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Green Building Websites


There are myriad organizations devoted to various aspects of green building. Each has something to offer architects, designers, engineers and other HVAC professionals who want to learn about green building and put green building principles and environmentally friendly products to use in their construction projects.

For your convenience, we've gathered a partial list of green building resources. But this is only a starting point. Many of the websites and other resources below will lead to still more valuable information, green building tools, case studies, etc. When you find a green building resource you think is particularly valuable, please let us know so that we can add it to this list.

New Buildings Institute (www.newbuildings.org)
  • Works with national, regional, state and utility groups to promote improved energy performance in commercial new construction, managing projects involving building research, design guidelines and code activities.
  • Website includes research on various heating and cooling issues related to energy use and efficiency.

Green Globes (www.greenglobes.com)
  • Assessment and rating system used in U.S. and Canada.
  • Uses online tools for assessment and guidance to incorporate green elements in projects.
  • Applies to new and existing buildings, design and operation.
  • Evolved from Canada's Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM).
  • Operated in U.S. by the Green Building Initiative (www.thegbi.org).
  • In Canada, version for existing buildings is operated by BOMA Canada as 'Go Green' (www.bomabest.com).

Green Building Initiative (www.thegbi.com)
NAHB National Green Building Program (www.nahbgreen.org)
  • Objective: Move green building practices into the mainstream.
  • Resources and tools for home builders, contractors, homeowners.
  • Developed ANSI-approved National Green Building Standard for single and multifamily homes, residential remodeling and site development projects.
  • Developed voluntary Model Green Home Buidling Guidelines
  • Offers national certification for builders and other industry professionals.

Greenbuild365.org (www.greenbuild365.org)
  • An online portal to green building education with extensive resources for designers, engineers, contractors and others involved in sustainable design.
  • Includes catalog of more than 80 courses on various green building topics that are available either live or online, many available 24/7. Many courses are free.
  • Courses available from 100 level (basic understanding) to 400 level (mastery).
  • 'Greenbytes section' includes videos, podcasts and articles that can viewed online and/or downloaded.
  • Includes library of Greenbuild Expo conference proceedings, keynote addresses, etc.

World Business Council for Sustainable Development (www.wbcsd.org)
  • International business organization devoted to promoting business leadership in sustainable development.
  • Numerous reports and publications on energy and climate, business solutions for sustainable development, the business role in sustainable development and specific projects.
  • News and case studies
  • Free e-newsletters (registration required) on business and sustainable development, water and sustainable development, energy and climate, etc.

U.S. Department of Energy, Smart Communities Network (www.sustainable.doe.gov)
  • Rich collection of information and resources on a wide variety of sustainability issues, including green building and green building rating systems
  • Material on commercial and residential building
  • Collection of green building articles and links to public and private green building programs

U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • Energy information portal to hundreds of websites and thousands of online documents
  • Gateway to large variety of DOE offices and programs

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Financial Assistance (www.eere.energy.gov/financing)
  • Details how to apply for grants and other funding
  • Many application documents available for download 
  • Comprehensive information on  financial assistance programs available to business and other other organizations for energy projects from  the DOE/EERE

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Buildings (http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/greenbuilding/index.htm)
  • Extensive information on green building and various types of structure
  • Resources on indoor air quality, the indoor environment, HVAC maintenance and housekeeping

USGBC Green Home Guide (www.greenhomeguide.org)
  • Comprehensive information on the USGBC LEED for Homes rating system, plus more than 70 other regional and local green home building programs.
  • Explains the elements of what makes a home green
  • Profiles of green home projects throughout the U.S.
  • Listing of LEED for Home training and workshop opportunities, live and online.

U.S. Green Building Council (www.usgbc.org)
  • A lead organization in the green building movement.
  • Developer of the LEED green building rating system
  • National, non-profit, consensus-driven
  • Comprised of more than 1,500 organizations, including building product manufacturers, architectural and engineering firms, non-profits, schools, universities and government agencies.
  • The starting point for understanding LEED certification and for registering LEED-eligible projects.

