepted between 11/1 and 12/15 annually. There is no application form. Organizations requesting a grant are required to have a Federal Tax Exempt nonprofit status and must include a copy of the 501(C)(3) letter/form.
Contact: Manager, Environmental Programs, The Home Depot, 2455 Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30339
New York’s Governor announced a new program to offer financial incentives and tax credits to developers that use environmentally sound materials and practices to construct and renovate buildings.
Press Release: www.state.ny.us/governor/press/year00/jan10_5_00.htm
Funding Mechanisms for Brownfield Development
Includes federal finance sources and programs.
US EPA's Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund Pilots
Cash Flow vs. Payback in New Home Construction
Environmental Building News - "Building Green on a Budget"
Architects, Designers, Builders and Related Consultants
(Please note: PPRC does not endorse specific companies or contractors.)
Green Pages - Directory of green contractors and consultants, published by Northwest EcoBuilding Build
Paladino & Company - an interdisciplinary team of architects, engineers, and
analysts that provide design and management expertise in high performance green buildings,
specializing in siting, energy, materials, water, and environmental quality.
O'Brien & Company - provides technical and educational support to the construction
industry, policy makers, and the public, promoting ecosystem protection, site sensitive development,
energy efficiency, water quality protection, water conservation, indoor environmental quality,
and use of environmentally preferable construction materials.
Build a Better Kitsap - a network of architects, builders, subcontractors, suppliers and real estate agents in Kitsap County, working together to provide quality, cost-effective, and efficient homes that also help preserve the Pacific Northwest environment.
Build a Better Clark / Built Green - a network of architects, builders, subcontractors, suppliers and real estate agents in Clark County, working together to provide quality, cost-effective, and efficient homes that also help preserve the Pacific Northwest environment.
Green Building Professionals Directory Search
Newsletters and News Sources
E-mail summary of news on sustainable building design and related government and business issues, published every two weeks.
Environmental Building News
A monthly newsletter on environmentally responsible design and construction, featuring comprehensive, practical information on a wide range of topics related to sustainable building and is widely regarded as the leading publication in this field.
Newsletter - "Indoor Environment Connections"
Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce: Special Edition
Section on why green building is important, a Pierce County project that sets new standard for green construction, an Endangered Species Act listing which pushes green building into the mainstream, and how green building starts at the top.
Home Advisor "Going Green in Your Own Home" Article
Discusses the importance of green building and practices for homeowners and provides a fairly comprehensive list of catagories and resources.