Greener Buildings (www.greenerbuildings.com)
  • A partnership between the USGBC and GreenBiz.com
  • A resource center for environmentally responsible building development
  • Excellent background reports on topics including architecture and design, energy and water use, and facility management
  • Green building tools and resources.

GreenBiz.com (www.greenbiz.com)
  • Program of the National Environmental Education & Training Foundation
  • Resource center "on business, the environment and the bottom line."
  • Business Toolbox with hundreds of reports, backgrounders, how �to articles and tools
  • Listing of government programs aimed at helping companies with environmental and economic performance
  • Reviews of hundreds of business/environment web sites

Whole Buildings Design Guide (www.wbdg.org)
  • Created by the National Institute of Building Science
  • Information and resources for whole building design and project management
  • Tools for design and analysis, energy analysis, life-cycle costing, etc.

Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (www.sbicouncil.org)
  • Nonprofit organization with mission "to advance the design, affordability, energy performance, and environmental soundness of America's buildings."
  • Offers software, videos and training on sustainability issues

Advanced buildings Technologies and Practices (www.advancedbuildings.org)
  • Information on technologies and practices that improve the energy and resource efficiency of commercial and multi-unit residential buildings
  • Variety of downloadable reports, case studies, other resources
  • Includes links to Canadian and U.S. resources

International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment (www.greenbuilding.ca)
  • International non-profit to promote green building policies, methods and tools
  • Link to Green Building Policies Network
  • Links to Sustainable Building Information System, database of downloadable documents (paid membership required).

BuildingGreen.com (www.buildinggreen.com)
  • Paid site from publishers of the Environmental Building News newsletter
  • Articles, cases studies, references and GreenSpec green product information service

FlexYourPower (www.fypower.org)
  • California energy efficiency marketing and outreach program in partnership with utilities.
  • Information and case studies on residential, commerical, industrial and institutional energy savings.
  • Best practices guides showcase successful energy savings/management strategies for various types of buildings.
For commercial office buildings best practice guide, click here.

Energy Star (www.energystar.gov)
  • Offers information on ways to improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses.
  • Guide to Energy Star rated products including HVAC equipment such as air-source heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps and boilers.
  • Guides to saving energy by sealing the home and energy-efficient heating/cooling available for download (PDF format)
  • Includes resources for manufacturers, HVAC contractors and homebuilders.

GreenHomeGuide (www.greenhomeguide.com)
  • Consumer-oriented site devoted to helping consumers green their homes
  • Regional editions for San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York areas
  • Articles and resources on home energy efficiency, saving water, etc.
  • Green directory of products and organizations

BuilditGreen (www.builditgreen.org)
  • Non-profit devoted to promoting healthy, energy- and resource efficient homes in California; most information applicable to homes in all states.
  • Extensive tools and resources
  • Numerous documents for download on plumbing, heating, HVAC systems, solar water heating, domestic hot water recirculation, etc.
  • Green products directory

Environmental Building Design and Construction Portal (www.yourhomeplanet.com)
  • Resources on environmental design for building professionals
  • Resource categories include: alternate design; books and magazines; education, jobs and careers; indoor environmental quality; water, etc.

Sustainable Architecture, Building and Culture (www.sustainableabc.com)
  • Resources for professionals and consumers
  • Extensive list of Internet resources including: air and water quality; environmental education; renewable energy; sustainable development, etc.
  • Free newsletter

Indoor Air Quality - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.gov/iaq)
  • Detailed information about indoor air quality (IAQ) in homes and large buildings for consumers and professionals
  • Animated, room-by-room tour of home IAQ and common household sources of pollutants.
  • How to improve IAQ in the home.
  • Detailed sections on asthma, mold and moisture, radon, etc.

Solar Living Institute (www.solarliving.org)
  • Promotes sustainable living through environmental education.
  • Offers online solar training and workshops.
  • Broad variety of links to: green careers and job boards; renewable energy resources and organizations; natural building and design; sustainable living organizations and resources; education programs, publications, etc.